Across The Ditch: Targeted Spying + EcoTerrorism Threat

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Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.

Across The Ditch with Selwyn Manning and South Australia’s Peter Godfrey – Recorded Live on 12/03/15.

    In this edition of Across The Ditch, Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how the latest Snowden Revelations show how New Zealand’s signals spies have been targeting diplomats and officials of the country’s close trading partners… at the behest of the United States. Also discussed, New Zealand reels after an ecoterrorism poisoning threat.

ITEM ONE:
The Snowden Revelations investigation continues to be rolled out, and this week official United States intelligence documents show New Zealand’s signals spy base, the GCSB, has been used to conduct target surveillance operations against our main trading partners.

Equipped with United States technology, our signals spies have been targeting diplomats and officials of China, Japan, South East Asian countries, India, Pakistan, Iran.

The GCSB’s electronic surveillance has also targeted South American countries, Chile, Argentina, and as was revealed last week, most of the South East and west Pacific Islands states are also being targeted in a take-all collection operation, where all communications within those States is hoovered up, packaged, and packed off to the USA.

France’s Pacific territories are also targeted.

Until now, New Zealand has been considered the little finger in the Five Eyes Fist, an alliance of intelligence agencies made up of the USA, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

But the Snowden Revelations show the USA’s National Security Agency uses New Zealand’s spies to hack the cellphones and devices of, among others, ASEAN diplomats. Our spies hack into the hardware, infect the device with malware that sends data and communications made by the individual back to the GCSB.

It is an extraordinary realisation that has security analysts like Dr Paul Buchanan worried for the impact on New Zealand’s national trade interests.

Last night on EveningReport.nz Paul Buchanan said New Zealand’s trade diplomats will have a difficult job ahead of them, apologising for what their government is doing at the behest of the Americans.

He said New Zealand can no longer straddle the divide with one foot in the USA’s camp on security intelligence, and the other foot planted deep inside South East Asia and China through its trade dependency. This issue, he believes is the tripwire that will see New Zealand injured.

ITEM TWO:
New Zealand is also being rocked by a ecoterrorism threat. This week the New Zealand Police, the Government’s primary industry wing, and the Prime Minister himself revealed how some three months ago a threat was made that if New Zealand continued to use 1080 poison to reduce the numbers of rats, possums, stoats, and weasels in our forests, then high grade 1080 would be used to contaminate agriculture giant Fonterra’s milk powder products.

Since the threat was revealed on Tuesday, the New Zealand dollar dropped in value, and the country has been consumed with dread that China may cut our milk product exports.

The government has given assurances that it is highly unlikely that the threat will be played out. But at the same time it is being cautious, tightening regulations of use of 1080 poison, and attempting to identify those involved with the threat.

We understand, that the samples the government received from those threatening ecoterrorism, were of very high grade 1080, a potency beyond that normally used. That, could indicate a sophistication of intent beyond an attention seeking lone wolf.

Across The Ditch broadcasts live on FiveAA Australia and webcasts on EveningReport.nz.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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