Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Doing over the witness

328 Responses

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  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Why would he go to Hager once he had it? Clearly he felt he was the best person to deal with the material so I disagree. This was in the public interest and he knew it once it was in his hands and acted accordingly.

    Once it was in his hands perhaps he did know it, but it's not remotely clear that he knew that ahead of time. And even less clear that if he had that it would somehow excuse the crime.

    If the police chose not to investigate this high-profile case what precedent would that set? Could people start hacking business leaders and politicians on the suspicion that there might be some dirty dealings hidden in years of personal communications - all excusable if any questionable acts were reported to journalists?

    I can hold that both the actions taken against Slater, and the actions that were revealed were wrong. And I don't think either should cancel the other out - both should be dealt with independently of one another.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tinakori,

    That’s fine as long as the perpetrator is prepared to accept the consequences should they be caught. If they are not it quickly becomes the excuse of the tyrant through the ages – those laws don’t apply to me because of my motives and the threat posed by those whose rights I am violating. That isn’t healthy for any part of the political spectrum.

    Rawshark was quite explicit in his sign-off that he knew and accepted the risk he had taken. He knew there was a maximum penalty of seven years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    ..which is what blubber-byproduct does every time he touches a keyboard.

    A fair point perhaps :)

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    If the police chose not to investigate this high-profile case what precedent would that set?

    Could you point me to the people in the thread who are saying the complaint shouldn't have been investigated? You keep saying this.

    You implied this kind of police action against Hager was business as usual, but you couldn't name another incident involving a journalist. Could you just not admit that it's unusual and probably unprecedented?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Dean Wallis,

    It could apply to either if that was their excuse but I was responding to Bart Hansen who said that the person who nicked Whaleoil's email archive was doing it for the public good. I said that's fine as long as you accept the possible consequences.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Russell Brown,

    If you’d like to help Nicky Hager with legal costs related to the search and action he has begun to retrieve his materials, there’s a GiveALittle fund.

    Great idea - has it been verified that the account holder is genuine and that Nicky is certain to receive the full benefit?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Oh god, we’re not going into a 9/11 Truth hole here are we?

    Ian's point clearly went right over your head there.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    But it’s seriously ridiculous for anyone to be saying they know how better police time should be spent with no information at all on how it actually is spent.

    Sorry, a poor argument. It is like saying that Nazi Germany wasn't that bad because we don't know "exactly" what they did. Personally I would say that it is reasonable to assume that we all have a fairly good idea of how police time is spent, and because of that assumption we can comment on the perceived "usefulness" of the Nicky Hagar home invasion. It does seem a little irregular that the police choose to toss over a witness's house in a victimless crime as opposed to chasing meth dealers.

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    cry uncle…

    And if it were found that the same person instigated the DDoS attack at around the same time then that could be Damaging or interfering with computer system which is also up to seven years.
    If the hacker were caught and found to be in possession of software for hacking then that could be another two years for Making, selling, or distributing or possessing software for committing crime
    But I’m not a lawyer or judge, so in practice – who knows

    aaah!
    Now I think I understand
    what you mean by ‘Truth holes’…

    they all start
    with a flow,
    then an eddy,
    next thing ya know
    it’s the mothers of invention…

    good times!

    </obscure cultural references>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Good for Rawshark. Based on what happened with The Hollow Men material and the material taken or leaked from Shandwick - the pr firm dealing with GM clients - in Nicky Hager's other books, he or she is looking reasonably safe.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Marc C,

    It is time to stand up, people, and reclaim your democracy, or else it will be lost forever

    It already is, cant you see that? Whilst nice to see you are now disillusioned, this had been heading this way for the last 6 years and under Labour ,they bought into the concept also. As David Parker said (RB linked to it) this is wrong. So now it's John Keys fault. His love affair with USA has us heading there at record breaking speed. The GCSB legislation enlightened us then.

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

  • Jack Harrison,

    The scary thought is that these never got hacked. What stage would Collins/ Ede/Slater and co be on now. That’s chilling.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tinakori,

    Good for Rawshark. Based on what happened with The Hollow Men material and the material taken or leaked from Shandwick – the pr firm dealing with GM clients – in Nicky Hager’s other books, he or she is looking reasonably safe.

    I take Hager at his word that this is the first time he's made use of hacked information, but you've highlighted the fact that most "unofficial" information will be "stolen" to some degree. It annoys me seeing one or two journalists whove made great use of leaks in the past seeming to forget that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What has Rawshark shown us and if they hadn’t what would of happened? What media would we have seen?

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    If you’d like to help Nicky Hager with legal costs related to the search and action he has begun to retrieve his materials, there’s a GiveALittle fund.

    Is this anonymous?

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

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Marc C,

    Yeah, y'know, I was nodding along in agreement with you until this:

    This is stuff that would have happened in places like East Germany until 1989, like in some Latin American former dictatorships, this is what goes on in such countries in some places still now, but I feared the day would come that this happens here.

    Get a grip. Really. And perhaps acquaint yourself with a few history books, too. Yes, this government clearly has a nasty authoritarian streak, and there is a lot going on that worries me. But East Germany? Latin America? Really? Nicky Hager was bundled into a helicopter and dropped into Cook Strait from a great height, was he? No. In the real world, New Zealand has a very long way to go until it reaches even Singaporean levels of authoritarianism. As bad as things may be, it is still very much Amateur Hour in the NZ National Party HQ.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Is this anonymous?

    It can be if you like. Just tick the box.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    It’s not amateur, they got caught by a hacker. They were quite skilled and professional really. They played the media like a violin.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Tinakori,

    That’s fine as long as the perpetrator is prepared to accept the consequences should they be caught.

    I should be able to help the public. Honesty is your best policy and sometimes you break a few eggs. In the public interest of information is a law unto itself . Deemed so. Teasing? Yeah, ok. More like bitchin'

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

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Russell Brown,

    most “unofficial” information will be “stolen” to some degree. It annoys me seeing one or two journalists whove made great use of leaks in the past seeming to forget that.

    I guess the difference is knowledge and intent?

    The people who steal and leak information already know what they have. In the case of this hacker it seems more likely that the discovery of material with journalistic merit was a byproduct of the theft, not the reason for it.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    That’s fine as long as the perpetrator is prepared to accept the consequences should they be caught.

    That's so hard to say to someone sitting on issues of national importance.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    In the real world, New Zealand has a very long way to go until it reaches even Singaporean levels of authoritarianism.

    True dat. While it can seem like something from a more innocent age in terms of the more recent revelations about online surveillance, the public misgivings about Singapore Telecom’s takeover of Australia’s Optus back in 2001 were solidly founded. It’s more than a little disturbing to have your second-largest telco controlled by a state owned enterprise of a government that carries out practically warrantless surveillance and detention of its own citizens.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Chris, of course things are not quite that bad (as yet), but even in places I mentioned, disliked or hated dissenters, who write revealing books about what really goes on, were also not tortured and killed in most cases, especially if they were well known to the public.

    Intimidation has many forms, and this was their way of doing it.

    Such methods must be stopped from the start, and it should be an ethical obligation of others who call themselves journalists, to stand up against such unreasonable search and seizure.

    The fact that this is not happening is due to so many already feeling "worried", so much, they do not dare to risk their careers, their incomes and own bit of professional freedom they may still enjoy.

    When people stay quiet, shut their doors behind themselves, and choose not to take sides, we have the authoritarian system succeeding. And that tells me, it is time to be seriously concerned, and to take a stand.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    In the case of this hacker it seems more likely that the discovery of material with journalistic merit was a byproduct of the theft, not the reason for it.

    The claim at the time Dirty Politics was published was that the hacker was motivated by disgust at Slater’s attack on the memory of the dead ‘feral’.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    has it been verified that the account holder is genuine and that Nicky is certain to receive the full benefit?

    The e-receipt says in part:

    "All money will go to Nicky Hager to support any legal case or to cover any costs incurred as a result of the police raid.

    And...

    Did you know 100% of what you donate gets through to your cause on Givealittle.

    I'm confident that it's all going to Nicky Hager.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

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