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NZ To Investigate Illegally Intercepted Data In Dotcom Case 53

Posted by timothy
from the awkward-in-auckland dept.
First time accepted submitter karit writes with this excerpt from Scoop News: "Prime Minister John Key today announced he has requested an inquiry by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the circumstances of unlawful interception of communications of certain individuals by the Government Communications Security Bureau. Mr Key says the Crown has filed a memorandum in the High Court in the Megaupload case advising the Court and affected parties that the GCSB had acted unlawfully while assisting the Police to locate certain individuals subject to arrest warrants issued in the case. The Bureau had acquired communications in some instances without statutory authority."
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NZ To Investigate Illegally Intercepted Data In Dotcom Case

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  • Yay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by NettiWelho (1147351) on Monday September 24, 2012 @02:37AM (#41434101)
    And the wrongdoes will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as if they werent affiliated with the government in any way, right?
    • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dropadrop (1057046) on Monday September 24, 2012 @02:39AM (#41434111)
      No, but they do need to find find out who the "accident" happened to, and ensure the public knows that nobody is responsible for it.
    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure they will.

      There's even a pony in there.
    • by Seumas (6865)

      Dotcom is just fortune that he is like a jabillionaire. Or, rather, if the government(s) don't screw him over, he's theoretically a jabillionaire. If he weren't, he would quickly be an example for all to cower over (which he sort of is, anyway, I guess) or he would be swiftly disappeared. If any of us where in his situation, sans the riches and connections, we would be totally and utterly fucked.

      • Re:Yay! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Monday September 24, 2012 @04:09AM (#41434433)

        If any of us where in his situation, sans the riches and connections, we would be totally and utterly fucked.

        Absolutely.
        But still, two wrongs may make somewhat of a right here. He was probably illegally arrested and because he has bribed half the government someone might actually look into that.
        That seems like a good outcome, even if it happens for a wrong reason.

        • More bad precedents can only be a bad thing in general, but I am vindictive enough to overlook that for the chance of seeing the flunkies enabling this farce to be exposed and shamed....

          Funny thing though, my government is exposed and shamed regularly for doing things that most people simply refuse to believe are actually happening.

          Doesn't seem to be having any impact... Hope they have better...well not luck, perhaps citizens.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      didn't you notice this crime is described as "unlawful", not "criminal"?

    • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @04:04AM (#41434407)

      I'm sure this was just a cry for karma but I suppose I'll try and set a few things straight, anyway.

      1) The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security is elected by the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader jointly. The office responds to public enquiry and has a very large amount of power; the IGIS must also be a required High Court Judge. Both the PM and the leader of the opposition receive IGIS' annual report. They have full and unrestricted access to all facilities, files, or intercept regardless of source or classification. IGIS also has the right to demand an individual or group for questioning and detain non-responders.

      2) It is pretty unlikely that there are one or two wrongdoers in GCSB at fault for the intercept the PM has asked IGIS to investigate. If I had to guess it was collect that should have been discarded (i.e., NZ citizens and/or in support of law enforcement, which is not GCSB's mission and in fact they are specifically disallowed from supporting) that was provided to law enforcement officials upon request instead of the request being denied. The typical approach is not to send the individuals who f'd up to court for treason or something silly but there are likely to be some consequences.

      Typically the agency, GCSB in this case, will pay for the transgressions and a lot of their work will come under a microscope (rightly so). The problem in cases like this is very rarely one or two individuals but some policy, law, or underhanded politics that allowed it all to happen and that's what IGIS goes after.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Same deal for DSD in Australia. I lived through a few enquiries, one or two names from the inspector generals office will drop by the GCSB for coffee and biscuits in the board room then be on their way. What you say is exactly what is supposed to happen. It never does though. The people that gave the green light on this will never even speak to IGIS, the guys and girls that dialed in the intercept system will keep pulling 12 hour shifts as if nothing happened. IGIS is toothless by choice.

    • by Kalriath (849904)

      The GCSB reports to the office of the Prime Minister, so... he'll get right on that.

  • by anth (2631) <ajchapman@gmail.com> on Monday September 24, 2012 @02:41AM (#41434129)

    The other big news in New Zealand related to Kim Dotcom got a very different reaction from the Prime Minister

    John Banks ran for the may of Auckland a few years ago and lost. Dotcom and a few others say that he asked Dotcom for a campaign contribution, and then that it should be two lots of $25000 rather than one donation of $50000 because "I want to help you Kim and I can help you more effectively if no-one knows about this donation". Dotcom's security guard late said that Banks confirmed the cheques had been cleared.

    Banks later signed the declaration about campaign contributions saying that those (and others) were anonymous. He claims that some staffer filled in the form and that he wasn't responsible even though he signed it. He also can't remember flying to and from Dotcom's mansion in Dotcom's helicopter.

    Banks is now the only remaining Member of Parliament for the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers party, having been added to the party shortly before the last election in their only safe seat. Well, it was safe. That party was the most libertarian-leaning in New Zealand. Banks isn't quite that, and any remaining ACT party members probably aren't quite so happy that he is leading changes that look set to spend taxpayer money on schools that teach creationism.

    The police have said that they can't charge him with some things as the statute of limitations has passed, and can't prove other things. Dotcom is talking to the media as much as he can, and going to parliament for photo ops. The police have released their file but say that Banks won't allow his statements to be included. Banks says that was the police's decision.

    Anyway his one vote is needed by the government so the Prime Minister is saying that he accepts Bank's word that he didn't break the law. He refuses to read the police file.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @03:27AM (#41434293)

    So the NZ equivalent of NSA/CIA (if you're American) or GCHQ/SOCA (if you're British) helped the US govt nail sombody over a file sharing site?

    We have various loony groups running all around the world killing people, we have organised crime making gazillions out of drugs, racketeering and people trafficking, but hey, lets focus on Kim Dotcom and nail a fucking file sharing site. Big woopy doo, oh, and lets not even do it by the book, lets do all the processes wrong so they look like complete cunts and get found out.

    If I was the bloody Prime Minister I'd go ballistic not just because they helped the US govt out, not just because they did it illegally but because they were fucking morons in how they did it.

    Anyway, it's early in the morning, I haven't had enough (or any) coffee.

    • Mod up.

    • by Alex Belits (437) *

      I have a strong suspicion that New Zealand does not have much of "loony groups running all around the world killing people" or other things you have mentioned. Not that it's an excuse for co-operating with US while breaking local laws, but I am sure, it's better than sending people abroad to hunt terrists, run overblown war on drugs, or helping organized crime by fighting other organized crime.

    • Don't worry, your tax money is also being spent to aid terrorism and organized crime. Normally none of this is done in accordance with any law or court so these people are in unfamiliar territory. Lesson learned: should have just killed the fat bastard.
  • Scoff all you want (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Monday September 24, 2012 @06:55AM (#41435157)
    It is a well known fact that foxes are very scrupulous and self-critical during any henhouse investigation.
  • It is good to know that signal intelligence agencies everywhere bend and break the law of their own countries. Not because it is good, but because I now know that no country's communications are truly safe.

  • And these people (the USA and NZ governments) are right behind moves to overthrow despots in other nations.

    Hang on... isn't a despot someone who places themselves and their accomplices above the laws that regular citizens must obey (and are often severely punished for if they don't)?

    Kettle black pot -- use these words to create a sentence that describes this situation.

  • The way this National government is going, they are ensuring that the IT industry and the computer geek populace won't be voting for them in the next general election. First the three-strikes internet downloading law, then the Dotcom debacle, and now the government's backtracking on their original anti-software patent stance. All three are seemingly in response to US influence (and most obviously in the case of Dotcom). The NZ Pirate Party and even the Greens are starting to look like good choices.
    • And let's not forget their big non-commitment to creating a knowledge-based economy.

      The best they can do is offer to *give* taxpayers money to companies that are already so successful that they don't need it. And the buggers don't even have to pay it back!

      Where's the support for fresh new startups created by NZ's best and brightest?

      There is none -- so it's no wonder our "best and brightest" head straight from the capping ceremony to the nearest international airport.

    • by Kalriath (849904)

      Let's be serious, noone in the IT industry is going to vote for the pirate party - that's effectively voting for the abolition of your trade.

      • The only real flaw in Pirate Party policy is the abolition of copyright. Also, they would do well to rename themselves to something like the Electronic Freedom Party as the word Pirate has too many negative connotations.

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