New Zealand’s Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Paul Neazor concluded the investigation that targeted the surveillance carried out by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) on Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload.
After hearing the news, the country’s Prime Minister apologized to Dotcom and all New Zealanders.
“I apologise to Mr Dotcom, I apologise to New Zealanders because every New Zealander that sits within the category of having permanent residency or is a New Zealand citizen is entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB, and we failed to provide that appropriate protection for him,” Prime Minister John Key said, according to TVNZ.
The country’s laws dictate that the GCSB doesn’t have the right to spy on citizens or permanent residents – a category that Dotcom belonged to.
However, the agency didn’t take the time to verify his residency status, instead relying on incorrect information provided by the Organized and Financial Crime Agency.
“My own view is the agency has let itself down very badly, it essentially failed at the most basic of hurdles, there are a number of times when it could have resolved the issue, and in fact New Zealanders were entitled to believe the agency would have performed a lot better,” the Prime Minister added.
He blamed the incident on “human error” because, apparently, Dotcom was granted a visa under old legislation, which would have allowed the GCSB to track him. However, in the meantime, the law changed, and the government “got it completely wrong.”
Key also asked the spy agency to make sure that no one else was illegally monitored because of such an error since the new legislation kicked in.
Anyway, Dotcom accepted the apology, but urged Key to show his sincerity “by supporting a full, transparent & independent inquiry into the entire Mega case.”