The news has emerged as the Government prepares to pass legislation which will allow the Defence Force to use the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders. Stuff.co.nz
When I did my research on John Key and tried to get the information to TV 3 before the election so that voters had more information as to what John “I want NZ to be just like Ireland” Key had been up to in his Derivatives and Forex days I was vetted by non other than Jon Stephenson about my information. I didn’t make the grade apparently because they didn’t call me back. I probably was to much of a “conspiracy theorist”.
He was on his way to Afghanistan at the time and perhaps still had the illusion he could do some “real” investigative journalism without the eye of Mordor seeking him out as he gallivanted through Afghanistan to research how closely aligned the NZ army is to the US and we happily delivered suspected “terrorists” to the Afghans in order to be tortured and killed.
I wonder how he feels now?
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.
Stephenson has described the revelation as a serious violation of his privacy, and the intrusion into New Zealand media freedom has been slammed as an abuse of human rights.
The spying came at a time when the New Zealand Defence Force was unhappy at Stephenson’s reporting of its handling of Afghan prisoners and was trying to find out who was giving him confidential information.
The monitoring occurred in the second half of last year when Stephenson was working as Kabul correspondent for the US McClatchy news service and for various New Zealand news organisations.
The Sunday Star-Times has learned that New Zealand Defence Force personnel had copies of intercepted phone “metadata” for Stephenson, the type of intelligence publicised by US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden. The intelligence reports showed who Stephenson had phoned and then who those people had phoned, creating what the sources called a “tree” of the journalist’s associates.
New Zealand SAS troops in Kabul had access to the reports and were using them in active investigations into Stephenson.