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Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election

13 November 2014

Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election

New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand’s intelligence services for the National Party’s political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.

Documents released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act show that Prime Minister John Key pressured the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) into releasing previously classified documents just days out from the election.

“The Prime Minister has arrogantly used the GCSB in order to assist the National Party’s elections chances,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“John Key knew that investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden were going to provide information damaging to his Government.

“In order to counter this damage John Key made certain that the GCSB declassified and released documents in an effort to provide damage control to both himself and the National Party.

“This is a Prime Minister who was using the security services for political purposes.

“When he was looking at declassifying these documents he was looking at them as the head of the National Party not as the Minister responsible for the GCSB.

“John Key asking for these documents to be declassified at this particular time was in the National Party’s interest,” Dr Norman said.

“What John Key has done is abuse his power as the Minister responsible for our intelligence services in the middle of an election campaign.

“It is clear from the documents released under the OIA to the Green Party that the pre-election release of declassified intelligence material was not done proactively by the GCSB but entirely on behalf of John Key.

“The timing of the release of the documents was purely to assist the National Party in their election campaign.

“This is a classic abuse of power,” Dr Norman said.

“New Zealanders deserve better from their Government. People have the right to know what their Government is planning to do in regards to their privacy.

“The public actually have a right to this information. It should not be selectively withheld and then dumped for purely political ends.”

Link to the Green Party’s OIA:

https://home.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/green_partyoia_10_11_2014_gcsb.pdf

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