Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Word of the Year 2014: #dirtypolitics

98 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Ken Sparks,

    I’d like to think that investigations into the revelations of dirty politics are far from resolved.

    I'd like to think that too

    and then my brain identifies the fallacy of such thinking

    stupid brain

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4297 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Good interview with Nicky Hager on Radio NZ just now.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3078 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Nicky Hager on Radio NZ

    31 minutes, listening options

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    Thanks for posting that Sacha. That was fascinating. On my initial listen I was taken by Kathryn Ryan’s (I assume she was the interviewer)insistance on categorizing Hager’s account as patronising:

    "Is it patronising to say look at you silly voters, you don’t see or understand this stuff, when actually what is more important to them may well be – politicians are politicians – but this is what matters most to me or my family or this is what matters most to the country…I’m not saying don’t write the book Nicky, I’m just saying, the perception that everyone out there is all fooled by all this and is ignorant of all this is arguably slightly patronising?"

    I guess that raised a couple of questions for me here outside the bubble, namely, is this a revelation about the New Zealand condition, do New Zealanders suffer an acute sensitivity to being patronised, perhaps an inferiority complex of sorts whereby receiving information necessitates an impulsive sense of subordination? Is this a national concern?

    Secondly, what is not patronising about conflating all voters, minimising our concerns, and insinuating that Hager’s work does not meet the criteria for ‘what matters most to the country’?

    Despite appearances to the contrary, it was largely a sympathetic interview, and I thought Nicky Hager channeled a vein and hit the nail on the head:

    "…I think that people are hungry for real information and not for spin…"

    On my second listen, what grabbed me was the very very slight shift with regards to Rawshark. Firstly, as context, this:

    Campbell Live (August):

    Earlier this year I was leaked a very large number of communications from the blogger Cameron Slater.

    And this:

    Media Take (S01E08-August 19th-10:30):

    …Suddenly in March this year I got approached with a remarkable piece of information which could allow that story to be told and I spoke to the person who was offering it to me and said would you trust me to make this into not just news for a day, but something of value, of lasting value, which means a book, which means you will be patient and leave me for months and months to try and do it…

    Now it may just be a matter of semantics, bias, assumptions, but for me there was an overriding sense in these August statements that not only was Nicky’s role in acquiring the information largely passive, but that Rawshark was some noble creature, dredging the depths, seeking only a medium for her/his truths of righteousness.

    Big Year Interview (December 19th-7:20):

    I had this utterly unexpected and serendipitous breakthrough when I heard about someone who was claiming to have some of Cameron Slater’s staff and I tracked them down as fast as I could and discovered that they indeed did […]I heard a rumour in the IT circles that someone was making idle boasts and normally those rumours don’t come to anything and if I hadn’t been already thinking about this subject I wouldn’t have even followed it up, but I did because I was already on that subject and I was interested.

    Obviously with litigation looming this very small shift in the narrative/ elaboration is not unexpected or unreasonable, but it casts a bright light on that elephant in the room that is the idle boasting hacker, that are the complicit New Zealand IT circles, that is the New Zealand authorities inability to identify Rawshark months later compared to Sony’s hackers being identified within days, that is New Zealanders’ vulnerability not just to one hacker but to full IT circles unwilling to break ranks. That in itself is as big if not bigger than the Dirty Politics revelations themselves, again thanks to Nicky.

    There is the lingering implication that in our digital lives, our Government is unwilling through contrivance, or feasibly unable to provide any sense of protection or justice whatsoever, further strengthening the argument that our digital conversations do not qualify as that which ’one ought reasonably to expect that the communication may not be intercepted’. Post election, our digital safety was certainly not deemed as high a priority as policy changes prompted by alleged terrorist threats, justified in the name of not letting terrorist threats dictate policy.

    Having gone there. I agree 100% that Nicky has handled his role appropriately and with utmost care, and most importantly that his work was done in the public interest, but with both eyes pried open, the vigilante hacker Rawshark remains at large, four months later, in a population the size of a metropolitan district.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2069 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    All things considered, at this juncture, when reviewing the entire mechanism, it’s not the police preventing Nicky from going about his business, it’s not the court system vacuuming up folks’ money. It is Rawshark’s unwillingness to face the music that is the burden on the taxpayer and most notably on Nicky Hager.

    And with all due respect to Nicky who I understand is professionally obligated to protect his sources, and whom is obviously in the most difficult of ethical positions, the cards don’t seem to be stacked as favorably against him as they were against the MSM who were in contact with Rawshark up until the end, Nicky has traded court dates with Rawshark, which would be fine except for the burning question; all things considered, is protecting a criminal in the public interest?

    I don't wish to offend or aggravate anyone with that, these are just questions left unanswered.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2069 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to mark taslov,

    all things considered, is protecting a criminal in the public interest?

    One's criminal is another's cyber-vigilante. I'm of the view that when the law is an ass, sometimes it has to be bent for the public good.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5262 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    For sure Deepred, which presumably sounds innocuous enough to someone who’s never had an account hacked, that’s the distinctly black and white interpretation of what I ambivalently feel to be murky shades of sickeningly uncomfortable gray. At its darkest troubling reaches this encompasses the hacking of the Slater’s computer, the IT circles for whom knowledge of this kind of occurrence would seem relatively routine, the exposed conspiratorial actions of Ministers and notable high-flyers, Ministerial obfuscation, invasive and heavy-handed police action. Through the gray-scale, we see journalists publishing the hacked data, the question of protecting criminals or protecting sources, all the way up to the light; well meaning nominations for New Zealander of the year, crowdfunded legal support, inquiries and sanctioning of culpable parties.

    This is not a good vs evil screenplay: the potential outcomes of the litigation would seem to be either a finding that sanctions police conduct of this ilk or a precedent which empowers journalists to protect hacker sources. One might easily argue that the latter is nothing to concern myself with, my conversations are not of public interest. However thousands of New Zealanders communications do at some point or other – and sometimes quite routinely – touch on issues of public interest, were this Russell who’d been hacked our framing would naturally be considerably different, were it a council worker from Trentham perhaps not so much.

    The fundamental issue for me is that hate him or hate him Cameron Slater is a private citizen, and private citizens should expect reasonable protection from cyber incursion of the nature carried out. If they engage in cyberbullying, intimidation, defamation, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice then the relevant laws must be strengthened and enforced.

    Which is not to say I don’t understand the importance of this test case to the heady world of journalism but at what price? Is sacrificing the citizenry’s cyber security to the journalistic feeding ground a fair trade off? Do we want to encourage the publication of hacked info and by proximity hacking itself? Looking downstream neither outcome presents notable appeal.

    I understand the importance of Hager’s insistence on protecting his source in this case, but again, this comes at what cost to other sources and stories contained in the confiscated hardware? If preserving one’s professional reputation and integrity comes at the expense of one’s professional career and livelihood then what is left? I have no doubt that those with the the most to gain from Nicky being waylaid by this intimidation are those who would be exposed in his future work. In a truly civil society the police would have first approached Nicky to initiate discussion about Rawshark, Rawshark who will be enjoying another Christmas unblemished by pending litigation, confiscation et al.

    The law has always been a bit of an ass, but it’s our only ass. Robbing Peter to pay Paul will not suffice as a long-term answer to pressing issues, so I guess, at the end of the year, what I’m thinking is that if Nicky were to suddenly do a U-y and begin cooperating with police in their investigation, in these most novel of circumstances, then I wouldn’t think any less of him, there are sources and there are sources.

    Anyway I best probably leave it there.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2069 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to mark taslov,

    In a truly civil society the police would have first approached Nicky to initiate discussion about Rawshark, Rawshark who will be enjoying another Christmas unblemished by pending litigation, confiscation et al.

    I think Nicky's professionalism on principle has led to him being the best person to handle the Police. I think Bradley Ambrose and the tea pot affair was a good example of what the Police will do once a complaint gets made by a well known person of interest. I think the Police pov was Hager and Ambrose was guilty and Slater and Key was innocent just because of the law. The murkiness reveals itself when the Police determine that the law is broken without doing their job of investigating the situation before they jump to the assumption of guilt. This may have been also why the Police wanted to be seen to have learnt from the teapot tapes with their lengthy search of Nicky's house and why Nicky's professionalism was needed then. Trouble is though that they still start with the same flawed concept of guilty until proven innocent (or essential for NZ democratic society) rather than innocent until proven guilty. Hence the clouds are grey and history proves that , yep, same shit ,different day.

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

  • DeepRed, in reply to mark taslov,

    And I draw a clear distinction between what Rawshark did, and what the News of the World did. Rawshark is a lone operator who happens to scare the pants off certain establishment figures, because they're scared of their cover getting blown. Hackgate, on the other hand, had the neck-deep involvement of a media multi-national, the London Met, and senior Westminster insiders.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5262 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It gets worse. Bradbury notes this part of Hager's judicial challenge filing.

    He further submitted that as some of the files seized included allegations of corruption within police, he was concerned that the data survived in its original condition.

    Oh, and don't go near the comments unless you're swathed in tinfoil..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And #dirtypolitics has eaten itself, with Slater now delivering homilies about ethics.

    Chris Hipkins is sitting on another ethics story where a senior National Party figure has been nailed for wife beating, and doing a whole lot of things that are not OK. Combine that with the Sabin story and it really looks like John Key doesn’t care about ethics.

    Ethics in politics matter.

    Often the left get ethics wrong when they claim National are unethical essentially crying wolf.

    The public expect politics to be dirty, and accept that it is, but they don’t accept wife beating, sex offending, assaults or other major ethical lapses.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And #dirtypolitics has eaten itself, with Slater now delivering homilies about ethics.

    Did that really need to be quoted and linked to here, Sacha? Cameron Slater’s m.o. of conviction by innuendo is hardly a mystery, but he’s got more than enough useful idiots spreading his shit without the help of anyone around here.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12333 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    and linked to

    you'll note I used http://donotlink.com for that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    conviction by innuendo

    more about un-self-aware hypocrisy this time, surely?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    And #dirtypolitics has eaten itself, with Slater now delivering homilies about ethics.

    What is "pink cocktail drinker" supposed to mean? Some sort of homophobic slur?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    dunno. is there a drink called the 'pinko commie' or something?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    ah, is that what upset Craig, perhaps? Fair enough. Will delete the line.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    ah, is that what upset Craig, perhaps? Fair enough. Will delete the line.

    Nah, the whole fucking thing upsets me basically, because this is just Slater doing what Slater does and he depends on other people to spread the muck. Same old same old, and honestly I don't think there's anything " un-self-aware" about it. Anyway, can I just have a hideous matching tie and hanky set for Christmas like a normal person? :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12333 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    socks

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Nah... socks are easy. Tracking down a suitably fugly petroleum-based necktie-and-pocket square combo that will refuse to look appealing in tandem with anything a human being would willingly wear is a true test of resolve and dedication to the dark arts of Christmas shopping. I believe in you, Sacha! I know you can do it!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12333 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I am conscientiously avoiding anything resembling a mall

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    I am conscientiously avoiding anything resembling a mall

    We sourced most of the family presents from OpShops this year, like the Sallies and the Hospice shops. Reuse and give to charity at the same time.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2776 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to DeepRed,

    And I draw a clear distinction between what Rawshark did, and what the News of the World did. Rawshark is a lone operator who happens to scare the pants off certain establishment figures

    I thought I’d let the hams settle before responding. I’d be wary of making that kind of comparison. Rawshark is certainly not media material by any stretch as indicated by the failure to reasonably redact personal info from the Herald dumps, but Rawshark is also not Karen Silkwood.

    Nicky's admission implicates Rawshark as having hacked Slater for larks, and one could even conclude that to this day in all likelihood Rawshark would still just be hacker for shits and giggles if not for having been plucked from IT circle notoriety by Hager. Protecting your source is never going to be easy or make much sense when that whistle-blower is Little Toot. Beyond scared establishment figures, there are family members, none less than Slater’s own, who have no doubt expended time and dignity in pant recovery. Beatification remains off the cards this round.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2069 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.