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Obama Reveals Key Misleading On Spying

13 February 2014

Obama Reveals Key Misleading On Spying

Assurances by Prime Minister John Key that the United States is not spying on New Zealanders have been undermined by statements by US President Barack Obama that the US does not have a “no-spy” agreement with any country, the Green Party said today.

President Barack Obama last night confirmed that there is no country with which the US has a no-spy agreement, despite a previous understanding that New Zealand’s membership of the Five-Eyes intelligence sharing alliance, alongside the US, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, offers protection for New Zealand citizens against spying by member states.

“Prime Minister John Key has assured New Zealanders that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has not been involved in spying on New Zealanders. Obama’s comments call these assurances into question,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“We’ve been led to believe that the Five-Eyes network operates on the basis of a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ and that each partner could be trusted not to spy on the citizens of other members.

“Obama’s comments last night have confirmed that this is not the case, and have blown apart any of the supposed protections for New Zealand citizens of being part of the Five-Eyes network.

“Earlier leaks from whistle-blower Edward Snowden have revealed that the personal data of citizens from the US, the UK and Australia is being shared amongst the Five-Eyes network. We also know from previous leaks that the NSA were willing and able to carry out mass surveillance on New Zealanders.

“New Zealanders need to know if the co-operation with the US through this network extends to New Zealanders’ privacy being breached by the NSA.

“John Key should come clean before Edward Snowden does it for him.”


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