What the GCSB are really saying

GCSB decides it no longer needs warrants to access Five Eyes intelligence

Electronic spy agency GCSB has decided it no longer needs a warrant to request intelligence from its Five Eyes partners.

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has decided that under the law, it doesn’t need a warrant to obtain intelligence from partner agencies in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, but it will continue to obtain warrants when requesting intelligence on New Zealand citizens.

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Brendan Horsley raised concern about the “significant issue” in his latest annual report, published on Wednesday, questioning whether there would be sufficient oversight and ministerial supervision of the GCSB’s intelligence gathering from partner agencies.

Horsley also said the Security Intelligence Service (SIS), which conducts human intelligence or physical spying, had “rapidly expanded” its collection of intelligence data as it conducted “target discovery”.

This flew under the Covid radar but what the GCSB are really saying here through coded language is that NZ will now subcontract its vetting of Chinese students and visitors to the other 4 spy agencies to try and catch out obvious spies.

The legal fig leaf for this mass vetting of Chinese nationals is the pretense that information sourced from Australia, Britain, America and Canada will have been collected legally.

This is a total fiction post the Snowden revelations which revealed the NSA collected information illegally on an every day basis!

By sidestepping the legal obligations of a warrant, the GCSB have allowed the mass surveillance of anyone entering NZ and no one really noticed.


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