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Released details of illegal spying to affected Kiwis

9 April 2013

Details of illegal spying should be released to affected Kiwis

The Green Party is calling on the Government to release the details of spying activity to the 88 New Zealand citizens who were illegally spied on by the GCSB, and those people should be given the opportunity to pursue legal action against the GCSB.

“The Kitteridge report shows that illegal spying was endemic at the GCSB,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Those New Zealanders who were illegally spied on by the GCSB need to be notified immediately and the nature of the illegal spying undertaken revealed to them.

“It is of interest that none of the information obtained by the GCSB via illegal spying was used by the police to prosecute, indicating it was of little value.

“The Prime Minister has asked the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security to look into the 88 cases. Those people shouldn’t have to wait until the end of this report to find out who they are.

“The Inspector General has taken a light handed approach to unlawful actions by the GCSB in previous reviews of the agency’s work. We strongly urge him to take a strong line on illegal spying and uphold the human rights of those illegally spied on.”

The Green Party is welcoming the Prime Minister’s commitment to review the legal framework covering security intelligence, but is concerned that such a review may lead to fewer protections for New Zealand citizens.

“I don’t agree with John Key’s assessment that the widespread illegal spying was just the result of unclear legislation,” said Dr Norman.

“The GCSB was established to undertake external spying. The clearest aspect of their legislation is that they are not allowed to spy on New Zealanders and they have.

“Any changes to our security law should increase the parliamentary and judicial oversight of the security agencies and improve the rights of New Zealand citizens.

“John Key can’t wash his hands of his mismanagement of the GCSB by saying their legislative framework is unworkable. Improvements can be made, but he needs to take responsibility for the mess he has overseen on his watch.”

ENDS

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