Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Kim Dotcom and the GCSB

97 Responses

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  • Sacha,

    And the agency most likely to want to monitor NZ ISP traffic is the SIS, not the GCSB.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    The GCSB is subject to all New Zealand law, although specific exemption provisions are contained in some legislation (for example the Privacy Act, the Public Finance Act, and the Radio Communications Act). Other more general exemptions are contained in the Human Rights Act and the Public Records Act.

    Now I guess I need a lawyer. Seems to me the Privacy Act and Public Records Act would be the laws deciding whether or not the GCSB can check somebody’s citizenship or residency status without knocking on their door and politely asking.

    The exemption to the Privacy Act is on national security grounds, and relates to releasing information, not gathering it. As we've seen with people trying to use the Privacy Act to find out what information about them is stored with the SIS, sometimes even revealing that there is or isn't a file can be called a risk to national security. So there's an exception to the general principle that people are entitled to know if any organisation holds information about them, and what that information is if it is held. Oh, and the right to correct that information.

    And even with that exception the Privacy Act still applies to Immigration and DIA. Just because the intelligence services have some exemptions to the applicability of the Privacy Act doesn't mean anyone they contact to request information is similarly exempted.

    The Public Records Act relates to archiving and releasing of work generated by government-funded bodies, and the exemption here is, again, national security. They're not exempted from archiving (there are employees of the National Archives who hold Top Secret security clearances, and there are secured storage facilities for classified archives) but the rules about release don't always apply. Again, this is about information going out not information coming in. Everyone else is not affected by the exemption.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Ah, thanks for the clarification.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2065 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I have a new post, which answers a couple of question people have asked in the comments:

    http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/kim-dotcom-questions-and-answers/

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3000 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Best of British to you breaking into the SSL VPN that I sometimes tunnel across WiFi, to give one example of wireless traffic that you would not call insecure.

    Yes. But I would make the distinction between the WiFi access point and the separate encryption of traffic traveling via it (which is why I tend to use a VPN routinely when traveling, but generally do not when I am at home).
    In reality, I can think of several easier ways for the GCSB to obtain the sort of information they were apparently asked to obtain than gaining access to the local wireless access point.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 876 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    people shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that it was the Police who initiated this investigation.

    I think you will find it was the FBI that initiated the investigation and you can “Bet your sweet bippy” the police were all over themselves with “Gosh darn it, we’re in the “Big Time” now, wait till I tell Mum”
    In other news…
    "Man investigated for knowing too much about stuff"
    This morning a Mr M. Pool was….

    "Man under watchful eye of punctuation police for over use of quotation marks"

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4802 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    “Big Time” now, wait till I tell Mum”

    and no one tells the PM.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1189 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Neazor's report is out. The verdict is that changes to immigration law got people confused about Dotcom's actual residence status. The visa he was granted in 2009 wouldn't have qualified him for protection, it seems, but a subsequent law change altered that status.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    well, well well...

    It looks a bit like "somebody" was intercepting Kim Dotcom's traffic without a warrant.

    That could only happen either with telco collusion, or by cutting a fibre. I'd rather discount the latter. Alarms would have sounded, TDR would have been employed and the unauthorized gear would have been found. Especially since this appears to be a divert, not a passive optical tap.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Interesting - the plot thickens. Wonder what the source is inside Gen-I.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    well, well well…

    It looks a bit like “somebody” was intercepting Kim Dotcom’s traffic without a warrant.

    Not to mention the gamers will be miffed, if that extra latency means the difference between fragging and getting fragged.

    And no surprises here, despite all denial.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4252 posts Report Reply

  • Jarno van der Linden,

    I find it very hard to believe that the GCSB would put in interception devices inline that show up as hops in a traceroute. That would be a monumentally stupid way to do it.
    Far more likely it was just a bit of mess-up in a routing table, which happens.

    Nelson • Since Oct 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DeepRed,

    And no surprises here, despite all denial.

    and importantly:

    Some studio executives raised general intellectual property issues in relation to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

    gee, who would have thought?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Jarno van der Linden,

    That's possible.

    But one could also imagine that GCSB were too tight to buy proper gear (like a Netquest or similar lossless monitoring device, fibre taps, etc).

    Also, if Dotcom was paying for expensive corporate fibre service (as he was) even Telecom could have sorted out routing issues quite easily.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The SIS was involved as well. I wouldn't just assume GCSB were the agency at the centre of this latest piece of publicity.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Also, if Dotcom was paying for expensive corporate fibre service (as he was) even Telecom could have sorted out routing issues quite easily.

    You'd think. I don't know what to make of this.

    Have sysops been gossiping today?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18837 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Interesting news http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10886031

    I think the activity that various people upthread 8 months ago considered unthinkable *was* actually happening.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Hager's revelations years ago about the extent of Echelon's activities should make this no surprise at all.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16614 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Sacha,

    Hager’s revelations years ago about the extent of Echelon’s activities should make this no surprise at all.

    Indeed. And I seem to remember that a bit before Hager's book Echelon was reported quite extensively in the continental European press, particularly allegations it had actually been used for industrial espionage to give US businesses a head start on their European competitors, but hardly got a mention in the Anglo-Saxon media.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2065 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    allegations it had actually been used for industrial espionage to give US businesses a head start on their European competitors

    Nah, of course that would never happen. These people a respected professionals, like Financiers and currency traders.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4802 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I think the activity that various people upthread 8 months ago considered unthinkable *was* actually happening.

    Under non-existent legislation, however. GCSB didn't have any particular legal mandate (or constraint) at the time this testing apparently happened. The case for needing real oversight just keeps on getting stronger and stronger.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The up ya Echelon...
    I would've liked to be a fly on the wall at the meeting of the 'five eyes' countries Attorney Generals in Auckland recently (though judging by their inherent levels of paranoia, I'm sure it would've been 'bug-free' on all levels).
    Last week it was revealed that the US AG, Eric Holder, sanctioned surveillance of a Fox journalist's emails.
    The US is running scared from its own people.
    They need to learn that if ya don't do bad shit ,
    ya don't have to worry about getting caught...

    Eye Spy, more Cosby, less Culp-ability...
    The big chill starts here...
    "The president has put together an organization with data the likes of which we’ve never seen before...”

    ...and The Drone Arranger rides off into the sunset...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4860 posts Report Reply

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