GCSB not off the hook: Inspector-General repeats wrong interpretation of the law


CCTV-CameraIt is unfortunate that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Paul Neazor, has sided with the government in saying that it might be ok for the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders. He has been checking the nature of GCSB operations against the 88 individual New Zealanders identified in the Kitteridge report.

Whether communications of these New Zealanders were directly intercepted (as with five people according to the Inspector General) or the information obtained was only about who they were phoning or emailing (which he says was mostly the case) the Inspector-General says that there were “arguably no breaches [of the law] and the law is unclear.”

I wish to reiterate that when the GCSB Bill passed through Parliament in 2003 (and I was then in Parliament and involved in the debate) speaker after speaker (from both National and Labour) insisted that it did not allow the GCSB to spy on New Zealand citizens and residents – and the text of Act proves that.

Paul Neazor’s assessment also seems to be at odds with what the GCSB has admitted in the Kim Dotcom case: that it did illegal spy on him, a New Zealand resident, when it assisted with preparations for a Police raid on his property.

I am still waiting for a reply from the GCSB to a letter asking whether I was one of the 88 New Zealanders which the Kitteridge report indicates were illegally spied upon. I have proof from two agent reports in the personal file I received from Service in 2008 that the SIS was monitoring preparations for my visit to Sri Lanka in October 2003, and may well have been assisted (illegally) by the GCSB. Hopefully, the government won’t use the Inspector-General’s latest determination to refuse to answer my question in this regard.

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  1. The problem is Keith that they don’t think the same way as ‘normal’ citizens. Where we see something very simply and concisely put, they see enough specificity and therefore leaving holes. Not spying means not spying – very simple and clear. They see at as not specifically saying they can’t assist others by providing expertise and support, and by doing that they’re not the ones spying so not acting illegally. Weasel words to me and you.

  2. You surely did not expect him to say it was illegal did you? As the Inspector General of intelligence and Security he would been in the spotlight too. A bit like expecting the police to condemn Bruce Hutton!
    Why bother to ask if you are one of the 88 – I would doubt that is anywhere near the real figure but the truth has gone by now.

  3. No great surprise that Neazor sides with the government. That’s what he’s there for. The whole intelligence community stinks and should be dismantled. I’d like to see some sort of investigation into the lot of them, but until we can empty out their files on the street like the East Germans did with Stasi, I don’t know who could be trusted to do the job. Royal Commissions have surprised now and then, but GCSB/SIS etc gets too close to the levers of power.

  4. Go Keith Go … As in go-for-it!
    I disagree with the other comments in that we should NOT let ourselves become too cynical, what they are saying MIGHT be true, but if we believe that there is nothing to fight for, then it most CERTAINLY WILL become true.
    We MUST apply the rudder to keep true to our moral compass, no matter how heavy the swell!
    and keep it up, you are a beacon for many,
    Naa mihi
    Greg Thorne

  5. This is a government totally in control (although to us they are totally out of control) The level of deceit, hypocrisy, lies, arrogance and contempt for a large section of the population, has reached levels not seen here for a long time, if ever! And most people don’t seem to care!
    There is little effective opposition – the current Labour party hierachy probably privately agree with everything this shonkey lot are doing, they certainly aren’t putting up much of a fight!
    This is just another example of an authoritarian,sociopathic, neo fascist government action, which, if it continues along the same lines for much longer, will lead to violent confrontation at some point!

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