The Government Communications Security Bureau did not have a warrant to intercept communications in the lead-up to the raid on the Dotcom mansion in January.
Prime Minister John Key has revealed the GCSB was acting without his sign-off when it was working with police to locate people who were subject to arrest warrants.
He said he had not issued a warrant and was not briefed on the operation.
Mr Key has requested an inquiry by the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security into the unlawful interception of communications by the GCSB, saying it had acquired communications without statutory authority.
When intelligence agencies make mistakes they usually manage to convince their political masters that it’s ‘not in the public interest’ for their incompetence/law-breaking to be revealed. Why hasn’t that happened this time? Did this information come out through the discovery process in one of Dotcom’s court cases, and the government is pre-empting that revelation by announcing it themselves? Or is Key just ‘doing the right thing’?
(I’d also like to go on record predicting no one will be held accountable for this. Any illegality will be due to a faulty ‘process’, that needs to be ‘reviewed’.)