8 Jun 2020

International relations specialist on SIS, MI6 raid on Czechoslovakian embassy

From Morning Report, 8:10 am on 8 June 2020

New Zealand's security intelligence agency, the SIS, carried out multiple clandestine raids, breaking into foreign embassies in Wellington in the latter part of the 1980s, in breach of the Vienna convention.

An RNZ podcast, The Service, launched today, reveals that one of the raids was on the Czechoslovakian Embassy in Wellington in 1986 and was a joint operation with Britain's MI6 to steal the Warsaw Pact codes.

At the time Czechoslovakia was an ally of the USSR and the code books would have allowed the Five Eyes partners to break the encrypted communications of the communist-aligned countries.

Professor Robert Patman is an international relations specialist from Otago University.