Few will sympathise with the exposure of the dirty agenda of Whale Oil and Cameron Slater, but there are wider implications from the illegal hacking of data used for a doubled barreled political hit job.
If it can happen to Whale Oil it could potentially happen to any blog – or newspaper.
Didn’t David Fisher at NZ Herald write against potential breaches of privacy through spy data? He seems to be less concerned about hacked data.
The Herald was able to confirm the use of Mr Bryant’s ministerial computer through details obtained from an individual other than the hacker who also accessed information from Whale Oil during the Denial of Service attack.
In the file held by the Herald, hundreds of messages sent from people working on ministerial or government computers are linked to the servers and IP addresses from which they were posted. The file links those details with email addresses – including Mr Bryant’s.
That’s getting quite intrusive. I wonder how people on other blogs would feel if a media organisation or a private hacker or an unprincipled blogger were able to identify people who posted under pseudonyms.
Fisher refers to “people working on ministerial or government computers” – but Cameron Slater claims to have communicated much wider than that, including with Fisher and MPs and staff from other parties.
If this is correct Fisher is only highlighting selected illegal data, following Hager’s and the hackers’ target of just one party, National. Is Fisher going to out other politicians? Journalists? I highly doubt the latter.
Comparing GCSB surveillance to illegally hacked data is pertinent. Who would be worse to discover sensitive data, the GCSB, NZ Herald, Cameron Slater or an anonymous rogue political activist?
I presume we can’t rule out what happened to Whale Oil happening to other blogs. I’m very concerned about the precedent that this has set and where it could lead. I personally don’t care if people find out what I’ve been posting because it’s already in the open.
But others might be more uneasy. If they aren’t perhaps they should be.
The best advice for anonymous bloggers and commenters is to not post anything that you wouldn’t want made public by a hacker or newspaper.
The risks of trying to remain anonymous have been highlighted by this. While Whale Oil has been exposed and to some extent at least neutered (a good thing) the political blogosphere in New Zealand has been compromised.
It seems that the potential of the GCSB intercepting your data with a legal warrant is regarded as the pits, but hacking and outing is fair game in politics.
Hacked data good, legally intercepted data bad?