Fixing GCSB

Remember all those people complaining that new Director Ian Fletcher didn’t come from the traditional military background of former directors? I think we are seeing why a change from the status quo was needed.

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

The Government’s beleaguered intelligence agency may have unlawfully spied on 85 people, a top secret review reveals.

The report, ordered after the Kim Dotcom fiasco, contains a raft of criticisms of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). …

The revelations are contained in the report, prepared by Cabinet Secretary , and seen by Fairfax Media. …

The explosive revelations confirm that the illegal spying was far broader than the Dotcom case – and involves up to 85 people and cases dating back nearly a decade.

The illegal spying was conducted between April 2003 and September last year and done on behalf of the Security Intelligence Service, the domestic spy agency.

People should ask themselves if previous Prime Ministers would have sent in their top official to review the GCSB, and make her findings public.

Agency staff worked faithfully and were devastated to learn they were not acting within the law. There was no evidence they acted in bad faith or believed the end justified the means, the report says.

Culture problems at the agency could take a year to fix, Kitteridge says.

The GCSB’s organisation was overly complex, fragmented and had too many managers. Poor performing staff were tolerated, rather than fired or disciplined, because of fears that disgruntled former employees could pose a security risk.


It is understood new legislation will be introduced to Parliament soon after the report’s release.

Good. Once upon a time the Government wouldn’t even admit there was a GCSB. It was created my Muldoon in 1977 and not even Cabinet was told of it.

UPDATE: This is unusual. The entire paragraphs that I quoted from the story have now been removed from it. I wonder why?

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