CIA files: political intrigue, Australian ‘dismay’, and radical Maori

The CIA release was part of its archiving of all 25-year-old ”non exempt” records.

A mass publication of declassified CIA documents reveal the extent of United States’ intelligence interest in New Zealand during the height of nuclear tensions between the two countries.

The database of previously-confidential documents, published by the CIA this week, contains reports which delve deep into New Zealand’s domestic and international affairs

Swelling anti-nuclear sentiment in the South Pacific during the 1980s was the predominant focus of CIA analysts at the time, and this focus shifted to the political fallout after the 1984 election.

Our prime ministers, race relations and stroppy kinship with Australia were also of considerable interest to US intelligence officials.

A 1982 intelligence report for the US director of intelligence flags the growing movement for a nuclear ban in the South Pacific – and the nuclear-nation was concerned their naval influence could be dented

“Such restrictions would impede movement of US warships in the vital lanes between the United States and Australia and New Zealand.”

Reports show the CIA were well across developments in “maverick” Vanuatu and neighbouring Fiji, who both refused American warships in 1982.

“However overdrawn, anti-nuclear sentiment in the area is genuinely felt and not easily modified,” the report advises.

At the time, the US thought Australia and New Zealand would diplomatically advocate for nuclear ships on a political level.

But there was concern that these efforts might be “diluted” by public sentiment in both countries.

New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon was a likely – if at times tacit – ally for US nuclear interests in the region.

As anti-nuclear sentiment in the Pacific built, many reports about the impending July 1984 election in New Zealand were filed about the prospect of a Labour victory.

“Muldoon faces major obstacles in his bid for a fourth term,” one report says.

Prime Minister Robert Muldoon was the subject of a candid CIA biography.
NZ ON SCREEN
Prime Minister Robert Muldoon was the subject of a candid CIA biography.

Any renegotiation of ANZUS under a Labour government led by David Lange would have “serious implications” for defence co-operation, and while NZ officials promised a compromise, the CIA was far from assured.

“We are not so sanguine.”

At the time, 40 per cent of the US naval fleet was nuclear-powered.

The CIA said Lange was charismatic but unable to unify the Labour party of the mid-80s.
file
The CIA said Lange was charismatic but unable to unify the Labour party of the mid-80s.

Behind closed doors, Lange conceded that he considered nuclear propulsion – but not nuclear weapons – safe. One CIA report speculates he had failed to convince his caucus of the same.

And, it wasn’t just the Labour party which presented concern for US intelligence officials.

Consideration was given to property magnate Bob Jones’ New Zealand Party, which looked to split the conservative vote.

The CIA archive has millions of pages that can be searched by the public.
AP
The CIA archive has millions of pages that can be searched by the public.

The historic 1984 election saw Lange’s Labour party come into power, and responding to public concern, barred American ships from New Zealand ports.

A president-approved memo to top US government officials in February of the following year illustrates New Zealand’s fall from grace in the eyes of the US.

“New Zealand knows that it cannot expect to continue to receive preferential treatment and consideration in the economic area which it might have enjoys as a closer ally.”

Though, it was stressed as important that no perceivable economic sanctions be implemented.

Directions were given that an “interagency group” promote the US viewpoint in New Zealand.

“In the meantime, the people of New Zealand are still our friends, and the door remains open to the return of an old ally.”

The “port access issue”, or barring of US warships from our ports, remained the status-quo until November 2016, when the USS Sampson visited New Zealand and aided the Kaikoura earthquake recovery effort.

And with that, an old ally returned.

Muldoon v Lange

“For nearly a decade, Muldoon has dominated New Zealand politics … they have continued to vote for this ‘man they love to hate’,” a 1984 report on the New Zealand political climate says.

The US, who considered Muldoon a supporter of ANZUS (a military pact between Australia, New Zealand and the United States), was long-wooed by US leadership.

When Muldoon visited the US in 1981, a briefing note encouraged American president Ronald Reagan to compliment the Prime Minister with a “candid” discussion on a international summit.

“The fact that you had taken him into your confidence on this matter would be helpful in giving him the stature he seeks.”

The same briefing advised offering “an expression of hope” that Muldoon will win the 1981 election – which he did.

In a candid 1984 biography of Muldoon – one of the New Zealand’s most divisive leaders of the modern era – the agency’s East and Southeast Asia desks discussed his abrasiveness and combative style as a National party stalwart.

This abrasiveness was not typically a New Zealand trait, the report said.

It expanded on Muldoon’s sought “stature”, saying he “fancied” himself as a “senior statesmen” in the realm of international finance.

He was a staunch ally of the US and generally satisfied with market access but a Labour victory could cause difficulties with the US-New Zealand relationship. The report writer’s biggest concern was the closing of ports if Labour won the next election (they did).

On Muldoon, he was politically dominant, atypical, and combative with a capacity, the report said.

“He is a tough taskmaster and devastates any associate who is not in full command of the facts of the matter, according to political observers.

“Unable to come up with policies of its own to cure New Zealand’s economic ills, Labor sees political benefit in identifying with a fear of nuclear contamination that is widespread and growing in New Zealand and which spans the political spectrum.”

Just as the prospect of a Labour election win in 1984 was not welcomed, Labour leader David Lange was not favoured by US government figures.

Described as a “charismatic orator”, in a later report, Lange was seen as inexperienced and unable to unify a factional Labour party cabinet except on the anti-nuclear issue.

There’s speculation Lange’s hard anti-nuclear stance was somewhat accidental.

“His penchant for speaking off the cuff in press interviews inched him into a trap from which he could not extricate himself.”

Calling the Lange government’s economic reforms a “calculated gamble” the CIA analysts were not convinced it would pay off, saying sustained growth was unlikely.

“If the economy splutters – for whatever reason – the Labor party will be held responsible in the next election.”

Maori radicalism

In a fascinating report into racial tensions in New Zealand, a 1988 memo from the Office of East Asian Analysis, described the land claim battles as iwi leaders fought for the return of ancestral land.

Relations were strained between Maori and Pakeha, the report said.

“Although the risk of racial violence is small, tensions are likely to increase as the slumping economy swells unemployment among the Maori, and as public resentment builds against Maori demands.”

European New Zealanders were “complacent” in their view of race relations, but Maori activists were challenging the country, an underclass had developed in Auckland, and free market economics were likely to widen the income gap.

“Despite Wellington’s efforts to defuse racial tensions through economic and legislative reforms, the Maori underclass will most likely expand as the Maori population grows, suggesting that racial tensions will persist.”

Maori radicalism was another component and the visit of trade union leader Syd Jackson to Libya – then an international pariah – caught the CIA’s attentions.

“We believe, nonetheless, that the Maoris’ growing political influence could have an indirect effect on Wellington’s foreign nationals…According to the US embassy in Canberra, Australian officials are concerned that racial strife could eventually undermine Wellington’s traditional Western outlook and weaken support in New Zealand for defence and foreign policy links to Australia.”

US on ANZAC

CIA analysts also made some on-the-money comments about New Zealand and Australia’s relationship.

In the 70s and 80s, the anti-nuclear movement and the contentious issue of US warships and port access were high on the agenda.

In one document, the New Zealand stance led to the distancing of trans-Tasman relations with Canberra. Australian officials were worried a failure to find a resolution could spell the end of relations between the US and the two Pacific countries.

Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke had been criticised as being overly accommodating to the US and was at some risk of being seen as “carrying messages for Washington.”

“This distancing stems from Australian dismay over the antinuclear policies of Lange’s government, particularly its ban on port calls by nuclear ships.

“[Australian PM Bob] Hawke believes Lange’s unyielding stance threatens the ANZUS relationship with the United States and also encourages antinuclear agitation from the left wing of his own Labor Party…Canberra will continue to consult with Washington but will hold back from any approaches to Wellington that could be taken as interference.

“Australian annoyance with Wellington is obvious to all but the New Zealanders…Canberra, nevertheless, finds it politically imperative to take a low-key approach to Wellington. The New Zealanders are quick to see as patronizing any attempt by their larger neighbour to discuss bilateral issues.”

In the Muldoon biography, the writer likened Australia and New Zealand to a bickering family.

“New Zealand places great importance on relations with its large neighbour, despite the almost familial irritants that crop up between them.”

What are the CREST files?

CREST stands for CIA Records Search Tool. The CIA released a searchable archive of some 12 million pages this week, the largest collection of declassified records accessible online.

Previously, documents were available to the public from four terminals at the national archives in Washington, but now 930,000 documents are available on the agency’s electronic reading room.

A freedom of information group, MuckRock, and journalists have been calling for online access for years. MuckRock sued the CIA in June 2014, and in early 2015 a MuckRock user began fundraising to manually scan and digitise the records himself.

The CIA relented, and published a digital archive this week.

It is part of a regular archive process whereby all relevant “non-exempt” 25-year-old records are reviewed, declassified and archived. A trove of material includes reports, analyses, and memos on foreign relations, war crimes, the paranormal, and projects investigating telepathy.

JOHN EDENS AND THOMAS MANCH
Last updated 18:10, January 19 2017

Find this story at 19 January 2017

© 2017 Fairfax New Zealand Limited

Five Eyes’ countries to meet on anti-terrorism fight -Canada

OTTAWA, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The five nations that make up the world’s leading intelligence-sharing network will meet in London next month to confer on strategies to fight terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks, Canada said on Tuesday.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said the so-called Five Eyes – the United States, Australia, Canada, Britain and New Zealand – had scheduled a meeting for Jan 22.

A Canadian government official later said the five would actually meet in London some time in February.

Blaney’s comments were unusual, since members of the Five Eyes network rarely talk about its activity.

“We’re going to have a meeting with our Five Eyes allies in London … and this is serious stuff. Terrorism will be there” on the agenda, he told CTV television.

U.S. intelligence officials have shared with their French counterparts information related to the travel history of those suspected of involvement in the Paris attacks, in which a total of 17 people died, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday.

Blaney gave no more details of the London meeting, save to say that U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson would be present.

Separately, the Canadian government official said the London event had been scheduled before the Paris attacks.

“The Five Eyes regularly meet to discuss shared concerns and approaches,” he said.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that the fight against terrorism would be “a major focus” of the meeting but declined to give more details.

The five nations that comprise the group divide the world into eavesdropping target sectors and share the results. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Grant McCool and Lisa Shumaker)

Source: Reuters – Wed, 14 Jan 2015 01:37 GMT
By David Ljunggren

Find this story at 17 January 2015

Copyright © 2015 Thomson Reuters Foundation

Kiwi spies taught online tricks

Prime Minister John Key says he has no details on briefings that documents released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden show were given to Kiwi spooks.

Key would not confirm or deny the briefings, which were revealed overnight by author and journalist Glenn Greenwald, who worked with MSNBC to reveal the documents.

“The law states very clearly that for SIS or GCSB [Government Communications Security Bureau] to undertake surveillance against New Zealanders it has to be with warranted authority,” Key said this afternoon.

“In my view that will involve a very small group of New Zealanders from time to time.”

The Government is bracing itself for more leaks from the Snowden archive.

“I don’t know what Snowden has … what they chose to release and when, who knows?” Key said.

“They are of no great consequence, I don’t think.”

The documents show Kiwi spooks were briefed on setting honey traps and internet “dirty tricks” to “control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp” online discourse.

GCSB agents – part of the Five Eyes intelligence network – were briefed by counterparts from the ultra-secret Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group.

A slide-show presentation, called The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations, was given at a top secret spy conference in 2012.

It outlined sex and dirty tricks cyber operations used by JTRIG, a unit of the British signals intelligence agency GCHQ, which focused on cyber forensics, espionage and covert operations. GCHQ described the purpose of the unit as “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world”, including “information ops (influence or disruption)”.

According to the slides, JTRIG conducted “honey traps”, sent computer viruses, deleted the online presence of targets and engaged in cyber-attacks on the “hacktivist” collective Anonymous.

One carried the title “Cyber offensive session: pushing the boundaries and action against hacktivism” revealing the agency was going after online political activists.

The presentation outlined tactics to destroy the reputation of targets online. It detailed how agents could get another country to “believe a secret” by placing information on a compromised computer or making it visible on networks under surveillance.

A JTRIG tool, called AMBASSADORS RECEPTION, involved sending a virus to someone’s computer to stop it functioning. It would delete emails, encrypt files, make the screen shake, deny service or stop logins.

Other methods were deployed to “stop someone communicating”, bombarding their phone with text messages and calls – in some cases every 10 seconds, deleting their online presence and blocking up their fax machines.

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According to the presentation these tactics were used in Afghanistan, “significantly disrupting Taliban operations”.

Changing a profile photo on social networking sites “can take paranoia to a whole new level”.

A honey trap was described as “a great option” and “very successful when it works”. Writing false blogs, pretending to be a “victim” of a target worked in “serious crime ops” and in Iran, the conference was told.

The presentation also outlined “info ops” to discredit a company by leaking confidential information to rival firms and the press, posting negative information to online forums and stopping deals or ruining business relationships.

The documents were presented to the GCSB, NSA and agents from Australia and Canada.

Greenwald wrote on The Intercept website that the agencies were “attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate and warp online discourse, and in doing so are compromising the integrity of the internet itself”.

Greenwald called the tactics “extremist” and pointed out they do not only target hostile nations or spy agencies, terrorists or nation security threats, but also “people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or … those who use online protest activity for political ends”.

He added: “It is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes.”

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 15:14 26/02/2014

Find this story at 26 February 2014

© Fairfax NZ News

Kiwi spies taught ‘honey trap’ tricks – Snowden documents

Kiwi spooks were briefed on setting honey traps and internet “dirty tricks” to “control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp” online discourse, documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal.

Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) agents – part of the Five Eyes intelligence network – were briefed by counterparts from the ultra-secret Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. A slide-show presentation, called “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations”, was given at a top secret spy conference in 2012.

It outlined sex and dirty tricks cyber operations used by JTRIG, a unit of the British Signals intelligence agency GCHQ which focused on cyber forensics, espionage and covert operations. GCHQ described the purpose of the unit as “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” including “information ops (influence or disruption).”

According to the slides, JTRIG conducted “honey traps,” sent computer viruses, deleted the online presence of targets and engaged in cyber-attacks on the “hacktivist” collective Anonymous.

One carried the title “Cyber offensive session: pushing the boundaries and action against hacktivism” revealing the agency was going after online political activists.

Reputation destroying tactics

The presentation outlined tactics to destroy the reputation of targets online. It detailed how agents could get another country to “believe a secret” by placing information on a compromised computer or making it visible on networks under surveillance.

A JTRIG tool, called AMBASSADORS RECEPTION, involved sending a virus to someone’s computer to stop it functioning. It would delete emails, encrypt files, make the screen shake, deny service or stop log-ins.

Other methods were deployed to “stop someone communicating,” bombarding their phone with text messages and calls – in some cases every 10 seconds, deleting their online presence and blocking up their fax machines. According to the presentation these tactics were used in Afghanistan “significantly disrupting Taliban Operations.”

Changing a profile photo on social networking sites “can take paranoia to a whole new level.” A honey trap was described as ” a great option” and “very successful when it works.” Writing false blogs, pretending to be a “victim” of a target worked in “serious crime ops” and in Iran, the conference was told.

The documents were presented to the GCSB, NSA and agents from Australia and Canada.

Author and journalist Glen Greenwald worked with MSNBC to reveal the documents. On “The Intercept” website he wrote that the agencies were “attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate and warp online discourse, and in doing so are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.”

Published: 1:41PM Wednesday February 26, 2014 Source: Fairfax

Find this story at 26 February 2014

© 2014, Television New Zealand Limited

Singapore, South Korea revealed as Five Eyes spying partners

Singapore and South Korea are playing key roles helping the United States and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia, according to top secret documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. New details have also been revealed about the involvement of Australia and New Zealand in the interception of global satellite communications.

A top secret United States National Security Agency map shows that the US and its “Five Eyes” intelligence partners tap high speed fibre optic cables at 20 locations worldwide. The interception operation involves cooperation with local governments and telecommunications companies or else through “covert, clandestine” operations.

The undersea cable interception operations are part of a global web that in the words of another leaked NSA planning document enables the “Five Eyes” partners – the US, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – to trace “anyone, anywhere, anytime” in what is described as “the golden age” signals intelligence.

The NSA map, published by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad overnight, shows that the United States maintains a stranglehold on trans-Pacific communications channels with interception facilities on the West coast of the United States and at Hawaii and Guam, tapping all cable traffic across the Pacific Ocean as well as links between Australia and Japan.

The map confirms that Singapore, one of the world’s most significant telecommunications hubs, is a key “third party” working with the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners.

In August Fairfax Media reported that Australia’s electronic espionage agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, is in a partnership with Singaporean intelligence to tap the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable that runs from Japan, via Singapore, Djibouti, Suez and the Straits of Gibraltar to Northern Germany.

Australian intelligence sources told Fairfax that the highly secretive Security and Intelligence Division of Singapore’s Ministry of Defence co-operates with DSD in accessing and sharing communications carried by the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable as well as the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable that runs from Singapore to the south of France.

Access to this major international telecommunications channel, facilitated by Singapore’s government-owned operator SingTel, has been a key element in an expansion of Australian-Singaporean intelligence and defence ties over the past 15 years.

Majority owned by Temask Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore Government, SingTel has close relations with Singapore’s intelligence agencies. The Singapore Government is represented on the company’s board by the head of Singapore’s civil service, Peter Ong, who was previously responsible for national security and intelligence co-ordination in the Singapore Prime Minister’s office.

Australian intelligence expert, Australian National University Professor Des Ball has described Singapore’s signal’s intelligence capability as “probably the most advanced” in South East Asia, having first been developed in cooperation with Australia in the mid-1970s and subsequently leveraging Singapore’s position as a regional telecommunications hub.

Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and Singaporean intelligence collaboration since the 1970s. Much of Indonesia’s telecommunications and Internet traffic is routed through Singapore.

The leaked NSA map also shows South Korea is another key interception point with cable landings at Pusan providing access to the external communications of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service has long been a close collaborator with the US Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA, as well as the Australian intelligence agencies. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation recently engaged in legal action in an unsuccessful effort to prevent publication of details of South Korean espionage in Australia. ASIO Director-General David Irvine told the Federal Court that Australian and South Korean intelligence agencies had been cooperating for “over 30 years” and that any public disclose of NIS activities would be “detrimental” to Australia’s national security.

The NSA map and other documents leaked by Mr Snowden and published by the Brazilian O Globo newspaper also reveal new detail on the integration of Australian and New Zealand signals intelligence facilities in the interception of satellite communications traffic by the “Five Eyes” partners.

For the first time it is revealed that the DSD satellite interception facility at Kojarena near Geraldton in Western Australia is codenamed “STELLAR”. The New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau facility at Waihopai on New Zealand’s South Island is codenamed “IRONSAND”. The codename for DSD’s facility at Shoal Bay near Darwin is not identified. However all three facilities are listed by the NSA as “primary FORNSAT (foreign satellite communications) collection operations”.

Coverage of satellite communications across Asia and the Middle East is also supported by NSA facilities at the United States Air Force base at Misawa in Japan, US diplomatic premises in Thailand and India, and British Government Communications Headquarters facilities in Oman, Nairobi in Kenya and at the British military base in Cyprus.

The leaked NSA map also shows that undersea cables are accessed by the NSA and the British GCHQ through military facilities in Djibouti and Oman, thereby ensuring maximum coverage of Middle East and South Asian communications.

November 25, 2013
Philip Dorling

Find this story at 25 November 2013

Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media

New Snowden leaks reveal US, Australia’s Asian allies

Singapore and South Korea are playing key roles helping the United States and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia, according to top secret documents leaked by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. New details have also been revealed about the involvement of Australia and New Zealand in the interception of global satellite communications.

A top secret United States National Security Agency map shows that the US and its “Five Eyes” intelligence partners tap high speed fibre optic cables at 20 locations worldwide. The interception operation involves cooperation with local governments and telecommunications companies or else through “covert, clandestine” operations.

The undersea cable interception operations are part of a global web that in the words of another leaked NSA planning document enables the “Five Eyes” partners – the US, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – to trace “anyone, anywhere, anytime” in what is described as “the golden age” signals intelligence.

The NSA map, published by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad overnight, shows that the United States maintains a stranglehold on trans-Pacific communications channels with interception facilities on the West coast of the United States and at Hawaii and Guam, tapping all cable traffic across the Pacific Ocean as well as links between Australia and Japan.

The map confirms that Singapore, one of the world’s most significant telecommunications hubs, is a key “third party” working with the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners.

In August Fairfax Media reported that Australia’s electronic espionage agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, is in a partnership with Singaporean intelligence to tap the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable that runs from Japan, via Singapore, Djibouti, Suez and the Straits of Gibraltar to Northern Germany.

Australian intelligence sources told Fairfax that the highly secretive Security and Intelligence Division of Singapore’s Ministry of Defence co-operates with DSD in accessing and sharing communications carried by the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable as well as the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable that runs from Singapore to the south of France.

Access to this major international telecommunications channel, facilitated by Singapore’s government-owned operator SingTel, has been a key element in an expansion of Australian-Singaporean intelligence and defence ties over the past 15 years.

Majority owned by Temask Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore Government, SingTel has close relations with Singapore’s intelligence agencies. The Singapore Government is represented on the company’s board by the head of Singapore’s civil service, Peter Ong, who was previously responsible for national security and intelligence co-ordination in the Singapore Prime Minister’s office.

Australian intelligence expert, Australian National University Professor Des Ball has described Singapore’s signal’s intelligence capability as “probably the most advanced” in South East Asia, having first been developed in cooperation with Australia in the mid-1970s and subsequently leveraging Singapore’s position as a regional telecommunications hub.

Indonesia and Malaysia have been key targets for Australian and Singaporean intelligence collaboration since the 1970s. Much of Indonesia’s telecommunications and Internet traffic is routed through Singapore.

The leaked NSA map also shows South Korea is another key interception point with cable landings at Pusan providing access to the external communications of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service has long been a close collaborator with the US Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA, as well as the Australian intelligence agencies. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation recently engaged in legal action in an unsuccessful effort to prevent publication of details of South Korean espionage in Australia. ASIO Director-General David Irvine told the Federal Court that Australian and South Korean intelligence agencies had been cooperating for “over 30 years” and that any public disclose of NIS activities would be “detrimental” to Australia’s national security.

The NSA map and other documents leaked by Mr Snowden and published by the Brazilian O Globo newspaper also reveal new detail on the integration of Australian and New Zealand signals intelligence facilities in the interception of satellite communications traffic by the “Five Eyes” partners.

For the first time it is revealed that the DSD satellite interception facility at Kojarena near Geraldton in Western Australia is codenamed “STELLAR”. The New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau facility at Waihopai on New Zealand’s South Island is codenamed “IRONSAND”. The codename for DSD’s facility at Shoal Bay near Darwin is not identified. However all three facilities are listed by the NSA as “primary FORNSAT (foreign satellite communications) collection operations”.

Coverage of satellite communications across Asia and the Middle East is also supported by NSA facilities at the United States Air Force base at Misawa in Japan, US diplomatic premises in Thailand and India, and British Government Communications Headquarters facilities in Oman, Nairobi in Kenya and at the British military base in Cyprus.

The leaked NSA map also shows that undersea cables are accessed by the NSA and the British GCHQ through military facilities in Djibouti and Oman, thereby ensuring maximum coverage of Middle East and South Asian communications.

November 24, 2013
Philip Dorling

Find this story at 24 November 2013

Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media

Spy access to NZ used as bargaining tool

The Southern Cross Cable Network links Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The ability for US intelligence agencies to access internet data was used as a bargaining tool by a Telecom-owned company trying to keep down the cost of the undersea cable from New Zealand.

Lawyers acting for Southern Cross Cable quoted a former CIA and NSA director who urged the Senate to “exploit” access to data for an intelligence edge.

The value of intercepted communications to the US was raised during negotiations last year which could increase internet costs 15 per cent.

Documents on the Federal Communications Commission website show the issue was raised by lawyers acting for “undersea cable operators”, including Southern Cross Cables, half-owned by Telecom and owner of the 28,900km cable which links New Zealand to the internet.

Lawyers acting for the cable operators told the FCC there were benefits to their clients not having to pay for their cables to land on US soil.

The FCC was told the number of internet connections passing through the US was dropping.

“There has long been speculation that US surveillance following implementation of the Patriot Act could push internet content and information storage outside the United States-to the detriment of the United States.”

The legal team footnoted the statement with a 2006 quote from former CIA director and National Security Agency director General Michael Hayden, who set up domestic wiretapping and widespread internet snooping during his terms as an intelligence chief.

He was quoted as saying: “Because of the nature of global telecommunications, we are playing with a tremendous home-field advantage, and we need to exploit that edge.

“We also need to protect that edge, and we need to protect those who provide it to us.”

In other documents, Southern Cross Cables raised the possibility of submarine cables coming to land in Canada or Mexico.

Southern Cross Cables lawyer Nikki Shone said the company was legally obliged to co-operate with US laws and it was in relation to those obligations that “it noted that the FCC’s proposed universal services charges could harm US security interests by encouraging infrastructure to bypass the United States”.

She said Southern Cross Cable was “wholly unaware of recently disclosed US surveillance programmes”.

A Telecom spokesman cited the company’s contract with residential customers, which tells them it will pass on their information without permission if it believes it is legally required to do so or if it is necessary “to help maintain the law”.

Telecom Users Association chief executive Paul Brislen said revelations about US interception of internet traffic meant “we have to assume that all our communications are intercepted”.

He said internet and telecoms companies had to comply with US rules or be shut out of lucrative contracts.

Mr Brislen believed the cable from Auckland to Los Angeles was secure but said intelligence agencies would access information beyond the landing stations.

Tech Liberty director Thomas Beagle said any use of American services and networks exposed data to being captured by the US.

But shifting to other countries “will just expose you to surveillance from their national governments”.

“It seems that we now have the choice between taking the time to understand and implement secure encryption or choosing services based on which governments we don’t mind spying on us.”

By David Fisher @DFisherJourno
5:30 AM Saturday Aug 10, 2013

Find this story at 10 August 2013

© Copyright 2013, APN Holdings NZ Limited

US spy agencies eavesdrop on Kiwi

The New Zealand military received help from US spy agencies to monitor the phone calls of Kiwi journalist Jon Stephenson and his associates while he was in Afghanistan reporting on the war.

Stephenson has described the revelation as a serious violation of his privacy, and the intrusion into New Zealand media freedom has been slammed as an abuse of human rights.

The spying came at a time when the New Zealand Defence Force was unhappy at Stephenson’s reporting of its handling of Afghan prisoners and was trying to find out who was giving him confidential information.

The monitoring occurred in the second half of last year when Stephenson was working as Kabul correspondent for the US McClatchy news service and for various New Zealand news organisations.

The Sunday Star-Times has learned that New Zealand Defence Force personnel had copies of intercepted phone “metadata” for Stephenson, the type of intelligence publicised by US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden. The intelligence reports showed who Stephenson had phoned and then who those people had phoned, creating what the sources called a “tree” of the journalist’s associates.

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New Zealand SAS troops in Kabul had access to the reports and were using them in active investigations into Stephenson.

The sources believed the phone monitoring was being done to try to identify Stephenson’s journalistic contacts and sources. They drew a picture of a metadata tree the Defence Force had obtained, which included Stephenson and named contacts in the Afghan government and military.

The sources who described the monitoring of Stephenson’s phone calls in Afghanistan said that the NZSIS has an officer based in Kabul who was known to be involved in the Stephenson investigations.

And since early in the Afghanistan war, the GCSB has secretly posted staff to the main US intelligence centre at Bagram, north of Kabul. They work in a special “signals intelligence” unit that co-ordinates electronic surveillance to assist military targeting. It is likely to be this organisation that monitored Stephenson.

Stephenson and the Defence Force clashed in the Wellington High Court two weeks ago after it claimed Stephonson had invented a story about visiting an Afghan base.

The Human Rights Foundation says Defence Force involvement in monitoring a journalist is an abuse of fundamental human rights.

“Don’t they understand the vital importance of freedom of the press?” spokesman Tim McBride said. “Independent journalism is especially important in a controversial war zone where the public has a right to know what really happens and not just get military public relations,” he said.

The news has emerged as the Government prepares to pass legislation which will allow the Defence Force to use the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders.

The Stephenson surveillance suggests the Defence Force may be seeking the GCSB assistance, in part, for investigating leaks and whistleblowers.

Stephenson said monitoring a journalist’s communications could also threaten the safety of their sources “by enabling security authorities to track down and intimidate people disclosing information to that journalist”.

He said there was “a world of difference between investigating a genuine security threat and monitoring a journalist because his reporting is inconvenient or embarrassing to politicians and defence officials”.

The Star-Times asked Chief of Defence Force Rhys Jones and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman if they were aware of the surveillance of Stephenson, if they approved of it and whether they authorised the investigation of Stephenson (including the phone monitoring).

They were also asked if they thought journalists should be classified as threats. Neither answered the questions.

Defence Force spokesman Geoff Davies said: “As your request relates to a legal matter involving Jon Stephenson which is still before the court, it would not be appropriate for the Chief of Defence Force to comment.”

In fact, none of the issues before that court relate to the surveillance or security manual.

Coleman’s press secretary said the minister was not available for comment and to try again next week.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the monitoring of Stephenson demonstrates that the security services see the media and journalists as a legitimate target.

“Democracy totally relies on a free and independent press,” he said. “Current attempts to strengthen the security apparatus for monitoring New Zealanders is deeply disturbing and menacing for democracy.”

An internal Defence document leaked to the Star-Times reveals that defence security staff viewed investigative journalists as “hostile” threats requiring “counteraction”. The classified security manual lists security threats, including “certain investigative journalists” who may attempt to obtain “politically sensitive information”.

The manual says Chief of Defence Force approval is required before any NZDF participation in “counter intelligence activity” is undertaken. (See separate story)

Stephenson took defamation action against the Defence Force after Jones claimed that Stephenson had invented a story about visiting an Afghan base as part of an article about mishandling of prisoners.

Although the case ended with a hung jury two weeks ago, Jones conceded during the hearing that he now accepted Stephenson had visited the base and interviewed its Afghan commander.

Victoria University lecturer in media studies Peter Thompson said the Afghanistan monitoring and the security manual’s view of investigative journalists confirmed the concerns raised in the High Court case.

There was “a concerted and deliberate effort to denigrate that journalist’s reputation for political ends”.

There is currently controversy in the United States over government monitoring of journalists. In May the Associated Press reported that the Justice Department had secretly obtained two months’ worth of phone records of its reporters and editors.

The media organisation said it was a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into its news gathering process.

PROBING JOURNALISTS DEEMED THREAT

A leaked New Zealand Defence Force security manual reveals it sees three main “subversion” threats it needs to protect itself against: foreign intelligence services, organisations with extreme ideologies and “certain investigative journalists”.

In the minds of the defence chiefs, probing journalists apparently belong on the same list as the KGB and al Qaeda.

The manual’s first chapter is called “Basic Principles of Defence Security”. It says a key part of protecting classified information is investigating the “capabilities and intentions of hostile organisations and individuals” and taking counteraction against them.

The manual, which was issued as an order by the Chief of Defence Force, places journalists among the hostile individuals. It defines “The Threat” as espionage, sabotage, subversion and terrorism, and includes investigative journalists under the heading “subversion”.

Subversion, it says, is action designed to “weaken the military, economic or political strength of a nation by undermining the morale, loyalty or reliability of its citizens.”

It highlights people acquiring classified information to “bring the Government into disrepute”.

This threat came from hostile intelligence services and extreme organisations, and “there is also a threat from certain investigative journalists who may seek to acquire and exploit official information for similar reasons”, it says.

Viewing journalism as a security threat has serious implications. The manual states that “plans to counter the activities of hostile intelligence services and subversive organisations and individuals must be based on accurate and timely intelligence concerning the identity, capabilities and intentions of the hostile elements”.

It says “one means of obtaining security intelligence is the investigation of breaches of security”.

This is where the security manual may be relevant to the monitoring of Jon Stephenson’s phone calls. The Defence Force was unhappy at Stephenson’s access to confidential information about prisoner handling in Afghanistan and began investigating to discover his sources.

The manual continues that “counter intelligence” means “activities which are concerned with identifying and counteracting the threat to security”, including by individuals engaged in “subversion”.

It notes: “The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service is the only organisation sanctioned to conduct Counter Intelligence activities in New Zealand. [Chief of Defence Force] approval is required before any NZDF participation in any CI activity is undertaken.”

Under the NZSIS Act, subversion is a legal justification for surveillance of an individual.

The sources who described the monitoring of Stephenson’s phone calls in Afghanistan said the NZSIS has an officer based in Kabul who was known to be involved in the Stephenson investigations.

To reinforce its concern, the defence security manual raises investigative journalists a second time under a category called “non-traditional threats”. The threat of investigative journalists, it says, is that they may attempt to obtain “politically sensitive information”.

Politically sensitive information, such as the kind of stories that Stephenson was writing, is however about politics and political accountability, not security. Metro magazine editor Simon Wilson, who has published a number of Jon Stephenson’s prisoner stories, said the Defence Force seemed to see Stephenson as the “enemy”, as a threat to the Defence Force.

“But that’s not how Jon works and how journalism works,” he said. “Jon is just going about his business as a journalist.”

The New Zealand Defence Force “seems to be confusing national security with its own desire not to be embarrassed by disclosures that reveal it has broken the rules”, he said.

Last updated 05:00 28/07/2013
NICKY HAGER

Find this story at 28 july 2013

© 2011 Fairfax New Zealand Limited

Police software mines social media

Police scan your Facebook comments.Photo / File

Police have developed a specialist software tool which mines social media for information.

The Signal tool was developed for high-profile public events and emergencies and works by scanning public-facing material on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Police director of intelligence Mark Evans said it was “not typically” used as an evidence gathering or investigative tool although it could be.

Social media use by law enforcement around the world has grown with the International Association of Police Chiefs finding 77 per cent of agencies used it most commonly to investigate crime. The survey of 600 agencies across the United States found it had helped solve crimes.

Mr Evans said the tool was developed as part of preparations for the Rugby World Cup because police “wanted the ability to scan social media comments in and around the stadiums in real time”.

Since then, it had been used for royal visits, Waitangi Day and during the Auckland cyclone. Mr Evans said Signal was not used to crawl random postings. Instead, police would set a geographical area and put in key words.

As an example, he said a large sporting event could see “protest”, “traffic”, “accident” or “delays”.

He said the strength of Signal was its ability to help police “identify and analyse social media feeds relevant to crime and public safety” at a specific time and place.

In doing so, Mr Evans said police were able to judge the impact of an event which had happened or stop a problem escalating. It also helped target people and resources where they were needed, he said.

During the Rugby World Cup, it allowed police to detect a boy racer convoy heading from Auckland to Hamilton.

The drivers “felt they would be able to get away with dangerous behaviour on the roads because they believed police resources would be busy elsewhere”, he said.

Signal was developed as part of a $60,000 emergency management tool.

Global police use of social media

53 per cent – Created a fake profile or undercover identity
48 per cent – Posted surveillance video or images
86 per cent – Viewed profiles of suspects
49 per cent – Viewed profiles of victims

Source: IACP Social Media Survey 2012

By David Fisher @@DFisherJourno
5:30 AM Saturday Feb 23, 2013

Find this story at 23 February 2013

© Copyright 2013, APN Holdings NZ Limited

Kim Dotcom: Megaupload-Gründer darf Geheimdienste verklagen

Kim Dotcom hat vor Gericht einen Sieg erstritten: Der Mitgründer des umstrittenen und stillgelegten Datenspeicherdienstes Megaupload darf die Geheimdienste in Neuseeland verklagen.

Der Gründer der Internetplattform Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, darf die neuseeländischen Aufklärungsdienste verklagen. Das entschied eine Richterin am Donnerstag in Neuseeland.

Dotcoms Anwalt Paul Davison sagte Reportern anschließend, der gebürtige Kieler wolle wegen illegaler Abhöraktionen Schadensersatz einklagen. “Das dürfte uns teuer zu stehen kommen”, sagte Oppositionspolitiker Winston Peters. “Es geht womöglich um mehrere hundert Millionen Dollar.”

6. Dezember 2012, 12:49 Uhr

Find this story at 6 December 2012

© 2012 stern.de GmbH

Megaupload boss wins right to sue New Zealand

Kim Dotcom wins right to sue New Zealand’s spy agency for unlawful spying.

Kim Dotcom maintains that Megaupload should not be held responsible for stored content [Reuters]

Kim Dotcom, internet tycoon and Megaupload founder, has won the right to sue New Zealand’s foreign intelligence agency for unlawful spying by a US led probe on online piracy which led to his arrest earlier this year.

Helen Winkelmann, High Court chief judge, on Thursday ordered New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to disclose all details of any information-sharing arrangements it had with foreign agencies, including the US authorities.

“I have no doubt that the most convenient and expeditious way of enabling the court to determine all matters in dispute is to join the GCSB in the proceedings,” she stated in a written judgement.

Dotcom, who changed his name from Kim Schultz, is fighting a US attempt to extradite him from New Zealand in what has been described as the world’s largest copyright case.

His US-based lawyer, Ira Rothken hailed the court decision as a major victory.

Armed police raided Dotcom’s mansion in January at the behest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, leading to a court ruling that the search warrants used were illegal, opening the way for him to seek damages from New Zealand Authorities.

Dotcom was released on bail and New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key issued an apology after it was revealed in September that the GCSB had spied on Dotcom before police raided his Auckland mansion.

Dotcom is a German national with residency in New Zealand, making it illegal for the GCSB to spy on him.

Last Modified: 06 Dec 2012 10:37

Find this story at 6 December 2012