The spy agency which illegally monitored Kim Dotcom’s communications has admitted deleting information needed in the upcoming $6 million damages hearing, according to the tycoon.
Dotcom last night tweeted the claim, saying: “The GCSB spy agency seems to have deleted evidence relevant to my case against the GCSB for illegally spying on NZ residents.”
He quoted Crown lawyers as saying “some communications have automatically aged off. We propose to include … those communications which are still recoverable”.
Dotcom claimed lawyers acting for the GCSB told him the material had “aged off” the system, suggesting it had automatically deleted.
Apparently the government are citing section 23 of the GCSB Act:
Every person who intercepts any communication under section 16 or under an interception warrant or a access authorisation must, as soon as practicable after the interception, destroy any copy that he or she may make of the communication, or any part of the communication, and any record, whether in writing or otherwise, of the information obtained by that interception, except to the extent permitted by section 25 or to the extent that the information recorded in the copy or record relates directly or indirectly to—
- (a) the protection or advancement of 1 or more of the interests specified in section 7; or
So the most benign explanation here is that some of the intercepts of Kim Dotcom’s communications were irrelevant – personal conversations or whatever – and that GCSB have some document management system that automatically deletes anything that doesn’t get tagged as relevant after a certain date. And Dotcom’s lawyers asked for all of the intercepts they gathered on him and they had to admit ‘Well, we gathered all of these personal conversations but they were aged off and got deleted.’
But its also possible – given their previous form – that the GCSB are just running around illegally deleting and shredding everything that might make them look bad in court and citing this section of the legislation to cover themselves now that they’ve been caught out. We don’t know, we probably never will and that’s kind of the problem with the GCSB.