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Continued: New Zealand disputes report saying military spied on journalist with help from US agencies

  • Article by: NICK PERRY , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 29, 2013 - 8:20 AM

The revelation has angered journalism advocates in New Zealand.

Coleman said the order, first issued a decade ago and reissued in 2005, was heavy-handed and inappropriate, and that he'd asked the defense force to rewrite it to remove the references to journalists.

The story on Stephenson came after he sued the defense force for defamation. Stephenson had sought 500,000 New Zealand dollars ($405,000) in reparation after claiming the defense force had damaged his reputation by implying he fabricated an interview with a unit commander. During the trial this month, the defense force acknowledged the interview may have taken place. The trial ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict.

Stephenson, who is on vacation in Europe, could not be reached Monday.

The White House did not respond Sunday to requests for comment on the Sunday Star-Times story.

McClatchy said it had not yet spoken with its former freelancer, or with the U.S. or New Zealand governments.

"We don't have much information on this. We really have learned about it this morning from the Star-Times report," said Anders Gyllenhaal, McClatchy's vice president for news and Washington editor.

The company based in Sacramento, California, hasn't lodged a complaint with U.S. officials because it is still trying to figure out what exactly happened and when, Gyllenhaal added.

The NSA sometimes shares intelligence information with New Zealand agencies under a long-standing arrangement known as "Five Eyes." In addition to New Zealand and the U.S., the alliance includes Britain, Australia and Canada.

Snowden's leaked information exposed the reach of the U.S. programs that monitor millions of telephone and Internet records inside and outside the U.S. Officials have said the surveillance tracks only metadata and not specific details like the contents of telephone calls. They say the surveillance programs have averted multiple terror attacks.

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