The GCSB illegal spying story broke just after 1 pm yesterday after an official announcement by John Key – Prime Minister requests inquiry. It exploded on Twitter, followed soon after by a slew of media reports.
David Farrar was on to it quickly at Kiwiblog – GCSB acted unlawfuly in Megaupload case - posted at 1.18 pm. He commented:
There have been so many stuff ups by law enforcement in this case, that once the court action is concluded it could be worth having a wider inquiry into the entire way NZ authorities deal with extradition cases such as this.
It’s good there is no attempt to hide what happened, and that there will be a formal inquiry into what the GCSB did, and who was responsible for authoring actions that they did not have authority for.
Whale Oil posted on it mid afternoon – Inquiry into GCSB.
Imperator Fish posted at 4.16 pm: The Dotcom Shambles: A New Chapter
I’m not the biggest fan of Kim Dotcom, but his treatment at the hands of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies has been nothing short of disgraceful.
Today we learn that intelligence agencies may have been unlawfully intercepting communications by Dotcom and one of his co-accused.
No doubt US authorities have been pushing our law enforcement and intelligence agencies hard, because they want Dotcom extradited and jailed, as an example to others.
But that’s no excuse for the series of poor calls made by our own people. We expect them to be independent and to act with integrity. They have failed.
When the matter of Dotcom’s extradition has been settled there must be an official enquiry into the conduct of our police and intelligence agencies over this matter. There is something very troubling going on within these organisations, and we should not trust them to put things right themselves.
Dim-Post posted at 6.16 pm: Stuff I’d like to read in a political column on the GCSB/Dotcom story
When intelligence agencies make mistakes they usually manage to convince their political masters that it’s ‘not in the public interest’ for their incompetence/law-breaking to be revealed. Why hasn’t that happened this time? Did this information come out through the discovery process in one of Dotcom’s court cases, and the government is pre-empting that revelation by announcing it themselves? Or is Key just ‘doing the right thing’?
(I’d also like to go on record predicting no one will be held accountable for this. Any illegality will be due to a faulty ‘process’, that needs to be ‘reviewed’.)
As usual from Graeme Edgeler a detailed informed post at 2.45 am this morning – Kim Dotcom and the GCSB:
When allegations of illegal behaviour are made, it is usual for lawyers like me to pontificate on whether laws have been broken, and by whom. But we appear to have a different situation here. The conclusion of illegality appears to be agreed by everyone with any of the facts. Ian Fletcher, the Director of the GCSB, the PM, Crown Law and others seem to be in general agreement – someone in the GCSB did something illegal. Who and what is no publicly clear, but may become moreso following the investigation.
Feel free to speculation wildly. But, you know, don’t be a dick :-)
All fairly typical blogger action. And what about the flagship of the left, The Standard? A few comments appeared in the Open Mic from 1.53 pm. Of the number of authors Bunji managed a post by 11.31 pm last night – Cynical Key:
So Key knew about the GCSB’s ‘unlawful’ actions for a week before he bothered to tell us.
He happened to know that this Monday state owned companies would be announcing they were causing the loss of 500-600 jobs (including contractors). A terrible story for the economy.
Only one story would get its full due of airtime.
He had to tell us about the GCSB illegality before the next court appearance in a couple of days. He could have been upfront and honest and told us 1 week ago, straight after calling in the Inspector-General. But no, he wanted to hide his complete lack of oversight. His complete loss of control of his department.
The investigation into whether his “don’t read, don’t care” philosophy went beyond Banks to his oversight of important national security issues.
Then it became clear it would come out. So then it was a matter of when to slip the bad news out. And before you can say “Media Management 101″ it’s scheduled Monday afternoon in the middle of the job loss announcements.
Yes, cynical. Oodles of cynicism from Bunji based on nothing but wild speculation. Tardy Standard.
Why was Key’s accouncement timed for yesterday afternoon? We can only guess, or like Bunji accuse the worst. But I saw media discussing it on Twitter and this was reported by Newstalk ZB at 1.18 pm in People illegally spied on in Kim Dotcom case:
Our political editor Barry Soper says this is the latest in a series of revelations of botched actions by the authorities over the raid.
He says the timing of John Key’s announcement’s interesting, given the raid was made on behalf of the Americans.
Barry Soper says he was clearly not wanting to upset them when their defence secretary was visiting last week, which was when he knew his spy department had carried out illegal acts.
That sounds credible. Bunji may not have had time to read any media reports. Or just makes things up regardless.
For detailed legal comments read Graeme Edgeler – Kim Dotcom and the GCSB.