New Zealand union says intelligence services spying on academics

Dr. Jane Kelsey

Dr. Jane Kelsey

Back in February, intelNews reported on allegations, subsequently confirmed through declassification, that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) has been keeping files on several members of the country’s Parliament, some of them since they were children. Now the Wellington-based Tertiary Education Union (TEU) has alleged that NZSIS also spies on academics. The allegations follow a request by Dr. Jane Kelsey for the release of her NZSIS files. Professor Kelsey, a prominent scholarly critic of free trade policies, made the request after NZSIS agreed to release the files of several parliamentarians it had been monitoring for a many decades. Interestingly, NZSIS refused to confirm whether it possessed information on Dr. Kelsey. After she filed a complaint to New Zealand’s Privacy  Commissioner, the intelligence service released a mere three pages of information on her. But Dr. Kelsey pressed on and forced NZSIS to admit that releasing more pages from her file would “disclose knowledge about NZSIS’ operations or capabilities or modus operandi”. The admission prompted TEU president Tom Ryan to reprimand NZSIS for spying on Professor Kelsey “simply because of her [academic] views on our country’s economic and trade policies rather than any real concern that she might pose a physical or military risk”. Ryan also said that the union suspects other academics have been spied on by NZSIS and that “much of the spying appears to have occurred in […] university workplace[s]”.

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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to New Zealand union says intelligence services spying on academics

  1. Trouble in paradise… thanks for this Ian.

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