U.S. intelligence eavesdropped on New Zealand journalist


The New Zealand military received the assistance of U.S. intelligence agencies to monitor a journalist’s telephone calls, a report revealed.

The  Sunday Star Times said the monitoring of journalist Jon Stephenson came in the second half of 2012, when he was working in Kabul, Afghanistan, as a correspondent for the American McClatchy News Service and for other New Zealand news organizations.

It came at a time the New Zealand military was unhappy with Stephenson’s versions of its handling of Afghan prisoners, and was attempting to learn who was giving confidential information to the journalist, the newspaper added.

The newspaper noted the Defense Force had copies of intercepted phone metadata similar to that publicized by U.S. intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden, showing who Stephenson had telephoned, and who telephoned him.

Stephenson has described the incidents as a violation of his privacy and of media freedom. He and the military clashed two weeks ago in a courtroom, after the military claimed he had invented a story about a visit to an Afghan base.