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NZers have a right to know if privacy violated

28 February 2014

NZers have a right to know if privacy violated

Prime Minister John Key needs to give an assurance to the New Zealand public that their privacy has not been breached, following new revelations that the UK’s security agency has been collecting hundreds of thousands of images from private webcam videos, the Green Party said today.

The latest Snowden leaks reveal that the UK intelligence agency GCHQ has collected and stored webcam imagery from millions of Yahoo user accounts from around the world, and then shared this data with the US intelligence agency NSA.

“The New Zealand public has a right to know if they’ve been caught up in this mass surveillance by the GCHQ and had their privacy violated in this way,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“New Zealand’s own spy agencies, the GCSB and SIS, need to assure New Zealanders that they have not been accessing this information collected by the GCHQ that breaches the privacy of ordinary citizens.

“The GCSB and SIS also need to rule out whether they themselves undertake this kind of mass collection of private information.

“The public has every right to be able to use something as simple as a webcam without the fear that their privacy is being trampled on by spy agencies around the world.

“These revelations paint a clear picture of how spy agencies approach data collection - this was carried out on a mass scale with no regard for whether the individuals affected were even suspects.

“We’ve been told time and time again that if we’ve done nothing wrong then we have nothing to worry about when it comes to spying. The indiscriminate way that this information was collected blows that argument out of the water.

“Once again we're seeing how wide-reaching the global surveillance state has become and how easily the public’s right to privacy can be disregarded,” said Dr Norman. 

ENDS

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