Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Circumstance and coincidence

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul G. Buchanan,

    I remain of the opinion that there was more than copyright issues involved in this case, hence the weirdness.

    Thanks for swinging by, Paul. You may well be right, and I could have been clearer in saying that I'm not dismissing what you say. It would certainly explain a few things.

    Here is a suggestion for you and other journalists now that I have put the thought of something else driving the Dotcom case into the public domain: why not ask Dotcom directly if he or his minions were ever approached by the US government with regard to installing backdoors on his servers?

    Excellent question. I will ask it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    - but the programme never made any such “claim”. You only have to actually watch it and be able to listen.

    It's also nonsense on the facts of the matter. Fletcher was back working for the sunny state of Queensland while the surveillance took place. It would be more plausible to suppose they wanted to clearly separate him from Operation Debut, by having him start work two weeks after the raid.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Even Microsoft is pissed.....
    Microsoft: US government is an 'advanced persistent threat'

    "Many of our customers have serious concerns about government surveillance of the Internet."

    Lest we forget that this started with the illegal surveillance of Kim Dot

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Our PM explains away Dotcom by insisting the Key family spends their free time in America., perhaps overdoing the spirit of ANZUS.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11259123

    Since Mar 2010 • 378 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George,

    I think Paul is probably right, there's more to this than we know about - it's odd that Campbell Live are looking hard at one side of the equation but seem to be virtually ignoring possibilities on the other side. John Key doesn't look faultless for sure, it's quite possible Dotcom isn't faultless either. It seems to be an unbalanced investigation.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Pete George,

    one side of the equation

    you really don't understand power much, do you, Pete.

    Most of us hold governments and others with significant influence to higher standards than others. We expect more accountability and better oversight because history has taught us that power tends to be abused if it's unchecked. Nothing remotely radical or novel about that, unfortunately. Human nature at its most average.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to william blake,

    from that Herald story:

    Mr Dotcom claimed in court Mr Key had heard about him because Mr Banks told him he had told the Prime Minister about a New Year's fireworks display being put on by Mr Dotcom.

    Mr Key said he had "no idea what John Banks said to Kim Dotcom but all I know is he has never spoken to me about going to fireworks."

    He would never go to such fireworks anyway because he always spent Christmas and New Year in Hawaii.

    What a lovely example of slipperiness. Telling someone about an event is not the same as talking about "going to" it. Look over there, across the sea if need be. Palm tree, octopussy, puppy.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George, in reply to Sacha,

    I'm not saying that Government and power shouldn't be scrutinised or held to account at all, I think they should. There's been significant stuff-ups and serious concerns. But the scrutiny seems to be at times overdone and quite one sided.

    There's nothing radical or novel about trying to hold everyone to account, is there?

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George, in reply to Sacha,

    What a lovely example of slipperiness. Telling someone about an event is not the same as talking about “going to” it.

    I think you're trying to make a lot more out of this than the known evidence supports.

    It could have been:
    Banks: Do you want to come to Dotcom's fireworks display?"
    Key: "Nah, I'll be in Hawaii".
    Banks to Dotcom: "Our friend John can't make it".

    It could have been:
    Banks: "Would your family be interested in fireworks at New Year?"
    Key: "Nah, we'll be in Hawaii".
    Banks to Dotcom: "I mentioned fireworks but he'll be out of the country".

    Or it could have been many other variations. Including nothing being said to Key at all about fireworks.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Pete George,

    There's nothing radical or novel about trying to hold everyone to account, is there?

    no Pete. Trying to hold the powerless to account is a tired ruse that demeans all who undertake it. Tis not a level playing field.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Pete George,

    oh cmon, how hard it it to understand that

    "Mr Banks told him he had told the Prime Minister about a New Year's fireworks display"

    is not the same as

    "he has never spoken to me about going to fireworks".

    ?

    If your comprehension is that woeful , good luck with the 'fact-checking'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    Much is made of the appointment of a non-military person to head GCSB. Equally it is worth considering the appointment of a military person to GG.

    I remember some uncertainty and intrigue in the news around who would replace Sir Anand prior to Key appointing Mataparae.

    With the many able candidates to GG why appoint someone who's just been appointed to a very important role? And why the military man? That's unusual for GG who has been usually an ex-legal or politician.

    This wouldn't be the only instance of the PM kowtowing to US bigwigs who just flew in. To town.

    Another coincidence.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George, in reply to Sacha,

    Sacha - what is your comprehension of what Banks said to Key, if anything, about fireworks. You seem to be basing your assumptions just on something Dotcom has said.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Pete George,

    Court testimony and a follow-up interview, reported by professional journalists. What are you basing yours on?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Bruce Schneier’s latest indirectly points out the folly of having a secret GCSB in charge of our countries network security.

    It’s made particularly pertinent by last month’s events – the NSA knew about the Heartbleed bug and was actively exploiting it – as a result of 5-eyes the GCSB must have known about it too …. and despite them being charged with our nation’s cyber security they did nothing – they have an obvious conflict of interest here and have put their allies’ interests ahead of our citizens’ all hidden behind their cloak of secrecy

    Probably it’s time to declare them irrelevant and not useful and take charge of our own security ….. except of course for that pesky new Telecommunications act …….

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    they did nothing

    how do we know that?
    might have even taken advantage of it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    put their allies’ interests ahead of our citizens’

    English did that openly in a Radio NZ interview about going in to bat for US interests at TPPA negotiations. Poor dears need all the tenderness we can administer.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    With the many able candidates to GG why appoint someone who’s just been appointed to a very important role? And why the military man? That’s unusual for GG who has been usually an ex-legal or politician.

    Yeah, nah the list of Governors and GGs doesn't bear out your argument. In fact, it's only since Holyoake in 1977 that we moved away from former military figures.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Court testimony and a follow-up interview, reported by professional journalists. What are you basing yours on?

    Oh, attested facts, pfft. ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George, in reply to Sacha,

    Court testimony and a follow-up interview, reported by professional journalists. What are you basing yours on?

    I'm not claiming anything apart from uncertainty. You seem to be assuming one person's claim's are accurate:

    Mr Dotcom claimed in court Mr Key had heard about him because Mr Banks told him he had told the Prime Minister about a New Year’s fireworks display being put on by Mr Dotcom.

    - their claimed recollection of a conversation two and a half years ago that was a second hand account of another conversation they didn't hear themselves.

    I'm not aware of Banks giving his version yet - courts give the accused an opportunity to give their testimony too. And Key's version as reported:

    Mr Key said he had "no idea what John Banks said to Kim Dotcom but all I know is he has never spoken to me about going to fireworks."
    He would never go to such fireworks anyway because he always spent Christmas and New Year in Hawaii.

    You're choosing to take the word of one person who didn't hear the conversation over another person who did. Perhaps Banks will give his version of the two conversations, but presuming there's no recording we will never know the actual facts. Long term human memory of trivial conversations and Chinese whispers can't be guaranteed to be accurate.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    1. I have always thought this.
    No you haven’t.

    Oh ok I've just always despised the weasel and his proven to be weasely ways. The Party he is in and the systematic stripping of our Countries assets,our people's rights and general discrimination of the less fortunate in NZ. Plus, I just don't like him.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to nzlemming,

    Yeah, nah the list of Governors and GGs doesn’t bear out your argument. In fact, it’s only since Holyoake in 1977 that we moved away from former military figures.

    To be fair that's also the point where we moved away from importing English GGs

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Pete George,

    Mr Dotcom claimed in court Mr Key had heard about him because Mr Banks told him he had told the Prime Minister about a New Year’s fireworks display being put on by Mr Dotcom.

    - their claimed recollection of a conversation two and a half years ago that was a second hand account of another conversation they didn’t hear themselves.

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s a clincher either. On the other hand, you might think Key had heard of a very rich German businessman, who lived at a very well-known property in his electorate and who had shelled out for a giant New Year fireworks display for his mate Banksie. I certainly had. The Herald on Sunday published its first story about Dotcom’s background and business in February 2010, nearly two years before the raid.

    A series of stories in 2011 involved one about Key’s own ministers, Simon Power and Maurice Williamson, declining Dotcom permission to buy the Coatesville mansion.

    Was Key innocent of that too? What the hell does he does with his days?

    The closer you look, the more implausible Key’s claim to have not heard of Dotcom until the day before the raid looks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Pete George,

    I'm not claiming anything apart from uncertainty.

    That has long been your tactic in other forums (most of which have banned you for it) and I'd hate to see it swamp conversations here.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

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