Five Eyes res­i­dents needed to clean spy hub

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - TOM HUNT

New Zealand’s spooks need their milk re­plen­ished, but only Fives Eyes cit­i­zens need ap­ply.

They need their dish­wash­ers un­loaded and their rub­bish needs tak­ing out - but only by cit­i­zens of New Zealand, Aus­tralia, Canada, United States, or the United King­dom.

The Govern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Se­cu­rity Bu­reau (GCSB) is on the hunt for new clean­ers and, as may be ex­pected from the county’s spies, even clean­ers for its Thorn­don, Welling­ton, base need to pass strin­gent se­cu­rity checks.

Ten­der doc­u­ments show a team of at least six clean­ers - plus one ac­count man­ager - are needed. Each must pass se­cu­rity clear­ance. At a min­i­mum, this meant staff must be New Zealand cit­i­zens or - as long as they have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years and sign a nondis­clo­sure form - be cit­i­zens of United States, United King­dom, Canada, or Aus­tralia. Those five coun­tries, in­clud­ing New Zealand, make up the na­tions signed on to the Five Eyes in­tel­li­gence al­liance.

Among the list of clean­ing du­ties re­quired are dis­tribut­ing milk to the kitchens as well as re­plen­ish­ing tea, cof­fee, and soap sup­plies. The gym­na­sium floor needs vac­u­um­ing and mop­ping, and the base­ment car park needs sweep­ing. Bath­rooms need clean­ing and dis­in­fect­ing. The list - that is only in­dica­tive of full du­ties - runs to more than a page.

Vic­to­ria Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Robert Ayson, who spe­cialises in in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity, said the se­cu­rity checks would be the ‘‘last line of de­fence’’ in pro­tect­ing con­fi­den­tial New Zealand and Five Eyes se­cu­rity in­for­ma­tion. ‘‘The night­mare would be some­one go­ing into a build­ing like that with a thumb drive and down­load­ing stuff they are not al­lowed to take.’’

This though should be un­likely as of­fices such as GCSB had strict rules say­ing that, when peo­ple left for the day, im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion was not left freely avail­able for any­one - ei­ther in pa­per form or on com­put­ers. But still there would be oc­ca­sions when some­one, such as a cleaner, could catch a glimpse of sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion, he said.

The ten­der doc­u­ments also show Kiwi spies have an en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly lean­ing - one re­quire­ment of the win­ning bid­der is be­ing able to sup­ply ‘‘Bio Bags’’ and ‘‘Eco Green Rub­bish Bags’’.

Un­der the Hu­man Rights Act agen­cies are al­lowed to dis­crim­i­nate - such as spec­i­fy­ing what coun­tries ap­pli­cants are from - on the ba­sis of na­tional se­cu­rity.

GCSB has been ap­proached for com­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.