Locke questions Waihopai spy role

Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke wants answers on what role New Zealand is playing in helping a US spy agency intercept the communications of key UN Security Council members.

Britain’s Sunday Observer this week exposed a US “dirty tricks” campaign against Security Council delegations in an effort to get a majority for war against Iraq.

“New Zealand could easily be helping the US National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts communications between UN delegates and their home countries,” said Mr Locke.

“The two satellite dishes at the Waihopai station near Blenheim pull down all the phones, faxes and emails passing through two communications satellites over the Equator.

“These messages are filtered by the NSA for key words and sender and recipient details. Communications from ‘swinging’ Security Council members, like Pakistan or Chile, could well be forwarded from Waihopai to the NSA.

“A January 31 ‘secret’ memo from NSA section head Frank Koza makes it clear that his organization will stop at nothing to get the information on the ‘negotiating positions’, ‘alliances’ and ‘dependencies’ of the six undecided Security Council members.

“New Zealand shouldn’t helping Mr Koza in ‘mounting a surge’ against these UN members,” said Keith Locke.

“I will be making the point in today’s Parliamentary debate on the Government Communications Security Bureau Bill that the main asset of the GCSB, that is Waihopai, does not operate primarily in our national interest, but in that of the United States.

“It’s use seriously compromises our independent foreign policy and the respect with which we are held in the world,” said Mr Locke.