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"Moment of truth" as Dotcom ramps up PM spying pressure...

15 Sep 14

Assurances given by Prime Minister John Key and the GCSB that spy agencies do not conduct mass surveillance on New Zealanders look set to be tested tonight.

That's the view of Internet Party leader Laila Harré, who along with party backer Kim Dotcom, who both believe the Prime Minister should resign if his claims are proved false at the "Moment of Truth" event held in Auckland this evening.

Harré believes throughout the debate on changes to the GCSB law last year the Prime Minister denied any involvement of New Zealand spy agencies in surveillance of New Zealanders who have not been identified as a threat to security.

Responding to an interview with Pulitzer Prizing-winning journalist and author Glenn Greenwald on TV3’s The Nation on Friday, Harré said: “I don’t think there can be any doubt what he wanted us to believe – that New Zealanders’ communications or metadata is not subject to indiscriminate monitoring or collection.

"This was at the "heart of last year’s debate on the GCSB and this is what John Key denied.

“He promised that he, and the head of GCSB, would resign if there was mass surveillance aimed at New Zealanders.

“If New Zealanders’ communications are subject to indiscriminate surveillance then the Prime Minister must resign.”

Harré says she is “deeply concerned” by the indications that Greenwald’s reporting will reveal that New Zealand’s role in the Five Eyes spy network compromises our most basic privacy rights.

“The idea that our government is watching and recording legal use of the Internet to socialise, conduct business, organise politically and save our data, or letting other governments do this to New Zealanders is alarming," she adds.

“Communications privacy is a fundamental freedom.

"Already the Snowden papers have revealed the intention of security agencies to ‘collect and store the entire Internet’, as Glen Greenwald describes it. Last year the Government said this did not apply to us.”

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