31 Jul 2013

Media company seeks info over spy claim

8:47 pm on 31 July 2013

A media company has written to the US Director of National Intelligence to explain claims America helped the New Zealand military spy on a freelance journalist while working in Afghanistan.

Jon Stephenson worked for US-based McClatchy newspapers in 2012 and insists the military spied on him despite the Defence Force dismissing the claim.

The senior national security correspondent at McClatchy, Jonathan Landay, told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Wednesday the issue raises serious questions about the level of surveillance of foreign journalists in Afghanistan.

The company is anxious to find out if any of its phone conversations with Mr Stephenson were hacked, but Mr Landay warns it is trying to get information out one of the most secret agencies and the task may be difficult.

US government officials have said National Security Agency did not collect Mr Stephenson's phone records.