The Kim Dotcom case threatens to pull the country's most
secretive spy agency into court in a bid which could probe
intelligence links with the United States.
Mr Dotcom's lawyers have asked the High Court at Auckland to
make the Government Communications Security Bureau a
co-defendant in its legal challenge and to order it to
produce information relating to its illegal spying operation
against the internet mogul.
The agency, which specialises in electronic surveillance, was
pulled into the FBI operation against Mr Dotcom a year ago by
the police's Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New
The spying, which took place over a month, turned out to be
illegal, after the GCSB failed to check whether Mr Dotcom was
a New Zealand resident. He was - meaning the bureau broke the
law which bans it from spying on New Zealanders. The
admission by the GCSB made the surveillance leading up to the
January raid illegal.
The police search warrant has also been ruled as invalid,
making the search and seizure illegal.
Mr Dotcom asked the court yesterday to join the GCSB to the
case. The Dotcom camp have suspicions about the involvement
of the GCSB. The agency is involved in the "Five Eyes"
Echelon network which exchanges information among the US,
Britain, Canada, Australia and here.
Other aspects of the case have seen swapping of information
between NZ and US authorities - even before the November 28,
2011 mutual assistance agreement. Any disclosure would allow
Mr Dotcom's team to attempt to examine whether the GCSB had
passed information to its US partner, the National Security
Agency. The NSA works with the FBI on issues of national
significance - which intellectual property and copyright was
judged to be by the White House in 2009.
A diplomatic cable released through Wikileaks showed the NSA
had been granted office space inside the GCSB headquarters in
The 2004 cable read: "The new position will advance US
interests in New Zealand by improving liaison and
co-operation on vital signals intelligence matters. This is
an area where the US and NZ already work together closely and
profitably, and continuing to build and expand that
relationship clearly stands to benefit both countries."
Crown lawyers argued against the move.
Chief high court Judge Helen Winkelmann is expected to issue
a decision next week.
- David Fisher, New Zealand Herald