Kiwi police have admitted that they were given Prism data before they made an illegal raid on Kim Dotcom’s house. Since Dotcom has never been identified as a terrorist, the use of that data means that Prism’s scope is to also help private companies who are friendly to the US.
The discovery was made by blogger Keith Ng who wrote on his On Point that the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand (OFCANZ) requested assistance from the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), the country’s signals intelligence unit, which is charge of spying on the Pacific region under the Five-Eyes agreement.
If Prism was used in the gathering of evidence against Dotcom by the US then it means that the system is open to abuse by private companies. It is a moot point what the FBI was doing in the Dotcom case anyway; after all there were plenty of legal remedies the content industry could have used without having to go to tax-payer funded enforcers.
Now it seems that that contentious spying system could also be used by the entertainment and IT industry by calling in a few favours with politicians. The net could be considerably wider too, as there are a lot of US companies who make campaign contributions to US politicians who could also solve a few of their problems with surveillance of rival companies or individuals.