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Nicky Hager receives $66,000 settlement from Security Intelligence Service over phone record spying & More Trending News

Journalist Nicky Hager will obtain $66,000 from the Security Intelligence Service after his phone data have been unlawfully spied on.

Hager had efficiently taken a case towards the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) to Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, which determined in 2019 the spy company had unlawfully obtained and used two months of Hager’s phone information.

The SIS, which first apologised in 2019, agreed this month to the financial settlement – $40,000 in compensation and $26,400 for authorized charges – and conceded it “unlawfully requested and collected two months of Mr Hager’s home telephone [data]and that doing so breached Mr Hager’s rights”.

Hager had been searching for paperwork from the SIS associated to using his phone information. On Wednesday, in a press release saying the settlement, stated he was “pleased with the result” however extra was wanted “to prevent unlawful actions by bodies such as the NZSIS”.

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“Our intelligence services repeatedly claim that they have become more transparent and more careful to obey the law.

“But when I requested information from the NZSIS director Rebecca Kitteridge about the suspected NZSIS help to find my sources, she refused to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of the information.

“Ms Kitteridge went on to deny any wrongdoing before the Inspector-General. She claimed that the NZSIS was justified in using its powers as it was investigating espionage, and that my actions prejudiced national security.”

The SIS sought Hager’s phone data after the journalist printed a ebook, Other People’s Warsin September 2011. The ebook contained particulars of New Zealand’s involvement in each the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, obtained from confidential sources.

Journalist Nicky Hager speaking at University of Otago in Wellington in 2014.

Maarten Holl/Stuff

Journalist Nicky Hager talking at University of Otago in Wellington in 2014.

A selected Defence Force officer was suspected of being Hager’s supply, however enough proof couldn’t be discovered and the Defence Force requested the SIS to help. It gathered metadata from the officer’s dwelling phone and cell phone, and tried to hyperlink it with two months of metadata from Hager’s dwelling phone.

This was unsuccessful, and each the SIS and the Defence Force pursued the investigation no additional.

Acting Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Madeleine ​Laracy later decided the SIS had no lawful energy to analyze.

“I have been unable to find that the [SIS] showed the kind of caution I consider proper, for an intelligence agency in a free and democratic society, about launching any investigation into a journalist’s sources,” she stated.

The SIS, in a public assertion that was a part of the settlement, stated it “apologises unreservedly for breaching Mr Hager’s rights” and that its “conduct fell short of its own expectations”.

New Zealand Security Intelligence Service director-general Rebecca Kitteridge.

Peter Meecham/Stuff

New Zealand Security Intelligence Service director-general Rebecca Kitteridge.

“Investigative journalists such as Mr Hager play an important role in society, including to provide an additional check on executive functions and powers. The role of Mr Hager is considerably more difficult given his subject matter of expertise and the difficulties of obtaining information which is protected by various and numerous confidentiality mechanisms,” the assertion learn.

“NZSIS recognises that its actions in 2012 could have resulted in a chilling effect on such important work.”

As a part of the phrases of settlement, the SIS agreed to destroy a month’s value of Hager’s phone information that it had retained. Hager agreed to not take the matter to court docket, and withdrew official requests for his phone information held by the company.

Hager’s lawyer, Felix Geiringer​, stated the end result was “an important result for journalism” because the intelligence companies can not use their powers “to go after a journalist’s sources just because the Government does not like what a journalist is saying”.

Hager additionally beforehand reached a “substantial” however confidential settlement with police over a raid of his Wellington dwelling, which occurred after the publication of his 2014 ebook Dirty Politics. The High Court discovered the raid was “fundamentally” illegal.

Nicky Hager receives $66,000 settlement from Security Intelligence Service over phone record spying

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Nicky Hager receives $66,000 settlement from Security Intelligence Service over phone record spying

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Nicky Hager receives $66,000 settlement from Security Intelligence Service over phone record spying

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