Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely

127 Responses

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  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    the pollies frantically try to conceal this fact by pretending they are in charge

    Key doesn't even pretend terribly hard, let's be honest.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Key doesn’t even pretend terribly hard, let’s be honest

    I had a discussion with my flatmate about this last night, I asked him why it is Key’s credibility hasn’t been shredded long ago. He observed that Key doesn’t give shit if you believe him or not, and in the modern workplace everyone is completely used to being bullshitted by people who don’t give a shit if you believe them or not. For example, everyone in the room knows in their heart the CEO and HR manager are lying through their teeth when they say the restructure isn’t about headcount and staff feedback is always important, but the CEO and HR manager don’t give a shit if you know they are lying or not. so Key is simply behaving in a way that everyone’s real-life experience of modern organisational management has led them to expect anyway.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Would the Chinese conduct electronic surveillance on behalf of the US and share the results the way we did? Would the US allow the Chinese access to NSA tools, the way it did the GCSB?

    Fair enough. But, Hong Kong, not the Mainland. Different jurisdiction. And I'm sure both sides would've been very wary about just how much they shared with each other, I'm just as sure cooperation with Hong Kong on getting Dotcom could easily have been pitched in such a way that Hong Kong, the Mainland and the US could all see the mutual benefit, and run so as to limit exposure to each other. So yes, getting Dotcom in NZ was certainly easier, but "oh, look, he's got lots of money and a big, successful business" remains the simpler explanation for why he was awarded residency, and NZ does seem to have a record of governments overriding both common sense and the advice of their officials to give people residency on those grounds.

    ETA: It's my impression that USA and Mainland China do cooperate in law enforcement and that that cooperation is only going to increase, especially as the crackdown on corruption gathers steam (and that is getting mad, really mad). I still think Dotcom could've been easily got in Hong Kong, albeit slightly less easily, and getting Dotcom could've easily been pitched as win, win, win for the Mainland, Hong Kong and the USA.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Quite - David Fisher and Andrea Vance have a lot more leg work to do (and are capable of it) before I buy the vast Hollywood-driven residency honeytrap narrative Dotcom's selling. And if Kim's actually got hard evidence of this, I think the media and everyone else should say this "wait until five days before the election!" fan dance isn't really on. Among much else, Internet Mana should be asking themselves whether they're a serious political party that wants to work in the public interest, or a cudgel in a pissing match between Bob Jones 2.0 and John Key.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Internet Mana should be asking themselves whether they’re a serious political party that wants to work in the public interest

    They want to see the back of John Key, that is an objective in the public interest.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Possibly because this wasn’t a simple extradition case, it was an investigation employing the full apparatus of state. Would the Chinese conduct electronic surveillance on behalf of the US and share the results the way we did?

    Perhaps they would, depending on the allegations - the question needs a bit of rephrasing - would the Chinese do so over such a seemingly minor raft of charges, I doubt it... something significant that effected both nations security, most likely

    We already know NZ do just about anything currently to please the US and will change our spy laws when our spies can't operate legally...

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I loathe Key, but I think this buffoon anywhere near political power will be worse. In a different way, of course.

    It amazes me how people who rightly point out that running a company isn't like running the nation seem to be giving this circus any credence. I was hoping that Laila would keep her hands firmly on the reins, but if the clown with the chequebook keeps trying to hog centre ring with his fan dances (thanks, Craig), the party's attempts at gaining any political credibility will fail.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to bob daktari,

    Actually, bob, I think the Chinese totally would cooperate with the US over IP and copyright issues. Also, remember Hong Kong is an entirely separate and mostly independent jurisdiction.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Far enough - my point was the seriousness of the crime might determine the co-operation, or at least the level of, something that doesn't seem to be an issue here to our "star struck" officials - "omg its the FBI"

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I guess the think that amazes me (an no one is talking about) is that here the SIS is the FBI’s goto boy for copyright enforcement

    Why on earth is the SIS dealing with something as prosaic as copyright? surely their remit is OMG-terrorists and reds-under-the-waterbed

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to TracyMac,

    The clown with the chequebook might take away the chequebook, too. In which case it will fail for more prosaic reasons. Letting him dance seems to be the least they can do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Actually, bob, I think the Chinese totally would cooperate with the US over IP and copyright issues. Also, remember Hong Kong is an entirely separate and mostly independent jurisdiction.

    The level of cooperation is still, I think, far less replicable outside the Five Eyes network.

    But otoh, yes, Hong Kong has extradited suspected criminals -- including three al-Qaeda members -- to the US in the recent past. The linked story also indicates how extradition might be more complicated than it would be from NZ.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Alastair Thompson,

    I have long wondered if this is the real reason that Simon Power resigned. He was Justice Minister through all this and also well informed (unlike the PM) of what was afoot.

    Or if indeed that is what Collins holds over Key now. It is suggested in the House that she must hold something big against Key Co.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I guess the think that amazes me (an no one is talking about) is that here the SIS is the FBI’s goto boy for copyright enforcement

    Why on earth is the SIS dealing with something as prosaic as copyright? surely their remit is OMG-terrorists and reds-under-the-waterbed

    It was the New Zealand police with the (initially undisclosed, until it slipped out in court) assistance of the GCSB, whose remit stretches to “cybercrime” and which has access to XKeyscore (aka "Spy Google"). The SIS was tasked with issuing a security clearance on Dotcom's residency bid, which it didn't, and then did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to TracyMac,

    I loathe Key, but I think this buffoon anywhere near political power will be worse.

    firstly, Scott Hamilton had something interesting to say about this attitude back in May, I commend his comparison of Olaf Nelson with Kim Dotcom as thought provoking reading. He summarises:

    Olaf Nelson and Kim Dotcom were both avaricious, essentially apolitical businessmen who were radicalised after being persecuted by a New Zealand state acting on behalf of a distant superpower. A cashed-up, radicalised capitalist is a dangerous enemy, especially when he has a talent for building alliances and making propaganda.

    is a pretty good summation to me of Dotcom’s motivations.

    Secondly, it seems to me you are suggesting that somehow or another the New Zealand political establishment is deserving of your support. I think our entire New Zealand establishment is pretty much rotten to the core and no longer fit for purpose in a modern state.

    So what is Kim Dotcom is a “bad man” who wants to take the whole rotten establishment down to hell him. Good job. They richly deserve each other.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Young, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    if Kim's actually got hard evidence

    and if he is signalling well ahead of time that he plans to release it with the clear intent of damaging the legitimate government of the day and also affecting the outcome of an election then isn't he skating perilously close to the old idea of sedition?

    Could this not backfire spectacularly with another visit from large gentlemen in dark glasses coming to take him away for threatening the security of the state?

    Glenfield • Since Jun 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Alastair Thompson,

    I have long wondered if this is the real reason that Simon Power resigned. He was Justice Minister through all this and also well informed (unlike the PM) of what was afoot.

    Well, apply salt and tequila to taste, but the “real reason” I heard was infinitely more prosaic, kind of sad and not actually a matter of legitimate public interest regarding his actions as a minister or MP.

    It is suggested in the House that she must hold something big against Key Co.

    Usually by people who, quite rightly, roll their eyes and laugh mirthlessly when the Government benches start predicting David Cunliffe will be rolled by lunchtime. Trolling was a fine art long before the internet. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Trolling was a fine art long before the internet. :)

    On contemplation, I did call it a "Brownlee". But you have to admit, to be issued with a holiday as an only sanction does beg the question. The woman's got something.even she admits she's not widely liked on the front bench.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Politics isn't the place where "He's a son of a bitch, but at least he's our son of a bitch" comes into play disconcertingly often.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I'm surprised that Dotcom is waiting until a mere five days before the election.

    Unless his revelation is absolutely massive it'll have no effect one way or the other.

    NZ voters tend to make up their minds well before five days beforehand, I reckon.

    If he makes a huge revelation about a month beforehand then it'll be the major election issue, otherwise it'll be too little, too late.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Jon Briggs, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I too am finding it difficult to identify a rat I am prepared to swallow

    Since Dec 2008 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    So, a US official might have mentioned to the PM how useful it would be for their investigation of Mr Dotcom if he were successful in his residence application. And the PM might have told some lacky to see to it. Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't really strike me as some kind of wildly implausible conspiracy theory, it seems, if anything, wildly plausible.

    Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I asked him why it is Key’s credibility hasn’t been shredded long ago.

    I think for his supporters one of two scenarios is playing out. Please imagine you, like more than 50% of NZers polled, are a Key fan.

    Charming Rogue. Key has considerable personal charm, and we all like mavericks who keep getting away with it. The fact that there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence but nothing concrete just makes his getting away with it more delightful.

    Masterful Bully. Is there a bigger demonstration of personal power than flatly lying, when everyone knows you're lying, and daring people to challenge you? If you like Muldoonist intimidation, you'll like this.

    Whether you prefer larrikins or bullies, there's something for you here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I think our entire New Zealand establishment is pretty much rotten to the core and no longer fit for purpose in a modern state.

    My alter ego is a socialist anarchist, so do away with "the state", and I'll be right with you. In reality, I'm a bit Churchillian about the idea of democracy.

    As to how rotten the NZ political establishment is, I'm afraid living in Australia has rather jaundiced me. Now, their system and most of their pols are rotten. The NZ circus is rather smaller potatoes (although definitely in the process if joining the same train).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to TracyMac,

    As to how rotten the NZ political establishment is, I’m afraid living in Australia has rather jaundiced me. Now, their system and most of their pols are rotten. The NZ circus is rather smaller potatoes (although definitely in the process if joining the same train).

    Is it me, or is the whole Anglosphere seemingly going down that path?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5428 posts Report Reply

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