Has the US been spying on NZ banks?

Eye Spy A British organisation has laid a complaint here in New Zealand, and in 32 other countries against the US Treasury and CIA for spying on millions of financial transactions made through New Zealand banks in the last year.   The US claims that the spying is part of its anti-terrorism efforts, but British-based privacy watchdog and New Zealand Green MP, Keith Locke, claim that the spying is an illegal invasion of people’s privacy.   The banks involved include ASB, Kiwibank, Westpac, and ANZ National.   This issue is making news all around the would, with thousand of financial institutions involved.   For instance a Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, is campaigning against:

“the recruitment of the private sector in a U.S. “war on terror” that by most accounts has been ineffectual, and as a side-effect has given Washington unprecedented powers to snoop into the personal affairs of Canadians and other citizens far beyond its own borders.”

A Toronto Star columnist argued last month that:

“There by now needs to be some push-back, some hard questioning of the efficacy of the sometimes indiscriminate and wide-ranging collection by the United States of private information about citizens around the world. The Canadian financial sector could show the way by undertaking that task now, for the sake of its customers and its credibility.”

New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner, Marie Schroff, indicated last night on National Radio, that she would be watching Canadian privacy investigations closely for a lead on how to progress the issue here.

(thanks to Thomas Sly for the photo)


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