Hager reveals spying on China

The latest in a series of spying revelations from Nicky Hager focuses on How NZ and US agents plotted to spy on China.

A plot to spy on China is the most damning revelation from the Snowden documents.

I guess that’s relating to New Zealand. We’ve plotted to spy on China? I’m not very shocked. I’d have been shocked if it was revealed we’d never spied on China.

The files show how, under the John Key National Government, spying has been prioritised against China, New Zealand’s largest and most important trading partner.

A 2013 NSA document placed “collection on China” first on a list of targets monitored by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) on behalf of the NSA.

And not surprising that keeping an eye on China is a major priority.

Sure, revelations like this can cause some diplomatic embarrassment. But will they do any more than that?

China is known to be a major perpetrator of espionage on the global stage, and the US Government has repeatedly accused it of hacking into American computer networks.

Last year, China was linked to a hacking attack on a powerful New Zealand supercomputer operated by Niwa, used to conduct weather and climate research.

Wow, China do it too.

But the Snowden documents have shown countries in the so-called “Five Eyes” surveillance alliance – which includes New Zealand, the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia – are just as heavily involved in cyber spying and hacking.

Yeah. Shocking.

Thomas Beagle, Council for Civil Liberties chairman, said the leak of the documents was an important democratic step to allow a level of involvement by the people being governed. “We need to know these things because we can’t practice our diplomatic oversight without it. If we don’t know these things are happening it’s out of the realm of democracy.”

When it comes to ‘spying’ – foreign intelligence – there does need to be some transparency and scrutiny, but there also needs to be some secrecy.

He said other countries used a panel of trusted citizens as the oversight mechanism for intelligence agencies.

Which other countries? How effective is it? Without any details this is meaningless, it says nothing more than ‘New Zealand bad, other countries good’.

What needs to be asked is whether all these drip fed revelations are for the greater good or whether they are potentially damaging to New Zealand.

Hager and Beagle are unlikely to answer that.

The spy wolf is being cried quite a bit. Would we know if something truly concerning is revealed? The Government will be able to bat it off with “that’s just more Hager’.

Leave a comment


  1. Concerned Kiwi

     /  19th April 2015

    Treasonous bastard needs a real lesson, he should receive no recognition from any mediaor people in positions of influence. It is real nice to know as a taxpayer, I am subsidising protection for this piece of human excrement.

  2. pdm

     /  19th April 2015

    More stolen property used for personal gain by Hager.

    CK – You sum him up so well.

  3. kittycatkin

     /  19th April 2015

    He seems not to have learned that nobody likes a tattletale and that security measures are by definition not public knowledge or they’d be useless. Would he expect the police to broadcast that they’re doing surveillance on someone ?

    • Missy

       /  19th April 2015

      Actually Kittycatkin I think he would expect the police to broadcast that they’re doing surveillance on someone!

  4. Missy

     /  19th April 2015

    The reaction to this at The Standard and The Daily Blog highlights what I really don’t understand about the Left in this country. On this they are blaming Key, National and GCSB for potentially putting trade relations with China at risk over these allegations, when surely it should be those revealing the information that should be held responsible for any backlash over it, they are after all the one’s revealing classified information about our Government? This makes me so angry that they are so blind in their hatred of John Key that they are willing to reveal this kind of information and put our trade at risk to score political points against a Government they dislike!

  5. Mike C

     /  21st April 2015

    Fisher is a low-life pond-living-scum who has taken giant paper bags full of cash from Dot.Com in return for writing heaps of articles in the Herald that are totally anti the National Government.


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