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.
When 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…