13:24 GMT18 May 2021
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    Leaked documents showed that New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau used an Internet spy system to intercept documents of officials close to the Solomon Islands' prime minister.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — New Zealand's intelligence spied on government officials and an anti-corruption campaigner on the Solomon Islands, The Intercept reported, citing a leaked classified document.

    According to the the leaked document's targets list, dated from January 2013, New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has used the Internet spy system XKEYSCORE to intercept documents of officials close to the Solomon Islands' prime minister.

    Besides, it has been spying on the country's leading anti-corruption activist, Benjamin Afuga.

    The documents raised questions about the true scope and aims of the surveillance since no people under it appear to be associated with terrorist activities.

    New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
    © AP Photo / New Zealand Herald, Mark Mitchell
    Earlier documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the GCSB has been sweeping up all communications from Pacific island nations, then sharing it via the XKEYSCORE system run by the US National Security Agency (NSA). The data was shared within the Five Eyes surveillance alliance, which includes the intelligence agencies of New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

    In August 2013, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key said that he and the GCSB director would resign if the spy agency was caught red handed conducting mass surveillance.

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    Tags:
    spying, surveillance, XKEYSCORE, Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Benjamin Afuga, Solomon Islands, New Zealand
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