Agreeing and disagreeing with Prentice on hacking

Lynn Prentice has posted a rambling and sometimes bizarre post at The Standard, and he virtually threatens the police in places. It’s another instalment in his long-running feud with Cameron Slater.

It’s titled Charge Cameron Slater or let me hack systems.

Early last week I made a statement to and complained to the police about Cameron Slater paying Ben Rachinger to try to hack into my computers on the behalf of his mysterious “funder”.

He indicated he would be doing this in a comment at The Standard last week. The Rachinger story started in late January and generally fizzled out a month or two ago.

He makes a case for why he thinks Slater should be charged, convicted and jailed

Cameron Slater should be locked away from society for our protection. He has a clear pattern of repeatably doing this kind of offense and others. About the only thing that he seems to respond to (if you look at his history on names suppression contempt of court convictions) is being told that he will be heading to prison if he persists. Since he just transfers to some other illegal activity, it is pretty clear that he desperately needs prison time to understand what that means.

I have no idea about possible or likely sentences but I agree with Prentice that based on what I’ve seen of what Ben Rachinger has posted the police should ate least seriously investigate the alleged attempt to have The Standard hacked. It’s clear Slater has done some stupid stuff with Rachinger, but it’s unclear how stupid and how provably illegal, despite Prentice’s accusations.

But I don’t think Prentice’s approach will help his case, I doubt the Police will appreciate being harangued into marching Slater off to prison.

Nor his threatened reaction, to do some of his own hacking if the Slater case isn’t progressed favourably for him.

So if the police have no intentions of enforcing those laws protecting computer systems for irresponsible people like Cameron Slater who has been so clearly violating them, then shouldn’t they tell us?

Back before these types of laws and changes to university regulations came into being, responsible hackers used to routinely test the security on systems. It was something that I did throughout my first degree at Waikato starting in 1978.

Let me be free to access the systems I want to have a look into. I have the tools, the background in security and networks. I’d love to openly and freely hack into systems without legal retribution –  just like Cam does. I am sure that there are thousands of competent people like me in NZ here who’d enjoy doing that as well. There are several who are authors on this site.

Outside of the political sphere, there are way more non-political tech-heads who’d enjoy being given Cam’s apparent license against prosecution by the police. They would also like to remove themselves from the artificial and clearly unenforced legal restrictions that we currently voluntarily observe.

If the police don’t want to prosecute such crimes done by the irresponsible amongst us, then  why constrain the responsible?

That doesn’t seem very smart, but it’s typical Prentice.

However I think it’s important the Police are seen to treat politically motivated hacking as a serious legal and democratic issue in more than just the Rawshark case.

Talking of which, it was good to see Prentice make a statement on his views on the Rawshark case.

[lprent: I have never condoned the hack on Cameron Slater’s system. If “Rawshark” can even be identified and charged, then he/she should be. But if Rawshark is prosecuted or even pursued by the police, then Cameron Slater damn well should be too for his two direct computer access offenses, and for trying to procure a hack of my systems.

However I have previously said (or words to that effect) that the information from that hack is useful, illuminating, of high public interest, and Rawshark did a great service by bringing it to the surface from the disgusting sesspool of National’s dirty politics full of intimidation, planned blackmail, and the highly inappropriate linkages of parliamentary services work time to running attack blogs. Perhaps that is what confuses your simple mind.

I don’t know of any known linkages between rawshark and Labour. My guess is that you are just repeating Cameron Slater’s well known unsubstantiated lying on the subject. FFS the idiot can’t even keep his story straight and generally refers to people who are even less technically illiterate than he is.]

It’s good to see him appearing support the identification and charging of Rawshark, if it’s not just confidence Rawshark won’t be identified.

But there’s little comparison between:

– The Rawshark hack of Slater’s data, the feeding of it to an author and the using of it to try and determine the outcome of an election.

– The alleged attempt to pay to have The Standard hacked, that Prentice is certain was unsuccessful.

The latter, if true, was very dumb but also fairly futile. It’s unlikey there was much if anything of interest to most people to be found.

But the Rawshark hack is reprehensible and undeserving of praise. No matter how much Slater et all deserved to be exposed.

“I don’t know of any known linkages between rawshark and Labour” could be just grammar lprent style, or it could be read different ways.

Calling someone an idiot and then saying “people who are even less technically illiterate than he is” is cute.

In summary I agree with Prentice’s apparently fairly strong stand against hacking for dirty politics. But I disagree with some of what he claims, and think his propensity to overstate things and his apparent attempt to verbally bludgeon the Police into doing what he wants is as dumb as Slater can sometimes be. And probably counter productive.

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4 Comments

  1. Smoke gets in your eyes when those who seek to hide fan the flames methinks Pete….

    Maybe one day soon we will get the truth and the actual hacker will be identified with enough real evidence to allow a warrant for their arrest to be issued…. and yes I don’t think it was one person on their own but at least 2 people acting together utilising their IT skills…

    Reply
  2. Slater is in Court on Thursday – Prentice should serve him them – given he has made the very public decision to charge him one must assume he has it all ready to go.

    Reply
  3. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  20th July 2015

    Do you get a lawyer to check over the things you write here?
    I’m no lawyer, but I’d run a mile before I’d repeat the unsubstantiated accusations of Prentice or Slater.

    Reply
  4. kiwi_guy

     /  20th July 2015

    This is year 7 and up that LP and co. have been wandering around in the political wilderness – the thirst must be getting unbearable.

    Reply

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