It 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.