The latest revelations that the US National Security Agency keeps huge data banks on the phone calls and e-mails of ordinary US citizens should prompt the Government to review its involvement with the Waihopai spy base, Green Party Security and Intelligence Spokesperson Keith Locke says.
“Waihopai makes New Zealand complicit in the actions of what looks more and more like an outlaw agency,” Mr Locke says. “The two satellite dishes at the Waihopai station near Blenheim pull down all the phones, faxes and e-mails passing through the two communications satellites over the equator.
“Many details of these messages are then forwarded to the NSA, after they have been filtered for key words and sender and recipient details. The NSA then, clearly, links them to its domestic surveillance data banks,” Mr Locke says.
“Late last year, the White House authorised the NSA to eavesdrop without warrants on international calls and e-mail traffic of US citizens. Now, we find that the NSA collects and maintains these huge data banks of domestic phone calls, e-mails and faxes.
“The information that we forward from Waihopai turns all of us into accomplices in this programme of dubious legality. Earlier this week, the US Department of Justice was forced to suspend its investigation of the NSA domestic spy programme,” Mr Locke says.
“All too often, critics of White House policies get accused of being anti-American. But, as in this case, we are really speaking out to defend the American people from the actions of their own government.”