Green Party Security and Intelligence Spokesperson Keith Locke has called for MPs to be provided with encryption software to avoid their communications being intercepted by the American-run Echelon electronic interception system.
“The European Union report on Echelon has warned its citizens about the interception of their private communications, and advised them to use encryption,” said Mr Locke.
“This suggestion could be taken up by the New Zealand Parliament. For a start, all MPs could be provided with encryption software. I will be taking up this up with Parliamentary Services.
“My phone and email communication with other countries could easily be intercepted by Echelon, because the EU report discloses that it is a world-wide system, capability of intercepting millions of messages,” he said.
“I hope the EU report will wake New Zealanders up to the grave privacy implications of Echelon, and New Zealand’s participation in it through the Waihopai station.
“The report shows the big downside of Waihopai, in putting us offside with the European Union, at some cost to our diplomatic and trading relations.
“We’d be better off telling the Americans they can operate Echelon without us,” said Mr Locke.
“Waihopai is already creating friction with our Pacific neighbours. When I was in New Caledonia with a parliamentary delegation last year, a leading politician complained to us that Waihopai was being used to spy on them.”