Why is Russel Norman still on the ISC?


After the murky events of the past few days, with Russel Norman amongst others being busted doing dodgy deals with a convicted German crook, surely doubt must be cast on the fitness of Russel Norman to be on the Intelligence and Security Committee.

With multiple meetings with Kim Dotcom…he surely will have discussed the GCSB and the fact he has taken a presumptive view on extradition suggests he is hopelessly compromised now.

He is Labour Leader David Cunliffe’s appointment. Cunliffe would do well to consider fresher options.   Read more »

That settles it then, no illegal spying, Helen said so

Helen Clark has come back and decided to declare that all the spying she did was legal, despite claims for the past year by David Shearer and the media that there were 88 cases of allegedly “illegal” spying.

The media and David Shearer won’t believe John Key when he says there wasn’t any spying but the law is unclear so it needs clearing up, but in walks Helen Clark and they take what she says as gospel.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has confirmed the GCSB executed intercept warrants for the SIS during her Government but spying on New Zealanders “wasn’t their remit”.

Clark, speaking in advance of the release of her new book At The UN, about her first four-year term as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said she was always “loyally and diligently” served by the intelligence services.

Clark said the Government Communications and Security Bureau acted within the law “as it was understood to be” and this included executing warrants for the Security Intelligence Service.   Read more »

Hide on GCSB

Rodney Hide is back to his usual blunt self in a very good column about the GCSB and the politicisation of the agency by David Shearer, Russel Norman and Peter Dunne.

Such a lot of nonsense has been spouted about the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) that it’s difficult to know where to start.

Let’s begin with the ridiculous. Peter Dunne has been publicly worrying that state agents are spying on him. Believe me, they aren’t. Dunne isn’t very interesting – especially not to our spies.

“Copy that, Foxtrot. Mr Boring arrived Churton Park Community Centre.” Our intelligence agencies have far more significant and pressing work than that.

We then have the notion that the GCSB has been spying willy-nilly on Kiwis. They haven’t been. The Kitteridge report found that over a 10-year period, the GCSB had assisted the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) in instances involving potentially 85 Kiwis, and over six years had helped the police in instances potentially involving three Kiwis.

That’s the GCSB doing its job – it is required by law to assist and advise the police and the SIS. The GCSB was doing exactly what Parliament had instructed it to do.    Read more »

No law breaches by GCSB

After all the hissy fits by the left wing and a serious PR campaign aided and abetted by elements in the media on behalf of Kim Dotcom, the GCSB has been cleared of any law breaking.

No one can question the credibility of the Inspector-General, though I am sure some will try. He is a former New Zealand Solicitor-General and former High Court Judge who was appointed Inspector-General by Helen Clark.

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Paul Neazor has cleared the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) of illegal spying on New Zealanders.

Mr Neazor was asked to conduct an inquiry into potential breaches of the GCSB Act after Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Kitteridge’s report on the bureau’s compliance with legislation raised concerns about 88 instances where the GCSB had spied on New Zealanders.

“The Inspector-General formed a view that there have been no breaches, although the law is unclear and the Inspector-General recommends amending it”, GCSB Director, Ian Fletcher said in a statement.  Read more »

Smart play by Winston

Is this the start of detente and the rehabilitation of the relationship between NZ First and National?

New Zealand First will support law changes allowing the GCSB to spy on Kiwis, giving the Government a comfortable majority on the controversial legislation.

But leader Winston Peters says his party’s support is conditional on additional safeguards for the public against unfair surveillance.

Prime Minister John Key last night briefed Mr Peters, Labour leader David Shearer, Green co-leader Russel Norman, United Future’s Peter Dunne and Act’s John Banks on his proposed amendments to the GCSB Act.  Read more »

Sexing um up um policy um look um…John Key is evil

David Shearer saying the PM is sexing up the threat posed by hackers and terrorism.

David Shearer – Sexing Up Report "David Shearer – Sexing Up Report"
DavidShearerSexingUpReport "DavidShearerSexingUpReport"

He is on the intelligence committee and knows the threat is real, and on the rise.

His claim that the PM is ‘sexing up’ the threats posed by terror and cyber crime is naive and stupid.

He’s now calling the PM a liar almost everyday.

So much for Shearer’s promise not to play ‘Gotcha’ politics and to go after the ball rather than the man.

Read more »


Throwing Stones in Glass Houses

Further to my earlier post about the conflicts of Bruce Ferguson.

I wonder how exactly he managed to go from being the HR Manager at the third tier of the civil service to being the Chief of Defence, under Helen Clark?

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced the appointment of Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson as Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

Air Marshal Ferguson will take up his new role when the current Director, Dr Warren Tucker, takes up his new role as Director of Security on 1 November 2006. Mr Ferguson’s term of appointment is for four years.

Helen Clark said Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson, who is currently the Acting Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, retired earlier this year from a distinguished military career which culminated in four years as Chief of Defence Force.

“Air Marshal Ferguson is a skilled leader with strong relationship management abilities. He has proved himself in a demanding chief executive role as the Chief of Defence Force, and has a strong track record of achievement.

“He is experienced at senior levels in the security and intelligence community, with a sound understanding of security and intelligence matters, and a good understanding of the role of Director, GCSB,” Helen Clark said.

Do you think perhaps there might have been some shoulder tapping going on there?

Remember Warren Tucker too, the SIS head that Phil Goff accused of lying and then was proven to himself have lied in attacking a senior civil servant.

The Difference between John Key and Phil Goff

We now have two very similar cases before us regarding briefings from intelligence agencies.

In 2011 I broke the story that contrary to his assertions that he was never briefed by the SIS about the Israeli citizens involved in the Chirstichurch earthquake that he was in fact briefed.

Phil Goff maintained and still maintains to this day that he was never briefed and worse he went on to attack the head of the SIS.

Move forward to today and we find out that John Key was briefed in February, in a superficial way, about the Kim Dotcom raid and the involvement of GCSB.

A review of Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) files has revealed Prime Minster John Key was told about the spy agency’s role in the Kim Dotcom case in February.

Until now, Key has insisted he wasn’t told until September 17 – when he was briefed about illegal snooping by the agency. He can’t remember the reference in February but accepts it took place.

Three more cases of possible illegal spying have also been identified.

Key visited GCSB offices on 29 February for a briefing and to meet staff. A presentation contained a short reference to the Dotcom arrest in January ”as an example of cooperation between the GCSB and the Police.”

”The presentation was an electronic slide presentation. The cover slide was a montage of 11 small images, one of which was of Mr Dotcom,” Key said.

No written record was kept of the meeting and he wasn’t given a copy of the briefing.

Key says no reference was made to questions about residency status.

John Key hasn’t denied that he was briefed, in fact he has said he doesn’t remember it and no notes were were kept but accepts that the briefing took place.

The difference is clear. Phil Goff and Labour attacked the civil servants, attacked the blogger who made an OIA request and still denys the briefing ever took place. If he had said at the time he was mistakedn and now accpets he was briefed then there never would ahve been a big story about it.

Unfortunately for John Key the left wing and media will use this in an attempt to suggest that John Key lied….when in actual fact he has been remarkably forthright about details concerning the intelligence agencies. The left wing, labour and their apologists in the media unfortunately see conspiracy everywhere.

No Danger, but was Phil Goff briefed?

A New Zealander with links to terrorist group al Qaeda and who once was arrested trying to enter an al Qaeda stronghold in Pakistan is back in New Zealand, but the Prime Minister does not believe he is a threat.

Yes but what I want to know is does Phil Goff remember the SIS briefing him on the Kiwi who is a member of Al Qaeda, or has he
forgotten that also?


Another of Phil's lies busted

Yet another of Phil Goff’s lies has been busted.

Asked if he would consider letting the Prime Minister sit in, Goff said: “The Prime Minister would be very welcome to sit in. I would love to get all the same briefings that he gets.”

Note how he does that. Suggests that his briefing is somehow materially different from John Key. He is suggesting and cultivating the impression that poor Phil is left out.

However in another release and letter from the SIS to Scoop Media, Warren Tucker buries that lie of Phil Goff’s.

[scanned document]

There it is in black and white, for all to see. The briefing Phil Goff receieved was “identical” to John Key’s briefing. Phil Goff’s comments about getting different briefings to the PM is exposed for the lie it was.

Phil Goff hasn’t told the truth, either deliberately or by omission from the get go in this whole sorry affair. He needs to come clean, or failing that apologise.

If he does not it shows quite clearly that the man is unfit for office. I wonder though why he is continuing to keep this issue in the public domain?