One of the 80+ New Zealanders targeted by security services
acknowledgement of Suzie Dawson’s situation in NZ media
the comments on what describes itself as a “left-wing”
publication (mostly Labour Party), demonstrate why I have almost
given up on New Zealanders ability to recognise the fascist regime
that runs this country.
fact, after having been informed of Dirty Politics and that New
Zealanders are being spied on they went on to vote Key back into
could be put down to media distortion but the asinine comments
demonstrate that people are as lazy and compacent as I thought.
of the comments repeat a lot of the nonsense spouted by the media
(and these are presumably people on the “Left”
seems that “NZ is a democracy” and so these things don’t happen
don’t have their passports cancelled in this democracy of ours
from the whole story from Suzie Dawson here is an example of how New
Zealanders are spied on and they dohave
their passports canceled.
investigation: Inside one of the SIS's biggest anti-terrorism
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.
New Zealand man had his communications monitored, probably illegally,
his home raided and his passport cancelled by the SIS. But there were
no guns or bombs. He was not part of a plot.
man, Tony Fullman, was a long-time public servant and peaceful
pro-democracy campaigner who, like the New Zealand and Australian
governments at that time, was opposed to the Bainimarama military
show that Fullman was monitored by the controversial Government
Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) as part of the operation. The
GCSB was not permitted to monitor New Zealanders at that time.
means Fullman, a New Zealand citizen, is one of the 88 New Zealanders
that an explosive 2013 report by Rebecca Kitteridge found may have
been illegally spied on by the GCSB between 2003 and 2012.
is the first of the 88 secret names to be publicly identified.
Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement supporters were also raided or
spied on by the GCSB during the SIS anti-terrorism operation.
government has never admitted making a mistake in targeting the
group, including with respect to the GCSB spying on Fullman.
well-placed insider says it was one of the SIS's biggest operations
in years. SIS staff were “very excited”, he said, believing they
“finally had some baddies, real live terrorists in New Zealand.”
Minister John Key was briefed in advance on the operation and
personally signed the warrants.
New Zealand intelligence spokesperson responded to a list of
questions about Fullman and the surveillance saying: “We don’t
comment on matters that may or may not be operational. Our security
and intelligence agencies operate within the law. The Inspector
General of Intelligence and Security provides independent oversight
of the agencies and can look into any operational activity. We do
not ask partners to do things that would circumvent the law, and New
Zealand gets significant value from our international relationships.”
SIS operation came to light in documents obtained from the US
National Security Agency (NSA) by whistle blower Edward Snowden. TVNZ
collaborated with US news site The Intercept to analyse the
leaked NSA documents include months of Fullman's intercepted Facebook
messages and personal emails, and “democfiji” emails relating to
a “Thumbs up for democracy” campaign.
puzzling – there are page after page of personal messages of no
apparent intelligence value – these intercepted communications
allowed the SIS operation to be uncovered.
GCSB used one of the NSA's most controversial surveillance systems,
PRISM, to target Fullman's communications. Staff in the NSA's Hawaii
headquarters – the same facility where Snowden himself worked in
2012 – tapped into the US Internet giants Facebook and Gmail, took
what they called “pulls” of Fullman's messages from May-August
2012 and forwarded them to the GCSB.
of Fullman's more than 200 intercepted messages is headed “US-984XN”,
the internal NSA code for the PRISM system. This makes Fullman the
first person in the world to be publicly identified as a confirmed
NSA uses PRISM secretly to obtain communications stored and
transmitted by major technology companies like Google, Apple,
Microsoft, and Yahoo. PRISM was also used to obtain months of
Fullman's bank statements, attached to emails from his bank. A NSA
document headed “Fiji Priority List” contains four Facebook
addresses, nine Gmail addresses and one Yahoo address belonging to
seven people called “Fiji Targets”. Three of the target people
appear to be part of the mistaken Fiji plot; the other four, who
include a Sri Lankan member of parliament, may be part of an
unrelated SIS operation targeting Sri Lankans.
first round of NSA monitoring was recorded by the NSA staff in a file
titled “9 July.doc”. The emails belonging to three of the people
on the target list had been intercepted at three different points in
the world-wide surveillance system run by agencies in the Five Eyes,
a spying alliance that New Zealand is part of alongside the United
States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
first person's messages were headed “US-984XR”, the code for
collection by the NSA's “Fairview” programme that accesses the US
telco AT&T's networks. The second person's messages had been
intercepted using “US-3171”, a major NSA cable access site
codenamed Dancing Oasis; and the third person's messages –
definitely part of the SIS's Fiji operation – via “DS-800”, a
“special source” access run by the Canadian Five Eyes agency, the
Communications Security Establishment.
NSA carried out the rest of the interception with PRISM.
messages from most of the named Fiji targets – including Fullman –
appear to have been sent to GCSB in word files. Looking up the file
“properties” gave the names of five NSA officers who created and
edited the PRISM results. Their job positions have the code
“NSA-FHS”, the internal NSA name for the signals intelligence
department at its Hawaii centre.
classification markings on most of the files – “REL TO USA/NZ”
– suggest that the intercepted communications were to be released
to New Zealand spies. Moreover, the NSA staff inserted notes in the
PRISM results pointing out that particular intercepted files had
“previously been sent to GCSB.”
NSA spokesperson said “NSA works with a number of partners in
meeting its foreign-intelligence mission goals, and those operations
comply with U.S. law and with the applicable laws under which those
partners operate. A key part of the protections that apply to both
U.S. persons and citizens of other countries is the mandate that
information be in support of a valid foreign intelligence
requirement, and comply with U.S. Attorney General-approved
procedures to protect privacy rights.”
SIS operation was launched at 7am on 17 July 2012 when 16 Australian
Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers and two Australian
Federal Police detectives arrived at the home of Fullman's sister in
Sydney, where he was staying, looking for weapons and other evidence
of the terrorism plot. They seized his computer and phone, and
confiscated his passport on behalf of the New Zealand authorities.
They began monitoring his communications at this time as well.
of SIS officers and police simultaneously raided Fullman's former
flat in the Wellington suburb of Karori and at least three other Fiji
Democracy and Freedom Movement supporters in Auckland, seizing their
computers and other property.
New Zealand Minister of Internal Affairs Chris Tremain signed a
Notice of Recall and Cancellation for Fullman's passport dated that
same day, 17 July. The notice set out the SIS case against Fullman.
said the minister had cancelled Fullman's passport based on
information provided by the NZSIS. “The majority of that
information is classified but in summary I have good reason to
believe that.... you are involved in planning violent action intended
to force a change of Government in a foreign state; and you intend to
engage in, or facilitate, an act of terrorism overseas.”
notice said the danger to the security of New Zealand could not be
effectively averted by other means and cancellation of the passport
would “prevent or effectively impede” Fullman's ability to carry
out the intended actions.
months later the SIS had to back down from the terrorism claims.
16 April 2013 the internal affairs minister Tremain wrote again to
Fullman and, contrary to the earlier letter, said that, “based on
advice provided by the NZSIS”, there were “no longer national
security concerns” about Fullman. The cancellation of his passport
was lifted “without requiring an application for a replacement, or
payment of a fee”.
turnaround followed Fullman initiating legal action against the New
Zealand government in the Wellington High Court two months earlier.
It is also worth noting that the SIS allegations against him were
dropped in the same week of April 2013 that the explosive report by
Rebecca Kitteridge was released finding unlawful spying by the GCSB.
lot had happened in the eight months since the raids in Wellington,
Auckland and Sydney, and the NSA surveillance.
PRISM monitoring of Fullman appears to have ended on 10 August 2012,
the same day by chance that the first hints of GCSB involvement in
the Kim Dotcom case emerged in court.
following month Key admitted illegal GCSB surveillance of Dotcom and
by April 2013 the GCSB controversy was one of the most serious crises
of Key's political career. The Fiji terrorism operation was quietly
SIS now knew the GCSB surveillance of Fullman had probably been
illegal. But the agency kept it secret and did not apologise nor give
him a chance to seek legal redress.
says “I worked for Inland Revenue and one of the last things I did
for them was to design an intelligence system for catching people
outside the tax system, these are the corporate tax payers. And in
doing so I worked with a lot of the intelligence units in the police
and I also went to SIS, had a chat to their director, working out the
best way for gathering intelligence. From what I was told and how
they operate, I kinda had higher expectations that they would have
done a thorough check before initiating any sort of 'hey, this guy is
a terrorist.' They didn't.”
feels disappointed by the security and intelligence services. “I
thought they were much better than that and more professional.” If
they are going to be given more powers, “people need to know it is
going to be used in the right way,” he said.
SIS operation appears to have been sparked in early July 2012 when
Fullman and his pro-democracy friend Ratu Tevita Mara, son of a long
term Fiji prime minister, visited Auckland and had the meetings with
Singh and other Fiji Movement for Freedom and Democracy members. Mara
had fallen out with the Bainimarama government the previous year and
been charged with uttering a seditious comment – he had reportedly
said “This government is f*** all”. He escaped by boat from Fiji
to nearby Tonga.
well-placed insider said the operation began after the SIS bugged
telephone calls and believed it heard threatening discussion against
Bainimarama. Fullman believes this bugging probably occurred while
Mara visited Auckland. In the raids two weeks later, the SIS had
asked Freedom and Democracy Movement members whether an assassination
plot was discussed during Mara and Fullman's meetings.
the research for this story, TVNZ asked various people in Auckland
pro-Fiji democracy groups if they had heard of discussions about
overthrowing or killing Bainimarama – during Mara's visit or at any
other times. Far from denying it, they replied that that sort of talk
happens frequently. However they said it is just angry venting, when
the kava is flowing, completely different to real plans.
it became clear that the SIS had failed to find a terrorist plot.
Snowden documents included 195 pages of intercepted messages
belonging to Fullman and Mara: daily monitoring of their private
communications in early August 2012 using PRISM and “three month
pulls” of their messages back to 2 May 2012.
messages contain some extremely personal information, typical
Facebook chit chat and profile information, lots of correspondence
about Fullman helping Mara establish a tourism venture on an island
in Tonga and many communications about blog posts and other
activities of their pro-democracy group.
are discussions about an unwell mother and a young relative with
problems. A top secret intelligence document reproduces Fullman's
proud photograph of his Mitsubishi car. The intercepted bank
statements showed Fullman's visits to a coffee shop, a pharmacy, and
purchases at a shoe store.
there is not a single hint of any plans for violence or other
clandestine activity. The NSA surveillance produced no evidence of a
the SIS and Australian ASIO officers took computers, hard drives,
phones and papers from at least five homes during the 17 July raids.
A subsequent official report by the New Zealand Inspector General of
Intelligence and Security strongly suggests they found no sign of a
plot there either.
of those raided, Rajesh Singh, complained to the Inspector General,
Andrew McGechan, who questioned the SIS officers involved and studied
the SIS files on the operation.
report said the SIS had applied for a domestic intelligence warrant
“against a number of individuals” because of “suspicions of a
plan to inflict violence” (against someone whose name was redacted,
McGechan found no evidence of unlawful behaviour by Singh or, by
implication, evidence of the supposed terrorist plot.
2 May 2014 report said “There is nothing in the issue of the
Warrant itself or in the questions and answers that followed... which
comes even near to approaching proof of criminal activity or
participation in terrorism.” He noted that “No police activity
has resulted, or charges been laid.”
Inspector-General found that a SIS agent issued Singh a heavy-handed
warning, even though this is explicitly not allowed under the SIS
SIS officer “said she had messages to convey from the New Zealand
Government: it would not tolerate [redacted]” and “Anyone
involved in planning would be dealt with by NZ Police.”
declared that these actions were beyond the SIS's powers and it was
clear that “this 'disruption' was planned from the outset.” He
said “there is no indication that any doubts were harboured as to
final day of PRISM monitoring of Fullman's communications on 10
August 2012 intercepted an email from the New South Wales government
refusing a request from Fullman for legal aid. He had begun a long
and expensive process to get his passport returned.
was born in Fiji in 1965 and emigrated to New Zealand when he was
about 21. He spent most of his working life in New Zealand, including
24 years at the Inland Revenue Department in Wellington. In his spare
time, he worked as an amateur boxing referee and once a month helped
out at a Christian charity in Wellington, serving meals to local poor
and disadvantaged people. He earned two masters degrees in management
as an adult student and then from 2009-2011 moved to Fiji to be CEO
of the Fiji Water Authority (the PRISM-intercepted emails include
was enthusiastic about being a New Zealander. “I really liked it,”
he told TVNZ. “New Zealand to me is, I kind of fell in love with
it, you know the number 8 wire. Then you have the women's vote,
Greenpeace, anti-nuclear, it was fantastic.”
life changed in 2011. Following Mara's escape from Fiji, Fullman was
taken in for questioning by the Fiji military. It had found phone
calls between him and Mara, a childhood friend from the northern
island of Levuka, shortly before Mara left. Fullman was forced to
leave Fiji and Mara asked him to help support the pro-democracy
says he helped Mara “organising meetings with the leaders of the
Pacific and anyone we could get in the Commonwealth. And it is just
selling the idea of the issues in Fiji, in particularly what was
happening behind the scenes that people didn't know.” They were on
the same side as the New Zealand and Australian governments, which
also opposed the Bainimarama government. 'We had meetings with them,
regular meetings,” including with the foreign affairs officials
working on South Pacific issues.
being publicly associated with a claimed terrorist plot (in news
stories on the Singh raid), he has had trouble finding work. He says
he is still pulled out of airline queues for security searches when
he travels. He does not feel like being in New Zealand and is
currently based in Sydney where he is seeking work as a business
be betrayed by your own country, it's really hard,” he told TVNZ.
“It puts a sour taste in your mouth. When you watch the All Blacks
play, it's not done with the same sentiments any more.”
I referred to personal attacks by a well-known Auckland activist.
Seeing this is in the public arena I can now comfortably reveal that
person is self-proclaimed anti-corruption campaigner, Penny
Here are some of her comments
Here you go Suzette Maree Dawson – directly to your face – as it were:
As a VERY experienced New Zealand activist for the last 40 years, I have worked with Suzette Maree Dawson, and in my opinion, based on my personal experience – she is absolutely NOT to be trusted.
The reason, in my considered opinion, why most New Zealanders have never heard of her, is because she has nothing of note to help the NZ ‘99%’.
Suzette Maree Dawson came to Occupy Auckland with no proven track record as an activist, and in my view, played an extremely disruptive and divisive role.
I’ll stand on my proven track record as an anti-privatisation / anti-corruption ‘Public Watchdog’.
Do your own ‘due diligence’ and do your own ‘Google search’.
I’m speaking as one of two people who were individually singled out by Auckland Council in their legal proceedings against Occupy Auckland’.
As a ‘lay litigant’ – I defended myself, and worked together with the pro-Bono lawyer (Ron Mansfield) who effectively defended ‘Occupy Auckland’ as a group.
We successfully won on Appeal in the Auckland High Court.