Worth noting

October 1st, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Slate, an influential US publication, notes:

Most governments are unwilling to own up to unlawful surveillance. But not in New Zealand. The country’s prime minister this week admittedthat one of its spy agencies illegally intercepted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s communications for a full month—prompting aninquiry into how it was allowed to happen. …

In response to the revelation, New Zealand Prime Minister has apologized to Dotcom. Key has also ordered the to review all cases dating back to 2009. That Key has apologised is commendable, as is his handling of the illegal spying generally. There are few governments in the world willing to candidly publicly acknowledge wrongdoing by their intelligence agencies, especially when it comes to high profile cases. When authorities commit wrongdoing the tendency is often to keep it under wraps in a self-interested bid to protect reputations. In this case, despite knowing it would cause controversy and a storm of negative reaction, N.Z.’s government chose disclosure over secrecy. A rare example of transparency more countries could do well to follow.

Also former Labour PM Sir has said:

Well it’s hard for me to say that, but it is clear to me that the Prime Minister did really get stuck into this agency very heavily when he found out what they’d done.  I am sure they’re all running  very scared there now, and that they are trying to rectify what was an egregious error, and it seems to me that that’s what a minister should do when confronted with this sort of situation.  The doctrine of administerial responsibility says you have to put it right.

The PM sent in the Inspector-General when notified, informed the public what had happened, released the IG’s report, and gave the GCSB a powerful public booting.  Other PMs might have kept it all private.

Palmer was asked:

Is there a need do you think then, for a wider inquiry?

His response:

Well I think you have to be very careful about this.  These two intelligence agencies, the GCSB and the Security Intelligence Service are both intelligence agencies.  You can’t have an open inquiry like a commission of inquiry with evidence in public about that, because these agencies will cease to be any use if their secrecy is not preserved.

Hat Tip to Whale for the Slate link.

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23 Responses to “Worth noting”

  1. my 2 cents (1,091 comments) says:

    I disagree with Sir Geoffery.
    Was this a one off or has this revealed an ongoing modus operand by NZPolice with CCSB?

    An Inspector lied in court as a consequence.
    Is this the norm with this type of thing?

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  2. Viking2 (11,686 comments) says:

    Why would you listen to a socialist lawyer like Palmer. He foisted so much of this crap upon us.
    He is only concerned for what they might reveal.

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  3. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    Klark would have siad Nothing to see here move on.

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  4. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > they are trying to rectify what was an egregious error

    Are they really? How exactly are they doing that? Have they publicly apologised to Dotcom? No. No remorse then, only regret at being caught. GCSB was told in February that their actions might have been illegal. Clearly, they didn’t give a damn. Such incompetence and disdain for the law – if they keep this up they will give ACC a run for its money.

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  5. niggly (832 comments) says:

    It seems to me that people who want a wider enquiry are mainly political activists and activist politicians (the sort of people who tend to attract intelligence agencies or so they think in their paranoid state of minds) and those in the media that manufacture the news instead of reporting it eg Andrea Vance takes this prize on a near-daily basis with her writing in the Dompost).

    The trouble is, these people project their own insecurities onto the wider population and claim this could “happen to anyone”. I call Bullshit on that claim because 99.99 % of NZers don’t engage in extreme activist causes nor do they have an international criminal past like Mr Dotcom.

    Of course the intelligence agencies cannot publically comment (especially whilst the Dotcom case is before the courts) and thus so the activists continue with their campaign to paint the intelligence agencies as doofuses to the liberal elite and media chattering classes. I’d suggest this area be revisited by the agencies in terms of balance and fairness.

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  6. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I’m not sure Paul Neazor is the full quid. Maybe that’s why John Key was happy to get him to review the illegal spying.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/GCSB-inspector-doesnt-recall-concerns/tabid/370/articleID/270894/Default.aspx

    As for Grant Wormald, he’ll no doubt get charged with perjury, right?

    http://laudafinem.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/dotcom-detective-inspector-grant-wormald-perjury-in-any-mans-language/

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  7. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    When you say other PMs may have kept it all quiet, that doesn’t make sense. I thought he was forced to go public because of the judge publicly ruled the spying was unlawful. It have I got that wrong? Did John Key actually have the option if keeping it quiet?

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  8. Grizz (613 comments) says:

    To have tried to keep it quiet would have been more damaging than admitting the problem. I think John Key learnt a lot from Phil Goff’s gaffes.

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  9. garethw (205 comments) says:

    Of course, neither Slate nor you have noted that the Crown Law Office filed a memorandum with the High Court BEFORE Key said anything. You could perhaps argue “hooray the PM didn’t actively intrude in the legal process of an investigation and have Crown Law not file that” but Key simply front-footed the story that would have broken very shortly after regardless…

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  10. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    Good god, Key only responded as he did on this because he had little option. The the fact that he went the extra yard or two sticking it to the GCSB is totally understandable as it, figuratively speaking of course, already had its pants around its ankles. GCSB not only was acting illegally but it is apparent they had been previously advised as much. Is it any wonder Key was pissed off.

    What amazes me is that the head of the GCSB is still employed.

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  11. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    ” Also former Labour PM Sir Geoffrey Palmer..”

    Well yes but

    ” Sir Geoffrey Winston Russell Palmer, KCMG, AC, SC (born 21 April 1942), served as the 33rd Prime Minister of New Zealand from August 1989 until September 1990, leading the Fourth Labour Government. ”

    I think Wikipedia does Sir Geoff more justice.

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  12. Nostradamus (2,439 comments) says:

    ross69:

    Are they really [trying to rectify what was an egregious error]? How exactly are they doing that? Have they publicly apologised to Dotcom? No. No remorse then, only regret at being caught. GCSB was told in February that their actions might have been illegal. Clearly, they didn’t give a damn. Such incompetence and disdain for the law – if they keep this up they will give ACC a run for its money.

    Oh dear – you really should take some medicine for your Key Derangement Syndrome.

    Slam dunk 1:

    In response to the revelation, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has apologized to Dotcom. Key has also ordered the GCSB to review all cases dating back to 2009. That Key has apologised is commendable, as is his handling of the illegal spying generally.

    And, although I know it will hurt your eyes, you simply must read John Key’s actual words of apology:

    [John Key] said New Zealanders were to protection from the law when it came to the GCSB.
    “I’m pretty appalled by what I’ve seen. The organisation should be able to get this right.”
    Of course I apologise to Mr Dotcom. I apologise to New Zealand.

    Er, Ross? I think this is the part where you slither back under your rock.

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  13. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Oh dear – you really should take some medicine for your Key Derangement Syndrome.

    I didn’t mention Key. I find it always helps to read before posting. I suggest you try it.

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  14. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Last week, John Key said GCSB had made only one mistake. Turns out they’ve made several. Former judge and possible dementia sufferer Paul Neazor would – naturally enough – prefer to compare his annual report to a Browning poem than address the issue.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/GCSB-inspector-doesnt-recall-concerns/tabid/1607/articleID/270894/Default.aspx

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  15. Griff (8,419 comments) says:

    ross69 (859) Says:
    October 1st, 2012 at 1:14 pm
    ” John Key was happy to get him to review the illegal spying.”

    Fuck you are a sad little retard aren’t you ross 69 this is not your verbal argument on talk back and we can all see your last post had a lefty wank at key

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  16. hannity (152 comments) says:

    Im still waiting for nostrilldrama to read ross69s’ 12.59 post,take her foot out of her mouth ,apologise, then slither back up Keys’ arse.
    Waiting

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  17. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Geez Griff, I think you need some sleep – you might be in a better mood.

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  18. Nostradamus (2,439 comments) says:

    Hannity:

    nostrilldrama

    Oh right, is this the part where we all giggle at how clever you are? As Tom Hunter would say: clap… clap… clap!

    I see no need to apologise to Ross69. He has a long history of Key Derangement Syndrome. And, clearly, I read his 12:59 and his 1:14 comments in the same way that Griff did.

    then slither back up Keys’ arse.

    Hmmm, just for kicks, can you show me any comment on Kiwiblog, or any other blog for that matter, where I have expressed unconditional support for John Key? Hint: I didn’t vote for him at the last election.

    So, Hannity, how about you take a drink of “fuck right off”?

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  19. martinh (1,272 comments) says:

    I couldnt agree more with you Ross, Neazor does not seem to be the full quid.
    im sure he has being banned from media interviews, i dont know how people above can defend a man who wont be interviewed and cant recall his recent past investigations

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  20. MH (830 comments) says:

    I hope Key asks for Crown Copyright on the recordings before Dottie gets them via wilileaker Assange.

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  21. MH (830 comments) says:

    Based on recent generous Govt payouts for non indigenous peoples, a cheque for $250 should cover any inconvenience or privacy breaches allegedly suffered by KDC.

    As if anyone doesn’t believe all our phone and b/s correspondence isn’t monitored by any one of the GCHQ’s or military signit’s around the globe and as if we all don’t realise that Huawei will be doing the same in NZ. Much ado about.

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  22. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > He has a long history of Key Derangement Syndrome

    You mean I criticise Key when he fucks up? You got me there.

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  23. CharlieBrown (1,054 comments) says:

    I’ve never known a pm to have so many peoples shit on their nose. Hes a complete and utter brown-nose – that probably only released the information as he new he was caught out. His and Bill English’s claim of ignorance is as believable as irans “peacefull” nuclear program. Its great seeing that rat key squirm.

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