The Prime Minister is playing down suggestions the public may have been targeted for data collection by domestic spy agencies.
Fresh revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have shown the Australian Defence Signals Directorate offered in 2008 to share data collected on Australian citizens with its intelligence partners
John Key called GCSB boss Ian Fletcher today to seek assurances that New Zealand had not done the same.
“I wasn’t Prime Minister (at the time), but I rang the head of the agency and said ‘can you confirm for me that New Zealand didn’t collect wholesale metadata about our ordinary New Zealanders.’
“The answer was ‘we didn’t, and because we didn’t we couldn’t have shared it.’”
The Australian offer was made in 2008, when Helen Clark was Prime Minister. So maybe someone should ask Helen Clark on the record if she ever authorised the collection of metadata from NZers, and the sharing of it with other countries.
Maybe the NZ Labour Party can confirm that when they were in Government, this did not happen on their watch.Tags: GCSB