GCSB Downloaded Its Version Of The GCSB Bill From The Daily Blog

By   /   June 23, 2013  /   15 Comments

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Check this out… It does appear the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) downloaded its copy of the GCSB draft legislation from The Daily Blog website.

The New Zealand Herald’s David Fisher has revealed a smoke n dagger mystery on Twitter.

It does appear the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) downloaded its copy of the GCSB draft legislation from The Daily Blog website.

GCSB-Downloaded-Its-Draft-Bill-From-TDB-2When you do a Google search for the GCSB bill, the official copy that you can download from the GCSB contains meta-data that suggests it was actually sourced and downloaded by the GCSB from TheDailyBlog.co.nz.

This weirdism was picked up by David Fisher on Saturday evening and put out on his Twitter account: @DFisherJourno.

Now, I must confess… I uploaded to The Daily Blog database in May what has now become the GCSB’s official version of the legislation. (check out this Google search of this content on The Daily Blog.)

I did this after the draft bill was officially released by the New Zealand Parliament. Sometime since then, it appears the GCSB needed to locate a copy for its official website, and downloaded this from The Daily Blog. Once the GCSB officer downloaded it, he/she then uploaded it to the GCSB.

I do realise The Daily Blog is a most excellent source of information and analysis, but I never realised the GCSB had become so dependent on us as a source of official information!

To think what might have become of the proposed new legislation if I had realised this sooner. Imagine how brilliant the Parliamentary debate would have been if I had rewritten the draft into something more agreeable prior to the GCSB downloading an amended brave new version!!

Just think, a complete rewrite of the intelligence parameters within which the GCSB could operate, new robust oversight frameworks where our electronic spy agency would be held to account… The list of satisfactory reform would be comparatively brief but certainly designed to meet both the National and Public Interest :)

Lost opportunities aside, as the mystery deepens, we at The Daily Blog are left wondering:

  • Did the GCSB lose its original copy?
  • Why did the GCSB download a copy from The Daily Blog and not from the New Zealand Parliament site?
  • Was the GCSB trying to send us a message? If so, please decrypt it for us as I was never too flash on code… even cryptic crosswords prove to be beyond me! :)

Perhaps The Daily Blog’s excellent audience can decipher how or why this happened…

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About the author

Selwyn Manning

Journalist and Commentator

15 Comments

  1. marc says:

    What does it tell us?

    It tells us that GCSB staff are keeping an eye on this blogsite and forum! They are gathering data on users, commenters and bloggers, it seems. Well, that is what I would suspect.

    The Daily Blog is of course an interesting and great platform of new social media for bloggers and readers. But come on, would you honestly think that that government agency and their staff would read here for their own information about political and other topics?

    They probably were doing their routine job, and then came across that version and a link here.

    Perhaps they were at the same time working on their own website, and one staff member may have told another one updating their site, that a version is handy on TDB?

    Anyway, bizarre, put perhaps not quite so bizarre after all?!

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    • But come on, would you honestly think that that government agency and their staff would read here for their own information about political and other topics?

      Marc,

      Obviously… obviously, I deployed a strong element of tongue-in-cheek to this post.

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    • “It tells us that GCSB staff are keeping an eye on this blogsite and forum! “

      Of course.

      I wouldn’t expect anything else. The security apparatus in this country is operating to it’s own rules and until a new over-sight body with real teeth is set up, they are effectively a law unto themselves.

      Or – and here’s a thought – close down both the SIS and GCSB. How successful were they in preventing the French from committing an act of terrorism in one of our own harbours? The raison d’être for their very existence – and they failed.

      I just hope the GCSB file on me is a tad more professional than the SIS version which, really, could only be described as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

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      • Robert Atack says:

        I just hope the GCSB file on me is a tad more professional than the SIS version which, really, could only be described as a waste of taxpayers’ money –

        Ditto

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  2. mickysavage says:

    It seems that the GCSB’s mastery of cyberspace knows no limits …

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  3. Arthur Monteath-Carr says:

    Can you tell what the IP address used to download it was? Could you then match this to see what other pages the GCSB has been reading? Could be amusing.

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  4. Uh uh says:

    The answer is simple. They are incompetent. Which explains why they use MS Sharepoint &/or cloud services/O365 as recently revealed on the Twitter hashtag #GCSB.

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  5. marc says:

    Halloooh there, GCSB staffers,

    how is the allies’ project in Utah coming along? Have you booked enough space for all our emails and posts there? It would be great to have them archived in good order, as one day history may reveal a heck of a lot about our PM and why it is, that the government is so popular, and has so many friends, in high places, and also in the media.

    But hey, is there not more important stuff to look at?

    Where did you do your apprenticeships or training? Not the Stasi, the KGB, the CIA, Mossad or the UK agencies?

    Freedom and democracy in Aotearoa, yeah right?!

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  6. Athena says:

    Please, please someone ask John Key about this in question time. It sounds like Keystone cops.

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  7. Alison Withers says:

    TDB, a honeypot of left wing bloggers and dissenting information, now redefined as Terrorists, it’s not surprising the bees would come swarming along.

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  8. Tim says:

    ” – Did the GCSB lose its original copy?
    - Why did the GCSB download a copy from The Daily Blog and not from the New Zealand Parliament site?
    - Was the GCSB trying to send us a message? If so, please decrypt it for us as I was never too flash on code… even cryptic crosswords prove to be beyond me! ”

    By which you mean the original in wide release and in a theatre near you, or do you mean the original original, or the original, or the numbered original?

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  9. “Was the GCSB trying to send us a message? If so, please decrypt it for us as I was never too flash on code… even cryptic crosswords prove to be beyond me! :)”

    I believe the GCSB’s message was “We haven’t punched ourselves in the dick enough recently”. This has now been corrected.

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  10. Cam says:

    In the words of Walter Sobchak, “FUCKIN’ AMATEURS!!”. What staggering muppetry from our “Intelligence” community. How can they be entrusted to care for our sensitive personal data when they can’t even change a filename!

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  11. foo says:

    much easier to ‘link out’ to what is already in the public domain, than risk a new round of speculation and document reverse engineering. occums razor please.

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