Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Interview: Glenn Greenwald

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    evidence. There won’t be any

    For some reason people seem to keep forgetting that in most courts eye witness accounts are considered evidence.

    Thus Snowden's account IS evidence.

    People may question it and challenge it, but dismissing it as non-existent is not reasonable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    He will only say what he is allowed to say. He can not say anything against his ex employers. Not worth the time and you are better off putting some good blues on the stereo, turning it up- then you get real.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Oookay. Sooo, that’s a yes, they can see my banking. Fucking great (not that it’s very interesting, I can assure you).

    Meanwhile, did anyone else read Paul Buchanan on NBR yesterday. Someone asked him what would happen if NZ withdrew from 5 eyes, and if there’d be any security risk.

    The answer: the same as what happens when you leave the mafia. Bang bang. Other than that, not so much. Meaning, the main security risk from 5 eyes is 5 eyes.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Good point. However if only one or a few try to put that against a massed , well lawyered and concerted effort in court most often you don't stand a chance.
    Have you heard of " Honest and Reasonable Belief " - the ultimate get out of jail free card. If you ever come against this and I have ( with a Govt. act ) and expert witness ( a senior Dept of Labour Inspector ) backing you up - you will find it almost impossible to argue. This may sound irrelevant and tenuous but is how DonKey operates all the time - to the best of my knowledge...to the best of my recall etc..

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Remember when most of the country ( and Helen Clark ) did not want NZ troops in any capacity in Afghanistan. They went anyway.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    David Slack's cycle of diminishing Prime Ministerial denials appears to be in action.

    John Key concedes Edward Snowden 'may well be right'

    Prime Minister John Key acknowledged today that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's claim that New Zealanders' data is accessible through the controversial XKeyscore system "may well be right".

    However, he maintained that information will not have been gathered under any Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) mass surveillance programme as the agency doesn't have that capability.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    John Key concedes Edward Snowden ‘may well be right’

    The time honored second part of that phrase is "But I couldn't possibly comment".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • RBentley, in reply to phplad,

    I couldn't find this on the Herald website. Can you provide a link?

    Hamilton • Since Jul 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to phplad,

    Andrea Vanve did something in the herald this morning which has been heavily attacked by a huge swath of aggressive comments. scary.

    I think you mean this? (Vance is a Fairfax reporter, not Herald)

    Yeah, really ugly in the comments section.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    David Slack’s cycle of diminishing Prime Ministerial denials appears to be in action.

    So the PM's an official Slacker, eh? Whouldathunkit?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to RBentley,

    I couldn’t find this on the Herald website. Can you provide a link?

    The link is the headline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The link is the headline.

    He was talking about the Vance piece phplad mentioned.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's worthwhile recalling that a great deal of relevant reporting has been done in the past, and not just by Glenn Greenwald.

    David Fisher reported this from DC-based author Tim Shorrock last year:

    A high-tech United States surveillance tool which sweeps up all communications without a warrant was sent to New Zealand for testing on the public, according to an espionage expert.

    The tool was called ThinThread and it worked by automatically intercepting phone, email and internet information.

    ThinThread was highly valued by those who created it because it could handle massive amounts of intercepted information. It then used snippets of data to automatically build a detailed picture of targets, their contacts and their habits for the spy organisation using it.

    Those organisations were likely to include the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) after Washington, DC-based author Tim Shorrock revealed ThinThread was sent to New Zealand for testing in 2000-2001.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Key is saying any data contributed by the GCSB would have been obtained by a warrant.

    Information about New Zealanders supplied by the GCSB to the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network was limited to that gathered under a warrant.

    "You could not gather information about New Zealanders without a warrant," he said.

    Okay. The GCSB legislation seems to be specific about when information gathered legally can be retained and shared.

    - section 23 says irrelevant material must be destroyed.
    - section 25 sets out when "incidentally obtained intelligence" can be retained and shared. But incidentally obtained intelligence is "obtained in the course of gathering intelligence about the capabilities, intentions, or activities of foreign organisations or foreign persons". Not pursuant to warrants to intercept communications of NZ citizens or residents.

    What I can't find in the legislation is any authority to share with any other person or agency information or intelligence obtained pursuant to a warrant. I understand that generally speaking evidence seized pursuant to warrants is not able to be shared willy nilly - there must be some kind of positive authority.

    So, is what Key describing still illegal?

    (any actual experts in the field please jump in now...)

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Mike Masnick at Techdirt has a take I hadn't considered:

    So, basically all that Key has revealed is that GCSB supported an overly broad cyberattack plan that would let the GCSB take it upon itself to deal with cyberattacks -- a plan so insane that even the US has rejected it -- in part because it would massively increase surveillance.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    The latest from Key:

    Prime Minister John Key cannot rule out the US National Security Agency (NSA) is undertaking mass surveillance of Kiwis' data, but has rejected claims New Zealand's own spies would have access to any such information.

    "What I can say is the GCSB [Government Communications Security Bureau] does not have access to any information through XKeyscore or any other database, unless they basically comply with the New Zealand law, and the New Zealand law forbids that - unless there is a warrant to do so."

    Except as Snowden has said, they do. The only question is whether they filter it by checking the FVEY box or not. Key is claiming they always do. And if you believe that, I have a pair of big white spherical buildings in Marlborough to sell you.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    Key is saying any data contributed by the GCSB would have been obtained by a warrant.

    That's an interesting claim, given that the law says that the GCSB cannot apply for a warrant targeting a New Zealander for intelligence purposes.

    I think someone needs to ask him if he's signed any such warrants.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Flipping those negatives:

    “What I can say is the GCSB [Government Communications Security Bureau] *have* access to any information through XKeyscore or any other database, *if* they basically comply with the New Zealand law, and the New Zealand law *doesn’t* forbid that – *if* there is a warrant to do so.”

    Thanks a lot Izogi:

    The wikipedia page isn’t quite accurate, I don’t think. S5 of the Act says it’s on recommendation “of the Prime Minister following consultation with the Intelligence and Security Committee”,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    "Agendas seem more and more apparent with possible exception on TV anyway of John Campbell."

    Even John Campbell would dispute that assertion. In fact I suspect he would be insulted by it.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah,

    We all know John is more than economical with the truth or maybe he is just a liar. You pick. His history here wouldn't lead you to trust him one little bit.
    Add into all this that he will sign off TPPA as soon as he finds a pen. Well....

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    In line with this I've just heard a quote from the Prime Minister on the 4pm Radio NZ News, saying (paraphrased) that it doesn't matter if the NSA is spying on New Zealanders and he can't control that anyway. All that matters is that the GCSB is complying with the law.

    I can't help but think that in a day and age some time ago, New Zealanders might have considered that the GCSB should actually be taking an active interest in stopping other countries from spying on New Zealanders, or at least putting on a facade of trying.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to izogi,

    All that matters is that the GCSB is complying with the law.

    All that matters is that there is mass surveillance, any old fool can break the law as we’ve already seen with the Kim Dot Com case. John Key knew nothing of that incursion.

    Snowden’s clear:

    I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called “XKEYSCORE.” It allows total, granular access to the database of communications collected in the course of mass surveillance. It is not limited to or even used largely for the purposes of cybersecurity, as has been claimed, but is instead used primarily for reading individuals’ private email, text messages, and internet traffic. I know this because it was my full-time job in Hawaii, where I worked every day in an NSA facility with a top secret clearance.

    All that John Key now appears to be offering as a buffer between GCSB staff and the shared mass surveillance of XKEYSCORE is the ideal that the users won’t tick the NZ box to look at the collected data i.e break the law. vis a vis Kim Dot Com.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • CJM,

    Wow, Tim Watkins and David Slack actually allowed to discuss, with some authority, the real issues of trust, responsibility and ethical implications of the Snowden documents on todays ’The Panel’. Terrific breakdown of Keys statements from sunday to present, from outright denial to admission.
    Excellent stuff!!
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    Remember when most of the country ( and Helen Clark ) did not want NZ troops in any capacity in Afghanistan. They went anyway.

    Remember when most of the country did not want NZ troops in Vietnam. They went anyway

    An then years later it turned out that LBJ had secretly threatened to cut off all our trade ties if we didn’t go and our (National) government acceded without a peep

    I spent most of my teenage years in NZ scared of the draft, the ballot stopped less than 6 months before my 18th birthday

    There’s history here, the sort you are supposed to learn so that you don’t repeat it, I don’t want another generation of kiwi kids to live under that cloud ever

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Remember when most of the country did not want NZ troops in Vietnam. They went anyway

    An then years later it turned out that LBJ had secretly threatened to cut off all our trade ties if we didn’t go and our (National) government acceded without a peep

    This is really interesting: can you provide a reference?

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

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