Public Address's Graeme Edgeler has updated his forensic legal examination of the GCSB - Dotcom spying scandal - and in the process nailed the core issue: why were the GCSB involved at all? As he points out, the police can already get interception warrants for serious crime. But what Dotcom is alleged to have done does not fall into that category.
[so] Why did police try to get the GCSB to do this? Because we don't let the police do it (foreign person or not).
short of someone in the GCSB acting as some sort of rogue agent, how that breach happened is not actually our biggest problem. The actions of the Police in using the GCSB as an end-run around laws we have put in place deliberately limiting police powers are of much greater concern.
It will be interesting to see if this issue is actually addressed by the Neazor inquiry, or whether it is quietly swept under the rug. But it is something that we need to look at. Restrictions on police surveillance exist for good reason. We should not allow the police to bypass them simply by laundering their unlawful interception through other agencies. Parliament needs to take a hard look at the police to see how often this occurs, who purports to authorise it, and what cases it has tainted. And then they need to hold those responsible in the police to account.