I was about to blog my theory that the GCSB was monitoring the communications of the Finns involved with Megaupload, and failed to throw away any communications involving Dotcom. Then I read in stuff, that is pretty much what happened:
The Kim Dotcom extradition case could collapse after government spies were found to have illegally bugged the Megaupload millionaire.
The Government Communications Security Bureau unlawfully snooped on Dotcom and co-accused Bram van der Kolk, it emerged yesterday.
Prime Minister John Key said he was “quite shocked” by the revelation and has ordered a probe by an independent watchdog. But he has refused to take responsibility for what he said was “a mistake, an error”.
It appears the blunder occurred because security services were unaware German Dotcom and his co-accused were New Zealand residents. The GCSB is only permitted to monitor foreign intelligence.
Labour and NZ First have been trying to score petty points over this with John Key. If Shearer or Peters could point to an actual single thing that they think John Key did wrong, or that they would have dine differently, then they may have some credibility. The simple fact of the matter is the moment Key was informed, he ordered a full inquiry.
Peters and Shearer have been claiming that Key must have signed an interception warrant, and hence must have known of Kim Dotcom before he claims he did. This just shows their woeful understanding of the GCSB Act 2003. What is alarming about this, is they are both current or former members of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. Key has confirmed he was not asked to sign an interception warrant or briefed o the operation in advance.
It throws into question the attempt to extradite Dotcom to the United States on anti-piracy charges.
Yes, and no. The extradition is primarily on the evidence compiled by US authorities. However any evidence which was based on unlawful GCSB intercepts will not be allowed in court. It is unknown at this stage, what this is.
Dotcom responded to the revelations by tweeting: “I’m now a real life James Bond villain in a real life political copyright thriller scripted by Hollywood and the White House.” He called the GCSB “the NZ equivalent of the CIA”.
I responded, pointing out that they are in fact more the NZ equivalent of the NSA. The CIA equivalent is more the SIS.