Thursday, March 22, 2018

More MBIE spying

So, it looks like Greenpeace and earthquake victims weren't the only targets of Thompson & Clark Investigations spying:

Another group is claiming to have been spied on by the security firm Thompson and Clark.

As well as being paid by the government to spy on Greenpeace and at least one earthquake claimant in Christchurch, it can now be revealed it has also been monitoring three activist groups, including Oil Free Wellington.

Oil Free Wellington found out it was being watched by Thompson and Clark when it made an official information request for emails from the firm to MBIE, the government department with oversight of oil and gas exploration and mining.

And again, MBIE seems to have actively colluded in this, despite a government directive not to spy on protest groups. But that's what happens when you have an agency completely captured by the industry it is supposed to regulate: the whims of that industry become more important to them than explicit instructions from their elected masters.

The SSC's inquiry needs to be broadened, to cover all government agency collaboration with TCIL, and their potential use of other companies for similar work. More importantly, its clear that we need tighter regulation of the private investigation / security industry to stop them from being used to undermine our democracy in this way.

Meanwhile, it has now been six months since MBIE told me that they would release their communications with Thompson & Clark. Just a few days ago MBIE claimed they were still "in the final stages of sign-out, and will be sent to you as soon as possible". Which is basicly what they told me six months ago. Which really makes me wonder what the hell is going on over there and what they have to hide...