Anonymous planning protest against New Zealand surveillance bill

The hacker collective is not pleased with an increase in online spy powers for New Zealand's GCSB.


Curt Hopkins

Internet Culture

Published Aug 30, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 7:43 am CDT

The hacking collective Anonymous has declared it will launch Operation Kiwi Freedom in New Zealand this coming week. 

The op is planned to protest a recently passed bill, which significantly increases the ability of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in the antipodean republic to conduct surveillance.

Of additional concern to the group, @Anonymous NZ, is a report that said the U.S. Department of Defense was interested in acquiring access to a pair of optical fiber lines being laid by Hawaiki, a NZ company, which will link the American military base in American Samoa and a planned Marine Air Ground Task Force base in Darwin, Australia. 

These lines, Anonymous asserts, will enable the transmission of information from the GCSB to the American NSA. Given the broad information capturing programs conducted by the NSA on information-carrying cables, the fear is also that any information that goes through these cables would be scrutinized by the agency.

“The leaders of your country are being manipulated and corrupted,” said the mass figure on the groups #opkiwifreedom video. “Do you really want your leaders to take after a country which is carrying out illegal and immoral practices… a country which is carrying out mass surveillance on every single person in the world, including their allies?”

“The passing of the controversial GCSB amendment act was a clear indication to us that we needed to intervene,” continued the masked news reader. 

Although the group in charge of the op is presumably Kiwi, this statement, with its reference to intervention invoking military action, might bring a listener up short if it is interpreted as coming from outside the country. (Revolutionary groups have hardly proven themselves immune to cultural condescension, after all.) 

Last Thursday, Anonymous claimed, it launched “Operation Fuck GCSB,” knocking the agency’s site offline for most of the day Friday, an action that was downplayed, they said, by the country’s media. 

This newest op is a continuation, and escalation, of that action. What form it will take is still unclear. 

H/T Stuff | Photo by Christopher Neugebauer/Flickr 

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*First Published: Aug 30, 2013, 3:52 pm CDT