Prime Minister Key has once again heavily denied speculation that New Zealanders are under mass surveillance, but Edward Snowden’s claims haven’t helped National’s image as the election draws nearer.
John Key came out fighting in the media this morning, saying the claims that Kiwi’s living in New Zealand are under mass surveillance are purely “rhetoric”, and talk of NSA bases in New Zealand was strongly and actively denied by our countries Prime Minister.
According to Key, neither Edward Snowden nor Glenn Greenwald have offered any evidence to their claims.
According to the National Party, the controversial GCSB does not allow for mass surveillance in New Zealand, but Key has already said that there are databases in New Zealand that intelligence agencies have access to. The government say that information can only be accessed if there is a “person of interest”, like rebel fighters or criminals carrying out activity on these shores.
Over 50% of the nation who voted on the NZ Herald website today said they didn’t believe that they were under mass surveillance.
Kim Dotcom has already called John Key a liar, the Labour Leader and main opposition to the Prime Minister says there is evidence of this in an email.
Unfortunately for Key, many people are already saying they don’t believe his claims over either Dotcom or any of his statements surrounding the GCSB that go back over a year now.
Another thing to keep in mind is that despite what Key has said today, and despite what Snowden is claiming, in 2014 we live in an age of terrorism and increasing criminal activity which is being fed on an ever increasing platform through online means.
If there are NSA bases in New Zealand and surveillance is indeed taking place, can it be argued that it is simply only for the protection for everybody? Probably not, and that is a topic for another day, but Key’s claims are certainly hard to believe for a lot of reasons.
This has been a blunder filled campaign for Key and his national party, and it isn’t getting better.