No spying under Labour: Cunliffe

KELLY DENNETT AND MANPREET FARRAR
Last updated 14:17 17/09/2014
David Cunliffe

FORMER REGIME: David Cunliffe as an MP with then Labour leader and Prime Minister Helen Clark in 2008.

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Labour leader David Cunliffe has been given assurances by former prime minister and party leader Helen Clark that New Zealanders weren't being spied on under her leadership.

However, he said there were still grey areas that need to be looked at regarding the allegations made by US journalist Glenn Greenwood and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Cunliffe was speaking at the University of Auckland this afternoon during a meet and greet with student supporters.

In response to intelligence and security inspector general Cherly Gwyn's assertions that there was no evidence of mass surveillance on New Zealanders he said:

"There are a number of grey areas that New Zealanders want clarity on, like is meta data given the same protections as data?

"Do you need a warrant to acess information about New Zealanders from third parties and is cyber security a easy way out around other protections?"

He said he has been given assurances by Clark that he had nothing to worry about.

"I have absolutely no indication that Labour has been involved in that in anyway. I have absolutely nothing I would be concerned about."

Although the conversations had preceded the latest revelations he said he trusted the assurances.

"[Clark] stands by the integrity of her government."

Cunliffe said he become the next prime minister there would be a full review into the cyber privacy and protections Kiwis need.

Prime Minister John Key needed to make it clear to New Zealanders what protections are available to them under the five eyes arrangement, he said.

Cunliffe said Kim Dotcom and Greenwald's allegations had not added to political debate but been a distraction to the election campaign.

Asked whether he wanted to be the man who "squashed Dotcom" Cunliffe replied, "I think that's a big ask". 

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