New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s spying scandal

This 13 September video is called [Glenn] Greenwald: GCSB Statement “We Do Not Engage in Mass Surveillance of New Zealanders” is Not Truthful.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

New Zealand PM deceiving public over spying claims, says Glenn Greenwald

Journalist says he will produce documents by Edward Snowden that prove John Key approved mass surveillance of citizens

Toby Manhire in Auckland

Sunday 14 September 2014 13.15 BST

An already tumultuous New Zealand election campaign took another dramatic turn less than a week before polling day when the prime minister, John Key, responded angrily to claims by the American journalist Glenn Greenwald that he had been “deceiving the public” over assurances on spying.

Greenwald, who is visiting New Zealand at the invitation of the German internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, says he will produce documents provided by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that prove the New Zealand government approved mass surveillance of its residents by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), New Zealand’s equivalent of the NSA.

Dotcom, who is sought for extradition from New Zealand by the US on copyright charges relating to his now defunct Megaupload file-storage site, is hosting an event in Auckland on Monday called The Moment of Truth, which doubles as a rally for the Dotcom-founded Internet party.

Greenwald has promised to produce his evidence at the event, while Dotcom is pledging to show further links between Key and Hollywood relating to his own case. Adding to the spectacle, Julian Assange is expected to beam in via video link from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while Dotcom has hinted that Snowden may also appear on the big screen from Moscow.

In media interviews, Key has repeatedly dismissed Greenwald as “Dotcom’s little henchman”.

Greenwald responded by saying: “I absolutely stand by everything I’ve said.” He told 3 News: “They did far more than look at the idea; they adopted the idea and took steps to make it a reality.”

He added: “I’ve done reporting of surveillance all over the world and a lot of governments haven’t liked what I’ve said, but I’ve never seen a head of government lose their dignity and get down in the mud and start chucking names to discredit the journalist in order to discredit the journalism.”

Greenwald, a former Guardian journalist, has authored hundreds of stories based on leaks from Edward Snowden exposing the breadth of surveillance undertaken by the NSA and its partners in the Five-Eyes alliance, which includes New Zealand. The work was recognised with a Pulitzer prize in April 2014.

Even before the spying controversy, the Key campaign was bedevilled by scandal, with a senior cabinet minister forced to resign following the publication of a book based on hacked emails that revealed links between the ruling centre-right National party and an attack-blogger.

Ahead of election, Snowden reveals mass spying on New Zealanders: here.

US National Security Agency documents released on March 5 by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that New Zealand’s intelligence agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), spies intensively on “nearly two dozen countries” in the Asia-Pacific region: here.

Expanded spy powers being rammed through New Zealand parliament: here.

The curious career of Cheryl Gwyn, New Zealand’s inspector-general of intelligence and security: here.

7 thoughts on “New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s spying scandal

  1. I would expect and hope that New Zealand would be on board with the other countries for surveillance . The job now is to ensure that this does not interfere with other democratic rights. Most of the information collected has to be a big yawn. We are being watched – that’s a given.


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