NZ Prime Minister Admits That The Government Illegally Wiretapped Megaupload Employees
from the yet-another-mishap dept
Since the January raid of Megaupload, not a month seems to go by in which another massive error in procedures isn’t revealed concerning how US and New Zealand law enforcement handled the whole process. And each time, the mistakes seem to get bigger and bigger. They had the wrong warrants. They mishandled evidence. They mishandled the extradition request. And today comes the big news. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, revealed that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), the equivalent of the NSA in New Zealand, illegally intercepted communications regarding individuals in the Megaupload case and provided those details to law enforcement. Like the NSA, the GCSB is in charge of monitoring electric communications, but is not allowed to use those tools domestically, only on foreign communications. Key has now ordered an investigation.
Mr Key says the Crown has filed a memorandum in the High Court in the Megaupload case advising the Court and affected parties that the GCSB had acted unlawfully while assisting the Police to locate certain individuals subject to arrest warrants issued in the case. The Bureau had acquired communications in some instances without statutory authority.
After being informed about the matter by the Director of the GCSB on September 17, the Prime Minister referred the Bureau’s actions to the Inspector-General, Hon Paul Neazor. The Inspector-General is an independent statutory officer with the power to enquire into any matter related to a government intelligence agency’s compliance with the law.
Once again, like pretty much all of these “mishaps,” this seems to suggest a rather cavalier attitude towards actually following proper procedures under the law to go after Dotcom and Megaupload. Throughout this whole process, it really does appear that law enforcement, under pressure from Hollywood, believed that Dotcom was such a criminal mastermind that they could skirt the law in all sorts of ways to try to shut him down. And each time these mishaps come to light, it just raises more and more questions about whether or not law enforcement really had any legitimate evidence or reasons to do what they did.