Helen Clark lies to Cunliffe over illegal spying

Labour leader David Cunliffe has been given assurances by former prime minister and party leader Helen Clark that New Zealanders weren’t been spied on under her leadership.

However he said there were still grey areas that need to be looked at regarding the allegations made by US journalist Glenn Greenwood and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Cunliffe was speaking at the University of Auckland this afternoon during a meet and greet with student supporters.

In response to intelligence and security inspector general Cherly Gwyn’s assertions that there was no evidence of mass surveillance on New Zealanders he said:

“There are a number of grey areas that New Zealanders want clarity on, like is meta data given the same protections as data?

“Do you need a warrant to access information about New Zealanders from third parties and is cyber security a easy way out around other protections?”

He said he has been given assurances by Clark that he had nothing to worry about.

“I have absolutely no indication that Labour has been involved in that in anyway. I have absolutely nothing I would be concerned about.”

Oh really?  

Opposition MPs are drawing comparisons between the Kim Dotcom spying case and the police raids in Te Urewera National Park.

Charges against most of the people arrested in the Bay of Plenty raids in 2007 were dropped after the Supreme Court ruled that police broke the law with their covert video surveillance.

This week, the Government Communications Security Bureau became the subject of an inquiry after revelations that it unlawfully spied on the German internet entrepreneur and his colleagues.

Kim Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States to face copyright, money laundering and fraud charges.

The spy agency believed that Mr Dotcom and a co-accused were foreign nationals due to incorrect advice from police, but they have New Zealand residency. It is illegal for the GCSB to spy on New Zealand residents and it is being investigated over the matter.

The Green Party says the Government needs to make its crime-fighting agencies more transparent, so the public can have confidence they are doing the right thing.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says there are similarities between police breaking the law with their covert surveillance during the 2007 raids and the illegal spying on Mr Dotcom.

2007 raids?  That would have been under Helen Clark’s watch then, right?




– Kelly Dennett, Manpreet Farrar, Stuff
– Radio NZ, 27 September 2012


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