GCSB Spies break laws

Popped-dome

Today, PM John Key announced that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) unlawfully intercepted Kim Dotcom and others in the Megaupload case.

Today, PM John Key announced that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) unlawfully intercepted Kim Dotcom and others in the Megaupload case.

Key says the Crown has filed a memorandum in the High Court in the Megaupload case advising the Court and affected parties that the GCSB had acted unlawfully while ‘assisting’ the cops to locate certain individuals subject to arrest warrants issued in the case. The GCSB had acquired communications in some instances without statutory authority.

“I expect our intelligence agencies to operate always within the law. Their operations depend on public trust” says Key. What a sick joke! Spying organisations break the law ALL the time. We have seen this with the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) in where agents were caught breaking into the Christchurch home of an activist, and again with the Special Investigation Group (SIG) who illegally installed cameras across Te Urewera as part of Operation 8.

Very little is known as to the activities of the GCSB. Until Nicky Hager’s book Secret Power, the spies operated with virtually no public scrutiny. It was only by coincidence that peace researcher Owen Wilkes stumbled across the bureau’s spy-base at Tangimoana near Palmerston North. That base operates to this day. The Waihopai spy-base in Marlborough is more well-known, particularly since three peace activists used sickles to deflate one of the domes a couple of years ago.

These spy-bases are part of the Echelon network and it was always assumed that the GCSB solely spies overseas. The Anti-Bases Campaign has maintained that these spy-bases are NZ’s biggest contribution to the so-called War on Terror. The SIS on the other hand spies on people in NZ. The release of huge historical files to political activists has shown just how widespread the spying was.

However, it is now crystal-clear that the GCSB also spies on NZ residents. In terms of interception warrants, the Annual Reports don’t reveal anything other than “some GCSB interception warrants have been in place over this timeframe.” The same is stated for Computer Access Authorisations.

Now, the director - Simon Murdoch – had to front up to his boss John Key and admit that they had unlawfully intercepted communications with the Megaupload case. This will lead to an inquiry by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Hon Paul Neazor.

Kim Dotcom is increasingly becoming a problem for the government. In order to save his majority, John Key is standing by John Banks. Dotcom said “It's a very fragile majority, the balance of power is threatened by the John Banks affair so I think the Prime Minister has had to make a choice: ‘am I going to uphold high ethical standards or do I want to remain in power?'” And now the GCSB is in deep shit. Let’s make sure they stay there – time to abolish the GCSB!

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