There is something wonderful and humbling about how quickly nature reclaims her territories. Near where I live in North London there is an ancient cemetery, the Islington and St Pancras cemetery, which is long since full and there seems to be a program of giving the older graves and sections back to the earth. And so quickly she takes them.
they have very little that isn’t circumstantial to say about that issue.
Sorry - I should have been clearer - by "that issue" I meant "that the National Government lied about it", not that the Metadata scrubbing happens at all. Of course it does (why would NZ be special?). Now John Key plays the gormless larrikin, but he chooses his words carefully. He has not said that metadata has not been read - he has said that GCSB hasn't read it.
"There is not, and never has been, a cable access surveillance programme operating *in New Zealand*.
There is not, and never has been, mass surveillance of New Zealanders undertaken by the GCSB.
Neither Snowden nor Greenwald can speak to that.
I don't think that Dotcom's reveal is necessarily a fake
Don't you? I do, on its face it is clearly a fake. Just read it:
Hi Mike. We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for.
“Your groundwork in New Zealand is paying off. I see strong support for our anti-piracy effort. John Key told me in private that they are granting Dotcom residency despite pushback from officials about his criminal past. His AG will do everything in his power to assist us with our case. VIP treatment and then a one-way ticket to Virginia.
“This is a game changer. The DOJ is against the Hong Kong option. No confidence in the Chinese. Great job,”
Come on: If you were writing a Jerry Bruckheimer screenplay and you wanted to get to the reveal super quick, then that's the sort of email you'd have Dr Evil write to his (er) henchman.
Not even Richard Nixon would write something as incriminating or stupid as that.
This is all good stuff. But with the whole Dotcom sideshow, I wonder if the point is being missed here:
It is within a sovereign government's gift to do all of the things that Snowden/Greenwald allege. We might not like it, but it is. And just because we don't like it, doesn't mean the public at large don't like it: judging by the (extraordinarily!) blase reaction of many New Zealanders, wholesale metadata scrubbing would probably not be politically controversial.
What *would be* controversial, if made out, is the allegation that John Key, or National government, either lied about it, or was deceptive about it when the GSCB bill went through the supposedly transparent public legislative process. That is the allegation that has the potential to bring down this government.
But however persuasive Edward Snowden or Glen Greenwald can be that metadata scrubbing happens, they have very little that isn't circumstantial to say about that issue.
This is why Dotcom's reveal was such a fail. That would have been an equivalent smoking gun: That would show real mendacity. But it looks obviously faked. It's not even a good effort: It's hard to believe anyone could be taken in by it. Therefore it dramatically undermines Dotcom's credibility - which had been holding up really pretty well until now. This was a big, big, airshot.
So, with respect, I think the NZ Media is quite right to focus on that.