“I apologise to Mr Dotcom. I apologise to New Zealanders” – Prime Minister

Prime Minister John Key has apologised to Kim Dotcom for unlawful surveillance carried out by the Government Communications Security Bureau.

Radio New Zealand news bulletins yesterday played the following statement from the Prime Minister

“Of course I apologise to Mr Dotcom, I apologise to New Zealanders because every New Zealander that sits within the category of holding permanent residency or a New Zealand is entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB and we failed to provide that protection to them.”

The Prime Minister yesterday released a report from the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security which said that human error was at the heart of the unlawful spying.

Releasing the report, the Prime Minister said: ““It is the GCSB’s responsibility to act within the law, and it is hugely disappointing that in this case its actions fell outside the law. I am personally very disappointed that the agency failed to fully understand the workings of its own legislation.”

On Radio NZ’s Checkpoint programme, Mr Key: “They made a basic mistake … so basic it’s mind-blowing.”

The New Zealand Herald, reporting from a media conference after the report was released, quoted the Prime Minister as saying he was “appalled” at the agency, saying it had “failed at the most basic of hurdles.”

Apology from director of GCSB

In an editorial last night, the Waikato Times writes:

Prime Minister John Key [has] heightened suspicions that this country’s relationship with the United States has become one of servility rather than friendship.

And later:

Questions have quickly been raised about who in the Beehive knew what and when they found out. On Monday, Mr Key said he was not informed of the illegal bugging until a week ago (therefore he won’t be accepting responsibility, even though he is the minister responsible for the agency). But his deputy, Bill English, has acknowledged he knew spies were involved in the Kim Dotcom case some time before that. Spies? But Mr Dotcom is wanted in the US to face nothing more threatening than breaches of copyright laws

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