Conspiracy Corner – Spying on Kim Dotcom

Hello, everyone. I am a New Zealand citizen and do not need to be spied upon. Indeed, if you are curious to what I am up to and what I have been doing, week-in and week-out, I have a radio segment on the 95bFM’s Breakfast show, every Thursday morning at 8:15am. If I use the code word “Tubthumper,” then that means I have been up to something naughty.

For those of you not in the know, the preceding paragraph exists to assure the GCSB (Aotearoa me Te Wai Pounamu’s (New Zealand) FBI-equivalent) that they need not spy on me like they did with Kim Dotcom.

Basically, the GCSB, due to a lack of oversight by the relevant (Prime) Minister and an inability to interpret it’s own law, spied on a permanent resident and thus endangered the case against Dotcom that the actual FBI are pursuing. What I find especially interesting about what has happened is that there is a prior probability that an organisation like the GCSB will act conspiratorially because that is what they are meant to do. This doesn’t, however, mean we should expect all their behaviour to be conspiratorial (in the sense that it was planned); sometimes organisations like these “cock-up.” At the moment we are seeing a lot of allegations that the GCSB were acting on behalf of the Americans, or that the Government of the day are uninterested in pursuing the matter further because it will piss off an ally, but what happened might well just be a cock-up by an organisation that just happens to have a conspiratorial function.

Now, my love of security apparatus and the like is well-known (that should be “lack of love”) and I certainly think it’s possible that the GCSB acted beyond its remit because it thinks it is above the law (once again, if the relevant (Prime) Minister is not going to do what he is meant to do and actually engage in oversight over the activities of the GCSB, these things are all the more likely to happen) and it’s not outside the bounds of possibility that they are sympathetic to, or even taking orders from, the Americans, but…

Well, cock-ups happen.


About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.