NZ prime minister John Key: We have to spy on you because al-Qaeda has training camps here. Also: FISH!

The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is trying to ram through legislation to legalize the kind of domestic surveillance that the US NSA and the UK GCHQ have engaged in. When asked whether he thought he had popular support for allowing the government to spy on New Zealanders' entire online lives, he refused to answer the question and kept changing the subject to fishing quotas (seriously).

But wait, there's more! According to Key, it is necessary to spy on Kiwis because al-Qaeda is running training camps in New Zealand. Yes, seriously.

"People have trained in New Zealand and gone off to those camps and that's just the way things are. "We live in a global environment where there are real threats.

"While it's very narrow and very small in number the facts of life are New Zealand is not immune from those potential risks."

Mr Key would not reveal how many people were involved, or their names, but said some of them could be New Zealand citizens and they were already being monitored.

"There are small numbers of radicalised New Zealanders who have either gone over to those environments or returned and I don't think this is terribly new. Some are off-shore and some are in New Zealand."

Key: NZers care more about snapper than GCSB [Matthew Martin/Rotorua Daily Post]

(Thanks, Jonathan and Matt!)

(Image: John Key National Party, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from kelvinhu's photostream)