…but how much is our government involved?
A Waikato Times editorial points out some major concerns over the Dotcom fiasco.
In a brief media statement Prime Minister John Key heightened suspicions that this country’s relationship with the United States has become one of servility rather than friendship.
The statement said the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has been asked to inquire into “the unlawful interception of communications of certain individuals” by the Government Communications Security Bureau.
It seems unlikely we will ever know the full truth about the circumstances surrounding GCSB’s breach of the law, despite the prime minister’s recognition that intelligence-agency operations depend on public trust. He wants us to believe this was a rare error, rather than egregious wrongdoing by agents keen to help the Americans bring Mr Dotcom to book, by hook or by crook.
Mr Dotcom is wanted in the US to face nothing more threatening than breaches of copyright laws. The GCSB’s involvement – like so much about this case, including FBI agents, helicopters, heavily armed police and botched search warrants – has turned the pursuit of him and the operations of our law-enforcement agencies into the stuff of farce.
It is preposterous to suggest Mr Dotcom threatens our national security. The Government’s unquestioning readiness to co-operate with American authorities, on the other hand, seriously corrodes our claims to be an independent state.
But we don’t know how much the Government has been involved in co-operating with American authorities.
We know that the police have been heavily involved in what appears to be a gungho operation panedering to the FBI. And both pandering to Hollywood business interests and overdoing Hollywood type dramatics.
And the police involved the GCSB – that is a major concern, even though that involvement appears to have been on a relatively minor scale.
But so far, despite many accusations, there is scarce evidence of Government involvement.
So while New Zealand police and spies look to be guilty of overkill the Waikato Times seems to be over-emphasising the known Government role.
There should be a clear separation between policing and governing, and ironically most criticisms of John Key and his government have been that he has been too separated from the GCSB he has overall responsibility for.