Spying leaks may include NZ - Key

Last updated 07:57 26/11/2013
FUGITIVE: Edward Snowden.
FUGITIVE: Edward Snowden.

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Prime Minister John Key says it's possible US whistleblower Edward Snowden has documents on New Zealand's spying activities.

But he doubted there would be anything to embarrass the country.

"I really don't know what he has, I just know he has a whole lot of information - that's the reports - and apparently lots and lots of documents, and we're part of the Five Eyes," he said on Firstline.

The Five Eyes is a spying alliance between New Zealand, Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States.

"So that club of countries talk to each other, so look it's possible he's got stuff, I don't know," Key said.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been systematically leaking spy documents, while on the run from US agents.

The documents have revealed US spying on world leaders, such as Germany and France.

After the latest drop, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been left to deal with the fallout that Australian agents had listened in on the phone calls of the Indonesian President, his wife and senior ministers.

But Key said he was confident that anything Snowden might have would not bring the integrity of New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in question.

"I don't think it's really going to be 'shock horror' that they've actually gathered intelligence," he said.

"It's not like we deny we undertake activities, we absolutely do.

"What we always do though, is make sure we abide by the law and make sure we're doing because there's a particular reason, that's often for the safety and security of New Zealanders or the protection of New Zealand's intellectual property, whatever it might be."

He said he was aware of the general activities the GCSB undertook.

"If it requires a warrant, I have to sign that warrant so I'm aware of those things."

He said he did not know whether there was any basis to rumours Kim Dotcom may have been a conduit for any of the leaks to Snowden.

"I just know that a couple of media outlets have been asking the GCSB some questions. That assumes they either have information, or they're going to get some.

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