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Snowden, Greenwald, Dotcom, Key - Mass Surveillance In NZ

Scoop Coverage: Snowden, Greenwald, Dotcom, Key - Mass Surveillance In NZ

This page is being updated with new information as events unfold. Most recent coverage nearer the top. Check the Scoop front page for the latest.
Some matters relating to the use of intelligence data were raised by Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics. See Scoop Coverage: Key, Whale Oil, Hager And Dirty Politics.

Peters On NSA & NZ: Time For Some Recanting

With confirmation that American spies are working in New Zealand, by a former head of the US National Security Agency last night, there is confirmation that they are based here, says New Zealand First. More>>


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NZ Herald Link: John Key Concedes Edward Snowden 'May Well Be Right'
- Key concedes claim NZ data may be accessible through XKeyscore
- Says NZ contributes some information to Five Eyes databases
- "But not mass, wholesale surveillance as people might say"
- No evidence of mass surveillance, says security chief
- MORE: NZ 'spied on friends for US'

Gordon Campbell: On A Campaign That Is Ending As It Began
death by friendly fire (via our good friends in the NSA) is not that different from suicide, at your own hand. At least Chancellor Angela Merkel had the balls to complain loud and long to the US about its surveillance activities on German citizens. Yet here‘s Key conceding that the NSA may be engaged in similar activity but he’s saying –in effect – that its not for him to say or do anything to detect the extent of it, much less to stop it. Really? More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Aftermath Of The Greenwald/Snowden Revelations

The credibility issues have come down to two main ones:

1. The email This has to do with whether Key knowingly agreed to use our immigration rules as a tool to ensnare and ultimately extradite Kim Dotcom, and do so largely at the behest of Hollywood’s leading corporates and their best friend in the White House, vice-President Joseph Biden. Some of the debate in the last few days has turned on the reliability of a Warners email that seems to set out this plan in black and white. IMO, the email is just the icing on the cake...

2. Mass surveillance Earlier to day I was going to try to explain the difference between what Edward Snowden/Glenn Greenwald were talking about (ie mass surveillance via the the cable-accessing SPEARGUN programme and the Xkeyscore analytical programme) and what Key has chosen to talk about instead in order to deliberately distract and confuse the public. Then I found that Keith Ng had not only beaten me to it, but had done so with beautiful lucidity. More>>

Image by Lyndon Hood regarding 2013 TICS Bill. For background see Gordon Campbell on the final round for the GCSB Bill
and Tech Liberty on TICS and GCSB

Statement From The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

“I am only able to comment on specific GCSB activities through my annual and inquiry reports. However, I can advise that I have not identified any indiscriminate interception of New Zealanders’ data in my work to date. I will continue to monitor these issues.” More>>


Public Address Link: Interview: Glenn Greenwald

Russell Brown: I was offered an interview with Glenn Greenwald yesterday in the wake of his appearance at the Moment of Truth event. What follows is the transcript of that interview. It covers both the specifics of what he reported at the event and more general questions about state intelligence agencies and the practice of doing the kind of journalism he does. More>>


'Moment of Truth: NSA Whistleblower Snowden Says Kiwis Are ‘Being Watched’

Scoop Business: Fugitive spying whistleblower Edward Snowden put in an appearance via the internet at tonight’s Internet Party Moment of Truth event to back up his claims that mass surveillance of New Zealanders is already taking place despite government denials.

Snowden had earlier posted an article on The Intercept website entitled “New Zealand’s Prime Minister isn’t telling the truth about mass surveillance”, where he said any statement that mass surveillance isn’t performed in New Zealand, or that internet communications are not comprehensively intercepted and monitored, is categorically false. More>>


Public Address Link: "Project SPEARGUN Underway"

Keith Ng: Glenn Greenwald's material [as opposed to Dotcom's] is solid. He has documents showing the progress of a programme called "SPEARGUN". According to Greenwald, this project involved the "covert installation of 'cable access' equipment" on the Southern Cross cable (i.e. Tapping into New Zealand's traffic with the rest of the world). The existence of this capability cannot be denied...

The new documents show that the GCSB had a cable access project underway, followed by another document that Phase 1 was "achieved". More crucially, he has a message showing... that they had to wait for the GCSB Act to be passed before SPEARGUN could be used. i.e. The new GCSB Act - the one that supposedly wouldn't expand GCSB powers - expanded GCSB powers to allow them operate a metadata probe on the this cable which they'd tapped. More>>


Government Response: PM Responds To Incorrect Surveillance Claims

Prime Minister John Key tonight corrected misinformation that has been put in the public domain concerning the operations of the Government Communications Security Bureau.

“Claims have been made tonight that are simply wrong and that is because they are based on incomplete information,” Mr Key says.

“There is not, and never has been, a cable access surveillance programme operating in New Zealand.

“There is not, and never has been, mass surveillance of New Zealanders undertaken by the GCSB.

“Regarding XKEYSCORE, we don’t discuss the specific programmes the GCSB may, or may not use, but the GCSB does not collect mass metadata on New Zealanders, therefore it is clearly not contributing such data to anything or anyone,” Mr Key says. More>>


The Little Reveal: Hollywood, and PM, say email is a fake: Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre say it’s real

nternet entrepreneur Kim DotCom today released a copy of an email purporting to show that John Key was involved in a plan to get him into New Zealand so he could then be extradited to the United States...

However Warner Bros and the MPAA say the email is a fake... And Mr Key told the Herald he had no recollection or record of any such a conversation. More>>



NZ Herald Link: Alleged Email From Hollywood Exec Claims PM In On Plan To Extradite Dotcom - Warner Brothers Issues Denial
Reaction: Labour | NZ First
Prime Minister Responds To Alleged Email
From July - Background: Gordon Campbell On The Dotcom Emails

Gordon Campbell:
On The Glenn Greenwald Revelations

The problem with Key’s belated plea for trust – and with his claim that Kim Dotcom is the only person here disclosing information for political purposes – is that Key patently did not behave honestly last year when the GCSB legislation was being was going through Parliament.

For example: New Zealanders were never told that the GCSB was scoping out a system of mass surveillance, one that had got to the stage of power points and pdfs and a working relationship with the NSA to enable its implementation... More>>

LINK - The Intercept: New Zealand Launched Mass Surveillance Project While Publicly Denying It
The New Zealand spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), worked in 2012 and 2013 to implement a mass metadata surveillance system even as top government officials publicly insisted no such program was being planned and would not be legally permitted. More>>


LINK Edward Snowden: NZ's PM Isn't Telling The Truth About Mass Surveillance

If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched. At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called “XKEYSCORE.” More>>


Martin Doyle Cartoon: Mass surveillance

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