Government spies on journalist | The Jackal

30 Jul 2013

Government spies on journalist

Today, Stuff reported:

Prime Minister John Key says he is "very disappointed" that three months worth of phone records for Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance have been handed over to a ministerial inquiry.

Speaker David Carter has confirmed the records were given to the inquiry. He apologised to Vance and Fairfax group executive editor Paul Thompson and acknowledged answers given last week denying Vance's phone records had been handed over were wrong.

Key said Parliamentary Service "got it wrong."

How exactly Parliamentary Services has the capability to retrieve three months worth of communications belonging to a private citizen the government hasn't divulged. It's likely that they've exercised spying powers that John Key has adamantly claimed aren't utilized by them.

Clearly three months worth of communications belonging to Andrea Vance aren't normally located on Parliamentary Service's computers. It therefore appears that John Key and David Carter are simply passing the buck and trying to take the light off the spooks.

Carter said today he became aware on Friday his answer in response to questions about Vance's phone records was wrong.

Three months of phone records had "inadvertently" been supplied to Henry by Parliamentary Service during the course of his investigations. The information had been collated by parliamentary contractors Datacom.

Henry immediately returned the records without viewing them and made it clear he had neither sought nor wanted them, Carter said.

"I stress that the David Henry inquiry never requested this information and recorded that fact immediately the information was received. I am further advised that this information was not used by the inquiry."

If David Henry didn't read the communications, how exactly did he know that the correspondence between Vance and Peter Dunne was changed? At the time the Henry report (PDF) was released, it was claimed that Peter Dunne had altered information given to the inquiry.

Today's revelation seems to confirm that David Henry did access and read Andrea Vance's private emails as well as her phone records. Perhaps the content of these communications has even resulted in Peter Dunne deciding to support the GCSB bill, despite his previous reservations.

National and their stoolies are simply getting caught up in their own lies. It's a despicable display of corruption and incompetence that has become Nationals trade mark. The sooner we have a change in government the better.