Kiwipolitico makes a good observation on Key’s involvement in spying on Hager…
Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified its request by arguing that it was investigating potential espionage, although it turns out that it was actually looking for the NZDF source of leaks to Mr. Hager. This occurred when John Key was the Minister of Intelligence and Security, Warren Tucker was SIS Director and LTG Rhys Jones was Chief of the NZDF . Did the SIS and NZDF go rogue or were these individuals aware of the spying?
…let’s not forget that also in 2011, Key’s Office colluded with the SIS to falsely smear Phil Goff months before the election. Key went on to reward the SIS and GCSB with unlimited power through mass surveillance and a huge increase in budgets.
- National gave the Police vast new retrospective surveillance powers
- National rammed through legislation under urgency allowing the State to force civil telecommunication companies to build backdoors to their networks and not tell their customers that the State had breached their privacy.
- National rammed through legislation under urgency allowing the State to spy on NZers
- The GCSB went from $80m to $140m in budget per year
- The SIS were ‘rewarded’ with a huge increase in powers and budget.
- Expansion of Warrantless spying
And National gave these security agencies even more powers that will allow…
- The GCSB and SIS to break any law.
- Allow the GCSB and SIS to give immunity to any other State Agency they deputise.
- Empower the GCSB to move from being simply technical support to running their own investigations.
- Imprison anyone who reveals illegal Government spying to the Public.
The NZDF have spent years lying to NZ, they attempted to smear Jon Stephenson and they were outed last week using the SIS to illegally spy on Nicky Hager.
It should surprise no one that this ramping up of powers under Key also coincided with abuse of powers by those intelligence agencies.
This can all seem benign when someone like Jacinda Ardern is in power, but imagine these powers deployed by a Leader with few scruples.