Internet millionaire Kim Dotcom has been at Parliament this afternoon making a submission opposing the government’s controversial legislation to change the workings of the Government Communications Security Bureau.
The NZ Herald reports he told parliament’s intelligence and security committee that Prime Minister knew about him and his activities before the January 19, 2011 briefing that Mr Key says was the first he knew of the police interest in him.
He told the committee, which was chaired by Mr Key, that he had “the misfortune of experiencing what happens when surveillance powers are misused … These abuses should never happen again that’s why I’m here to submit.”
After he left the commmittee hearing, he told reporters the Prime Minister had been lying about what he knew about him before police raided his Coatesville home.
Radio New Zealand reports that Kim Dotcom told the committee the proposed legislation was unjustified and unwarranted.
The German millionaire told the committee that proposed amendments to New Zealand’s spy laws were an overreach by an agency which had shown itself to have been unable to operate within the law.
Mr Dotcom said the bill was an expansion of the the GCSB’s current powers and that spying damaged New Zealand’s diplomatic and trade relationships.
New Zealand should not imitate the United States spying policies given the recent controversy with the NSA over the widespread mining of metadata, he said.
“We should avoid following the US into the dark ages of spying abuse.”
Also on the committee were the party leaders Russel Norman, David Shearer, John Banks as well as National MP Tony Ryall.