One News: Taxpayer-funded grants to NZ tech firm used to build surveillance equipment for UK government

Taxpayer-funded grants to a private New Zealand tech firm were used to build mass surveillance equipment for Britain’s largest intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

ONE News: Special investigation: Inside one of the SIS’s biggest anti-terrorism operations

One of the Security Intelligence Service’s biggest ever anti-terrorism operations – conducted between July and August 2012 – targeted a group of pro-democracy campaigners who it mistakenly thought were planning to overthrow the military government in Fiji.

Snowden files: How NZ and US agents plotted to spy on China

Five Eyes allies identified a diplomatic data link between Chinese offices as a target for hacking. Nicky Hager and Ryan Gallagher dissect the plan.

Snowden files: GCSB’s secret Bangladesh spy mission

Secret documents reveal New Zealand has shared intelligence collected through covert surveillance with Bangladesh despite that country’s security forces being implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture and other human rights abuses.

Snowden files: How spy agency homed in on Groser’s rivals

A top secret document reveals New Zealand’s surveillance agency spied on candidates vying to be the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a job sought by National Government minister Tim Groser.

Snowden files: GCSB had Solomons post, papers show

The GCSB not only spies on the Solomon Islands using its Waihopai satellite interception base – it also had a secret listening post inside the country, according to documents provided by the United States National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Revealed: The names NZ targeted using NSA’s XKeyscore system

Why did the GCSB intercept emails to and from Solomon Island officials? Nicky Hager and Ryan Gallagher report

Snowden revelations: NZ’s spy reach stretches across globe

New Zealand spies on Vietnam, China, India, Pakistan, South American nations and a range of other countries to help fill gaps in worldwide surveillance operations by the United States National Security Agency (NSA), documents show.

Snowden files: Inside Waihopai’s domes

NICKY HAGER AND RYAN GALLAGHER Last updated 07:47, March 8 2015 Sunday Star-Times The Waihopai intelligence base looks oddly alien and out of place: huge white “golf ball” radomes like a moon station and silent buildings within two fences of razor wire, all dropped in the midst of vineyards and dry hills in New Zealand’s [...]

#snowdenNZ : The price of the Five Eyes club: Mass spying on friendly nations

Leaked Snowden files show most of GCSB’s targets are not security threats to New Zealand, as Government suggests…

New Zealand elections: dirty tricks helped John Key win another term

An orchestrated attack has painted Key’s political opponents as dodgy, untrustworthy or incompetent. This is not how democracy should work: Nicky Hager writes in The Guardian

Cyprus: the home of British/American Internet surveillance in the Middle East by Nicky Hager and Stefania Maurizi

British and US Internet surveillance in the Middle East and surrounding regions occurs from a secret base on the island of Cyprus…..

US spy agencies eavesdrop on Kiwi, Sunday Star-Times 

The New Zealand military received help from US spy agencies to monitor the phone calls of Kiwi journalist Jon Stephenson and his associates while he was in Afghanistan reporting on the war.

Trevor Clarke, tax haven architect and current-day user

This article, published by Matariki FM in the Cook Islands, is about tax haven activities of that nation’s richest man….

Who Uses the Offshore World

Secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reveal tens of thousands of people in more than 170 countries and territories linked to offshore companies and trusts. Here are some examples from around the world. By Marina Walker Guevara, Nicky Hager, Mar Cabra, Gerard Ryle and Emily Menkes

How do you make sense of more than a million leaked documents?

The story behind the massive leak of documents revealing the extent to which the world’s wealthy go to avoid and evade tax and New Zealand’s part in the investigations

Money trail leads home to New Zealand, Sunday Star-Times

Leaked documents reveal one of New Zealand’s richest families was for a time at the heart of a major international tax haven company that hit the news in the United States last week.

Disclosure of secret offshore documents may force top Mongolian lawmaker to resign

Deputy speaker of Mongolia’s Parliament admits he had $1 million Swiss account….

Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact

Dozens of journalists sifted through millions of leaked records and thousands of names to produce ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy
By Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara, Michael Hudson, Nicky Hager, Duncan Campbell and Stefan Candea

The Manipulators, chapter 10 of The Hollow Men

The Australian strategists Crosby/Textor have returned to the news working for the British Conservative Party. We are reproducing a chapter about their operations in a New Zealand campaign, including leaked reports that show clearly how they think and operate…
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Spies target animal rights campaigners

An Auckland private investigation firm has been caught out after it attached a sophisticated tracking device to a political campaigner’s car – but left the device visible from outside the vehicle. It is the third time in three years the Sunday Star-Times has caught Thompson & Clark Investigations doing covert surveillance on political groups for corporate clients.

FBI role in Big Brother’s sharper eyes, ears

GO TO the heart of one of Telecom or Vodafone’s mobile phone exchanges and you’ll find the whole system – covering a quarter of the country – is run by a single computer, no bigger than a small freezer.
Cables lead off to all the company’s cellphone towers and other parts of the network. A main cable, connecting all those phone users to the world, comes out the top of the computer and passes directly into a unit in the rack above. One cable goes into the unit but two come out: one continuing out to the world, the other coiling off to secret equipment marked “LI” on the system diagrams. “LI” stands for “lawful interception”.

NZ’s cyber spies win new powers

New cyber-monitoring measures have been quietly introduced giving police and Security Intelligence Service officers the power to monitor all aspects of someone’s online life. The measures are the largest expansion of police and SIS surveillance capabilities for decades, and mean that all mobile calls and texts, email, internet surfing and online shopping, chatting and social networking can be monitored anywhere in New Zealand.

Crossing the line: the activist who turned police informer

The police have used an informer to spy on New Zealand protest groups for nearly 10 years – providing them with intimate details about planned protests and even the private lives of group members….

Police anti-terror squad spies on protest groups

Police teams set up to identify terrorism threats and risks to national security are spying on protest and community groups, including Greenpeace, animal rights and climate change campaigners, and Iraq war protesters.

Return of the Hollow Men

National leader John Key’s campaign is being overseen by the same highly controversial manipulators who directed Don Brash’s ill-fated tilt at power….

Coal mine spies return despite govt ban

PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS working for the state-owned coal company Solid Energy have defied a direct government instruction and again tried to infiltrate an environment group that opposes Solid Energy’s coal mining plans….

Still digging

Twelve months ago the government told state coal company Solid Energy that using paid informants to infiltrate environment groups was ‘not acceptable’ and that it had to stop. Solid Energy is adamant it has complied. The private investigators however appear to have defied the order….

A question of intelligence

What information led the police to smash the Urewera ‘terrorist’ training camps? Nicky Hager investigates the intelligence trail which led from cafe conversations to the armed police response. TWO YEARS ago a man quite similar to central characters in the Urewera “terrorism” case purchased a pistol holster on TradeMe for $66. Officers at the Otahuhu [...]

Back Story

The Police “terrorism” case against Maori, peace and environmental activists has its origins long before Operation Eight began last year….

I was paid to betray protesters

Student confesses he infiltrated group opposed to Solid Energy mining.
AN AUCKLAND private investigation firm is paying agents to infiltrate
and spy on environmental, peace and anti-vivisection groups….

The Hollow Men, a study in the politics of deception

The Hollow Men - Nicky HagerThe book shows the internal working of New Zealand’s main conservative party (the National Party) from the election of a new leader, through two years of election campaigning, up to that leaders demise. Based on 1000s of internal communications, strategy papers, itineraries and meeting minutes, it gives an unprecedented insight into modern politics. After exposing numerous lies told to the public, revealing the cynical use of racism to woo redneck voters, secret relations with millionaire donors and much more, the party leader resigned on the day the book was published.

Australians aware of agent’s connection to Mossad

AUSTRALIAN intelligence officials knew the man at the centre of the Kiwi Israeli spy scandal was a long-time Mossad agent well before he began the New Zealand passport operation…

Mossad man’s history of bungles

Don’t expect the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to be named in an apology about the Israeli spy scandal, but it was indeed Mossad at the centre of the affair. (This story solved the mystery of two Isreali men caught attempting to obtain false New Zealand passports. Nicky Hager traced them to the Isreali intelligence service, Mossad.)

Orion spending decision flies in face of Clark’s previous policy

NO ONE said it openly, but an unpublicised cabinet decision in late January signalled the end of Labour’s policy of reorienting the defence forces….

In the line of fire

The role New Zealand soldiers are playing in Iraq is not the one the government has sold to the country… (This feature was the first expose of New Zealand military activities in Iraq.)

Power firm’s shock ally

Nicky Hager reveals a controversial American company behind the South Island’s proposed Project Aqua scheme….

Our secret war

THE war in Afghanistan was fought by intelligence analysts sitting at computers and special force commandos roving in mountains and lowlands…. (This feature was the first expose of New Zealand military activities in Afghanistan and surrounding countries in 2001-2003, activities which until then had mostly remained secret.)

Seeds of Distrust, The story of a GE coverup

Seeds of Distrust - Nicky HagerThe book tells the story of how the New Zealand government handled the unwelcome news of contamination of corn crops with genetically-engineered seeds. Officials succumbed to industry lobbying, quietly changed the regulations to “allow” contaminated crops. ‘managed’ the risk of politicians and the public objecting by keeping the whole incident secret. The book is not about the corn but about the political management. It takes readers step-by-step through the crisis, based on original documents from an unhappy insider.

Defence loses battle for huge spend-up

A $2.3 billion defence spending plan is stalled before cabinet after ministers rejected a bid by defence officials for a high tech military upgrade of surveillance aircraft….

A tangled web

The police, Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau are pushing for major new surveillance powers including the ability to spy on emails. Nicky Hager investigates. THE secretary of the anti-free trade group turns on her computer and types in the security password. Her computer holds all the group’s membership lists and meeting [...]

Secret and Lies, the anatomy of an anti-environmental PR campaign

Secrets and Lies – Nicky Hager and Bob BurtonA based on hundreds of leaked public relations papers, the book shows how PR consultants think and act when they are being paid to try to influence politics. It shows the range of techniques used by PR companies to manufacture political support for their clients and dirty tricks they use to stop their client’s opponents being heard.

Phantom Soldiers

Most SAS keep to themselves. They socialise together, are hard drinkers, and `watch each other’s backs’. They don’t talk freely about their work, with is why most of what they do remains secret…. (This article publicised many previously unknown details of New Zealand’s Special Air Service)

Ugly factory building hides bugging centre

Written with Anthony Hubbard AN UGLY industrial building in inner-city Wellington is the Security Intelligence Service’s bugging and surveillance centre, the Sunday Star-Times can reveal. The white two-storey building in Kaiwharawhara Rd _ in an industrial area which includes panelbeaters and pet food wholesalers _ houses sophisticated electronic bugging equipment. Cars and utility vans used [...]

Exposing the Global Surveillance System

This article publicised Nicky Hager’s book Secret Power and particularly its revelations about the Echelon surveillance system to an international audience. The article was picked by a European Parliament researcher and prompted a year-long European Parliament investigation into the Echelon system (2000-2001). It received a US journalism award.

Secret Power, New Zealand’s role in the international spy network

Secret Power – Nicky Hager – cover“The most detailed and up-to-date account of the work of any signals intelligence agency in existence… a masterpiece of investigative reporting.” The book contains the first detailed account of the world-wide electronic surveillance system called Echelon, which is used to spy on international communications including e-mails and phone calls. These revelations have been repeated in hundreds of articles, documentaries and movies, and prompted for a year-long European parliament inquiry. The book gives an inside look at New Zealand’s largest intelligence agency and its part in a US-British-Canadian-Australia-New Zealand intelligence alliance, information that helps us understand the workings of all five allied agencies.