A former long-term Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) officer is running private intelligence operations for the controversial private investigation company Thompson and Clark. This includes the tracking and monitoring of ex-members of the Exclusive Brethren as reported by Radio New Zealand yesterday.
The former intelligence officer, known only by his first name Gerry, uses skills and surveillance techniques learned while working for over thirty years for the NZSIS to assist Thompson and Clark’s private clients. This includes covert surveillance teams, tailing cars and watching houses, photographing people in public places, and extensive monitoring of social media. Covert car tracking devices have also been used.
RNZ reported that Thompson and Clark staff have conducted many hundreds of hours of active surveillance against past Exclusive Brethren members in the past two years, assisting the Brethren leadership to shut down criticism of the cult-like organisation.
Company emails released under the Official Information Act (OIA) reveal the existence of a Thompson and Clark “collection manager”, in charge of surveillance and other intelligence gathering.
In one email the collection manager is identified as “Gerry.” He heads the company’s intelligence “Fusion Centre”, overseeing “covert surveillance” and sending their clients “threat assessments” and “situation reports” on target members of the public — all language and methods imported from intelligence agencies.