The New Zealand Herald reports that New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has been let off facing police charges for illegally spying on Kim Dotcom, founder and owner of Mega and MegaUpload. Despite Green Party co-leader Russel Norman filing a complaint against the GCSB no further action will be taken against New Zealand’s NSA-equivalent.
“Detective Superintendent Peter Read said today that while there was one occasion of illegal activity under the Crimes Act, there was not the element of criminal intent needed to show the GCSB was were criminally liable.”
Despite being let off without disciplinary action the GCSB were still criticsed for poor performance:
“Mr Read said while there was no criminal liability by the GCSB, police did identify a number of shortcomings” in the handling of the interception requests, including the GCSB had an incorrect understanding of the Immigration Act 2009 and how it related to the GCSB Act.”
The prosecutors, on behalf of Dotcom, stated that the so called “independent” overseer of the case, senior barrister Kristy McDonald, is working for the police in the case against Kim Dotcom. They say that outcome is is just another example of the failings of New Zealand’s spy agencies not being held accountable.
Anonymous are continuing their campaign against the New Zealand government. The new campaign #OpKiwiFreedom is fighting against the recently passed GCSB bill which essentially authorises the government to spy on its citizens, more so than it had done previously. As part of this campaign Anonymous have targeted the New Zealand’s GCSB with DDoS attacks and have successfully managed to take site down on numerous occassions leading to what the GCSB called temporary service interruptions, according to the New Zealand Herald.
The message from the campaign is pretty clear and isn’t that different to what civil activists are lobbying for in the USA right now. That is; they want the mass surveillance to stop, they want transparency and they want the New Zealand government to be accountable to the people and to be controlled by the people – not the other way round. The New Zealand government has refused to comment if it is involved with the NSA’s PRISM and Xkeyscore programs. Despite their denial there has been sufficient evidence from the Snowden leaks to implicate the New Zealand government at the heart of the Xkeyscore program.
The Anonymous campaign was finished with the traditional message;
Operation Kiwi Freedom initiated.
WE ARE ANONYMOUS. WE ARE LEGION. WE DO NOT FORGIVE. WE DO NOT FORGET. NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT. YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED US.
Image courtesy of New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau
Oh you know what they say about Karma!! A 16-page ruling was made by a High Court that New Zealand’s spy Agency, and Government Communications Security Bureau, will have to reveal details of their surveillance of Kim Dotcom. His mansion in NZ was illegally raided this January gone and since then he has been fighting and accused that the warrants were invalid and were carried out with excessive force.
The judge also granted discovery of documents relating to a previous past surveillance operation and said that the agency must hand over any information including agreements that were made with the local police and U.S. Authorities. Not only that, but Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants were also given permission to even claim damages against both the spy agency and the police.
Kim Dotcom tweeted – https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/276483085430820864 : Lets see about US involvement in illegal GCSB spying on New Zealand residents. The truth will come out, in court.