Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Review: No further breaches by GCSB

Kim Dotcom. Photo / Natalie Slade
Kim Dotcom. Photo / Natalie Slade

A review of Government Communications Security Bureau involvement in police investigations initiated as a result of the Kim Dotcom affair has found no further breaches of legislation by the bureau.

The review of cases where the GCSB had assisted the police was launched in October last year after it emerged that incorrect information supplied by the Police's Organised and Financial Crime Agency (Ofcanz) led to the GCSB unlawfully monitoring the communications of Kim Dotcom and one of his associates.

GCSB Director Ian Fletcher referred three other cases "where there were potential issues" to Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Paul Neazor.

"The Inspector General has reviewed all cases put before him and has concluded that we were not in breach of our legislation," Mr Fletcher said in a statement this afternoon.

"It has been a very thorough process in which we provided an audit, responded to queries from the Inspector General and made available classified material in a secure environment."

The Inspector General had already reviewed the bureau's involvement in the Kim Dotcom case separately.

Mr Fletcher also said he was expecting a report soon from GCSB Associate Director Rebecca Kitteridge on the bureau's compliance with legislation and its internal systems and processes.

The Herald understands that report is expected by the end of March and is likely to be made public a couple of weeks later.

Ms Kitteridge was the Secretary of Cabinet before she was seconded to the GCSB to carry out the review.

The three cases given to Mr Neazor to review were among 58 instances of GCSB assistance given to police.

Prime Minister John Key who is responsible for New Zealand's spy agencies last year said he and officials were "quite satisfied" the GCSB had legally in 55 of those.

In one of the three cases reviewed by Mr Neazor, police asked the GCSB to get call-data records belonging to a NZ citizen. The records were not supplied but the spies told officers the phone was active. The other two cases were technical assistance from GCSB in cases in which the police had warrants.

The questions over the bureau's assistance to police emerged when the Herald reported on a 2008 police memo, obtained through the Official Information Act.

- NZ Herald

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