The role of the GCSB

GCSB in the spotlight

In an article in the Herald on Tuesday December 18, Keith Locke raises some awkward questions about the Government Communications Security Bureau and its association with the Five Eyes electronic spying network.

He discusses some of the dangers of our involvement with the Five Eyes network, the cost of the service, the lack of accountability of the GCSB, and thepotential threat it poses to our international relations.

Such a debate could raise awkward questions about the spy station, such as how much useful information New Zealand gains for itself, or whether partner agencies such as the United States National Security Agency are the main beneficiaries. In turn, this raises a broader question of whether operating the Waihopai facility for the Five Eyes network compromises our independent foreign policy.

Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann has asked the GCSB to name the entities (including foreign intelligence agencies) that were in receipt of some of the information the bureau had illegally gathered on Dotcom.