The GCSB and the SIS were asked whether they get funding directly or indirectly from the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States.Today:
Both withheld the information. They also refused to say whether any foreign government paid for any positions within the agencies.
However, they did confirm that they do not collect wholesale metadata on New Zealanders and, to the best of their knowledge, American counterpart the National Security Agency does not either.
@ggreenwald on RNZ: Snowden says he personally worked with large amounts of metadata on New Zealanders provided to XKeyscore by GCSB.Vodafone is setting up cable and internet at our new house this morning. I should then be able to watch tonight's relevant programming.
— Felix Geiringer (@BarristerNZ) September 14, 2014
If GCSB and the SIS were just playing semantics over the term "wholesale", I call that a lie.
I wrote in February:
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.I hope to stay happy.
Update: here's the RadioNZ interview with Greenwald.