Tuesday, 25 February 2014

One line in the sand

New Zealand's spy agency, the GCSB, "confirms they do not collect wholesale metadata on New Zealanders and, to the best of their knowledge, American counterpart the NSA does not either."

Everybody's expecting the Snowden revelations for New Zealand to be coming this year.

The GCSB has to know that there's a strong chance that, if they have been collecting metadata or if the Americans have been collecting it here, it'll be revealed in the forthcoming Snowden releases. They'd also know that, if they lied to Parliament, it would be very bad, and that if the Americans were doing it here without GSCB's knowing about it, GCSB would be seen to be incompetent or wilfully ignorant. I further expect that Kiwis wouldn't have much truck with semantic tricks on verb tenses or definitions of "wholesale". And so I must expect that they know that it isn't being done here and hasn't been done here. This makes me happy.

But I wouldn't have believed them if they weren't now operating in the shadow of Snowden. It easier to trust when there's strong chance that lying will both be detected and draw penalties.


  1. Or the data were collected by the Brits?

  2. That would come under the "semantic tricks" bit. As far as I'm concerned, GCSB has assured me that 5 eyes isn't collecting metadata on Kiwis. And if a Snowden revelation shows otherwise, then I will be deeply disappointed.