Too soon for blame over spying – PM
Tue, 25 Sep 2012 6:02p.m.
By Tova O'Brien
A High Court document has revealed that a mistake by New Zealand Police led to unlawful surveillance of Kim Dotcom.
Police asked the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to spy on Dotcom and his colleagues, and said they were foreign nationals. This information is crucial because it meant spies wouldn’t be breaking the law, but it was the wrong information.
Dotcom's New Zealand residency was no great secret. In fact, he celebrated with $500,000 worth of fireworks.
A Crown Law memo shows it was the police who asked the GCSB to spy on Dotcom and his colleagues. The agency needs permission to bug New Zealand residents.
The GCSB sought assurance they were foreign nationals. OFCANZ, the police organised crime agency, gave that assurance.
But Prime Minister John Key says it's too soon to lay blame.
“I just caution you as a journalist to be careful about inventing things that are great for a Tom Clancy story but not necessarily accurate in New Zealand,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key's in charge of New Zealand's intelligence agencies and says no one told him about plans to bug Dotcom.
His deputy Bill English was told, however, when he was Acting Prime Minister. He signed a ministerial certificate suppressing details of the operation.
“All I can say is I was involved in an administrative procedure and I'd prefer not to comment further on that,” says Mr English. “I wouldn't want to mislead or give any sense that I can recall details that I can’t.”
The spying took place over summer last year. In mid-August, Mr English was told about the bugging and signed the certificate. A month later, Mr Key was finally told about the operation, but only because laws had been broken.
But it wasn't until last night Mr Key knew of Mr English's role.
“The fact that he didn't tell him on his return, didn't mention in a Cabinet meeting and didn't tell him until just the other day, I'm afraid that's beyond belief,” says Labour Party leader David Shearer.
So the Dotcom saga has deepened yet again and it has just dragged in two of the country's most powerful figures.
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27/09/2012 1:25:28 a.m.
Excellent comment Jan. But, if he can handle it, he is doing us all a hell of a good turn, even for the ones that are doing or have done wrong - although they haven't worked it out yet. You know if he was to take on some part-time consultancy work for the Judicial Conduct Commissioner we would end up with the best justice system, and thus the best democracy, in the World. Plus, I don't think this guy holds a grudge, he's too intelligent for that
26/09/2012 10:27:38 p.m.
Dotcom' hope this will blow-over soon so you and your wife can live a normal life..
26/09/2012 1:22:53 p.m.
John Key has yet again stuck his head in the sand...while we, the taxpayer stick our hands in our pockets...I'm off to Aussie!
26/09/2012 9:37:45 a.m.
The buck rightfully stops at the top. No discussion.
25/09/2012 9:43:08 p.m.
It is clear that our politicians, state services, and security agencies cannot be trusted as guardians of our fundamental rights.
Under the Key-led Government we've seen legislation for sale to corporate interests - Warner's employment law, Sky City pokies, *Skynet* laws, Big Alcohol self-regulation, etc.
We have a Prime Minister that prefers to be uninformed, choosing willful ignorance over integrity in dealing with the malfeasance of a Minister in his Government.
ACC & WINZ, imbued with an attitude of dis-entitlement, have been set against the people they are supposed to serve.
The Police have raided media outlets over a recording of the PM saying what he really thinks.
The Police trespassed on private land, conducting covert video surveillance with no statutory authority to do so.
The Government pushed through retrospective laws to legitimise the illegal activities of the Police.
Now we have the GCSB spying illegally on NZ citizens.
It seems the State no longer serves the people, but is now about controlling the people. Protecting the powers-that-be from the growing number of citizens disenfranchised by this Government.
This authoritarian National Government abuses the power of the State like third-world dictators.
25/09/2012 9:39:05 p.m.
Given their role & strictly limited mandate the GCSB should have checked Dotcom's status for themselves - it is unacceptable that they did not. Are the Police really so incompetent as to give wrong information to the GCSB? Or did they deliberately lie to the GCSB in order to get the information they wanted without having to go through correct channels & procedures? How often do the Police ask the GCSB for help so as to circumvent their own need for a warrant?
25/09/2012 9:07:42 p.m.
Very well but wrote:
How does the government explain spying on other people in New Zealand who have not been arrested, committed no crime and who were legally raised in New Zealand?
Here's hoping Dotcom's case brings the rest of the GCSB's unlawful spying to account.
25/09/2012 8:33:05 p.m.
Sleep at? the wheel again....
Indemnity order, thanks Bill English for lumping the? cost on the tax payer.
us debt slaves are getting sick of our masters.
25/09/2012 7:59:42 p.m.
t mullen wrote:
Bill English your lack of attention to
detail has let you down again and you try to be so bloody secertive about it, when it blows up in your face.go on, scury back into your hole, till you hope it blows over ?or hope it does. You acted just the same when the Nick Smith screw up happened.same with the Wellington double dipping rent debacale Be a" Man UP " Bill, you may get greater public respect.Bill You are good at being a finance minster. its the other BS you pull that have the public shaking their heads.Look for the details make the information open. NZ public has brains and access to information. Your Mother back in Dipton gave you a much better modus operandi. live up to Her Irish ideals You may reach You possible potential
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