NSA illegally spied on Kim Dotcom in New Zealand


Kim Dotcom has been of interest to the US government and law enforcement agencies for some time, and it was ruled that the Mega and Megaupload founder could be extracted to the US. But now it seems that the NSA was spying on the internet entrepreneur after surveillance was supposed to have stopped.

New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had been working with the NSA on a joint surveillance operation called Operation Debut. While surveillance was supposed to have stopped in January 2012, it has emerged that the NSA continued to use GCSB's technology without its knowledge.


According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, GCSB "lost control of its surveillance technology" and later discovered that it had been used to continue to spy on Dotcom for at least an additional two months. The information has come to light in new documents released by the GCSB to the High Court.

The admission is being used as evidence that the NSA was illegally spying on Dotcom while he was resident in New Zealand, using GCSB equipment. It is not clear how this surveillance operation could have been continued by the NSA without GCSB's knowledge, but Dotcom has issued a warning:

New Zealanders must know how much power a foreign state holds over their private information. The NSA has unrestricted access to GCSB surveillance systems. In fact, most of the technology the GCSB uses was supplied by the NSA. If the GCSB was aiding and abetting the NSA to spy directly on New Zealanders then the seriousness of the situation has changed dramatically and a truly independent inquiry and a new criminal investigation will be unavoidable.

The documents show that GCSB systems were also used to illegally spy on an additional 88 people.

Photo credit: Kim Dotcom

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