Key should apologise to Brazilian and Mexican presidents for helping NSA spy on them


The most startling revelation in Glenn Greenwald’s latest book, No Place to Hide, is that our government knew about the NSA spying on communications of the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and the then Mexican presidential aspirant [now president] Enrique Pena Nieto. NSA slides reprinted in the book show information on this outrageous spying went to “NZL” [read GCSB] so presumably the US trusted New Zealand would support it.

This revelation has blown John Key’s double game of developing friendly relations with the Brazilian and Mexican leaders, but behind their backs helping the US spy on their most secret communications. New Zealand would have been assisting this spying, as least indirectly, through passing on information on millions of phone calls passing passing through the Pacific communications satellites targeted by the Waihopai dishes. This material would then have been filtered by the NSA to pick out any calls by Brazilian and Mexican officials.

New Zealand’s Five Eyes involvement is going to lead to many other diplomatic problems with friendly governments. One country that repeatedly shows up as a target in the latest leaked NSA documents is Japan. Japan’s UN mission was being monitored by the NSA, and its technology and “trade activities” were deemed fair game. A lot of official Japanese communications must be picked up by Waihopai’s dishes, given the communications satellites Waihopai targets are geostationary over the Pacific equator near Japan. When passed on to the NSA this Japanese information would be used to serve US interests, not New Zealand’s. As one cynical NSA slide put it: “what country doesn’t want to make the world a better place – for itself.”

To rectify this unfolding diplomatic debacle for New Zealand, John Key should move quickly to apologise the Brazilian and Mexican presidents and heed the calls from parties like the Greens, Internet Party and Mana to withdraw from the Five Eyes. Continued membership is clearly not in our interest.


  1. “This revelation has blown John Key’s double game . . . .”

    I’ve always said the man is totally devoid of wisdom.

    Now I wish to revise that to “The man is totally devoid of wisdom and common sense.”

    Such deficiences are dangerous in a PM. Its not only Brazil and Mexico that are are owed an apology. The people of NZ are owed one too!

  2. Then there’s the small matter of China… main consumer of our scarily narrow range of exports. How embarrassing will it be if we discover that China is one of Waihopai’s targets? Judith Collins will have to be in Beijing 24/7 to patch that one up (in her Justice role of course).

  3. What I find hard to believe is the shear arrogance that comes with it all.

    It’s a kind of arrogance that seems to promote the idea that those bloody South Americans, Chinese and others aren’t quite as clever as the U.S. or our current government; it fails to recognise such things as South American solidarity and other cultural considerations; and it has the potential to put us offside with a number of countries the likes of which Key & Co will want to be going groveling to in the not-too-distant in pursuit of trade deals.

    I’m not sure whether it’s poor advice – more likely advice ignored in the name of U.S. arse-licking.
    Who else remembers Key and his enterage coming back from a little frolick to South America around March last year – spouting the potential trade benefits and the likelihood of so much that was going to come from it? (It was that little frolic that saw him appearing somewhat offensive when failing to acknowledge Chavez’s death – WHETHER OR NOT other Sth. American nations shared Chavez’s politics, that little jaunt came across as being crass and not very ‘diplomatic’).
    They all thought Key & Co must have thought they were bloody stupid!
    I well remember well before that, picking up a certain Sth American diplomat’s son hitchhiking home to Wellington sometime in 2012. The discussion that ensued during the journey made it pretty bloody clear that the Brazilians and others knew EXACTLY what was going on.
    Anything substantial come of that frolic yet? Somehow I think not.
    Next – watch them, all equipped with their arrogance and cleverness piss off India.
    I agree Keith … an apology would be in order alongside a little more humility, instead of just assuming that because we’re joined at the hip with U.S. policy and that big brother will see us right, Sth. Americans and others will actually give a shit about us as we go around insulting them!

    Perhaps, as a start – Key and Company Ltd. should just learn to know when to shut the fuck up. (I’m thinking here of the Ukranian situation)

  4. The thumbs up and the thumbs down – I see Gosman & Co have just paid a visit.
    I’m a troll, foldy roll … and before it jumps to and begins chanting not me not me … I think we all know the procedure

  5. Good to see TV 3 News reporting last night on Jeremy Scahill’s interview on “The Nation”.
    Although it was a shameless ad for their show, I’ll be watching it at 10 o’clock this morning, as well as requesting Glenn Greenwald’s new book from the library.

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