Activist Offers NZ SIS Assistance With Video
Activist Offers NZ SIS Assistance With Video Equipment
Indymedia activist offers NZ SIS assistance with video equipment. An Aotearoa Indymedia activist has come to the rescue this week by offering the New Zealand SIS assistance with its future video projects.
This generous offer of capacity building came after the SIS admitted having had major technical problems during the secret illegal filming of a 7 hour interview with asylum seeker and political prisoner, Ahmed Zaoui in December last year.
Zaoui's lawyers are trying to obtain a copy of this interview but have been told by the SIS that about an hour of the audio was "missing" and the overall quality of the recording, "which was done on a police machine", was poor.
The Inydmedia activist finds such technical glitches to be rather unusual if it had been done on one of the the high quality, state of the art, three chip digital "police machines" observed in use by NZ police cameramen at most recent protests.
The activist commented:
"It's really unfair that the SIS has been landed with out of date equipment from the NZ police. The police are regularly seen on anti-war marches with the latest digital gear. They should let the SIS use their Canon XL1s and not just fob them off with the Chief Superintendent's mother-in-law's handycam (circa 1990) when secretly interviewing potential national security threats."
"The SIS are also obviously having some basic issues with audio. They can come to one of our video workshops (if they haven't been already). But in the meantime what they need is some cheap headphones so they can monitor their recording. I've got a spare pair somewhere though you'd think the SIS would have had some already given their general activities - you know, phone tapping, bugging and the like. But I do sympathise. It's so annoying when revealing soundbites get accidentally not recorded. It's like some malevolent force is you know, secretly conspiring against you or something....."
Another SIS lawyer pointed out that there was concern about identifying security officers' faces in the video but said the service did not have the technology or equipment to pixilate faces or transfer the recording to VHS.
The Indymedia volunteer has said that if the SIS get in touch they can probably help them plug the camera into the SIS staff room VCR to make a vhs copy - "all you need is some rca leads - you know the ones with the red and white little plugs on the back of your home video player - what the hell, we'll buy you some if you like from The Warehouse."
If they drop off the master tape the Indymedia activist also promises to run it through imovie on his home computer and disguise the SIS interrogators faces with computer generated anarchist bandannas - "don't worry, Indymedia won't reveal their identity - just like the SIS and the police, we believe in people's right not to be filmed if they don't want to be - it's part of our ethos."
Zaoui's lawyer, Ms Deborah Manning, had commented: "The claim that the Security Intelligence Service, an intelligence agency trained and skilled in the art of intelligence gathering and equipped with modern [if not state-of-the-art] intelligence gathering devices, has such poor video and sound equipment that it has 'lost' parts of an interview with our client is so surprising that it is almost too difficult to believe."