John Key: GCSB looked into a mass surveillance plan but he rejected it

LATEST: Internet Party hits back

National Party leader John Key told TV1’s Q+A programme that the GCSB looked into a plan for mass surveillance after two companies were subjected to a major cyber-attack – but he rejected it.

"What ended up actually happening though was in about September of 2012 obviously there was the shake-/up of GCSB, I brought in Rebecca Kitteridge, I started saying to the agency look, firstly your law needs to change, secondly your institution needs to strengthen, and thirdly I'm a little uncomfortable with where you're sorting to go.  I think you're actually arguing this far too broadly.  Even though a lot of New Zealanders might like it, because it's really a Norton anti-virus at a very high level.”

Mr Key said he would produce proof that New Zealanders are not subject to mass surveillance, as claimed by Journalist Glenn Greenwald.

"This is the point around the politics of all this.  He's had these documents for well over a year or so, so he's miraculously turning up 5 days before, 6 days before an election to try and bamboozle people, and try and make all of these claims which don’t stack up.  But he's only seen one bit you see, he's hacked in, he's seen all of this information, he said aha gotcha, and of course what he doesn’t realise is none of that ever happened.  So I'll be able to produce the document that says here's rescinding the asking of the business case, here's the document that actually shows what's taken place.

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