10 Feb 2015

Five Eyes disclosure a PR stunt, says analyst

10:38 am on 10 February 2015

A security analyst says disclosures by the Five Eyes intelligence network marks a new age of transparency - but is also a PR stunt.

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)'s spy base at Waihopai, near Blenheim.

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)'s spy base at Waihopai, near Blenheim. Photo: SUPPLIED

After decades of secrecy, members of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence network are sharing some information.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson attended a meeting in London last week with ministers in charge of spy agencies in the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada.

Security analyst from 36th Parallel Assessments Paul Buchanan told Morning Report the network was trying to regain trust following mass surveillance leaks by Edward Snowden.

"I think there is an attempt by the Five Eyes partners to reclaim the mantle of the white hat, that they're not the black hatted guys - and they're actually in the Islamic State."

Mr Buchanan said the leaks also forced politicians to take more responsibility over the issue.

Prime Minister John Key said Islamic State was incredibly effective in its use of online media, and the spy network would work closely to counter that.

"ISIS [Islamic State] is a modern example of a terrorist organisation deploying the internet and deploying that extremely effectively.

"So of course authorities will need to combat that over time as best they can."

Mr Key said the Government was likely to decide whether it would deploy training troops to Iraq at the end of this month at the earliest.

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