Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Vision and dumbassery

551 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 23 Newer→ Last

  • Danielle, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    “I’m pretty certain that innocent people had or have nothing to worry about.”

    People trotting this line out and BELIEVING IT - that absolutely boggles the mind.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    I agree with the American expert on Hoskings this morning whose name escapes me who said even if Snowdens claims are largely true, “I’m pretty certain that innocent people had or have nothing to worry about.”

    Was it Nixon?

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to st ephen,

    mass surveillance might be a problem if government Ministers were so corrupt that they accessed information and passed it on to attack blogs and a compliant media in order to harass and smear ordinary citizens for political, business or personal reasons. But that would never happen in NZ, right?

    Only to other people. But unless you're an other person, you have nothing to worry about.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Starrow, in reply to simon g,

    I don't know exactly what to believe simon g. And nor can anybody else I reckon because of the very nature of the topic. For every claim, there is invariably a denial. Those with supposed specialist knowledge often disagree.
    What I don't like is the entirely self-serving presentation from the likes of Harre and Kim the Kraut.

    Since Sep 2014 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewH, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    "The Swedish government quite rightly wouldn’t accede to a request they have precisely no standing under domestic or international law to make, and which wouldn’t be binding on any Swedish court if they did. (The Swedish courts which, by the way, are bound by exactly the same EU laws as the UK not to extradite in circumstances where there is any risk of the death penalty or torture.) And to be perfectly cynical, I think Mr Assange and his lawyers are perfectly well aware of that fact.

    I’d also suggest Julian Assange no more gets to dictate the terms on which he is investigated by the Swedish authorities when it comes to incredibly serious allegations of sexual assault, than Muhammed Rizalman does in the Billingsley case here. Assange’s paranoia isn’t the point here."

    You know what's making my bullshit alarm ring, Craig? The dog-whistling that because Assange is accused of a crime, giving him airtime to speak on something totally unrelated is equivalent to endorsing his character. Because it isn't Craig.

    As to whether he's being paranoid in not stepping out his front door into, you know, the vastly expensive police stakeout, because nothing says "this is being treated as a crime like any other" like that entourage. If the Swedish prosecutors simply want to interview him then please tell what's wrong with any fucking room in London to conduct that interview? And why is it critical he go to Sweden for that interview unless it's a matter of getting him on particular soil (or between it) or sending a message? Because that "paranoia" occurred in the context of some highly dubious mechanations within the Swedish legal system, and also the Chelsea Manning witch-trial and the forcing down of Morales plane in the search for Snowden. So pardon me if I don't fling in an accusation of paranoia quite as readily as you.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewH, in reply to AndrewH,

    PS - and for the record, Assange's talk was the weakest of the lot last night, and I think he frequently acts like a dick. OTOH, I just don't think you get to say "alleged rapist" move along without being called out.
    Mysogeny and violence has no place in our culture, but neither does 'excommunication by accusal".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    At the risk of derailing, this just in

    If you want me, I'll be in my corner laughing myself to death.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2933 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    I know what you mean. Which is why I agree with Paul Buchanan when he says the best way of managing a spy group is to have robust independent governance of it, which monitors everything it does both before and after it does it.

    Clearly, we need something better than what we've got, because what we've got doesn't suit anyone. It doesn't suit Key's opponents because they don't trust Key. And it doesn't suit Key's supporters because the fact that it arouses distrust distracts Key from doing whatever he does that wins him support, like selling state assets or whatever.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to nzlemming,

    At the risk of derailing, this just in

    If you want me, I’ll be in my corner laughing myself to death.

    Cheapskates. Joe Cocker was paid $270,000 by the Australian Tax Office just for a cover.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to nzlemming,

    Exquisite

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis,

    Wendyl Nissen: Tuning out: Dirty Politics and the blogs

    The low-salt lentil broth just got a bit thicker. Well worth reading.

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    "I'm pretty certain that innocent people had or have nothing to worry about."

    First they came for the Communists and I did not speak out, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left, to speak out for me.


    Organisations who do these things, they have always abused their position. Always. Every time. It's so easy, you can target anyone at any time, you define your task as avoiding the innocent, so obviously everyone you target is guilty of something. They must be, innocent people have nothing to worry about.

    Why would you defend the guilty anyway? What are you, some sort of sympathiser? Perhaps we best keep an eye on you, too, and your family, and everyone you meet, or pass nearby, or who reads the same books.

    When the Nazis burned all those books, the ones from the libraries, they checked the slips in the back, for who had borrowed them in the past. Make a big list. Just to keep an eye on them. What have you been reading? Because this looks pretty subversive.

    But don't worry about being on the list, if you're innocent, that would never get you raided or anything. Operation 8 was just a blip, not a trend.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • adam hyde,

    So, I'm generally a fan of what Snowden and Greenwald are doing but I found last night a little worrying. There are a couple of issues that irk me:
    1. the repeated claim that we should 'just believe what Snowden says' just because 'he has never been wrong in the past' is really weak. Thanks to Snowden for all he has done but none of us should accept whatever he says without evidence to support it. Such a claim that Snowden is 'the source of truth' makes me wonder if all we have is Snowdens word and that (although I hate to say it) is not enough.
    2. For anyone that knows software, Snowdens point in the Intercept Op Ed that "analysts have a checkbox on a top secret system that hides the results of mass surveillance in New Zealand " means absolutely nothing. For someone that knows software like Snowden its shocking to think he could make such an obviously weak argument. Software UI (if that is really what he is refering to) exposes nothing about the processes behind the UI. It leads me to wonder again if they actually have any hard data that can show how complicit NZ is..

    the whole thing makes me feel queasy as I can't help but think that both Greenwald and Snowden undermined their credibility with the very shallow evidence they tabled.

    Not feeling good about this, not just for NZ but for the world. I hope no one outside of NZ took any notice and Greenwald and Snowdens credibility is not tainted outside of these shores....

    Whangarei Heads/San Franc… • Since Sep 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to AndrewH,

    So, this is what I meant when I said "please can we not?". Here's a neat old thread for talking about Julian Assange. Because it's OT here, and also triggering and extremely upsetting to survivors / victims / people who have had bad experience with the way some dudes from "the left" talk and behave around politics and sexual violence.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to adam hyde,

    2. For anyone that knows software, Snowdens point in the Intercept Op Ed that “analysts have a checkbox on a top secret system that hides the results of mass surveillance in New Zealand ” means absolutely nothing.

    My recollection is this feature was labelled "Five Eyes Defeat" and checking it excluded from search results data relating to Five Eyes partner -- agencies? Countries? Anyway I didn't have any trouble imagining that intel collected by Five Eyes could be tagged as such and excluded as desired.. but I use similar features across numerous search engines every day :)

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • adam hyde, in reply to stephen clover,

    yes, but the fact that there is a button does not mean there is anything behind that button. The fact (Snowdens word) that there is a checkbox does nothing to establish what, if anything, that checkbox does. It certainly does nothing to prove that there is an entire infrastructure in NZ that feeds the 5 eyes with massive meta data. Such a claim is ridiculous but more worrying to me is that Snowden knows software intimately. He practically lives in software. He absolutely knows that this is an *extremely* weak argument but still he uses it. Why doesn't he use something stronger? It makes me worried.

    Whangarei Heads/San Franc… • Since Sep 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to adam hyde,

    2. For anyone that knows software, Snowdens point in the Intercept Op Ed that “analysts have a checkbox on a top secret system that hides the results of mass surveillance in New Zealand ” means absolutely nothing. For someone that knows software like Snowden its shocking to think he could make such an obviously weak argument. Software UI (if that is really what he is refering to) exposes nothing about the processes behind the UI. It leads me to wonder again if they actually have any hard data that can show how complicit NZ is..

    Really? It seemed straightforward to me. Just setting the filter on a federated search application, which is what X-KeyScore is. If the box is ticked, the user sees New Zealand data. I honestly don’t see the problem here.

    the whole thing makes me feel queasy as I can’t help but think that both Greenwald and Snowden undermined their credibility with the very shallow evidence they tabled.

    Not feeling good about this, not just for NZ but for the world. I hope no one outside of NZ took any notice and Greenwald and Snowdens credibility is not tainted outside of these shores….

    Again, really? In three days Greenwald flushed out two surveillance programmes the government hadn’t thought to tell us about, which were implemented at a very sensitive time. First Cortex and then, after Greenwald had named it, Speargun today. Key first admitted that cable taps take place and then, today, that NSA staff work in New Zealand. All stuff we didn’t know.

    There is a basic problem with much of what Snowden tookwith him in that it’s presentational material. The first couple of stories from the documents – published too hastily – and were confusing in parts because of that (Powerpoint slides don't have fine print). But the fact that Snowden (and I had my doubts initially) has consistently been correct surely has a bearing on his credibility. It’s one way we judge any other witness – why not him?

    The thing now is for local journalists to work out what questions to ask next.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Didn't he describe it as a set of Federated data stores of the various countries, if so I would read it as including/ excluding a particular country's data store.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to David Hood,

    Didn’t he describe it as a set of Federated data stores of the various countries, if so I would read it as including/ excluding a particular country’s data store.

    Yes, as I said above, he described it as federated search.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • adam hyde, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So you are willing as a journo to accept that because Snowden says there is a checkbox therefore NZ is hooked into the system? I think you need to dig down deeper into that Russell. Its an extremely weak premise for such a conclusion. You know software - you know that having a checkbox on an interface is meaningless. and says nothing about what is behind the software. If Snowden had docs to show that NZ data was present in the system - then fine. But he doesnt. He just has the check box. It is not enough.

    As for trusting Snowden on his word. I believe there is a button. I see no evidence beyond that for anything.

    Whangarei Heads/San Franc… • Since Sep 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    If you're tapping a cable in real time and saving all the data in a central store you have a little problem - you need to install more cables to get the data there - theoretically as cables fill up you need as many clandestine cables as you have real ones .... not something you can really hide (or afford).

    Instead it makes more sense to but your data repositories as close to the tap points as possible, in our case it would likely be Auckland or Hawaii.

    Remember how a Google search works - each search hits hundreds of Google servers to return you your results, I expect that XKEYSCORE works the same way

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    'adam' we know NZ is hooked into the system because it's part of 5-eyes - Snowdon is a 1st person witness of what the system does, there are no other such witnesses who have come forward to say otherwise. So far we think we can trust him because everything else he has released has turned out to be true.

    Key on the other hand has changed his story 2-3 times a day for the past week and at this point seems to be spinning so fast he may actually take off under his own momentum

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    This should not overshadow the crucially important issues aired last night.

    Russell, I cant decide if you are talking about your own blog, or the fact that these people are not playing a familia tune. Why not just focus on the point of it all, which is to try getting people thinking about allowing our governments to operate in secrecy and undemocratically.

    I’m not going to bleat about how the disco was a flop. I actually appreciate the effort at trying to get people taking shit seriously. So if you want to complain about bad performances, I would appreciate you directing your efforts toward TVNZ for instance.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready, in reply to James George,

    agreed. I tackled Patrick Gower about it with a few campaining tweets about him and he blocked me. What got me started was this:

    http://pantograph-punch.com/asking-the-right-questions-patrick-gower/
    wherein he says what it's like to be political 'journo'

    'journo' @patrickgowernz says no time for truth. Thinks journo job is be hard on both sides.
    "the scrutiny of what I need." Need for what - entertainment, ratings, killer soundbite?????
    "good cast of characters for a drama" . I rest my case. People like this @patrickgowernz determine shape of NZ.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to nzlemming,

    If you want me, I’ll be in my corner laughing myself to death.

    Hey. That's a ripoff of a Radiohead lyric. Watch it.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 23 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.