Just consider what we are seeing. The SIS, who effectively get to write the laws they are supposed to follow, has been caught out illegally taking data for over 17 years and they have done everything in the power to hide that…
In a report released today, Gwyn has spelled out her belief that the NZSIS unlawfully access Customs’ data for 17 years.
She details how the service had access to a Customs’ computer terminal, which allowed agents to do a massive trawl of information that “detailed the movement of 11 million passengers each year”.
She said the resulting database would include “data relating to a large proportion of New Zealanders”.
She said the NZSIS had ignored requests for information on how much data it held and she had asked again for it to be provided within three months.
…look at the lengths the Secret Intelligence Service went to avoid scrutiny…
The NZSIS had access to the data since 1997 through a “CusMod” terminal in the service’s offices.
It allowed intelligence staff to create a travel alert for an individual by entering a name and other identifying features, or to search past travels to gather information.
A halt was called to access to the terminal to gather data on November 24, 2014.
“This was the result of concerns identified by various Government agencies involved as to the legal basis upon which NZSIS access occurred,” Gwyn’s report said.
On December 12, 2014, a new law came into effect leading to an agreement that allowed NZSIS access to the terminal under strict conditions. It lasted a year.
The new rules limited to five the number of intelligence service staff who could access the terminal, limited use to counter-terrorism investigations and also restricted the amount of information NZSIS could access.
Gwyn found, and the NZSIS conceded, that the rules were never followed.
Contrary to its undertaking, the NZSIS pulled details “about particular individuals’ travel movements”, never set up access rules around the terminal allowing continued broad use of it and sought data other than for counter-terrorism investigations.
The NZSIS then went on to ignore a Memorandum of Understanding it signed in August 2015, under which it agreed to provide a list of those who would access the terminal.
On June 15, 2016, NZSIS was again told to stop accessing Customs’ data.
Gwyn said the access to the terminal before 2014 was unlawful – but that the NZSIS carried on acting unlawfully even when told what it had to do to stay inside the law.
An investigation by the NZSIS internal team that monitors compliance with the law, took place between June and August 2016, after which limited and legal access to the data took place.
Gwyn said she had no idea how much data the NZSIS had “unlawfully obtained” and how it was intending to handle that data.
She said she gave the NZSIS a report in May 2016 detailing why accessing Customs’ data was unlawful, with a recommendation it report on how much information it held.
She said the NZSIS had not provided her with any information on that. She said the service had also ignored recommendations to talk with her office and the Privacy Commissioner over the “unlawful” access to data.
…they view the law and the rules as a joke they don’t have to laugh at. Remember, this is the same Secret Intelligence Service who colluded with John Key’s Office to falsely smear the Leader of the Opposition, Phil Goff, months before the 2011 election. They have shown they have no problems interfering with NZ elections and with the extra resourcing and powers they’ve been given, they seem to be a law unto themselves.
How does this mass surveillance and breach of any checks and balances over their power make any of us safer?
It’s not just the upper echelons of our Intelligence Community that is drunk on their own power, look at what the Police are trying to get away with…
1080 threat suspects shocked to discover their house was bugged
A Golden Bay couple suing police for being wrongly targeted in a 1080 blackmail investigation have been shocked to discover their home was bugged.
Rolf and Ute Kleine, who run teahouse and bakery Takaka Infusion, obtained police documents through their lawyer in November that reveal their house was bugged with a surveillance device 20 days prior to a police search of their home in 2015.
The Kleines have lodged a statement of claim with the Nelson High Court and are suing police next year.
They say both searches and their warrant applications were unlawful and illegal, and they had been inaccurately profiled by police seeking those responsible for a threat to Fonterra to put 1080 pesticide into baby milk formula.
…this illegal bugging follows the same tactics by Police spying on prison activists.
We have Police and Intelligence Agencies stepping well outside the law and not getting punished for it.
This is a deeply concerning slide towards huge Police State powers with no ability to reign them in.