Jul 132014
 

http://www.openureyes.org.nz/blog/?q=node/5570

Stand with Palestine! Rally Against Israel’s Brutality in Gaza: JUL 18 WELLINGTON
Sat, 12/07/2014 – 18:44 — smashdracs

WHEN: Friday 18th July, 12.30pm – 1.30pm
WHERE: Embassy of Israel – Baileys Building, 36 Brandon Street (off Lambton Quay), Wellington

Rally against the ongoing assault on Palestine and the Palestinian people, including the killing of Palestinians (including 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, murdered brutally by Israeli settlers), the bombing of Gaza, the mass arrests of over 600, and the raids, attacks, tear-gassing, invasions and closure that Palestinians are being subjected to.

Initiated by Students for Justice in Palestine: Victoria University of Wellington and the International Socialist Organisation, NZ

https://www.facebook.com/events/1445924692327106/

May 142014
 

Snowden docs: GCSB links to US spying programmes

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11254935

David Fisher
6:54 PM Wednesday May 14, 2014

New documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden show New Zealand’s GCSB closely enmeshed with some of the most controversial parts of the United States’ spying apparatus.

The documents were released with journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new book No Place To Hide, which tells the story of Snowden’s National Security Agency disclosures and what they mean.

Among the documents are a cluster relating to New Zealand which show:

* our GCSB spies were shown instructional slides on how to operate the X-Keyscore surveillance program which trawls mass harvested email addresses, phone numbers, online chat, web-based email and attachments sent;

* they were privy to diplomatic espionage by other Five Eyes partners, including spying which was Canadian spies capturing the emails, text messages and phone calls between the Brazilian president and her aides;

* they were briefed on the NSA’s efforts to deliberately put backdoors into private companies’ computer networks;

* and the were given access to a program called “Homing Pigeon” which allowed in-air communications on passenger jets to be monitored.

One NSA document tells New Zealand and its other “Five Eyes” intelligence partners the ambition is to “know it all”, “collect it all”, “exploit it all” and “partner it all”.

The details were in a slide presented at a Five Eyes conference in 2011, released with journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new book No Place To Hide.

He also released another NSA slide detailing new invasive techniques, in which it stated the spy agency was “one step closer to ‘collecting it all”‘.

The no-limits approach by the NSA is reflected locally in details released to the Herald through the Official Information Act.

Excerpts of a “GCSB Strategy” from 2008 stated “complete mastery of the internet (even if we take this to mean just the internet) is a Nirvana that everyone is working towards”.
The document stated it was “an almost impossible vision” but one which was “intended to stretch the organisation”.

At the time the GCSB had given itself the vision statement “Mastery of the Cyberspace for the Security of New Zealand”. In March last year, as it prepared to release details showing the GCSB had illegally spied on Kiwis, it changed the statement to the less confrontational “Guardianship of the Security of New Zealand”.

In his book, Mr Greenwald said “Five Eyes members share most of their surveillance activities and meet each year at a Signal Development conference where they boast of their expansion and the prior year’s successes”.

The description – and the NSA’s desire to “partner it all” – clash with previous comments by Mr Key, who had previously claimed there was limited sharing.

“We share information in isolated cases about New Zealanders with our partners, and we do that when there’s a really good reason to do that.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Key said “we do not comment on matters of intelligence or national security, but as the Prime Minister has stated in the past, we do not carry out wholesale collection of metadata”.

The spokeswoman said the GCSB acted within the law. “The PM does not comment on the GCSB’s capabilities or operational activity.”

Green co-leader Russel Norman said the Prime Minister’s refusal to talk about how spies worked meant the public could not judge the extent of the intrusion.

“You have to talk about the tools that are used to understand the sort of mass surveillance intelligence agencies are engaged in.

“The reason the Prime Minister doesn’t want to talk about it and says it operational is because everyone will realise what’s going on and then the game is up.”

- NZ Herald

May 032014
 

Despite being personally invited to Richard Gage’s presentation in Auckland in 2009 and having correspondence with Auckland 911 truth activists and a face to face meeting (thanks to Martin and Glenis), Professor Charles Clifton, associate professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Auckland, denies the existence of ae911truth supporters in New Zealand. Professor Clifton still clings to his theory regarding the collapse of the World Trade Centre where he essentially believes that the the plane destroyed a large chunk of the core immediately at impact which severely weakened the rest of the structure. See his study on the collapse of the twin towers here.

In the recent interview with Italian 911 debunkers, Professor Clifton when asked whether conspiracy theories are popular in New Zealand? responds:

No, they are not. Richard Gage came to New Zealand for a speaking tour. I couldn’t go to his presentation due to other commitments but he got very little publicity, little credit and not much following. As far as I am aware there is not a serious group of WTC conspiracy theorists in New Zealand.

We have responded with the following comment that has not been displayed at the Italian debunking website.

Did Richard Gage come to New Zealand and speak to hundreds of people in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland (as Charles Clifton admits) or did he not?

If Richard Gage actually came to New Zealand in 2009, who paid the thousands of dollars it would have taken to get him here, print 10,000 flyers, organise articles in local papers and the interviews on TVNZ and Radio NZ? Such was the interest in Mr Gage’s presentation that in November 2009 over 600 people attended the exhibition at the National Museum in Wellington with another 100 turned away due to lack of room. The Auckland presentation organised by Auckland activists at short notice after the Wellington presentation attracted 200. Mr Gage’s New Zealand tour was subsequently written about in articles in the Listener, Architecture Magazine, discussed on Radio New Zealand’s afternoon panel and talked about on science and political blogs.

Who runs and financially supports the NZ911Truth website and has distributed many thousands of DVDs and flyers regularly every month on the streets of Wellington since 2008? Who organizes the annual 911 exhibitions in Wellington and Rotorua which attract growing numbers every year?

Who paid for the recent Rethink911 posters displayed on the streets near the Radio New Zealand and Dominion Post newspaper offices in central Wellington? Who invited Mr Clifton to the Auckland presentation and has corresponded with him since? In addition to a good number of activists throughout New Zealand there are also hundreds of New Zealanders who have signed ae911truth’s petition calling for a new, genuine 911 investigation.

We have given up long ago on trying to disabuse Charles Clifton of his Magical Thinking on 911. However, we must refute his false assertion – a statement he knows to be false – where he denies that New Zealanders who support the work of ae911truth actually exist. He has had enough contact with us and has sufficient knowledge of our activities to know that he is making a false statement.

Apr 302014
 

STACEY KIRK/Fairfax

A New Zealander killed by a United States drone strike in Yemen has been named by an Australian newspaper as Daryl Jones.

He was identified by The Australian, which said Jones was married with children. According to those who knew him he had lived in Sydney and attended Australia’s largest mosque, the Lakemba Mosque in southwest Sydney.

Jones, who had dual New Zealand and Australian citizenship, was killed last November in a US Predator drone strike on a convoy of al Qaeda militants in Yemen. He was not the target of the strike.

Jones reportedly went by the name of “Muslim bin John” and fought under the name “Abu Suhaib al-Australi”.

The Australian said Jones had reportedly contacted his family from Dubai in May last year.

In a Facebook post about the drone deaths, a Sydney man said: “I’m told that one of the brothers being spoken about in the article is brother Daryl Jones, a convert brother who use to frequent Lakemba mosque a few years ago,” The Australian reported.

“The brother was so humble. He was soft-spoken and gentle, you could really easily get along with him.”

Another man replied: “Muslim [Daryl Jones] was one of the best Muslims I have ever known. Allah accept him as a Shaheed [martyr]. Allah aid and assist his wife and children.”

Another post, believed to be referring to the dead man, said “Daryl Jones, also known as Muslim” had gone missing in 2012.

According to the October 2012 post by the Revert Muslims Association: “He last called his family in May earlier this year from Dubai.

“He was going to fly back to New Zealand. There hasn’t been contact since.”

The Australian said it understood Jones had attracted the attention of counter-terrorism authorities while in Sydney, mainly because of the company he kept, but he was never a person of interest.

Prime Minister John Key has refused to identify him.

When the death came to light a fortnight ago Key said he had known for quite some time the then-unnamed New Zealander was in Yemen and had terrorist connections.

Key said he had been told by New Zealand intelligence agencies late last year that it was highly likely the man had been killed, though it took time for DNA testing to provide confirmation of the identity.

The man, who was born in New Zealand, had family here and they were advised some time ago that he had been killed, Key said when the news of the death broke.

The incident was the first known killing of New Zealand or Australian citizens in a US drone strike.

Australian citizen Christopher Harvard was also killed in the strike along with three other men.

More here

Apr 162014
 

Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister

By John Minto / April 17, 2014
- See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/04/17/drone-murder-of-new-zealander-justified-by-prime-minister/#sthash.p0EVdkTD.dpuf
I’ve no idea what this murdered New Zealander was doing in Yemen – and I’m certain neither does John Key. The US National Security Agency has fed selective information about the strike to our GCSB which has fed selective information to the Prime Minister who has fed selective information to the hapless public of New Zealand.

Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference.

Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies that apparently this New Zealander was a terrorist who went to a terrorist training camp in Yemen and that Key thought these types of drone strikes were justified when dealing with “these types of people.

I’ve no idea what this murdered New Zealander was doing in Yemen – and I’m certain neither does John Key. The US National Security Agency has fed selective information about the strike to our GCSB which has fed selective information to the Prime Minister who has fed selective information to the hapless public of New Zealand.

Other media reports at the time of the drone strike in August 2013 said it took out “suspected al-Qaida operatives”. Who would know? In fact the majority of people killed in US drone strikes have been civilians.

A Human Rights Watch report released last year examined six such strikes in Yemen carried out between 2009–2013 and found that of the 82 people killed, at least 57 were civilians. Was this New Zealander just more collateral damage? We don’t know and we can’t expect the government or our spy agencies to tell us.

The HRW report also concluded that the drone strikes it examined “may have violated the laws of war because the individual attacked was not a lawful military target or the attack caused disproportionate civilian harm.”

All we do know for sure is that this New Zealander never got charged, never got a trial but that somewhere in the US a decision was made for the mass assassination of a group he was with – the kind of murderous act which has been condemned by governments and human rights groups around the world.

Here are a few critical questions for our Prime Minister.
•What evidence is there this New Zealander was a “terrorist” or was the label added after his death to justify the crime?
•How long had the GCSB been spying on him?
•Why was he allowed to travel overseas when other New Zealanders wanting to go overseas to fight in places like Syria for example have had their passports seized?
•What was he doing when he was killed?
•Why did the US launch a drone strike against him?
•If there was evidence of terrorist activity why was he not simply arrested when he returned to New Zealand or entered a third country?
•Was New Zealand informed by the US before they attacked and killed this kiwi citizen?
•If so what was the response of our spy agencies and their political master John Key?
•If New Zealand was not informed then why not?
•In aligning this country in support for US drone strikes what additional terrorist threat does that expose New Zealanders to?
•Why did the government not make the information about the killing public at the time when it occurred?
•Would the government ever have made this public if the information has not leaked out?

In typically cynical fashion Key is using this incident to bolster support for the GCSB and the massive increase in the power it was given last year to spy on us. He says it shows why we need the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders.

No it doesn’t My Key – it shows why the GCSB must be closed and why New Zealand must develop an independent foreign policy rather than one which aligns to deadly US foreign policy and increases the risk of terrorist attacks on New Zealanders.

Mar 122014
 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11217797

David Fisher
Senior reporter of the year

Snowden: US helped create loopholes in NZ law
3:12 PM Tuesday Mar 11, 2014

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden says the United States’ spy agency has helped find or create loopholes in New Zealand law to enable widespread spying.

In testimony to the European Parliament, the exiled former NSA worker said the agency’s Foreign Affairs Division put pressure on other countries to change laws to create legal gaps through which mass surveillance could be carried out.

Read Mr Snowden’s full written testimony here

He said lawyers at the United Kingdom’s GCHQ were also engaged in finding loopholes and both agencies slipped changes past unwitting politicians.

“In recent public memory, we have seen these FAD ‘legal guidance’ operations occur in both Sweden and the Netherlands, and also faraway New Zealand.”

Read full article here

Feb 092014
 

We are pleased to support the Rethink911 campaign and have put up posters in the Capital City.

!cid_1277C6E9-7456-4247-BB7E-3067ABC43E20@hsd1_ca_comcast_net

We have put 4 A1 size Rethink 911 posters on a pole on the Terrace near the Radio New Zealand building. This pole is also located very close to the Institution of Professional Engineers in Engineers House and also the New Zealand Fire Service and Union at no 80 The Terrace.

ReThink_Terrace01

We have also put up 4 A1 posters on a pole on the busy street corner of Willis and Manners Street which is located near the Dominion Post office.

1 Manners Street, Wellington (2)

The dates the posters will be displayed will be Sunday 9 February to Sunday 16 February inclusive.

We have sent open letters to Radio New Zealand Open Letter to Radio New Zealand from NZ911truth and to the Dominion Post Open Letter to Dominion Post from NZ911truth asking the programmers and editors to cover Building 7 and the Rethink 911 campaign.

We will also hold our usual street action nearby to one of the poster locations. We will update you on any developments – Watch this space.

Feb 042014
 

Mid Life RetrospectivePortraits Landscapes and 911

After 30 years of living and working together, Roger Morris and Marianne Muggeridge have collaborated in “Mid-life Retrospective: Portraits, Landscapes and 911”, a show at the Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford, Taranaki in March this year. Morris and Muggeridge live and work in a home-studio custom built by them in 1988-90, at the upper end of Oeo Road, South Taranaki, very close to the Mountain. Their work chronicles their lives there, and a just ended 11 year stint in Willis St. Wellington, as fulltime artists and parents, often featuring daughters Lucy and Myfanwy, and now granddaughter Azra.