Throughout the allegations that John Key and the National Party had passed laws that allowed loopholes for the GCSB and NSA to conduct mass surveillance upon the NZ population and that those plans to conduct such mass surveillance were being discussed between the GCSB and the NSA – the Government’s response has been that everything being said was a fabrication.
We now know that was a total lie…
The Prime Minister’s office has said it has no factual basis for suggesting Edward Snowden documents which exposed GCSB secrets were “fabricated”.
But it has also said some of those with access to the Snowden documents – apparently including journalist Glenn Greenwald – “have a track record of misrepresenting, misinterpreting and misunderstanding information”.
The “fabrication” claim has been part of the Prime Minister’s standard response to revelations of activities carried out by New Zealand’s electronic eavesdropping agency.
Details of the GCSB’s work have included spying on international diplomats in support of Trade Minister Tim Groser’s bid to lead the World Trade Organisation, feeding information to Bangaladeshi security forces facing murder and torture allegations and sending “full take” communications data from the Pacific to the National Security Agency.
The stories – in a reporting partnership with journalist Nicky Hager and the Greenwald-founded news site The Intercept – showed New Zealand had a job-sharing role in international intelligence gathering for the Five Eyes group of nations, which also includes Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the US.
The Five Eyes intelligence gathering group is led by the US, with the other countries holding “second party” status.
Other nations outside the group are the “third party” or less partners.
The Herald sought any information held by the Prime Minister which informed him or his office over the alleged “fabrication”.
The Prime Minister’s chief of staff Wayne Eagleson said “no information has been identified”. He said the PM’s office had to refuse the request because the “information requested does not exist or cannot be found”.
…NZers and the media focused only on Kim Dotcom’s decision not to reveal the evidence he is holding onto for his deportation hearing. That focus managed to ignore everything else that Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden had to say.
NZers aren’t able to focus on more than one thing unless it’s rugby.
History will damn us far harsher than the present has over our decision as a nation to collectively ignore the mass surveillance state that John key and this Government have built.