Mike's Editorial: Spying back in the headlines

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 5 Mar 2015, 8:07AM
(Photo: NewspixNZ/NZ Herald)
(Photo: NewspixNZ/NZ Herald)

Mike's Editorial: Spying back in the headlines

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 5 Mar 2015, 8:07AM

So we spy on Pacific Nations.

Here's my guess, they already knew that.

Here's my other guess, we already knew that.

One more guess...I doubt many give a 'monkeys'. One of the great lessons of the election campaign was that when it comes to spying and dirty deeds in politics, Nicky Hager and his conspiracy mates made no difference whatsoever.

Kim Dotcom and his grandiose promises amounted to nothing. The 'Moment Of Truth' was the moment of humiliation for them.

All this as we mentioned earlier was expected to be put out there during the campaign itself, so why it's been delayed until now...lord only knows.

But what some were expecting was a real bombshell. This might have been a story if we were spying on the US or China. If it potentially affected trade we might have had an issue.

But like all of these things that are spun and hyped, they turn out to be a fraction of the size of the bollocks that makes up the build up.

Maybe this is just a philosophical issue. Maybe Hager and Snowden just can't get their head around the fact spy agencies spy.

For my part, I can't see why they wouldn't...just what is it they were expecting a spy agency to do if it's not to spy? And if we're part of the 'Five Eyes' group, doesn't it make perfect sense we spy on our part of the world?

My major concern is boredom. How gripping do you reckon that intel coming out of Kiribati is? What juicy insight are we getting out of Tuvalu? It might be mind-numbingly tedious looking at the email traffic of a tiny atol in the Pacific.

Maybe the philosophical divide between Snowden, Hager, and the rest of us extends to the full collection method. The fact we trawl through the lot instead iof chasing and picking off the bits that are genuinely important.

But in all honesty, if you'd asked me, before we'd ever heard of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, whether the world was full of people looking over each other's shoulders I would have said yes. I would have said because it is, it has always been.

Yes it's got more sophisticated as technology has allowed. But the basic premise has been around forever.

Assange has spent two years in a small room in Knightsbridge for being naive. Snowden is stuck in Russia for being the same, although you'll note this week he wants to go back to the States. Presumably he's worked out what he thought he had wasn't quite the smoking gun his conspiratorial mind once thought it was.

If you are in genuine shock, call me, email me, and tell me just where it is you have been living that has you thinking any of this is a surprise.

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