The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the allegations by whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB.
Speaking following Kim Dotcom's 'Moment of Truth' event in Auckland on Monday, Harré says the Prime Minister’s story is changing daily, and becomes more damning with every new utterance.
“In one concession Mr Key admits that a spy probe was put across the Southern Cross cable but never used," she claims. "In another statement, the programme was scaled back to a narrower form.”
Harré says neither statement is believable in light of Snowden’s direct testimony that in his job as an NSA contractor he was able to access New Zealanders’ private communications.
“It’s not about Mr Snowden’s credibility," she claims. "He has a 100% accuracy rate in evidence presented so far on spying around the world."
Yet in defence of the Prime Minister, Key reiterated his past claims that no wrongdoing has taken place, informing the press on Monday that the allegations are :simply wrong and that is because they are based on incomplete information."
“There is not, and never has been, a cable access surveillance programme operating in New Zealand," he added, as reported by Techday at the time.
“There is not, and never has been, mass surveillance of New Zealanders undertaken by the GCSB."
Seeking an opportunity to pounce however, Harré claims the Prime Minister’s credibility about the GCSB was destroyed the day Glenn Greenwald arrived in New Zealand.
"Key starting leaking like a sieve with details of what he claims was a programme of mass surveillance that didn’t make it to a business case," she claims.
Harré says that the Prime Minister’s conflicting disclosures are the most frightening of the lot in that he has admitted that the tools for mass surveillance have been installed.
“Key’s latest defence that the GCSB doesn’t have the capacity for mass surveillance is laughable if I was laughing," she adds/
“New Zealand is a full member of the Five Eyes spy network. The GCSB provides and accesses data through the X-KEYSCORE programme.
“In Britain it’s been proven that if a Five Eyes member isn’t up to speed, the NSA will fund any capability upgrades. Has that happened here?”
Addressing an alleged email from 27 October 2010 between Warner Bros Kevin Tsujihara and MPAA’s Mike Ellis, which has been discredited by both parties, Key again stood by his statements that he did not know about Dotcom until the day before the raid took place on his property in January 2012.
“The conversation allegedly reported on in the email did not take place,” Key adds. “People will see this for what it is.”