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GCSB Case Bungled by Prime Minister

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
21 May 2013

GCSB Case Bungled by Prime Minister

New Zealand First says the report by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into breaches of the Government Communications Security Bureau Act reveals bungles by the Minister in charge – John Key.

A recent review of compliance at the GCSB by Rebecca Kitteridge found difficulties of interpretation in the GCSB Act.

Following the Prime Minister receiving her report, cases involving 88 New Zealanders were referred to the Inspector-General who has found there were no breaches of the law.

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the GCSB has been thrown into turmoil, and reputations ruined because John Key responded with a kneejerk reaction rather than seeking a clear legal interpretation of the law.

“The one case that was illegal related to Kim Dotcom and that happened because the Prime Minister rushed in to help the Hollywood movie moguls target a German national who was allegedly involved in copyright piracy.

“This was a time when clear heads were needed but there was panic instead as New Zealanders were led to believe that citizens were being targeted by spy agencies.

“It was always open to the Government to seek a declaratory judgement from a leading New Zealand court on the law if there was uncertainty about it.

“The Prime Minister should have been more measured in his approach and this would have prevented the GCSB being hung out to dry and ridiculed as the ‘Dad’s Army’ of the surveillance world,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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