A few thoughts on the police and the GCSB

A few thoughts on the release of the Executive Summary of the police investigation into illegal spying at the GCSB.

1. GCSB say trust us, but won’t cooperate with investigation:

A number of GCSB staff exercised their legal rights and refused to answer questions to assist police with their investigation into a very serious breach of the crimes act.

These are the people who operate with minimal oversight and are given enormous powers to access all our emails, mobile phone calls etc – the people John Key just gave even more intrusive powers to, and who say we just have to trust them to operate legally.

These people refused to assist police into a serious breach of the crimes act by the GCSB.

So the GCSB once again has shown it can’t be trusted; it is a rogue agency operating outside the law, populated by people who will not help police enforce the law.

2. The police don’t care that much:

The police response to this was to do nothing to force information disclosure. They did not get warrants to read these peoples emails, text messages.

Compare this to the police treatment of Bradley Ambrose the reporter who recorded the tea pot tape conversations between John Key and John Banks. Police got warrants to read the text messages between Ambrose and his lawyers, between Ambrose and the media. Police raided the media.

The tea pot tape recording was a much less serious potential breach of the crimes act, in fact it is not clear that the recording was intentional, and it is not clear that the conversation was even private.

So in a very serious breach of the crimes act by a government agency that refused to completely cooperate with the police investigation, the police response was hands off. No warrants, no forced information disclosures. A nice chat amongst the chaps.

3. NSA fingerprints:

The report suggests very strongly that the source for the information about Dotcom was the Prism system operated by the NSA and that the GCSB has access to the NSA database about NZ electronic communications.

The GCSB were only pinged for one interception that they carried out themselves. The rest of the information they had about Kim Dotcom was ruled by the police to not meet the evidential test for ‘interception’ because it couldn’t be established that it was collected ‘in transit’ (the legal definition of interception) as opposed to ‘at rest’, ie from a stored database.

This other information was provided to the GCSB, they didn’t collect it themselves which is why apparently they couldn’t tell if it was collected in transit or at rest. But by whom? Not the police. The SIS? No mention of them in this case. Most likely it’s come from Prism.

17 Comments Posted

  1. It seems every one broke the law AGAINST kim dotcom

    The police got caught committing perjury

    The GCSB were breaking the law

    The police have let them off for breaking the law …..

    The police warrant and raid against him were totally over the top, illegal and botched.

    John Key says he knew new nothing about the biggest raid in co-operation with the FBI in this country ……

    Yes, there certainly is a whole lot of people who would like Kim Dotcom to go away………. people in power who were telling lies or breaking the law.

    Thank god the judge’s in dotcoms case are not as bent and corrupted as the politicians, police and GCSB have been.

    I’m eagerly awaiting Dotcoms day in court

    Unlike John Key I bet 🙂

  2. The offences involved a technical breach of regulations, were “relatively minor”, and resulted in conviction on eight charges and a fine of HK$8000 (NZ$1250).

    Yip real sure the Chinese spies have so little on their plate that they’re involved in this, not.

    And again you try to twist the discussion to be about Dotcom personally.

    Now, i’m in the territory of answering a fool according to his folly, so i think i’ll leave it there unless you have something a little less silly to say.

  3. Maybe the Chinese spy agencies passed some information onto the GCSB?.

    Billionaire Kim Dotcom was convicted on eight business charges in a Hong Kong court just a month after being granted conditional residency in New Zealand, it has been revealed.


    This Dotcom fellow sure leaves a trail of misery behind. Guess as long as Dr Norman has his corner all will be sweet in fairy tale land.

    More background information for you


    Here is a fraudster who is going to sue the Chinese, New Zealand and US governments, being investigated by the SIS and the FBI.

    But hey, you and Dr Norman want to ride the coat tails of this gentleman, go ahead with your five fingered prism conspiracy meme.

  4. The GCSB help the police break the law …..

    And the police help the GCSB break the law.

    So john key helps them all break the law by making the breaking of previous laws lawful

    …. and Kim Dotcom must be a TERRORIST ………. otherwise why have 70 odd police, many of them armed …… and a helicopter or two …. to raid some-one for copy-wright bullshit.

    The police need a good broom put through them.

    The GCSB needs to be disbanded before they stuff our technology and communications industry, or trade relations with non five eyes countries.

    And the serial liar john key needs to be removed from office for the first two to happen.

  5. Why would the New Zealand Police need to use the GCSB to get information from the German Police? Police co-operate internationally through Interpol, and intellectual property crime is within their brief. The spy agencies of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Britain and the USA cooperate through an alliance of intelligence operations known as Five Eyes. If the GCSB had passed on information that it had not collected itself, then the the only obvious source would be the Five Eyes partners.

  6. Yes Solka where did they get the information from? Could it be from the German police?

    In 1994, he was arrested by German police for trafficking in stolen phone calling card numbers. He was held in custody for a month, released and arrested again on additional hacking charges shortly afterwards. He was eventually convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud, 10 counts of data espionage, and an assortment of other charges.


    But if you are happy to take Dr Normans fairy tale fable as gospel, good for you. no proof, no references, no facts, nothing but what a furtile imagination wants to read into the report to suit his story.

    Others might like to see a great deal more proof then hearsay from a politician.

  7. Gerrit you misquote the Executive Summary:

    Read para 23. “The origin of the data could not be established”.

    23. Because of the origin of the data supplied to GCSB it could not be established to an evidential standard whether the data was gathered at rest or in transit. …

    It was the “rest or transit” bit that could not be established, “because of the origin of the data”. The origin of the data had ever been in question.


    the investigation could not establish whether it was gathered at rest or in transit when it was acquired

    This only says the state it was in when it was collected is not known. If the information was provided by, say, Telecom, this would be exactly the situation that would pertain.
    I think you have a tendency to read into statements meanings that the authors did not intend. I cannot agree that the passage you have quoted “suggests very strongly” anything at all other than rest-or-transit state of the data was not known.

  9. 37. For the remainder of the data collected by GCSB the investigation could not establish whether it was gathered at rest or in transit when it was acquired. GCSB could not provide the investigation with this information as they did not have it.

    So the GCSB had a big pile of information on Dotcom but had absolutely no idea how it was collected. Of course they do know wHere they got it from but just ain’t telling. But as Russel points out: Not the police. The SIS? No mention of them in this case.

    So Dave and Gerrit, where did they get the information if not from prism?

  10. Solka,

    Lets play your game then.

    Except for paragraph 12 that refers to the FBI request (sorry the pdf of the report wont allow copy and paste function) for information on the convicted fraudster Kim Dotcom, there is absolutely no reference to, as Dr Norman so breathlessly claims to

    The report suggests very strongly that the source for the information about Dotcom was the Prism system operated by the NSA and that the GCSB has access to the NSA database about NZ electronic communications.

    Total rubbish that anyone but the FBI was requesting information and where in the executive summary is the statment of fact that NZL GCSB agent had access to the NSA database?

    Jeez, if you are going to make claims, back them up with facts, Dr Norman. Not backing up with facts makes this scaremongering at best and pure lies at worst.

    Read para 23. “The origin of the data could not be established”. That is a long way away from a conspiracy theory and Dr Normans above statement.

  11. OK

    “A number of GCSB staff exercised their legal rights ”

    “The police response to this was to do nothing to force” THESE STAFF TO GIVE UP THEIR RIGHTS

    So far we have a none event.
    Don’t like it, get the law changed.
    Don’t have the political numbers to change the law, work harder on convincing the electorate that your electoral manifesto is the one to vote for.

    “The report suggests very strongly that the source for the information about Dotcom was the Prism system operated by the NSA and that the GCSB has access to the NSA database about NZ electronic communications.”
    THIS is opinion, I don’t see in the report this “very strong” suggestion, and even if the “suggestion” is right, so what? Should we stop sharing information with other governments? Get real, there is a war going on, the nice guys vs. terrorists, and as far as I’m concerned we should do everything possible to win it once and for all; yes, there will be innocents caught up in such an approach to waging the war, but innocents HAVE ALWAYS been hurt in wars.

    My critique –

  12. Dave and Gerrit display their desperation here again.

    Dave suggests that the lack of comments on this post makes it a non-issue, rather than the more obvious conclusion that Russel has made everything clear leaving nothing left to add.

    Gerrit in turn attempts to spin the issue to be about Dotcom personally, rather than abuse of power. Talk about flogging a dead horse!

    Anybody out there keen to actually critique what Russel has written?

  13. Come on, Mr Lee. New Zealand is a “five eyes” country, and thus is up to its neck in everything you might think the NSA are up to. We are a full partner, so if you think that the USA and/or the NSA are the problem, then we are the problem too. As is the UK, Australia and Canada.

    Which, in the wider sense, makes it odd, that whatever one thinks of Mr Dotcom, that he would even consider setting up servers in New Zealand. Fortunately, simple economics have kyboshed that idea, his servers being (I understand) in Germany. Over there he’s only got the Stasi to worry about, bunch of pussies they turned out to be.

  14. Take a hint Dr Norman, the convicted fraudster Kim Dotcom is past his used by date in New Zealand.

    Only loved by the New Zealand Herald. Time he faced up to his responsibilities and presented his case to the courts in the USA.

  15. Some of us moved to NZ to escape the increasingly blatant corruption of the authoritarians in the US. It is *deeply* troubling to see NZ organizations following their lead. New Zealand is better than that.

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