29 Dec 2013

US surveillance ruling will affect NZ: Greens

9:06 am on 29 December 2013

The Green Party says breaches of privacy in New Zealand will be a consequence of a federal court ruling in the United States that mass surveillance of phone networks by the National Security Agency is lawful.

Waihopai satellite spy station.

Waihopai satellite spy station. Photo: PHOTO NZ

New York District Judge William Pauley said there was ''no evidence that the government has used any of the bulk telephony metadata it collected for any purpose other than investigating and disrupting terrorist attacks."

The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Green Party says the ruling means New Zealanders' electronic communications can be collected for use and storage by the NSA, through the Waihopai spy base near Blenheim.

Security and intelligence spokesperson Steffan Browning said Government Communications Security Bureau director Ian Fletcher will not rule out links between the base and the NSA.

He said surveillance without a warrant is illegal under New Zealand legislation - yet Waihopai is part of the surveillance mechanism justified by the federal court in the United States.

Mr Browning said there should be an independent review of New Zealand's intelligence agencies and the base should be closed.