GCSB head knew of surveillance
Mon, 05 Nov 2012 9:45a.m.
The Government spy agency has confirmed knowledge of its surveillance of
internet piracy-accused Kim Dotcom went right to the top of the
The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) admitted in September
that its surveillance of Dotcom, ahead of his arrest in January, was illegal,
because he is a New Zealand resident.
By law, it cannot spy on New Zealand citizens or residents.
In response to a request from Radio New Zealand, under the Official
Information Act, the GCSB said its acting director at the time, Hugh Wolfensohn,
knew about the surveillance.
Mr Wolfensohn, who has been with the GCSB for at least 16 years in senior
positions, including head of corporate relations and chief legal adviser, is
understood to be on gardening leave and facing the sack over the debacle.
Current director Ian Fletcher would not say how many other staff knew about
the operation, saying that could jeopardise future operations by the agency.
The GCSB maintains it became aware only on September 12 that its surveillance
was illegal, despite media reports almost immediately after Dotcom's arrest
saying he and one of his co-accused were New Zealand residents.
Police were also given information from Immigration New Zealand in December
last year, stating that Dotcom was a New Zealand resident.
Mr Fletcher says the GCSB communicated only with police, particularly the
Organised and Financial Crime Agency (Ofcanz) - an indication the agency did not
communicate with the FBI about its surveillance.
After it discovered the illegality of the surveillance, the GCSB contacted
the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Inspector General of
Intelligence and Security, and Crown Law.
It withheld the content of those communications on the basis it might
prejudice national security or the maintenance of law, or legal privilege.
Police last month announced a team of senior police investigators will deal
with a complaint from the Green Party about the GCSB's illegal surveillance,
with an initial report due by November 15.
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6/11/2012 11:48:45 a.m.
Harriaway wrote: "what we have now is a government that believes the rule of law does not apply to itself"
5/11/2012 6:30:35 p.m.
EVERYBODY who matters knew....except Key!
5/11/2012 4:29:07 p.m.
The G.C.S.B. Act not allow spying on residents. The Finnish Criminal Code does not allow spying on citizens. Is Dotcom a citizen and was any warrant ratified in Finland to spy? What steps can he take to prosecute offenders and allegedly implicated politicians without physically going there? If charged remotely can the Head hold office pending resolution? The "alter ego" of the Government Communications Security Bureau
5/11/2012 12:43:20 p.m.
Yet not many people question why in a spy agency that has camera's throughout its entire premises for security purposes, just why there is no tape of the Prime Ministers meeting with the GCSB in February.
Its convenient to think that the top is Hugh Wolfensohn, because there is one person above him and the Prime Minister has been duplicitous throughout this whole affair.
We should feel sorry for him though because he suffers from early onset alzheimer's disease and one of his primary symptoms is repeated and severe brain fades.
An international spy agency that doesnst record everything that happens, has to be a bit of a laughing stock surely.
5/11/2012 11:23:58 a.m.
Actually you are mistaken. John Key is the head of the GCSB. It is just the matter of who is going to be the fall guy for him. Someone must be held responsible for this egregious and illegal lapse. The problem is that no government MP or PM has the integrity or courage to take responsibility for any of their numerous recent "operational" lapses and deficiencies. Which means it will be lesser ranked boffins like this fellow who carry the can. What clever and brave politicians we have.
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