Evening Report episode 1 (March 9, 2015):
EveningReport.nz launches tonight with an extended one-on-one interview with investigative journalist Nicky Hager on the Snowden Revelations. We invite you to participate and debate the issues raised in this interview, and trust the discussion will empower discussions on other mediums. Thanks for stopping by.
BACKGROUNDER TO THE DEBATE: As you will all no doubt be aware, a team of investigative journalists began last week to reveal how the New Zealand Government has been spying on a massive scale on a host of Pacific nations.
The spying has been a part of the United States-led Five Eyes alliance that includes the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
The investigation is a collaborative effort between the New Zealand Herald, investigative journalist Nicky Hager, the Sunday Star Times, and the U.S. news site The Intercept.
The reports are based on a cache of official documents released by US whistleblower Edward Snowden – and are being referred to as the Snowden Revelations.
The documents reveal New Zealand has been intercepting all communications taking place in the South/West Pacific and parts of Melanesia.
Since 2009, New Zealand’s signals surveillance spy agency the GCSB, or Government a communications Security Bureau, has been operating a Full-Take collection protocol, the technology provided by the United States.
Once New Zealand’s spy agency acquires the communications, the data is transferred to the United States’ National Security Agency – the NSA.
The information is then able to be accessed by US, British, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand intelligence analysts.
The data acquired goes further than just meta-data, but includes all email correspondence, all telephone and cellphone calls, all texts or SMS, all social media comments and chats.
Specifically, the information feeds into the NSA’s X-Keyscore system and provides the five Eyes spies with analytics on everything communicated within the targeted Pacific nations including: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, and French Polynesia.
It is understood that while all communications taking place within the countries is acquired, the operation also targets prime ministers, government officials, opinion shapers, and non government organisations.
Meanwhile New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said yesterday (Thursday): “Some of the information was incorrect, some of the information was out of date, some of the assumptions made were just plain wrong.”