Watching the Spooks:

by Patrick O'Brien

Image: Patrick O'Brien - self portraitSelf portrait ~ Copyright 2012 © Patrick O’Brien

‘Government Communications Security Bureau’

Last September, many Kiwis were shocked to learn their GCSB had been caught-out illegally spying on New Zealanders. This news should not have surprised for, other than their target being Kim Dotcom, there was nothing particularly unique about the case — the New Zealand Government has been spying illegally on its own citizens for many years. I know this because I was involved:

“And so it was, that, in the 1970s, when the New Zealand Police first established covert surveillance squads to spy on its citizens, I was a member of that first team. We worked in secrecy, and because bugging devices were illegal at that time, we simply smuggled their components into the country and had them built by our own technicians. There was no provision in law for their use — so we simply burgled the homes and premises of our targets to plant them.” ~ Patrick O’Brien

Caught red-handed, the Government promised us a review of their spooks’ activities. The Kitteridge Report — released yesterday — makes a sobering read. Since 2003, more than 80 New Zealanders have been spied on illegally and I’ve posted a selection of references, Links, editorials, and related commentaries, over on my Wall at Google-Plus:

Watching the Spooks