New Zealand Was Spying on Citizens, Lying About It
PM's claims to contrary 'false,' says Edward Snowden with election days away
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 15, 2014 6:53 AM CDT
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key speaks during a Tran-Tasman luncheon in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.   (AP Photo/Brendon Thorne, Pool)

(Newser) – Edward Snowden's latest revelations target New Zealand: The country's leaders repeatedly told the public that they weren't working on a domestic spying program, the whistleblower says, when in fact they were doing just that. "The Prime Minister’s claim to the public, that ‘there is no and there never has been any mass surveillance,' is false," Snowden writes in a piece for the Intercept. "If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched." He cites his NSA work, during which he "routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders."

Snowden has revealed top secret documents that appear to point to an effort to intercept communications via an undersea cable that's responsible for most Internet traffic to and from New Zealand, Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher write at the Intercept. Ahead of the report, Prime Minister John Key acknowledged this weekend that a surveillance program had been planned, though he says he nixed it before it got under way, the Intercept adds. The country will hold an election Saturday, and Key holds that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who paid for Greenwald's trip to the country, is trying to sway the election, Reuters reports. Dotcom, a New Zealand resident, is facing extradition.