Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It's worse than you think

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  • Kyhwana,

    While the government/police could use the terrorism act to force you to give up the passwords to encrypted texts/emails, you'd at least then know they were looking and it would be a PR field day if they did that to any journalists. (Especially if that had happened in this case).

    Journalists (especially, though "normal" people should be trying as well) should begin encrypting _everything_ they do/send between themselves and their sources. While it wont protect against metadata, if done properly they'll know when the government is onto them, assuming the govt can't decrypt their files/messages.

    For instance, there's Redphone/Textsecure for android phones (iphones soon) and S/MIME/PGP for email that's pretty well supported almost everywhere.

    Hamilton • Since Jul 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Kyhwana,

    While the government/police could use the terrorism act to force you to give up the passwords to encrypted texts/emails, you'd at least then know they were looking and it would be a PR field day if they did that to any journalists. (Especially if that had happened in this case).

    Please explain which terrorism power this is, and how it works in this way.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Kyhwana, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    See http://techliberty.org.nz/jailing-people-for-remaining-silent/
    (Counter Terrorism Bill 2003, if you don't give them your encryption keys, they send you to jail)

    Hamilton • Since Jul 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    The quote from the cop in that story about how you never know what kind of thing you'll turn up in these situations - makes it sound like they only ever use this search power to go on fishing expeditions.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    "Police spokesman Ross Henderson said police had believed that there had been intentional interception and disclosure of private communications"

    Oh, the irony.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Kyhwana,

    (Counter Terrorism Bill 2003, if you don’t give them your encryption keys, they send you to jail)

    Section 130 of the Search and Surveillance Act is not the terrorism act. It is a law which applies to all imprisonable offences.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    covert satiation...
    I'm liking the new descriptor for the BanKey mano-a-mano street-theatrepiece
    - "the coversation"
    :- )
    </coat>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    I've been thinking for a while now that somebody in the opposition needs to propose a Democracy Protection Bill. This government has gotten far too abusive.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    How much oversight is there into whether police can look up phone records? It can't be that much, really. I once went to the police to complain that a guy who I lent my motorbike jacket to when he purchased my motorbike on TradeMe and turned up in a t-shirt and shorts to ride it home, had not returned my jacket and was not returning my calls. From nothing more than the guy's phone number, he tracked him down and clearly put the wind up him something chronic, because he came around that day to apologetically return the jacket (he lived waaay on the other side of town). I saw the policeman in the street a few days later and he said that you can find out a heck of a lot about someone just from who they called, and who they called called, and what they wrote. This was in 2006, I think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10647 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    it casts an interesting light on the warning issued against Ambrose by Police Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess

    What a fraud.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • "chris",

    This was in 2006, I think.

    It seems the NZMSM dropped the ball quite some time ago.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    The question now is not just how much you trust the executive, but how much you can trust an executive that presides over the screaming absence of constitutional empathy that this one does.

    It should always have been the case, really. Even if a presiding executive is trusted, it's likely that an executive such as the current one, or some other which you might happen to dis-trust (if you somehow trust the current one), will be along sooner or later.

    One of my regrets is that New Zealand is in the midst of scheduled constitutional and related reviews, such as for the electoral system and a constitution itself, which could fundamentally affect governance for decades or longer. The processes for these issues are likely to be politicised enough, even without being subjected to a PM and Cabinet which have demonstrated a destructive contempt for any constitutional processes which happen to be politically inconvenient at any given time.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Swain,

    [A long-term overseas resident asks…]

    Can someone explain something to me, please?

    I have read over the past few months about some outrageous behaviour by Key and National in general, but also that Key is polling very highly. So, what is it that's keeping him high in the polls? Someone obviously likes him (or National), so what is it they like?

    Japan • Since Apr 2013 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Gareth Swain,

    So, what is it that’s keeping him high in the polls? Someone obviously likes him (or National), so what is it they like?

    I have asked similar questions before and the answers I get just leave me further mystified. Apparently people perceive him as some ordinary bloke, the guy next door you happily share a few beers and a good yarn with. I don't get it, I see nothing like that in him.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Apparently people perceive him as some ordinary bloke, the guy next door you happily share a few beers and a good yarn with.

    I think people make up all sorts of reasons, but I've heard it argued that, subconsciously at least, he's basically the kind of guy that many people want to become. (He's rich and successful, has a holiday home in Hawaii, he smiles a lot and everything's a breeze, etc.) He's the big marketing image of governing party. To vote against his ability to set the rules is like denying yourself the opportunity to do whatever he did and get $50 million like he did. Or something like that.

    That might have something to do with it. In practice I think the lack of a cohesive opposition, the main party of which still hasn't figured out what to do since Helen Clark left, also has a lot to do with it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I wrote something, then izogi said it better.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I think the lefty counterpart to the fabulously wealthy "self-made" conservative leader would be some sort of a dragon-slayer, a cross between a firefighter and Erin Brockovitch. Hence the respect people still have for Lange's nuclear free business despite Rogernomics.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 205 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Sacha,

    it casts an interesting light on the warning issued against Ambrose by Police Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess

    Seems pretty clear (to me, at least) what happened here.

    (1) The PM made a complaint, which the Police jumped to investigate ('cause it's the PM making it in the midst of the election campaign, so the Police have to pretend it is A Very Important Matter);

    (2) Ambrose gave a pretty reasonable account of how the taping came to happen, meaning there was no real evidence that the mental element of "intentionally" recording the conversation was met (or, at least, no evidence that would meet the "beyond reasonable doubt" test);

    (3) So the Police went looking at Ambrose's texts, in the hope that these might reveal a discrepancy with his original story (or, even better, an outright confession that he intentionally taped the meeting) ... because it's actually pretty common for the cops to seek the records of a suspect's communications, and quite a few people are dumb enough to use their phones to put their guilt in writing (or, at least, textspeak);

    (4) However, here the messages only reinforced Ambrose's story, meaning a prosecution would have been almost certain to fail;

    (5) But announcing to the world "there is no real evidence that Ambrose did anything illegal" would have made Key look like a dick. So the Police did the "politic" thing - they sternly wagged their finger at Ambrose ("we had enough on you to prosecute (mumble, mumble)"), while not actually putting that "evidence" to the test.

    At the risk of breaching netiquette, I blogged on this at the time: http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/half-a-baby-for-everyone

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 205 posts Report Reply

  • WannaBrent,

    Another slow news day in NZ peeps....this is not Egypt....thankfully....the bill was outdated, it needed updating most peeps agree, the 5 W's need to be agreed more fully I agree.....it gets the GSCB legal again for now (in terms of the law) and now perhaps time for debate before the next election as to how far the 5 W's go....seems fair to me....democracy in action.....3 year election cycles can be too short (to effect real economic change), but they also can be good if you don't like something.

    As an aside I'm thinking of starting the Auckland Party to put up a sensible "Auckland First" view on all things NZ to indeed make it happen faster.....and put to bed the lesser NZ First, Greens and Labour options that currently exist...thoughts?

    Bucklame • Since Aug 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    So the Police did the "politic" thing - they sternly wagged their finger at Ambrose

    They publicly lied that his behaviour had been deliberate when we now know they had (undisclosed) access to evidence that it wasn't. Not remotely OK.

    Oh, and linkwhoring seems pretty welcome in these parts, especially when it's contributing to the conversation. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    From your Pundit post:

    Not that I'm suggesting anything so crude as that the Police would misrepresent the evidence they had to serve a higher purpose.

    Wouldn't be so sure anymore.

    According to Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess, "future occurrences were likely to be prosecuted."

    Dick move.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Toby,

    do I have this right? 1. PM complains to police that man has deliberately intercepted his private communications. 2. Police deliberately intercept man's communications, which show that man did not deliberately intercept PM's communcations. 3. Police insinuate that man deliberately intercepted PM's communcations.

    pt chev • Since Mar 2011 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Sacha,

    Oh, and linkwhoring seems pretty welcome in these parts, especially when it's contributing to the conversation. :)

    Yes, but:

    (1) Linking to two different posts in two successive comments may be pushing the bounds of politeness; and,

    (2) I'm scared of Russell. Very, very scared.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 205 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    - "the coversation"

    Sacha, in reply to Andrew Geddis, about an hour ago Twitter
    From your Pundit post:

    Not that I’m suggesting anything so crude as that the Police would misrepresent the evidence they had to serve a higher purpose.

    Yes the cover-station...

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1888 posts Report Reply

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