Is it Really Necessary for the U.S. to Collect all Phone, Email and Social Media Communications from Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Nauru?

Saturday, March 07, 2015
Internet cafe in Kiribati (photo:

The extent of National Security Agency (NSA) spying reaches even into the communications of tiny, friendly Pacific island nations.


Using information provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the New Zealand Herald and The Intercept reported that the NSA collects all emails, phones and social media messages from Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga and the French territories of New Caledonia and French Polynesia.


The NSA has been able to gather these communications through its spying relationship with New Zealand and its version of the NSA called the Government Communications Security Bureau.


New Zealand’s Labour Party leader Andrew Little said of the revelations, “While I accept the need for security agencies…I’m stunned at the breadth of information being collected.”


At a later news conference, he said, “People expect our security agencies to do their job of targeting information and issues that are a threat to us, but not to do a wholesale collection of all electronic information from our South Pacific neighbors.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Snowden GCSB Revelations / Russel Norman Says GCSB ‘Breaking The Law’ (by David Fisher, New Zealand Herald)

New Zealand Spies on Neighbors in Secret ‘Five Eyes’ Global Surveillance (by Ryan Gallagher, The Intercept)


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