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.

The Standard and Rachinger

From time to time The Standard goes in to bat for people involved in disputes with Cameron Slater. Lynn Prentice and Slater have been feuding for years, so siding with people attacking Slater isn’t surprising.

So it isn’t surprising to see The Standard getting involved in the Ben Rachinger story, especially as The Standard is the target of Slater in his apparent attempt to pay Rachinger to hack The Standard.

Here’s posts at The Standard on it, first after Rachinger’s Twitter releases in February:

  • Interesting story coming up in The Herald – 20 February 2015
    There will probably be a story soonish in The Herald that will be of particular interest to The Standard community.

    We have had nothing to do with the coverage. We’ve just been watching events unfold on Twitter, and we’re happy to see it come out via The Herald.

“Just been watching events unfold on Twitter” – but they happen to have advance notice of NZH coverage.

Then it went quiet until Rachinger expanding on his claims via blogs (and more Twitter) in May.

Arguably.

  • Sphinx and Rachinger – 4 May 2015
    The search engine on this site is run by Sphinx search. This is an open source general purpose package that runs a scan on the databases amended posts or comments. However it appeared to have caused Cameron Slater to cum all over his brain and shut down even the minimal amounts of animal cunning that he usually possesses.
  • Rachinger on dirty politics 4 – Ben asks for help  – 11 May 2015
    Ben Rachinger was a dirty politics insider, he is telling his story. Ben has asked for help

This was plea for financial help (donations) from Rachinger.

… I am completely broke. Homeless. Living moment to moment. Being threatened by the State and by ‘unknown’ assailants. I fear for my very existence. I have nothing left to give but multiple angles for getting to story out.

I’m working with big names in MSM to bring this story to light. They have been able to check the facts that I was an informant and that I attempted to lay a complaint against Mr Slater for Conspiracy to Hack.

Bank details were posted, along with an odd disclaimer:

Authors at The Standard have had no contact with Ben (though we have had independent confirmation of some details). We have no idea what to expect. Over to individuals what to make of Ben’s request.

After recent revelations this became controversial, prompting an Update:

[Update: About a month after this post was published, shortly after The Nation covered Rachinger’s account of being offered money to hack this blog, allegations were made about Rachinger’s past behaviour. We’re not going to give the sordid story any oxygen here, but if true Rachinger’s behaviour was appalling and inexcusable. This new context should be kept in mind if you are reading this old post.]

No links to what to keep in mind though – this was to appease some of the Standard troops who were torn between loving Rachinger v. Slater but hating Rachinger v. Williams.

  • Update on dirty politics developments – 7 June 2015
    A brief roundup of coverage and developments in the latest dirty politics revelations.
  • Cameron Slater’s statement on Ben Rachinger – 8 June 2015
    Cameron Slater has posted one statement in response to Ben Rachinger’s allegations.  It was by way of a jpg and was not searchable.  As a public service broadcast I thought that New Zealand should have the benefit of the text of his response.
  • Little weighs in on dirty politics – 8 June 2015
    Andrew Little on the latest round of dirty politics.
    “It beggars belief any politician – like John Key and Judith Collins – wants to have anything to do with him [Cameron Slater].”

One could also wonder why The Standard wanted to have anything to do with Ben Rachinger.

Perhaps they didn’t choose Rachinger. Perhaps Slater chose to target The Standard using Rachinger. Perhaps we don’t know the full story yet.

What we do know is that there has been contact between Rachinger and members of the Standard collective prior to the hack attempt. See Disappearing tweets – not. Of course that could just be coincidental crossing of paths in social media.

Daphne Lawless and the Internet Party

Following on from the previous post, here’s a bit more about Daphne Lawless. She was a strong supporter of the Internet party.

DaphneLawlessInternetParty

http://fightback.org.nz/2014/08/01/miriam-pierard-of-the-internet-party-speaking-the-language-of-youth/

What a small country.

A reliable source has told me that Ben Rachinger has recently been in (and may still be in) a relationship with Miriam Pierard.

Did Rawshark dump and flee New Zealand?

Ben Rawshark has had another wee splurge on Twitter today and in response there’s an interesting claim – that Rawshark dumped and ran.

I’ve lost a lot of support, followers and ‘credibility’ in the last 7 days since the story broke in MSM. Fortunately the cops are digging.

He can smear any truth tellers that pop up using proxy blogs, analysis of the tellers enemies and rarking them up.

Yes, Scientology does exactly the same thing. You might want to study the history of the movement against them.

He is extremely good at what he does. Look at how they hit Catton. She is wholly light side. It’s the state of play now.

Haha Project Chanology? Or something non-hacktivist? I’m not newborn to Scientologies BS.

 This is stuff that both pre-dates and post-dates Chanology. But Chanology was a decisive moment because you can’t smear Anon.

General chitchat with Daphne Lawless who describes themselves:

Daphne Lawless

@daphlawless

Musician, indexer, translator, political activist, footballer, sci-fi geek… if you are a renaissance woman, start a renaissance (after Ché Guevara)

Auckland, Aotearoa

She’s of political and media interest, with followers like Sue Bradford, Laila Harre, Duncan Garner, Tova O’Brien, Bryce Edwards.

Rachinger retweeted…

Slater is powerful because he’s useful to those in power. The correct strategy would be to end his usefulness.

So ideally one of Slater’s good buddies could be persuaded to turn against him.

…and then exchange tweets…

But that’s the beginning and the end of it. I was burying my grandmother as I dealt with it all. I apologised to QoT.

 Even if you were a serial arsehole as bad as Slater, I STILL wouldn’t dismiss your revelations about Slater.

I appreciate that. I admire your quest for facts, proof and the truth. Don’t push them too hard though. They don’t like that.

Ever thought of doing a Rawshark? Dox dump to friendly journos then skipping the country?

That was tried and it didn’t work .. Whistleblowing under own name doesn’t work. It’s not the facts… It’s what happens after

How friendly was Rawshark to the journalists? Those who were given access to Rawshark data and reported on it were David Fisher of NZ Herald and Matt Nippert of Sunday Star Times.

Familiar names in the current hacking story.

And did they then leave New Zealand?

And a wee search finds that Cameron Slater had an interest in Daphne Lawless, claiming she had non-public information about the Rawshark hacking.

8GB OF STOLEN DATA TURNS TO 2GB. QUESTION: HOW DOES DAPHNE LAWLESS KNOW THIS?

Meet Daphne Lawless, an aptly named hard left political activist who likes to blog like the big kids

She published an article on the Marxist Fightback blog (Struggle! Socialism! Fightback!), a post titled The Whale Oil leaks: Anti-politics from above.

In it, she writes:  

qwqw

The 8 and the 2 keys are not next to each other on a keyboard, so I assume that was exactly what she meant to type.

How does Daphne Lawless know the 8GB stick only contained 2GB data?

She seems to know a bit about Rawshark and friends.

Disappearing tweets – not

It looks like Lauda Finem have not searched well enough for tweets they claimed had been deleted, as pointed out by ‘LF are idiots’ in Disappearing tweets.

Oh FFS.

All the supposedly deleted tweets are still available on Twitter, LF simply don’t understand (or are deliberately lying about) the way Twitter cross indexes stuff.

A lesson in being wary of evidence presented on the Internet. LF claimed this pic showed that tweets had been deleted.

TweetsOctober

But links show otherwise via different views. The following are screen shots I’ve just taken from the links supplied.

TweetsRachinger

TweetsPresland

TweetsWilliams

Easy to make this sort of mistake, but I don’t know if it was deliberate or in error by LF. This is why I’m most just recording claims and ‘evidence’ as the story unfolds.

Rachinger: “we United to take on Mr Slater for his activities”

Ben Rachinger has reappeared on Twitter, making a very interesting claim that seems at odds with previous versions of how things happened – no names but Jessica Williams isn implicated – “that we United to take on Mr Slater for his activities”.

The exchange began:

So address has accused me of hacking ___ phone and publishing her private conversations…. I laughed.

Embedded image permalink

That’s a new claim – that Rachinger hacked Jessica Williams’ phone. A serious claim if true.

2h

She sent them to me . How can you spread such vicious lies! Or is that what she told you? Genuine Q. Are you lying or lied to?

Then:

2h

The whole point of this was that we United to take on Mr Slater for his activities. I declined to get involved in the smears for that reason

That looks quite different to previous claims by Rachinger that he reacted to requests to hack Slater and did a lone wolf sting.

Who United? The implication here is Williams with Rachinger.

I genuinely thought all the parties involved in this would do the right thing. I guess I have to clear the air myself!  Sometime later

Since then one of those comments expanded into an exchange:

She sent them to me . How can you spread such vicious lies! Or is that what she told you? Genuine Q. Are you lying or lied to?

v serious accusation by ; Please can all parties confine themselves to the certain truth or withdraw & apologise

He’s previously admitted to and apologised for publishing my private messages.

The plot gets ever thicker.

Disappearing tweets

Lauda Finem have claimed on Twitter:

Ben Rachinger has systemetically been removing every tweet ever exchanged between himself and Williams, as have Prentice and Presland

And they provide an example:

An original twitter exchange with Rachinger, Williams et al dated October 2014 – compared with what remains available

TweetsOctober

Rachinger has a record of purging things he has previously posted. Interesting if Presland and Prentice are doing it too – but they could have plausible explanations.

Also interesting to see that Presland and Prentice were apparently associating with Rachinger last October.

UPDATE: As advised in comments the tweets can be found via other views, so they are still there. For details see Disappearing tweets – not

Responding to Lauda Finem

Lauda Finem have reacted to Press gallery claim on Rachinger/Williams pics doesn’t stack up via Twitter. It’s easier to respond to them here.

“So “the entire parliamentary press gallery in fact” is not fact” – Heavy reliance on Williams media buddies @PeteDGeorge any under oath?

I have no idea if they are ‘media buddies’ of Williams but they are not connected to Mediaworks. Why should the be under oath, they haven’t been accused of anything.

I’m not aware of any Lauda Finem claims being backed by statements given under oath. They seem to want a different standard.

Would your Kiwi press gallary mates like to go on record @PeteDGeorge or are they too wanting anonymity, left to play @CitizenBomber‘s game?

I don’t have any press gallery mates. I don’t have any media mates. I operate independently outside political and media circles.

Snarky insinuations (unsupported by anything under oath) don’t help Lauda Finem’s case, it just makes them look petty.

The sources didn’t ‘want’ anonymity, I chose not to identify them. I don’t see what purpose identifying them would serve apart from opening them up to abuse.

Bottom line @PeteDGeorge, if or when @nzpolice start asking questions there is enough to put your two journo’s Williams and Rachinger to bed

That doesn’t make sense.

“when @nzpolice start asking questions” – if they start asking questions. I’m not aware of any police investigation on this. I’ve seen little more than long winded lullabies.

Where does drip feeding come in @PeteDGeorge? LF don’t drip feed a story mate, everything was in the last article, along with the photos.

The photos confirm there were photos. Little else. Scant detail given otherwise and nothing under oath.

Lauda Finem in their post:

In the end however, Alasdair Thompson, rather than giving us a straight forward yes or no answer to the questions we posed, resorted to name calling, claiming that team LF were liars and malevolent trolls, who should not be believed or feed.

That doesn’t sound much different to Lauda Finem’s reaction to my post. If they want to be taken seriously on this they need to be better than that.

Suffice to say the allegation is that mainstream media journos (the entire parliamentary press gallery in fact) had been sent these images. Further, that Williams herself had then approached those same journalists requesting that they ignore Rachinger.

I’ve shown that that is probably at best an exaggeration. Snide attacks in response don’t help Lauda Finem’s case.

There’s serious issues here. Concentrating on facts, (fronting up proof would help), isolating truth from bull, and ditching the petty attacks will help to uncover what’s been happening.

Thompson, as did many other journalists, not only allegedly received the photos, but was also allegedly then approached by the victim, Jessica Williams,(aka @mizjwilliams) and asked to ignore Rachinger and the images as he was attempting to blackmail her – having allegedly threatened to destroy her career and get her the sack.

A lot of ‘allegedly’ and little substance.

Of course the fact that Thompson had allegedly received this so-called tweet…

A fact or an allegation? Facts need supporting evidence.

Of course the allegation is that the parliamentary press gallery then colluded to shut down the story that Rachinger had attempted to promote to fuck over Williams. All very feasible stuff when looked at in light of the above images. However as aforesaid there are other just as realistic possibilities.

Allegations, ‘feasible stuff’, ‘realistic possibilities’, ‘believes that’, ‘circumstantial evidence’ with scant facts or proof.

Where does drip feeding come in?

If there Monday post is all they have then there are a lot of unanswered questions, as they admit.

Who were the photos distributed to? Were the photos used to threaten anyone? Did this have anything to do with The Nation covering Rachinger fairly favourably but looking at a narrow part of the issues? Why did the photos suddenly appear right after The Nation aired?

More questions than answers so far on this aspect of the Rachinger saga and similar on all aspects.

Press gallery claim on Rachinger/Williams pics doesn’t stack up

There have been many claims but scant evidence surrounding the photos of RadioLive political editor Jessica Williiams that were published by Lauda Finem on Monday.

It was very curious that they should surface just after Ben Rachinger had featured on The Nation in the weekend where his month’s old claims Cameron Slater paid him to hack The Standard finally got an MSM airing – that timing in itself is curious.

Rachinger has been dumped on by Twitter warriors, who claimed that Martyn Bradbury had seen the photos some time ago which to them condemned Rachinger.

However even Bradbury’s clarifications aren’t completely clear. He had posted:

I will say this about Rachinger, if the comments from a certain female political journalist ever see they light of day, they will never work in the industry again

I sought further clarification and he confirmed “they will never work in the industry again” referred to the journalist.

But he also ‘clarified’:

I’d heard many different things after that blog, I was surprised by their release, not their existence

I had seen nothing, I had heard something that a Journalist had said to Rachinger, that was what I was referring to in the blog. Suggestions by Coley and Tiso that I did are a lie

Confused? It sort of sounds like Bradbury had heard about the pictures but hadn’t seen them.

If information was out there then surely it would be widely known about. Lauda Finem posted:

Suffice to say the allegation is that mainstream media journos (the entire parliamentary press gallery in fact) had been sent these images. Further, that Williams herself had then approached those same journalists requesting that they ignore Rachinger.

That seems to be allegations that don’t stack up. I did a bit of checking out.

One reliable source in the press gallery:

I never received the photos, I never had any contact from Rachinger.

And another:

I did not know anything about this in December or at any other time until the Herald briefly reported about Rachinger’s post.

So “the entire parliamentary press gallery in fact” is not fact. So how much, if any, is fact?

Obviously the photos exist. There’s been no denials about them being associated with Jessica Williams and Ben Rachinger. But I haven’t seen any evidence this is anything but a private matter between the two of them.

How the photos went beyond the two of them is unknown to me. Where did Lauda Finem get them from. And when? Just in time to publish just after The Nation went to air? Or had they been sitting on them waiting for a time that suited them? I think those are questions deserving answers.

On this whole Rachinger issue there are many claims, accusations, insinuations and possibly a few legends thrown into the mix.

There seems to be quite a few people who seem to have an interest who are not prepared to back up their claims. And others doing their best to keep a lid on it – including some media and Cameron Slater.

Rachinger has made a number of claims and many vague implications peppered with contradictions, so what he has tweeted and blogged has to be viewed very sceptically.

This story (or collection of related stories) may keep chugging along but there’s a lot of unknowns still.

There’s nothing to suggest Rachinger and Lauda Finem are colluding (and there’s some suggestions they aren’t) but they share one thing in common – habits of drip feeding supposed scandals amongst a mish mash of hubris.

Bradbury refutes claims on journalist images

Martyn Bradbury has emphatically denied claims that he viewed images of a journalist and said they could ruin her career. After the release of embarrassing photos of RadioLive political editor Jessica Williams and accusations that Ben Rachinger had used them to pressure/blackmail it seems that some people have put one and one together with vague memories claimed a ten. It was then claimed on Twitter that Martyn Bradbury (Bomber) had “let’s also remind viewers Bomber had seen the material and intimated it might ruin the journalist” (Giovanni Tiso) and “Martyn Bradbury blogged about having seen the revenge porn images and how it would ‘ruin the career’ of Ben’s ex” (Coley Tangerina). Bradbury has posted a strong denial of this in The latest Rachinger twists and turns and Wellington Emerald Stormtroopers.

Here’s what I actually wrote…

I will say this about Rachinger, if the comments from a certain female political journalist ever see they light of day, they will never work in the industry again

..I had heard about comments made by a Journalist to Rachinger, that is what I was referring to. Claims by ‘Coley Tangerina’ and Giovanni Tiso that I viewed anything are a total lie.

That clearly doesn’t mention images or photos at all, just comments. But it is also potentially confusing, especially without seeing the whole context. It’s not clear whether “they will never work in the industry again” refers to Rachinger, or to the journalist. It could be easily taken either way. I’ll try to get clarification.

I removed that comment as people involved felt it was offensive, which was not my intention at all. The point I was making was the Left have a tendency to see traitors everywhere…

Sure Ben hasn’t helped his cause one inch, but not hacking the Standard deserved some recognition, not pitchforks.

I have no idea of how and what has occurred here, and am as surprised as anyone that there were images released, but the ongoing smears and misinformation by some on Twitter not only reinforce the original point of the blog I wrote about the Left on Twitter, but it’s also childish.

A fairly clear statement that Bradbury was unaware of the images. It could be construed that he was aware of the images but was surprised they were released by my assumption from reading this is that Bradbury did not know the images existed until they were posted on Monday.

However “a total lie” and “misinformation’ may be a bit strong, it’s more likely to be imprecise memories and jumping to conclusions, which are common in social media. But for the wider story Bradbury’s clarification removes from the jumble of evidence one ‘proof’ that existence of the images was common knowledge amongst journalists prior to their publication this week.

As a side story, @b3nraching3r seems to be off-line again.

UPDATE: Martyn has given me some clarifications (at The Daily Blog):

1. The Journalist

2. I’d heard many different things after that blog, I was surprised by their release, not their existence

I had seen nothing, I had heard something that a Journalist had said to Rachinger, that was what I was referring to in the blog. Suggestions by Coley and Tiso that I did are a lie

http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/06/11/the-latest-rachinger-twists-and-turns-and-wellington-emerald-stormtroopers/#comment-289636