The story around the raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion has long been the center of numerous controversies. However, new information seems to keep coming.
Police affidavits related to the raid indicate that the New Zealand police and spy agencies might have used PRISM
to capture email and other traffic.
The discovery was made by a blogger
who wrote that the Organized and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand requested assistance from the GCSB, which, in turn, put to use one of NSA’s tools.
Analyzing the affidavits reveals some key words that were found in the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, such as “selectors.” This was used to describe the search terms used in PRISM requests.
These were then entered into a secret communications intelligence system to capture live traffic.
As a reminder, while controversy surrounded the raid against Dotcom from the beginning (in January 2012), it wasn’t until September 2012, the NZ Prime Minister John Key revealed that the GCSB has spied on Dotcom illegally in order to help the police locate him and monitor his communications in the weeks leading to the raid.
Once the NSA files were revealed, many wondered if perhaps the US agency had played a part in the situation, especially since connections between the intelligence agencies of the two countries were also exposed.
Since I read one too many police novels, I’m just going to go on a limb here and put out a theory. Say that perhaps the GCSB took one for the team when they said they were the ones to illegally spy on Dotcom.
Since the GCSB isn’t allowed to use surveillance on New Zealand residents, maybe it turned to the NSA for help in an effort to stay within the law. The NSA, in turn, used, or put at the GCSB’s disposal, its data collection tools, such as PRISM.
When the media pushed for an explanation regarding the raid, the NZ authorities said they had illegally spied on Dotcom. If the NSA was involved, the GCSB couldn’t outright say that since it would have meant outing the surveillance programs run by the US agency.
Of course, we may never actually know the truth behind the raid and perhaps it doesn’t even matter anymore since the spotlight has already been put on both the GCSB and the NSA programs. Disclaimer: The second half of the blog reflects the author’s “personal” opinion on matters relating to the raid on Kim Dotcom's mansion in January 2012, the GCSB and the NSA's involvement in the matter. This article should not be taken as the official stance of Softpedia on the matter.