For the first time, New Zealanders can learn about people their government has targeted as part of its role in Five Eyes, a surveillance alliance that includes New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
The secret document, dated from January 2013, shows some of the names and other search terms that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) entered into the internet spying system XKeyscore . XKeyscore is run by the US National Security Agency and is used to analyse vast amounts of email, internet browsing sessions and online chats that are intercepted from some 150 different locations worldwide.
Setting the Stage for to Dis-information, Deception, and Distraction
Right about now, National is in very, very, VERY deep trouble.
Dairy-farmers, with associated down-stream support businesses, are facing severe economic hardship as Fonterra reduces the pay-out from $4.15 per kgMS to $3.90 per kgMS.
Dairy farmers’ debt has reached unsustainable levels;
About 10 per cent of the most indebted dairy properties owe a combined $11 to $12 billion, about 30 per cent of total dairy debt.
About 20 per cent of the most indebted farms hold 45 to 50 percent of the total debt – $15b-$38b.
“Unless there’s some bright light on the horizon I think there’ll be a continuation of slow sales and we’ll continue to see a reduction of farm values particularly on the dairy farm sector.”
On 18 March, Bill English admitted that real national disposable income-per-capita fell 0.4% for the year;
“You’ve got a big drop in national income, because dairy prices are down. At the same time you’ve had surprisingly high migration numbers. So it’s not surprising that when you work the figures you get a drop in national disposable income.”
“The labour market turned out to be quite a bit more flexible than we were expecting.”
The Reserve Bank – recognising that a major economic “correction*” is looming on the horizon – has lowered the OCR from 2.50% to 2.25%. The RBNZ’s 10 March media release paints a gloomy economic picture for the foreseeable future;
The outlook for global growth has deteriorated since the December Monetary Policy Statement, due to weaker growth in China and other emerging markets, and slower growth in Europe. This is despite extraordinary monetary accommodation, and further declines in interest rates in several countries. Financial market volatility has increased, reflected in higher credit spreads. Commodity prices remain low.
Domestically, the dairy sector faces difficult challenges, but domestic growth is expected to be supported by strong inward migration, tourism, a pipeline of construction activity and accommodative monetary policy.
[…]There are many risks to the outlook. Internationally, these are to the downside and relate to the prospects for global growth, particularly around China, and the outlook for global financial markets. The main domestic risks relate to weakness in the dairy sector, the decline in inflation expectations, the possibility of continued high net immigration, and pressures in the housing market.
Retail banks, however, seem reluctant to participate in any plan to stimulate economic activity. The 25-point fall in the OCR has yet to be passed on to bank customers.
If the economy enters recession, expect inward migration to reduce, adding to a slowdown in domestic growth and rise in unemployment.
Setting the Mood
In November last year, our esteemed Dear Leader announced – almost casually – that New Zealand could be targeted by terrorists;
“I think every country in the world is potentially vulnerable, we’re probably less vulnerable than others. We have in this instance the advantage of distance, we’re a long way away, [but] i just couldn’t say to you we’re completely immune.”
“There’s no question about what their motivations are and that’s the tragedy of the Isis story is that you get some very dysfunctional people, for want of a better term, who want to associate themselves with Isis.”
In evidence to the committee, Kitteridge said the past 12 months had seen a significant increase in the global terrorism threat.
“When I started as director of security in May 2014 the so-called Islamic State was barely talked about in New Zealand. Now a day rarely goes by without news of some act of violent extremism associated with IS.”
The threat to New Zealand’s domestic security posed by foreign terrorist fighters and other extremists was real and continued to develop.
“The number of New Zealanders fighting alongside or supporting IS remains small but has increased.”
That included the rise in the number of New Zealand women travelling to Syria and Iraq.
In the same story, Watkins and Livingstone wrote;
Kitteridge said after the committee hearing the numbers leaving from New Zealand were small but significant – but declined to give further details.
As events were to transpire three months later, the suggestion that women were “leaving from New Zealand” was to be proved a false assertion.
Yet, during those three months, SIS director, Rebecca Kitteridge, maintained silence on the issue and she did nothing to correct the (mistaken) belief that New Zealand women were departing from New Zealand.
This prompted the usual feeding-frenzy and rantings from the ill-informed rabid-right who vent their ignorance on right-wing fora such as Kiwiblog;
Kiwiblog editor and National Party apparatchik, David Farrar, did nothing to bring reason to the discussion. Indeed, a few voices of sanity on the blog had their moderate views dismissed and voted down;
Following Kitteridge’s comments, lone voices of calm and sanity were barely reported and given much less prominence;
Hazim Arafeh, a spokesperson for he Islamic community, said he was surprised to hear women from New Zealand may have left the country to join ISIS.
“We are not aware of New Zealand Muslim woman going over to Syria to get married. If it is happening, we still don’t know if it is a genuine case, or are they joining ISIS,” he said.
Islamic Women’s Council issued their own rejection of Kitteridge’s comments;
The national Islamic Women’s Council is not aware of any New Zealand jihadi brides heading to war torn regions to join the fight with Isis.
Council president Anjum Rahman told Paul Henry that although it was happening overseas there was no indication the same thing was happening here.
Ms Rahman said she listened carefully to Security Intelligence Service director Rebecca Kitteridge yesterday and she didn’t mention the women leaving were jihadi brides travelling to Syria to marry and support fighters.
“All she said was the number had been growing and because it was a war torn area that was a concern,” she said.
“We don’t know the ethnicity of these women, we don’t actually know the religious background of these woman, whether they just converted before they went, whether they converted at all, and we definitely don’t know what they’re doing while they’re over there.”
Asked if the council had information on women travelling overseas to marry and support Isis Ms Rahman said: “No. We don’t have any knowledge or indication of that happening.”
Three days later, The Wireless illustrated the predictably dire results of the demonisation of muslim women;
Hela Rahman, a 25-year-old who has been a NZ citizen for more than 20 years, says these comments aren’t backed by evidence and are causing more harm than good.
A few weeks ago, she returned from a trip visiting her family in Iraq. When she arrived at Auckland Airport she says she was instantly made to feel like she’d done something wrong.
“I was going through with my E-passport and it was automatically declined. I had to go over to the counter.”
The Border Control officer asked Rahman why she’d been in Iraq.
“I told her I was there to see my family. She just looked at me with an awkward uncomfortable expression. She didn’t say anything and just drew a red line through my arrival card.”
Rahman continued to the customers area where the officer, after taking a look at her card, told her to go down the far side.
“Everyone else was being let through, even my parents. I was the only one in that lane.”
She was told to unlock her bags and was put into a holding room for a “long time” while the staff talked about her behind double-sided glass.
“The thing is, they make you feel so uncomfortable that you start questioning yourself. You start wondering if you have done something wrong,” she said.
She was asked a series of questions about why she’d gone to Iraq, what she had done there, and who had bought the flights for her.
Although Rahman had travelled to the Middle East with her mum and dad, she was the only one who was pulled aside for questioning.
“I thought my parents would be questioned too, but they weren’t. I wanted to ask ‘why me’ but I couldn’t. The opportunity never came up. I was just feeling so uncomfortable.”
Rahman spent the next few weeks confused about what had happened. Her Iraqi friends reassured her that it was just standard airport security Muslims have to face now.
That incident took place here, in good old relaxed, laid-back, give-people-a-fair-go, New Zealand.
All that was missing was requiring muslim’s to wear a red crescent stitched to their clothes to identify them in public – a practice very popular with a certain fascist regime and occupied nations, in the the 1930s and 1940s…
The Truth Will Out
On 16 March, of this year, the truth of the matter was revealed when Radio NZ – bless them – lodged an Official Information Act request and discovered;
“Something that has changed over the last year is the issue of New Zealand women travelling to Iraq and Syria, which is something we haven’t seen previously or been aware of,” she told MPs.
In response to an Official Information Act request, SIS, the domestic spy agency, said the women concerned “did not leave New Zealand.
“They were New Zealand citizens domiciled in Australia and they left from there.”
In response to charges of misleading the media and public, the Minister in Charge of the Security Intelligence Service, Chris Finlayson, denied that National and the SIS had wilfully deceived the country;
“If you go back to the statements that were made there were no implications or ‘winks and nods’ that they were not resident in New Zealand.”
Consider Kitteridge’s statement on 8 December 2015;
“Something that has changed over the last year is the issue of New Zealand women travelling to Iraq and Syria, which is something we haven’t seen previously or been aware of.”
Where else would “New Zealand women” travel from – except New Zealand – unless specifically stated otherwise?
Remember that Kitteridge owned the problem by stating, “which is something we haven’t seen previously or been aware of”. She made no reference to receiving the information from any Australian intelligence organisation.
A day after Radio NZ breaking the story, Minister in Charge of the Security Intelligence Service, Chris Finlayson still refused to issue an apology for National’s and the SIS’s deception;
Chris Finlayson, the Minister in charge of the SIS, told reporters today where the women left from was irrelevant.
“I would have thought the critical issue is were they New Zealand citizens, whether the left from Kingsford Smith airport or Auckland Airport is by-the-by.”
Mr Finlayson said he was due to meet with about 100 members of the Muslim community tomorrow night, and had regular discussions with that community during the process of the intelligence and security review.
“And I’m very happy to proffer an apology on behalf of Metiria Turei who started all this nonsense. I think her performance is lamentable… You just don’t go round handing out apologies willy-nilly.”
The Radio NZ report stated that “the SIS said it had no comment“.
The SIS’s mission was completed; the public was spooked. National’s planned deception had succeeded – nothing further need be said by the spy agency.
It is also worth noting a noticeable lack of follow-up coverage on Kiwiblog by David Farrar on this issue. Perhaps the discovery that Key and Kitteridge had mis-led the New Zealand public and smeared the Muslim community in the process was not as worthy of a comment as Kitteridge’s innacurate initial comments, three months earlier?
A Happy Confluence of Purpose?
On 8 December, Audrey Young wrote in the NZ Herald;
Meanwhile, Mr Key questioned whether that a proposal he has previously rejected – attaching the Cortex cyber security programme to the Southern Cross internet cable linking New Zealand to Australia and the United States – should be revisited to give wider cyber protection to New Zealand companies.
He made the suggestion while questioning the acting director of the Government Communications Security Bureau, Una Jagose, who gave a detailed speech recently about Cortex as part of a new policy of openness in the bureau.
Mr Key said he had canned the original proposal because of the potential anxiety of it being seen as mass surveillance but he asked if an argument could be made, with enough public debate for it happen to protect smaller companies.
At present, the GCSB uses Cortex to mount cyber defence on Government agencies and strategically important private companies – and only with their permission.
Ms Jagose said the “hard ground work” by the GCSB needed to be done to be more open about the GCSB’s cyber defence work.
She acknowledged the possible anxiety over “mass surveillance.”
It could safely be argued that stories of “jihadi brides” would scare the bejeezus out of the public, in the process softening opinion to welcome extending the powers of the SIS and GCSB.
If so, this would be a cynical ploy by National and our spy agencies to manipulate public opinion to accept the unpalatable; a massive increase in state surveillance and mass-gathering of data on all New Zealanders.
They just never counted on anyone actually asking a fairly simple question; where did those so-called “jihadi brides” migrate from?
During last year’s Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee meeting on 8 December, where Rebecca Kitteridge uttered her now (in)famous references to “New Zealand women travelling to Iraq and Syria“, Key made reference to “Jihadi Brides“.
Yet, on TV3’s The Nation, Key tried to evade responsibility for using the term “Jihadi brides” on 8 December;
Lisa Owen: All right. One other issue this week has been the so-called ‘jihadi brides’. Muslim leaders that we spoke to said that they were victimised and confused as a result of your comments around jihadi brides. Do you owe them an apology?
John Key: I don’t think so, and the reason for that is, I think, if you just look at the sequence of events, the first thing is that- I’m not distancing myself, but I didn’t raise the issue. The SIS directed it, and I wasn’t-
Lisa Owen: No, you used the phrase ‘jihadi brides’, Prime Minister. I’ve looked at the transcript. It was you that used that phrase, not Rebecca Kitteridge.
John Key: I didn’t coin that phrase. That phrase is used all around the world.
Lisa Owen: But you were the first one to use it.
John Key: Not around the world, I’m not. It’s a common term.
Was our esteemed Dear Leader, John Key, aware that none of the so-called “Jihadi Brides” had actually departed from New Zealand, and were actually residing in Australia at the time?
Yes, according to Gerry Brownlee’s own admission in Parliament, on 17 March;
Metiria Turei (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister: Was he advised, prior to 8 December 2015, that the so called “jihadi brides” he referred to during the Intelligence and Security Committee meeting were all resident in Australia and did not leave from New Zealand?
Hon Gerry Brownlee (Leader of the House) on behalf of the Prime Minister: Yes.
Metiria Turei: So the Prime Minister can confirm that he knew that none of those women had left for Syria or Iraq from New Zealand?
Hon Gerry Brownlee: Yes, and the member needs to be aware that as New Zealand citizens it does not matter where they left from. If they pose a security risk to New Zealand on their return, then that is something we are concerned about.
This time Key cannot feign memory loss; erroneous advice; misinterpretation, or a mistake. According to one of his own senior ministers – Key knew the facts.
For reasons of his own, he chose not to disclose that information.
Key’s Lie By His Own Words
On 17 March, Key refuted any willful attempt to mislead the public by inference that so-called “Jihadi brides” had left New Zealand. As reported on Radio NZ;
Today he denied any attempt to create a misleading impression that the 12 or so women referred to by Ms Kitteridge left from New Zealand, rather than from Australia.
“We didn’t say that, it was the Director [General] that made the statement, and what she said was there were jihadi brides.
“The fact that where they leave from is irrelevant, if they’re New Zealanders, they’re New Zealanders, they may return to New Zealand and so we have to deal with those issues.
And remember the Minister in Charge of the Security Intelligence Service, Chris Finlayson, who categorically denied that National and the SIS had deliberately created a deception;
“If you go back to the statements that were made there were no implications or ‘winks and nods’ that they were not resident in New Zealand.”
Yet, that is precisely what Key said on 10 December last year, as this video clearly shows;
John Key: “And it’s just a reality that there are women that we know that left New Zealand, ah, and we suspect that they have gone and got married and we know that this concept of Jihadi Brides is not, it’s not my term, it’s an international term, and you pick up the World’s Section of the newspapers today, a couple of newspapers, and see them reporting on that, hundreds and hundreds of women from around the world, ah, going off and, and potentially marrying these guys before they undertake Jihadist activity.”
Reporter: “Do you think it’s strange that, that, um, that New Zealand muslims don’t… aren’t aware of any of their women going over and, and, marrying men in places like Syria?”
John Key: “Yeah, well, I mean they don’t know everybody in the community, um, and you know, they obviously have a, you know, be [unintelligible word] as anyone can on these things, but we can just tell you by what we see. Y’know, people travel out of our country, and people who turn up, through other reporting, and otherwise, in Syria or Iraq.”
Key was as crystal-clear as his garbled-style of speech permits him to be. He cannot claim he was mis-represented in the media: he stated categorically that “there are women that we know that left New Zealand… people travel out of our country“.
At the same time, according to Minister Brownlee, Key was perfectly aware that “jihadi brides” he referred to during the Intelligence and Security Committee meeting were all resident in Australia and did not leave from New Zealand”.
This was no “mistake” on the part of the media. Brownlee and Key stand convicted of their duplicity, by their own words.
Coming soon: A terror alert near you!
This is now the second (that we are aware of) mis-use of our spy agencies for National’s own political agenda.
Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, found that in 2011, then-Labour leader, Phil Goff, had been mis-led by then-SIS director, Warren Tucker, at a briefing meeting. Inaccurate information had also been provided by the SIS to right-wing blogger, Cameron Slater that was used to damage Phil Goff’s reputation.
As the Herald reported in November 2014;
Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn said this morning the inquiry found the NZSIS released “incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s office”.
Ms Gwyn said she found no evidence of political partisanship by the NZSIS but did find that the NZSIS “failed to take adequate steps to maintain political neutrality”.
Ms Gwyn said the having released misleading information both to Prime Minister John Key’s office and then to Mr Slater, Dr Tucker “had a responsibility to take positive steps to correct the interpretation”.
“He failed to do so.”
On that basis, Ms Gwyn said Mr Goff was owed an apology.
Ms Gwyn said information about a briefing Mr Goff received from Dr Tucker about suspected Israeli agents in Christchurch following the quakes was “not an accurate description of what happened at that meeting”.
According to revelations in Nicky Hager’s exposé, “Dirty Politics“, the smearing of Phil Goff was orchestrated from the Beehive’s Ninth Floor, by Jason Ede – a National Party “black ops” apparatchik.
The SIS was party to this covert plan to smear Phil Goff and undermine his election chances in 2011.
Unsurprisingly, Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei, condemned both the SIS and our esteemed Dear Leader for willfully deceiving the public;
“They were using information for political purposes, and that political purpose was to encourage New Zealanders to accept greater surviellance by spy agencies.
The SIS has proven time and time again they can’t be trusted with the powers that they have. They don’t follow the law that they’re required to, and John Key is using spy agencies to pursue a political agenda.”
It is now a matter of time before another dramatic “terror alert” is issued by this government, to further frighten and manipulate the country into submitting to National’s agenda to increase powers for our spy agencies.
The “terror alerts” will most likely come to nothing; no arrests will be made; no details of any thwarted “terror plot” will ever be released to the public – but the ultimate goal of fomenting fear will be achieved.
A frightened populace is a compliant populace.
“Correction” = polite euphemism for shit-about-to-hit-the-fan.
Did the SIS/GCSB ever keep track of New Zealand women travelling to Northern Ireland, during “The Troubles”, who may have met and married men from that province?
Were they ever referred to as “IRA Brides”?
Fairfax media: Small farmer group holds nearly $12 billion of dairy debt
Radio NZ: Dairy farm values set to keep falling
Fairfax media: Low wages ‘advantage’ for NZ – English
Reserve Bank: Official Cash Rate reduced to 2.25 percent
NZ Herald: Banks keep their slice of OCR cut
Radio NZ: NZ women going to IS areas on rise – SIS
Fairfax media: Kiwi Jihadi brides on the rise
NZ Herald: Q&A – Why do women want to be jihadi brides?
Otago Daily Times: ‘Jihadi bride’ fears over Kiwi women
NZ Herald: Rise in Kiwi women heading to Iraq, Syria
Kiwiblog: Kiwi jihadi brides
NZ Herald: Islamic Women’s Council – It’s news to us
The Wireless: ‘I’m not a jihadi bride’
Radio NZ: NZ’s ‘jihadi brides’ left from Australia
NZ Herald: Rise in Kiwi women heading to Iraq, Syria
Yahoo News: Kiwi jihadi brides a reality – PM
NewstalkZB: Kiwi women heading off to join ISIS, Key insists
“I’ve Got Nothing to Hide” and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy (hat-tip: Nitrium)
Kiwipolitico: Threat Distortion as Fear Manipulation
No Right Turn: Caught fearmongering
The Dim Post: The struggle
The Standard: The Jihadi Brides lie
The Standard: Nats refuse to apologise for targeting Muslim community
Previous related blogposts
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 22 March 2016.
= fs =
When a spokesperson for the government tries to employ scare-tactics to persuade the public that increasing surveillance powers for various arms of the State – in this case the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) – is warranted, then suspicions arise.
In the week following the release of the first review of intelligence organisations in New Zealand, Michael Cullen offered no less than three scare-tactics, that on the face of it, should send children and the naive running into the arms of spymasters at the SIS and GCSB.
On 10 March, Kathryn Ryan interviewed Michael Cullen on Radio NZ’s ‘Nine to Noon‘ show. Cullen was one of the reviewers of our spy agencies. In reply to questioning why the GCSB needed increased powers, he said;
“…Suppose, let’s take an example, you know that a Chinese agent is arriving on a plane at an airport, for whatever reason you also know that they’re only going to be here for a short time but you’ve no idea what it is they’re going to be up to, and you can’t find a judicial commissioner, you know you’re only half an hour out from a landing kind of thing…”
“…In extreme circumstances where you can’t find the Attorney General, or the the Minister deputed [sic] by the Prime Minister [to] act on the Attorney General’s behalf, or the judicial commissioner, then the Director can issue a warrant, but that’s in the case of immediate threat to life or the fact that if it doesn’t happen quickly then the opportunity to gather that intelligence will have passed…”
Aside from a “Yellow Peril” hint to Cullen’s reference to “a Chinese agent”, one has to ask why he is suggesting that the imminent arrival of such a person would strike fear into the heart of our government and it’s agencies.
Did the announcement that we are at war with China miss the 6PM news bulletin on both TV1 and TV3?
If such a mythical “Chinese agent” is a “threat” to our security and well-being, then a simple phone call to New Zealand Customs should be sufficient to detain the person and return him/her home on the next available flight. NZ Customs already has this power, aslearned to his misfortune last February;
Not only was Mrdetained after disembarking his flight; he was held for ten hours, and promptly deported thereafter. (As the story reports, Customs then had to pay for Mr ‘s flight back to New Zealand.)
So why the “imminent arrival” of a foreign agent should send the GCSB or other state agency into a tizzy is unclear. Our Customs department already ‘has our backs’ on such matters.
Cullen then painted a frightening picture where “in extreme circumstances where you can’t find the Attorney General, or the the Minister deputed by the Prime Minister [to] act on the Attorney General’s behalf or the judicial commissioner”.
Really? In the 21st century, with mobile phones, smartphones, email, faxes, landlines – Cullen is deeply concerned “where you can’t find the Attorney General, or the the Minister deputed [sic] by the Prime Minister [to] act on the Attorney General’s behalf, or the judicial commissioner“?!
If such an unlikely scenario ever eventuated, my concern would not be for the GCSB unable to have a warrant-to-surveil signed – but where the hell our Attorney General, or the the Minister deputed [sic] by the Prime Minister [to] act on the Attorney General’s behalf, or the judicial commissioner” were, that they could not be easily located.
Perhaps the most disingenuous, anxiety-laden scenario from Cullen was his implausible Lost At Sea fantasy. On Radio NZ’s Focus on Politics, Cullen maintained that expanding the GCSB’s surveillance powers was a “safety” issue;
“Let us suppose a New Zealander is in imminent danger, in terms of their life overseas. Maybe lost at sea or some other example. Under this legislation as the GCSB feels it has to interpret it, the GCSB’s capacity to trace an individual’s cellphone and to say exactly where it is, cannot be used.
We have no way of finding out where that person is, using that capacity, in order to take immediate and urgent action, in whatever way, to try to protect the safety of that New Zealander.”
I call total bollocks on Cullen’s example.
Aside from the fact that most yachties and other vessels now use modern emergency locator beacons, if a New Zealander is in “imminent danger”, a bunch of spooks sitting in Pipitea House, Thorndon, listening in on conversations and reading emails and txt-messages are hardly likely to be in a position to facilitate rescue operations to assist a person “ lost at sea “.
Checking Google, using the search parameters “spy agency locates lost person at sea” did not yield a single example of a spy agency finding anyone in such dire straits.
The GCSB is a spy agency. International Rescue, it is not.
If by some bizarre chance the GCSB did pick up an SOS call, or locator beacon, no person in their right mind would object if the information was passed on to rescue services. By definition, SOS calls cannot be considered “private communications” since they are broadcast far and wide to anyone capable of picking up the transmissions.
Cullen is fear-mongering.
In the report, Intelligence and Security in a Free Society Report of the First Independent Review of Intelligence and Security in New Zealand, under a section headed “Key Issues Identified“, the authors write;
7. It quickly became apparent to us that there were a number of deficiencies in the Agencies’ current legislative frameworks. The legislation establishing the Agencies is not comprehensive, is inconsistent between the two agencies, can be difficult to interpret and has not kept pace with the changing technological environment. This has led to some significant problems.
8. First, lack of clarity in the legislation means the Agencies and their oversight bodies are at times uncertain about what the law does and does not permit, which makes it difficult to ensure compliance. Critical reviews in the past have led the Agencies, particularly the GCSB, to take a very conservative approach to interpreting their legislation. While we understand the reason for this, and it is certainly preferable to a disregard for the law, this overly cautious approach does mean that the GCSB is not as effective or as efficient as it could be. The legislation needs to set out clearly what the Agencies can do, in what circumstances and subject to what protections for individuals.
It appears that Cullen and his co-author, Dame Patsy Reddy, are repeating the very same justifications that Key and other National ministers spouted in 2013, when they implemented an expansion of GCSB’s powers to legalise Bureau surveillance of New Zealanders.
On 9 April 2013, our esteemed Dear Leader claimed that the GCSB – as it stood at the time – was not “fit for purpose”;
“In addition, the Act governing the GCSB is not fit for purpose and probably never has been. It was not until this review was undertaken that the extent of this inadequacy was known…
The advice we have recently received from the Solicitor-General is that there are difficulties interpreting the legislation and there is a risk some longstanding practices of providing assistance to other agencies would not be found to be lawful.
It is absolutely critical the GCSB has a clear legal framework to operate within.”
Now it appears that Cullen and Reddy are parroting the same rationale for advancing the “need” to expand the Bureau’s surveillance powers.
This appears to be the stock-standard meme that will be trotted out every time the government pushes for further extensions to State surveillance powers.
Council for Civil Liberties, chairperson, Thomas Beagle, was correct when he pointed out the obvious “mission creep” of stealthily increasing State surveillance in this country;
“I think it’s part of a shift towards an overall surveillance society and I think it’s part of a wider shift towards a government which is not of the people but a government which is actually working on the people.”
Cullen and Reddy have played their part in this latest chapter of an on-going process.
What next in two, five, or ten years’ time?
Radio NZ: Spy review aims to clarify powers
Radio NZ: Canada stops sharing Five Eyes data
No Right Turn: As predicted
No Right Turn: The problem with the intelligence review
The Standard: New report on GCSB spying powers
Previous related blogposts
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 13 March 2016.
= fs =
15 September 2014
Despite being labelled a “fizzer” by some National-aligned critics, and a media expecting ‘fireworks’, the “Moment of Truth” event presented information that raised the public’s awareness of state surveillance and data collection in this country;
…that the Government Communications Security Bureau was involved in the mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens, and that the National government and Prime Minister John Key were aware of it […] NSA leaker Edward Snowden accused Prime Minister John Key of misleading the public over the country’s spying activities…
One mass-surveillance system referred to was XKEYSCORE, which investigative-journalists on The Intercept described as;
The NSA’s XKEYSCORE program, first revealed by The Guardian, sweeps up countless people’s Internet searches, emails, documents, usernames and passwords, and other private communications. XKEYSCORE is fed a constant flow of Internet traffic from fiber optic cables that make up the backbone of the world’s communication network, among other sources, for processing. As of 2008, the surveillance system boasted approximately 150 field sites in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Japan, Australia, as well as many other countries, consisting of over 700 servers.
These servers store “full-take data” at the collection sites — meaning that they captured all of the traffic collected — and, as of 2009, stored content for 3 to 5 days and metadata for 30 to 45 days. NSA documents indicate that tens of billions of records are stored in its database. “It is a fully distributed processing and query system that runs on machines around the world,” an NSA briefing on XKEYSCORE says. “At field sites, XKEYSCORE can run on multiple computers that gives it the ability to scale in both processing power and storage.”
Our esteemed Dear Leader, John Key, has consistently refused to confirm of deny whether or not the GCSB uses XKEYSCORE. Equally critically, Key refused to confirm or deny whether or not the spy bureau obtains information from the American NSA, which does employ XKEYSCORE.
However, seven months ago, investigative journalists Nicky Hager and Ryan Gallagher, working with the Herald on Sunday, released a damning report which presented clear evidence that the New Zealand government was indeed collecting private information using XKEYSCORE;
GCSB has gained access to XKeyscore through its partnership in Five Eyes, and contributes data to the system that is swept up in bulk from a surveillance base in Waihopai Valley.
John Key’s assurances that New Zealanders are not under mass surveillance, nor mass data-collection being used, is also questionable after a recent TV3 The Nation’s interview with the GCSB’s acting director, Una Jagose.
As well as XKEYSCORE, there is another programme that Key confirmed was being used by the GCSB – “Cortex”;
“We’ve never undertaken mass surveillance, we have got a programme called Cortex running over specific entities providing cyber protection.”
However, there are indications that Cortex is not merely the benign “cyber protection system” as has been made out.
It may well be a cleverly disguised ‘Trojan Horse’ – a possibility recently raised by fellow blogger, Martyn Bradbury and others.
On 3 October, the GCSB’s acting director, Una Jagose, was interviewed by Patrick Gower.
Image acknowledgement: TV3 – The Nation
Whether by clever persistance or sheer dumb luck, Gower managed to elicit some intriguing responses from Jagose on the ‘Cortex’ programme.
Gower first asked who is under attack by “cyber threats from overseas”. Jagose responded;
“We focus our attention on New Zealand companies that are holders of information, assets of importance to New Zealand, so nationally important infrastructure companies and some key government departments. So, yes, we’re definitely seeing attacks there.”
Gower then pointedly asked; “So what you’re talking about – banks, telecom companies, those kinds of things?”
“Well, those parts of the infrastructure, the nationally important, those sorts of things. We actually don’t talk about who they are or specifically what types of organisations they are, because revealing that also reveals to an adversary where we might have our best and richest sources of data that they might be interested.”
Which is interesting, as foreign cyber attackers would already be aware who their targets are in this country. Jagose would not be revealing anything that foreign cyber attackers would not already know.
The only people kept in the dark – us.
As Gower continued to interview Jagose, it soon became apparent why she was reticent in revealing who was being targetted by so-called “foreign cyber attacks”.
Gower followed up by asking a natural-enough question; “who is trying to get this information? Is it individual criminal organisations, or is it countries?”
“…At best it’s criminals. It’s often foreign-sourced sophisticated malware that we’re seeing…
… it could be industrial espionage. It could be IP theft. It could be just having an in to important sovereign communications or discussions by government agencies, policies, positions governments might take, positions companies might take.”
Then, she made this startling admission;
“We don’t spend too much of our time trying to track down who did that, because, in fact, we want to use our time and our technology protecting networks and systems.”
“We don’t spend too much of our time trying to track down who did that…”
Jagose repeated the statement in the next response she gave to Gower – though the TV3 reporter did not appear to comprehend the implications of her candid admission;
“Well, again, I say we don’t spend our energy looking at— attribution is really difficult. It is apparently a very technical and difficult thing to work out where did that come from, who’s doing it and why are they doing it? We spend our energy on defence.”
In effect, the GCSB’s “new role” has moved from intelligence gathering (ie, finding out who is supposedly – and I use that word deliberately – launching “cyber attacks” against us) – to one of being a State-funded-and-operated, quasi-Norton Anti-Virus agency?
Is this credible?
When did National decide to go into business to offer a rival service to MacAfee, AVG, Norton, et al?
That is not a rhetorical question, as National released two Cabinet Minutes related to “Project Cortex”. The first, labelled “1”, is dated 28 July 2014, the other (labelled “4”) is simply dated “2014” (though Key refers to the document as having been written in July 2014). Both outlined a business case for “Cortex”, including costings and assessment by Treasury – though all dollar figures had been redacted.
Cabinet Minute 4 takes great pains to point out;
2. The proposal takes into account the amended GCSB Act and necessary warranting procedures, and will in all cases operate with the consent of the participating entities.
In fact, Cabinet Minute 4 refers to “consent” from organisations and entities no less than eight times. Someone was at pains to make the point to whoever was going to read the document. Which would be unusual, as normally Cabinet Minutes are almost never made public.
Cabinet Minute 4 also makes several curious statements;
27. There will be no ‘mass surveillance’, and data will be accessed by GCSB only with the consent of owners of relevant networks or systems.
By coincidence, a press statement from John Key dated 15 September, 2014 – two months after Cabinet Minute 4 was supposedly written shortly after a Cabinet Meeting held that year – quoted Dear Leader as stating;
“I can assure New Zealanders that there is not, and never has been, mass surveillance by the GCSB.
“In stark contrast, the Bureau actually operates a sound, individually-based form of cyber protection only to entities which legally consent to it,” Mr Key says.
Paragraph 27 of that Cabinet Minute – supposedly written before the “Moment of Truth” on 15 September 2014 – sounds remarkably similar to Key’s 15 September 2015 press statement – a year after “Moment of Truth”.
It almost seems as if Cabinet Minute 4 was prepared at some later date, knowing that it would be eventually be released to the media and the public to counter the “Moment of Truth”. Which is ridiculous… the author(s) of that Minute could not have known – in advance – that the Minute would eventually be released by National. That would mean that the document was written well after the Cabinet meeting, and was re-worded to take into account revelations by Edward Snowden on 15 September last year.
That would mean the document was a fraud.
Interestingly, Cabinet Minute 4 also makes this curious statement at two different points;
7. GCSB is not proposing to procure or develop bespoke systems. No material level of software development is required of GCSB or a second party. The proposal is to procure then integrate capability components already available and tested over several years [redacted],
41. GCSB is not proposing to procure or develop bespoke systems. No material level of software development is required of GCSB or a second party. The proposal is to procure then integrate capability components already available and tested, [redacted]. The hardware and software components range from widely available commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems, through to single-source COTS, to systems only available through government-to-government agreement. All of the technology has been in use for some time, [redacted].
As The Intercept website asked,
The Cortex documents [Cabinet Minutes] refer to the use of technology that “has been in use for some time.” What technology is this?
What is the Cabinet Minute referring to when it states; “ components already available and tested over several years ” and “capability components already available and tested“?
“Tested” by whom?
“In use for some time” by who?
The document throws up more questions than answers. Unfortunately, despite Key’s claims to the contrary, this is not an open and transparent government that readily shares information.
So which “consenting organisations” will use Cortex? And will clients and staff be made aware that their electronic communications may be intercepted by the GCSB?
Cabinet Minute 4 states;
18. The foundation of the preferred option is a malware detection service delivered to [redacted] consenting organisations. [redacted] of the [redacted] organisations will be government agencies. The other [redacted] will be drawn from a list of approximately [redacted] organisations of national importance developed by DPMC’s National Cyber Policy Office (NCPO) and approved by ODESC on 7 June 2013. The list includes key economic generators, niche exporters, research institutions and operators of critical national infrastructure.
However, we do not know who those “consenting organisations” are. It is a secret. Remember Jagose’s first response to Gower during the 3 October interview;
“We actually don’t talk about who they are or specifically what types of organisations they are, because revealing that also reveals to an adversary where we might have our best and richest sources of data that they might be interested.”
Note that Paragraph 18 above refers to the “National Cyber Policy Office” (NCPO). The NCPO is an arm of the Security and Intelligence Group. That Group, in turn, is part of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC);
Note the address of the “National Cyber Policy Office“: Pipitea House, 1-15 Pipitea Street, Thorndon (arrow 1). Which happens to be the same building housing the GCSB.
Then note something called “Connect Smart” (arrow 2), which is described as;
Connect Smart is a new Government-led initiative, delivered in partnership with the private and NGO sectors, to raise awareness of cyber security issues and promote ways to protect yourself, your business and others online.
“Connect Smart” sounds remarkably like the supposedly top-secret list described by Cabinet Minute 4 as, “organisations of national importance developed by DPMC’s National Cyber Policy Office (NCPO) and … The list includes key economic generators, niche exporters, research institutions and operators of critical national infrastructure”.
“Connect Smart” was launched on 16 June 2014 (just prior to Cabinet Minute 1 supposedly written on 28 July 2014), by Communications and Information Technology Minister, Amy Adams.
Adams warned about;
“The common thread that unites cyber threats is their capacity to cause damage; ranging in scale from the distress experienced by an individual who has had their identity hacked, to the economic damage that sustained industrial cyber espionage can cause to a country.”
She further stated;
“A range of departments are involved – from those at the front end, such as Police, Department of Internal Affairs, and the National Cyber Security Centre, through to those grappling with the policy implications of cyber security, led by the National Cyber Policy Office.
This year, the NCPO will be working on a number of major policy initiatives:
A refreshed and comprehensive national Cyber Security Strategy to make sure we are coordinated and resourced across government to address this challenge;
A targeted inter-agency cybercrime plan;
An assessment of the economic balance of cyberspace for New Zealand;
Testing the Government’s response to a significant cyber incident; and
Consideration of the options for a national cyber mechanism to improve the coordination, effectiveness and efficiency of the Government’s response to cyber incidents. “
It sounds as if Adams is referring to… Cortex?
So who are the “Connect Smart” Partners? They are;
- Hewlett Packard
- Spark NZ (formerly Telecom)
- Dimension Data
- International Underwriting Agencies Ltd
- Internal Affairs
- Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Aura Information
- Mako Networks
- Ministry for Primary Industries
- NZ Post
- Inland Revenue
- Nga Pu Waea
- North Harbour Business Association
- NZ Police
- University of Auckland
- Yahoo NZ
- ZX Security
- IPENZ Engineers NZ
- Air New Zealand
- British High Commission
- Financial Markets Authority
- Institute of IT Professionals
- Internet NZ
- Massey University
- Privacy Commissioner
- Senior Net
- Dept of Conservation
- 1st Tuesday
- Journey Church
- Digital Journey
- Institute of Directors
- University of Waikato
- Scots College
- Greater East Tamaki Business Association
- Commission for Financial Literacy
- Delta Insurance
- Neighbourhood Support
- Ministry of Education
- Waikator District Health Board
- NZ Foreign Affairs & Trade
- Waitemata District Health Board
- Business NZ
- Longitude 174
- University of Canterbury
- Insurance Council of NZ
- Weta Digital
- High Tech Youth Network
- AJ Park
- Noel Leeming
- Our School
- NZ Transport Agency
- NZ Bankers Association
- University of Otago
- Chartered Accountants
- ARC Solutions
- Secure Safe
- Quantum Security
- NZ Customs Service
- Room 9
- NZ Trade & Enterprise
- SSS IT Security Specialists
- Statistics NZ
- NZ Health IT
- Crombie Lockwood
- Lock It
- Meredith Connell
- Network Box
- Stay Smart Online
- NZ Security Intelligence Service (SIS)
- Eagle Technology
- Plan B
- Naki Cloud
- Liverton Technology Group
- Price Me
- Mila XAG
- Need A Nerd
- KD Consult
- Senate SHJ
(I have listed all companies, in case the website suddenly disappears, or that particular page is taken down.)
“The list includes key economic generators, niche exporters, research institutions and operators of critical national infrastructure” – the DPMC’s National Cyber Policy Office’s description of their supposedly secret list of clients.
The “Connect Smart” list certainly meets that criteria – including the Security Intelligence Service. And Amy Adams’ 16 June speech appears to confirm it.
So do the staff and clients of these companies, organisations, and government departments know that they are most likely part of the Cortex programme run by the GCSB?
Are they aware that their electronic communications may be collected and stored by the GCSB?
Are they aware their communications could be read, as Jagose confirmed to Patrick Gower;
Gower: What does the analyst do if there’s a personal email there?
Jagose: Well, the analyst is looking at it not for its content but for what the email and the traffic tells us about the fingerprint or the adverse attack that is occurring. So that’s what they do with it.
Gower: But the analyst can see the content if they want to?
Gower: Yeah, but I would be told, would I, by the company that they’ve now put Cortex on?
Jagose: You’ll be told that your communications will be screened or may be screened for cyber defence purposes.
Gower: Right. How do you get told that?
Jagose: In terms and conditions of use, for example.
I scrutinised the Terms and Conditions of Spark NZ – one of the country’s largest companies that deals with thousands of employees, contractors, and customers. Is there any reference to Cortex with Spark’s Terms and Conditions?
There is, however, this brief reference to handing over information to the government;
The Operator and Spark Digital reserve the right to disclose end user information that it believes, in good faith, is appropriate or necessary to take precautions against liability; to protect the Operator and Spark Digital and others from fraudulent, abusive, predatory, or unlawful uses or activity; to investigate and defend against any third party claims or allegations; to assist government enforcement agencies; or to protect the security or integrity of the Platform.
That paragraph is at the end of the Terms and Conditions statement, at the bottom of the page. How many people will have waded through the entire document to spot it? Who even bothers to read Terms and Conditions?
And by itself, just how informative is the brief statement, “to assist government enforcement agencies“?
It is a meaningless statement.
One cannot escape the conclusion that Una Jagose has attempted a ‘snow job’ of New Zealanders. If so, it remains to be seen how effective she has been.
Meanwhile, it is unclear what the true purpose of the ‘Cortex’ programme really is. Can we trust anything that we are told about it by National?
There is much more to this than meets the eye.
Of goods, especially clothing) made to order.
(of a computer program) written or adapted for a specific user or purpose.
Questions posed by The Intercept on XKEYSCORE and Cortex;
We are currently researching a number of other stories related to GCSB, and I expect we are going to shine more light on the agency’s activities in this sphere in the near future. In the meantime, Key and the GCSB face a mounting number of important questions that they have until now managed to dodge.
Here’s a few for starters:
Why did you inform the public that the GCSB Amendment Bill would not lead to an expansion of powers when at the same time you were planning the Speargun mass surveillance initiative?
Why was phase one of the Speargun project completed if it was, as Prime Minister Key has claimed, something that never made it past the “business case”?
Why were New Zealanders not informed about the Cortex project until the government’s hand was forced by disclosures based on documents from Snowden?
How much data is collected on a daily basis by GCSB under the Cortex project, and how does the agency ensure this data does not “incidentally” include the content or metadata of citizens’ communications?
The Cortex documents refer to the use of technology that “has been in use for some time.” What technology is this?
Is any information collected by GCSB under Cortex — or any other program that accesses internet data — shared with the NSA and/or other Five Eyes agencies through systems such as XKEYSCORE?
Does GCSB have access to XKEYSCORE and, if so, for how long has this been the case?
Does GCSB use its access to internet data streams — under initiatives like Cortex or similar — to launch active/offensive cyber operations that involve hacking computer systems to collect information?
When will you declassify documents detailing the Speargun project and showing that it was not completed?
Radio NZ: ‘Moment of Truth’ on world stage
Radio NZ: Key silent on spy programme
NZ Herald on Sunday: Revealed – The names NZ targeted using NSA’s XKeyscore system
TV3 The Nation: Interview – GCSB Acting Director Una Jagose
TV3 The Nation: Interview – GCSB Acting Director Una Jagose (transcript)
Beehive: Cabinet Minute 1
Beehive: Cabinet Minute 4
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet: National Cyber Policy Office
Connect Smart: Partners
Spark NZ: Terms and Conditions
No Right Turn: The GCSB’s PR campaign
Public Address: Crowdsourcing Project Cortex
The Daily Blog: Martyn Bradbury – GCSB begin marketing campaign to con NZers
Previous related blogposts
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 4 October 2015.
= fs =
It’s not often that Ministers of this increasingly desperate and inept government make a statement that is unerringly accurate – but on Friday 15 May, on Radio NZ’s Morning Report, GCSB Minister, Chris Finlayson did just that. Minister Finlayson painted a picture of Dear Leader John Key that every critic of this government would agree with.
Espiner: “Ok, when this become public in the NZ Herald,
one comment was that this was a back-ward looking
anti-American bunch of plonkers. That’s what these guys
are, they’re not interested in the future of New Zealand,
or making it stronger, they’re just opposed to the
government. Do you agree with that view?”
Finlayson: “Oh look you always get that kind of wild
eyed stuff from the right, just as you get the —“[drowned out by cross-talk]
Espiner: “Well that was from John Key I was quoting.
That was John Key, your prime minister who said that.”
Finlayson: “And you get the wild apocalyptic comment on
the Left. The fact of the matter is that there are lot of
people who are —” [drowned out by cross-talk]
Finlayson put his foot in it. The tendency of National ministers to react badly to any form of criticism has become more deeply ingrained the longer they are in power. They are unable to listen to alternative views, treating all criticism as a verdict of failure.
A prime example of this kind of aggressive defensiveness was highlighted by the “wild apocalyptic” abuse meted out by John Key to visiting US journalist, Glenn Greenwald;
“There is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by GCSB, and there never has been mass surveillance of New Zealanders by GCSB. Now in the fullness of time we’ll respond to Dotcom’s little henchman [Glenn Greenwald], but mark my words, he’s wrong… Lets understand what’s going on here; Kim Dotcom is paying Glenn Greenwald to come to New Zealand a week before an election and he’s trying to influence New Zealanders.” – John Key, 13 September 2014
“Dotcom’s little henchman is wrong. I’m probably not going to jump in front of what information he’s got. It’s up to the henchman to go and deliver that information I suppose, but mark my words, he’s wrong. I’m right and I’ll prove I’m right.”– John Key, 13 September 2014
“This is what happens when you hack in to illegal information, when you wander down to New Zealand six days before an election trying to do Dotcom’s bidding – what happens is you get half the story.” – John Key, 14 September 2014
“People got really wound up about me calling him Dotcom’s little henchman. I would have a modicum of respect for the guy if he had the guts to turn up here six months before the election, or six months after. If this loser [Glenn Greenwald] is going to come to town and try and tell me, five days before an election, staying at the Dotcom mansion with all the Dotcom people and being paid by Dotcom, that he’s doing anything other than Dotcom’s bidding – please don’t insult me with that.” – John Key, 15 September 2014
Previous comments by John Key to Nickey Hager, Jon Stephenson, and others who dare critique this government is indicative of the Right’s sensitivity to dissent.
Which also happens to highlight Key’s sheer hypocrisy earlier this year when he had the gall to defend freedom of speech and the right of the media to question;
“The targeting of journalists going about their daily work is an attack on the fourth estate and the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression, which must be strongly condemned.” – John Key, 8 January 2015
Indeed, Mr Key.
Perhaps condemning “targeting of journalists going about their daily work” and on “the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression” would sound more credible if we started closer to home? And by ministers of this government?
Otherwise, Mr Key begins to sound like “wild eyed stuff from the right“, making “wild apocalyptic comment[s]”, to his own Ministers.
The truth, as always, slips out.
Previous instances of critics coming under sustained public attack by this government:
Natasha Fuller & Jennifer Johnston, solo-mothers
Personal WINZ details released to the media by Social Welfare Minister, Paula Bennett, to discredit both women after they criticised National for canning the Training Incentive Allowance (which Bennett herself used to pay her way through University).
Jon Stephenson, journalist
John Key derides Stephenson’s research into NZ activities in Afghanistan: “I’ve got no reason for NZDF to be lying, and I’ve found [Stephenson] myself personally not to be credible.”
Nicky Hager, writer, researcher
John Key dismisses Hager’s book, on CIA involvement in NZ military activities in Afghanistan: “I don’t have time to read fiction,” quipped the Prime Minister, adding that the book contained “no smoking gun”, just supposition, which, “makes it business as normal for Nicky Hager”. (Despite the book having 1300 footnotes to referencing documentation.)
Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury, broadcaster, blogger
Criticised John Key on Radio NZ. Subsequently banned/ “uninvited” from returning to Radio NZ as a panellist for the Afternoons with Jim Mora segment.
Robyn Malcolm, actor
Criticises the John Key led National government for it’s failures at a Green Party campaign launch, and is, in turn, vilified by the ‘NZ Herald’, and by one-time National Party aspiring-candidate, Cameron Brewer.
Bradley Ambrose, journalist/photographer
Investigated by police after complaint laid by the Prime Minister, over the “Teapot Tape” affair. Ambrose investigated and interviewed by Police. Media office raided. Property seized. Eventually, no charges laid. Government considered seeking costs of $13,669.45 from Ambrose – but eventually decided not to.
ACC Claimant, Bronwyn’s Pullar’s personal details are leaked to the media and to a right wing blogger, who has been given her full files, emails, etc. ACC Minister, Judith Collins, and her office are implicated.
Dr Mike Joy, environmentalist, scientist, academic. Attacked by both John Key and right wing “media relations/publicist”, Mark Unsworth, for daring to tell the public the truth about New Zealand’s polluted waterways. On 21 November, Unsworth sent a vicious email to Dr Joy that showed the state of mind of Unsworth to be bordering on unhinged.
Annette Sykes, lawyer, activist, President of Mana Party
When Annette Sykes criticised the appointment of sportswoman Susan Devoy to the role of Race Relations Commissioner, Minister Judith Collins responded with “Annette Sykes is a stupid person”.
Katie Bradford, Parliamentary Press Gallery, and TV1 journalist. Judith Collins makes allegations to a TV3 journalist, that Ms Bradford asked the Minister to intervene on behalf of her (Bradford’s) husband to join the police force. This is refuted by Ms Bradford as untrue. Collins later apologises.
John Key refers to to visiting US journalist, Glenn Greenwald, as Kim “Dotcom’s little henchman” and a “loser”.
Fairfax media: Key dismisses GCSB spying claims from Greenwald
NZ Herald: Kiwis’ data lodged with NSA – Greenwald
John Key: New Zealand condemns Paris shooting
Previous related blogposts
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 18 May 2015.
= fs =
A recent Horizon poll had the usual mix of political and business-oriented questions. It is usually fairly easy to get a rough idea who commissioned certain questions in a poll. In this Horizon poll, received on 19 March, it seems fairly obvious that a powerco and peer-to-peer/crowd-equity -under commissioned two sets of questions.
The last set of questions, though, related to the topical issue of mass surveillance and data collection.
Note the bottom of page 20. Someone is very keen to know how the public feel about John Key’s “management of the issue of the mass interception of personal data”.
Note the questions on the page below;
It will be interesting to know what the results are. And even more interesting to know who commissioned the questions relating to mass surveillance/data collection?
= fs =