Waihopai spy base in New Zealand. Photo / The Intercept
Saturday, 7th March 2015,
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
– for immediate release :
Pacific leaders need to take action against wholesale spying by foreign powers, warns the Pacific Freedom Forum.
"Freedom of speech includes secure, private communications," says PFF Chair Titi Gabi.
"This is true for not just journalists and their sources, but also for political leaders, community leaders, activists and advocates."
This week's news about the "full take" spying delivers details promised last year by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.
Ten Pacific countries are listed in media reports as being targets of spying by New Zealand's GCSB, which gives the NSA full access - and control - over the data.
The countries are given as Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati and Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga and French Polynesia.
However another investigative journalist, Nick Hager, was quoted as saying the spying basically involves "all" Pacific Island countries.
PFF co-Chair Monica Miller said that concerns about mass surveillance must now extend to the highest levels of power in the Pacific.
"We are all familiar with concerns about the chilling effects on freedoms of speech of laws and threats from various governments.
"But now its the turn of the public to be concerned about those effects on their own governments."
PFF notes questions of outright illegality under New Zealand law given the fact that Niue and the Cook Islands people are New Zealand citizens by birthright.
New Zealand got support from the entire Pacific in its campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, campaigning with the slogan "New Zealand stands up for small states".
PFF says the spying highlights the need for more regional awareness and action on cyber security.
How foreign spies access GCSB's South Pacific intelligence
“Political espionage … economic intelligence”
Snowden GCSB revelations / Russel Norman says GCSB 'breaking the law'
Snowden revelations / The price of the Five Eyes club: Mass spying on friendly nations
Editorial: Pacific spying - at least we know about it
Editorial: We don't much like being kept in the dark
Greens: GCSB's spying in Pacific broke law
NEW ZEALAND LAUNCHED MASS SURVEILLANCE PROJECT WHILE PUBLICLY DENYING IT
NEW ZEALAND SPIES ON NEIGHBORS IN SECRET ‘FIVE EYES’ GLOBAL SURVEILLANCE
DOCUMENTS SHINE LIGHT ON SHADOWY NEW ZEALAND SURVEILLANCE BASE
PFF Chair Titi Gabi | GM PNG Loop | Papua New Guinea Mail: PO Box 7776, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea | Mob: (675) 7314 3929 | Email:email@example.com
PFF co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob (684) 258-4197 | Office (684) 633-7793 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PFF Editor Jason Brown | Aotearoa New Zealand | Mob: +(64) 224340831 | Email email@example.com
The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.
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