Key dismisses 'Dotcom's henchman' over spy claim

Published: 2:28PM Saturday September 13, 2014 Source: ONE News

Prime Minister John Key has denied the GCSB has undertaken mass surveillance, dismissing the US journalist who made the claim as "Doctom's little henchman".

He was commenting after Glenn Greenwald today insisted the GCSB has been conducting mass surveillance of New Zealanders and said the Prime Minister has been deceiving the public about it.

"Mr Dotcom's little henchman will be proved to be incorrect because he is incorrect....there never has been mass surveillance and there is not mass surveillance," Mr Key told ONE News.

ONE News understands Mr Key will release documents showing spy officials may have considered mass surveillance but the proposal never went ahead.

The release is expected to come before Mr Greenwald, the journalist who published NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's evidence of mass surveillance in the US, takes part in Kim Dotcom's so-called "moment of truth" announcement on Monday. The Internet Party founder says the "bombshell" will lift the lid on the New Zealand Government's involvement in spying and mass surveillance.

Mr Greenwald told TVNZ today that when the bill was passed last year to rectify illegal spying, the Government said there was no mass surveillance at all, and specifically not on New Zealand citizens.

"And there are documents that call into serious question the truthfulness of those claims," Mr Greenwald told ONE News political editor Corin Dann.

"And we've been spending months doing the reporting and are very close to divulging the reporting that I think will let New Zealand citizens decide whether that was truthful."

Dann asked if that reporting will show the Prime Minister of New Zealand to be a liar.

"Any politician in New Zealand who has made statements like that that there's no mass surveillance been taking place aimed at New Zealanders is a politician who has been deceiving the public. And that's what our reporting will show," Mr Greenwald replied.

Mr Greenwald denies Mr Key's claims he is being paid by Mr Dotcom.