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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fifth corner of the PRISM

It is rather telling that both the PM - the Minister in charge of the NZ spy agencies - and the former head of the GCSB are clueless about the PRISM metadata trawling undertaken with dubious legality by the American government.

A former director of the Government Communication Security Bureau says the agency never used information gathered by the top-secret United States intelligence monitoring programme under his watch.
Sir Bruce Ferguson told Nine to Noon his staff never cooperated with Prism.
But he was not able to confirm to the programme whether or not anyone knew of the existence of the programme.

Ferguson says he didn't know, so he doesn't know whether any information was used or not - he's out of the loop. And he's out of touch - which is perhaps why he was chosen for the role. There's no-one more discreet than someone who is completely ignorant.

NZ Herald:
Former GCSB boss Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson said the sacrifice made to enjoy the relationship was small - even though New Zealand was extremely unlikely to suffer a terrorist incident like the September 11, 2001 attacks."We are a democratic, free country because of others, not because of us. That's the way it is when you're a small country."

Ferguson was a small cog in a machine that is really run by and for others and is comfortable being a tiny tool for their purposes. He thinks the NZ security institutions are weak and ineffective on their own without assistance from the big powers. What he doesn't seem to acknowledge though is that the vaunted democracy and freedom he uses to justify spying is not premised at all upon whoring one's country off to foreigners. Switzerland, for example, is democratic and free without military alliances.

What Ferguson seems to mean when he says democracy is threatened by not having spying is that the nation could be either invaded or taken over internally by anti-democratic forces if we didn't co-operate with the US. The fact is starkly opposite: if we stopped co-operating with the US and the UK then our democracy would really be in jeopardy because they would use anti-democratic methods to destabalise and overthrow our government to suit them in the same ways they have all around the world.

And as for "freedom" - NZ cannot be free because of a dependent relationship with others. NZ is only as free as NZ's big power chums let it be free. The freedom is illusory. NZ has the freedom to enforce the American's bullshit copyright laws, the freedom to enact union-bashing laws, the freedom to enact laws to protect off-shore foreign oil corporations, the freedom to be like America. That is not my idea of being free.

He said there was a certain amount of naivete in the New Zealand public about the dangers faced. "Don't look at the cataclysmic 9/11 things - they are extremely unlikely to happen here. It could be nothing more complex than some foreign power or foreign organisation with the flick of a switch turning off Wellington's sewerage system, or if there is a bit of a problem with a trade agreement, suddenly we find power goes off in certain cities. It's not necessarily going to kill anybody but would certainly damage our economy."I would think it does matter if the hospitals all lost their power for 24 hours [and] those on life support systems start dying, or you'd have to evacuate Wellington within 36 hours if the sewerage system failed.

Ferguson is giving a briefing to would-be terrorists about how to cripple Wellington! Unbelievable. The Hong Kong-based Chinese-backed billionaire who bought Wellington's local power line company is clearly the centre of that scenario. And so we have the whoring off of NZ assets to the Chinese being held up as some sort of justification for having the Americans (and everyone else)spying on us all?

But Sir Bruce said information sharing was governed by "protocols". "No country wants any other country intentionally or unintentionally looking on their own citizens."
He said it made sense to share information "likely to end up in a terrorism incident" in a friendly country.
"You don't want to know all about 9/11 before it happens but then after say 'I told you so' or 'I knew about that but didn't think I should tell you'. That would make your friendship last about five seconds."

Didn't the Americans know about the French agents before they attacked the Rainbow Warrior?


At 15/6/13 5:23 pm, Anonymous mcclairy said...

Not only the USans knew about the planned bombing of the Rainbow Warrior but "Our "former" Mother Country" -UK knew - then the Australians shat all over us by refusing to allow the NZ police to pick up the French crew escaping from Norfolk Island. As they say, with friends like that who needs enemies. And Key expects us to trust these turkey's ? I don't even trust Key, his allowing Bridges to pass draconian laws preventing Kiwis the "Right" of protest at sea. Where does that place the rest of us who protested in the AK harbour when a mighty big nuclear armed and powered USS warship floated into our beaches in the early 80's? The Bill of Rights is slowly, slowly being trashed, one law ata time.


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