Revelations that the GCSB spies on Pacific island states such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga as well as Pacific French territories, followed by news that it spied on candidates for the World Trade Organisation presidency on behalf of Trade Minister Tim Groser (himself a candidate), has been met not with street demonstrations and popular protests but by a collective yawn by the public at large.
Why is this so?
It appears that the New Zealand public is weary of the death by a thousand cuts approach used by Mr Hager and his investigative colleagues. Beyond the usual array of diversions presented by popular culture and media, the reason for this lack of interest seems to lie in the fact that the information released to date is seen as trivial, uncontroversial and never-ending.
For example, Snowden’s files reveal the British spied on Argentina after the Falklands/Malvinas War and carried on until 2011. Is that really a surprise? What is the UK expected to do when Argentina remains hostile to it and has never renounced its territorial claims over the islands?
I can’t think of a least surprising example of spying. Next will Snowden and co reveal the Allies spied on Nazi Germany!