SIS

Roughan on Dotcom’s conspiracy theory

John Roughan damns David “tainted” Fisher with faint praise, this morning, for his big reveal that wasn’t.

Conspiracy theories may be mad but they are fun. When my colleague David Fisher unearthed documents this week showing how the Security Intelligence Service had cleared Kim Dotcom’s application for residency in New Zealand, only Dotcom could imagine that it did him much good.

The SIS had described him as a “bad but wealthy man” who was under investigation by the FBI, but let the application go through after a call from the head of Immigration New Zealand asking why they had it on hold. “Apparently there is some political pressure to process this case,” one SIS officer told another.

The director of the SIS was briefed at that point and it was decided Dotcom could not be blocked on security grounds. But they advised Immigration to talk to the police about the FBI investigation. The agency repeated that advice a few days later and went so far as to have one of its staff brief Immigration’s intelligence man before a meeting with his minister at the time, Jonathan Coleman. After that meeting, the immigration official could only remind his SIS contact that the residence category for “high rollers” was a Government priority.

So it would seem fairly clear how Dotcom got in. Immigration admits it did not talk to the police. Coleman is a nice man, a doctor, who would give anyone the benefit of a doubt. Dotcom’s wealth explains the “political pressure”.

If this week’s disclosure reflected badly on Dotcom, his own take on the events was even worse. His theory is that the SIS dropped its opposition to his entry at the request of the FBI who believed that once he was in New Zealand he would be within their clutches.   Read more »

Press Editorial on the farce that is Kim Dotcom

Memo to the Herald and TV3 there is a reason your audience alongside your credibility is shrinking…your audience are not as stupid as you think they are.

David “tainted” Fisher’s story proved there was no conspiracy despite him stretching credibility to breaking point. It also, if anything, undermines Dotcom’s claims that Key had heard of him prior to the raids, not that anyone really cares when he heard of him.

As the editorial points out if Key did a deal with Hollywood it would be much easier to extradite him if he hadn’t been granted residency.

Good to see the useless Grant Robertson on the news defying his leaders edict for a positive campaign and calling for John Key to come clean on what he knows. SInce he wants John Key to come clean, how about his boss tells us who his secret donors. It looks Labour want to continue to play gotcha politics, and the recent polls show Labour precisely how that is working out.

The Press editorial outlines the farce that is Kim Dotcom.

As if the saga of Kim Dotcom were not already absurd enough, this week it descended into a swirl of conspiracy theories that made it look like downright farce.

The theories are not necessarily compatible with each other or even internally consistent. Their main purpose is likely to turn out to be simply that they keep Dotcom’s name in the public eye.

Following them and attempting to disentangle them certainly adds to the stock of harmless public entertainment.

The theories have been fed by the release of email exchanges from Immigration New Zealand and the Security Intelligence Service about Dotcom’s application for permanent residency in New Zealand.

The application had been sent by INZ to the SIS for routine security and criminal checks. Dotcom was apparently anxious that permanent residency be granted so when he had not heard from INZ his agent had asked about it, prompting INZ to urge the SIS to hurry up with its report.

Many have leapt on an SIS officer’s off-hand suggestion in an email that “political pressure” was behind INZ’s interest in getting the SIS report.    Read more »

Why is Russel Norman still on the ISC?

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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.

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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 »

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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.