THE New Zealand spy agency is under investigation for illegally helping police in the Kim Dotcom MegaUpload case, Prime Minister John Key says.
Mr Key has asked for an inquiry by the country’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the “unlawful interception of communications” without statutory authority by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).
Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom and three of his associates were arrested in January.
He is facing internet piracy and money laundering charges in the United States, with extradition proceedings due to start in March.
Mr Key says a memorandum has been filed in the High Court in the MegaUpload case advising it and affected parties that the GCSB acted unlawfully while helping police locate “certain individuals subject to arrest warrants issued in the case”.
He says the bureau “acquired communications in some instances without statutory” approval.
Mr Key says he was told about the GCSB’s actions by the agency’s director on September 17.
He said he was disappointed that “unlawful acts” had taken place.
“I expect our intelligence agencies to operate always within the law. Their operations depend on public trust,” he said on Monday.
“I look forward to the inspector-general’s inquiry getting to the heart of what took place and what can be done about it.”