Cheryl Gwyn

Chasing shadows in the dark

The spy watchdog will investigate allegations that New Zealanders’ communications were caught up in the GCSB’s intelligence and surveillance activities in the South Pacific.

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn on Thursday announced she was launching an inquiry following a number of complaints.

It follows recent claims that the GCSB was spying on some of New Zealand’s closest neighbours and passing the information on to the United States.

That prompted concerns about whether New Zealanders were caught up in the so-called “full take” collection of information in the region.

Ms Gwyn said the complaints, along with the public revelations, “raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data”.

“There is also a clear need to provide as much factual information to the complainants, and to the wider public, as is possible,” she said.

Earlier this month, responding to questions from Labour leader Andrew Little, acting GCSB director Una Jagose told parliament’s intelligence and security committee that there “isn’t anything untoward going on, or just the collection of information for collect’s sake”. Read more »

Last poll of year is a bit boring but Audrey Young manages some weapons grade spin on behalf of Labour

The Herald’s last poll of the year is real margin of error stuff.

Labour is up a bit, so is National, NZ First and Greens down a bit…otherwise it is a bit meh.

It didn’t stop Audrey Young spinning this as a massive lift in labour’s fortunes despite them still being under 30%.

Labour’s popularity has jumped three percentage points in the first political poll since Andrew Little took over the leadership and the first major poll since the September 20 election.

But National’s support has also risen, while support for the Greens and New Zealand First has declined.

Labour is on 28.9 per cent, a rise of three points from 25.9 per cent in the Herald-DigiPoll survey conducted in the last week of the election campaign.

Its party vote in the election of 25.13 per cent was close to the poll result, so it can safely be said the party has had a lift.

Mr Little was elected on November 18 after the resignation of David Cunliffe.

National’s support rose 2.2 points, from 48.2 to 50.4 per cent in the poll, conducted in the second and third weeks of December.

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Goff admits he leaked, gets slap on hand with wet bus ticket

Phil Goff has issued an apology admitting he leaked the contents of the IGIS report.

As is usual a politician gets a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket, whereas if anyone else had leaked such a document they would likely be prosecuted.

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication.

The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further.

All witnesses, including Mr Goff, were subject to a confidentiality order of the Inspector-General. The order was made to ensure fairness and the integrity of the inquiry. The disclosure of the report by Mr Goff was in breach of the order.

While no classified information was disclosed, Mr Goff?s disclosure led to premature media reporting on the content of the report, to the detriment of other witnesses to the inquiry, particularly those adversely affected by the report. Ms Gwyn said this was unfair to those witnesses, and she would be taking steps to ensure there was greater clarity around release protocols and legal obligations for future reports. ? Read more »

Another NewstalkZB staffer goes feral

There seems to be a cancer eating away at NewstalkZB…one of a lack of courage too, because Rachel Smalley and ?now James Robins are both giving me a good ?kicking.

You have to wonder if an edict has gone out from NZME.

But neither of them have the courage to say these sorts of things to my face…like many in the media they are spineless cowards.

James Robins goes on a defamatory rant…it really is quite funny. Dallas Gurney will be loving the ratings and traffic that a stoush?with me brings.

The Labour Party?s new leader Andrew Little may believe that the Prime Minister should ?stand up, take responsibility?apologise? and ?move on?. But there?s little chance of turning away from an ever-increasing barrage of evidence against the Government?s deeply disgusting, disturbing, and treacherous actions.

Inspector General Cheryl Gwyn?s inquiry sought to uncover allegations made against Warren Tucker (former head of the Security Intelligence Service), staffers in the Prime Minister?s office (like black-ops man Jason Ede), and Cameron Slater (a ?toxic? hatemonger and terminal ?reprobate? blogger) prior to the 2011 Election.

What?disgusting, disturbing, and treacherous actions….this is politics you numpty.

As for calling me a toxic hatemonger, have you been swallowing the seed of Martyn Martin Bradbury? I bet Larry Williams and Leighton Smith don’t agree with you…or even your own boss.

Then-Labour leader Phil Goff, mistakenly convinced that he hadn’t received an intelligence briefing about the actions of a few Israelis after the Christchurch earthquake, found himself under attack not during Question Time or from his enemies during a media stand-up but from the fly-blown pages of a deranged blog.

Released on Tuesday, Gwyn?s report entirely confirms (as if Nicky Hager?s claims needed more affirmation) that Slater received a tip-off about Goff?s folly, was coached through making an OIA request by Key?s staffer Jason Ede, received his politically-damaging treasure in record time thanks to Tucker?s inability to stay ?politically neutral?, and proceeded to lambast the Labour Party alongside the Government who gleefully kept their hands ?clean? of the entire affair.

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Andrew Little caught in a lie in the first week of the job ? and it?s on record

Phil Goff says he didn’t leak it, then he did, then he didn’t really…so what is the real story?

On Radio NZ on 26 November ? Phil Goff sticks to calls for PM to resign.

Goff gets very aggressive and slippery when pushed.

As you can hear for yourself he?references something he reportedly said the day previously ?on radio”, but this interview was used extensively by 3 News as the basis of the story.

Goff confesses he briefed Andrew Little and Chris Hipkins, as well as telling journalists about the content of the report.? Read more »

Goff gives Inspector-General Gwyn the ‘middle finger’; is Gwyn going to let him?

via Twitter / NewstalkZB

via Twitter / NewstalkZB

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A sane media opinion on the SIS report

The Press editorial takes a considered stance on the SIS inquiry report.

They clearly read the report unlike the editor of the former newspaper of record.

The report, which was officially released yesterday, was commissioned after wild allegations surrounding the release by the SIS of information about a briefing its director had given to then leader of the Opposition Phil Goff on supposed Israeli spies in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake of February 22. Goff denied being told anything and Tucker felt his integrity had been impugned.

Gwyn found, however, that Tucker, in defending himself, had provided an account of the briefing that was “objectively” misleading, by omissions and failure to provide context. The Prime Minister was also misled by the information Tucker provided. When public discussion about the matter blew up, Tucker failed to correct the situation.

Tucker’s errors were undoubtedly serious. He was not as measured and objective as he was required to be. These failures compromised the service’s obligation to appear politically neutral and the service has formally apologised for them, both to Goff and to the Prime Minister.

But contrary to much of the public debate on the matter, Gwyn found no partisan political motive on the part of the SIS or its director. Tucker’s faults were errors of judgment, no more. She also found that no SIS member had improperly leaked information to the blogger Cameron Slater or colluded with him.

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So who leaked the SIS report?

Well, the report has been released, and it was leaked to media the day before.

So who did it and have they broken the law.

The question of breaking the law is an easy one…yes, whoever leaked the report broke the law. I know this because the day before the report was released I received a letter from the Inspector-general outlining the embargo and law that pertained to it and told me in no uncertain terms what would happen should I leak details of the report.

igis

So that makes the law very clear.

Now we come to who could have?leaked the information that the media ran with the day before the report was released.

This is where I think the leaker made a strategic and tactical error.

The number of people privy tot he report details was incredibly small. Worse than that the numbers of copies that were in existence was even smaller.

When I was offered a chance to review the draft report I was only able to read it in a secure location, and under supervision from an authorised person. Once I had read the report then all copies and all pieces of paper were removed from my possession.

I can’t imagine it would have been any different for almost everyone else in the?inquiry, except the politicians who seem to have rules for themselves that places them above everyone else. ? Read more »

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Sore losers

The Internet party continues to delude themselves that they are relevant and are moaning like unpaid hookers.

“The Key administration has plumbed new depths of arrogance and contempt for the notion of politicians being accountable for their actions in its response to today’s hugely embarrassing report by the independent watchdog who maintains oversight over the Security Intelligence Service.

Rather than take the findings of the report by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn on the chin, National sought to bury the report.”

Not fot to govern Aotearoa !

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Journalists whine about delays with OIAs and now they are whining about quick turnaround

Journalists always whine about the turn around time for Official Information Act requests.

They complain that the ministers treat the 20days as stipulated by law as a goal and a delaying tactics.

And yet when a minister who has information to hand and no reason to delay it they now whine it was a quick turn around.

Spare me, these pricks are so slippery when it comes to news.

Judith Collins’ office processed an Official Information Act request in just two days to release an email embarrassing then Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley in 2011.

The revelation comes as ripples from the Dirty Politics saga widened during the weekend after a series of bombshells including:

? Collins stepped down as Justice Minister after an email handed to the prime minister’s office raised questions about her involvement in what leaked emails appear to suggest was a campaign by Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and others to undermine Feeley while he was SFO boss.

? Prime Minister John Key confirmed there would be an inquiry into Collins’s actions in relation to Feeley, with details of the inquiry to be announced today.

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