Time for PM to come clean on Pacific spying

John Key must come clean and tell New Zealanders whether the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has illegally spied on them during mass information gathering on behalf of the United States of America, said the Green Party today.

John Key must come clean and tell New Zealanders whether the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has illegally spied on them during mass information gathering on behalf of the United States of America, said the Green Party today.

Documents released today, by the New Zealand Herald, uncovered by Edward Snowden, show that New Zealand has been engaging in “full-take collection” since 2009. John Key is refusing to comment on the revelations that the GCSB has been spying on our Pacific neighbours and passing this information on wholesale to the American National Security Agency (NSA).

“It’s time for John Key to be upfront and honest with New Zealanders about who our intelligence agencies have been spying on, and on whose behalf,” Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said.

“If our spies have been passing on information to the Americans, as some kind of membership fee for the Five Eyes Club, John Key must tell New Zealanders why.

“It is against the law for the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders, including those with New Zealand citizenship.

“John Key must say whether New Zealanders working and living in the Pacific were spied on and whether those with dual citizenship, including the entire nations of Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue, have been illegally spied on.

“New Zealanders need answers from the Prime Minster, not a blanket refusal to engage with these very serious revelations.

“Rather than calling the whistle-blowers names, John Key must answer: Have our intelligence agencies been collecting details about phone and internet conversations in the Pacific and passing this information to the Americans? If so, why? And crucially, have New Zealand residents been spied on too; if so, what’s he going to do about it?

“I challenge John Key to engage with the revelations in the NSA files rather than hide behind childish name calling. So far none of the information Snowden has taken from NSA files has been proven to be incorrect.

“Any New Zealander with links to the Pacific, be it family, friends or travelling, should be concerned about who has been listening to their conversations, and who they gave their information to,” said Dr Norman.

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