Media on Slater Standard hack

Today suppression (that despite what he says on his media statement he wanted made permanent) lapsed on the case of Cameron Slater paying Ben Rachinger to hack The Standard to try and identify Labour MPs and staffers who were allegedly authors there.

Slater aimed to embarrass Andrew Little and Labour on the opening day of Parliament, 2015.

Media reports:

Newshub: Whale Oil blogger revealed as man behind hack plot

Newshub can reveal controversial right-wing blogger Cameron Slater was at the centre of a plot to hack political website The Standard.

His motivation was to embarrass and undermine Labour leader Andrew Little by unmasking anonymous contributors to the site he claimed were connected to the party.

Slater, who writes the Whale Oil blog, was charged with attempting to procure access to a computer system for a dishonest purpose on December 17 last year. However, court orders prevented the media revealing his identity, detailing the exact charge against him or naming the website involved.

The Standard: The plot to hack The Standard

They quote Newshub but have separate have an active comments.

The Spinoff: Cameron Slater, fearless crusader against name suppression, just had his name suppression lifted

This afternoon, Cameron Slater’s name suppression was lifted in a case regarding his conspiring to hack The Standard website. To mark the occasion, here are some of the fearless Whaleoil blogger’s previous posts about name suppression.

It’s like 10,000 Whales when all you need is a knife. However Alanis would have styled it, today is a day for irony.

For today is the day when we can finally report that Cameron Slater, arch defender of open justice,has failed in his attempt to get permanent name suppression, after accepting diversion for charges that he tried to get a small-time hacker to pry open a left-wing website.

Slater features in comments

NZ Herald: Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater admits soliciting hack

The blogger who was infamously hacked and then exposed in Dirty Politics has himself admitted hiring someone to illegally access the computer files of opponents.

Whale Oil’s Cameron Slater has been granted diversion by police for attempting to hire Ben Rachinger for $5000 to get into the left-wing “The Standard” blog. Instead of being convicted and sentenced, he has arranged to do 40 hours work for the children’s charity Kidscan.

Judge Richard McIlraith said: “He has accepted his guilt and embarked upon a programme of diversion to address that.”

Slater’s actions today suggest that he barely accepts his guilt, if at all, and has embarked on a programme that probably is contrary to what he committed to with diversion. He is trying to minimise his culpability and is actively attacking Rachinger and media online.

See next post (when it’s up).

 

Cop ‘very surprised’ by police resources for Slater investigation

Scoop has posted a scan of an article in the print version of NZ Herald presumably in Auckland (@GraemeEdgeler tweeted
“it’s weird that this didn’t make the print edition in Wellington”) – Handling of Slater Gripe Stunned Cop – regarding the investigation of the hacking of Cameron Slater by Rawshark.

The article quotes an affidavit of retired detective Wayne Stringer saying he was “very surprised to see how much effort and police resource has been devoted to this case. In my view, the offence under investigation here, accessing a computer system for a dishonest purpose, is a much less serious offence than many others the police are called upon to investigate”.

This is an interesting point that has been discussed in social media before – why did Slater’s complaint seem to get so much police attention and apparent priority.

The whole article:

SlaterGripeCop1

SlaterGripeCop2

SlaterGripeCop3

Not disclosed is that Stringer has been the Electoral Agent for then Cabinet Minister David Parker and has known Hager for twenty years and considers him a friend. I don’t think this matters as far as this point is concerned but should be disclosed.

Pargraphs from Stringer’s affidavit:

HagerStringer7

HagerStringer14

Source: KEB [Key Evidence Bundle] Vol 1 (Applicant’s Affidavits)

Why did the police put so much resource and effort into investigating the hacking of Slater, which included a highly controversial search of Hager’s house?

The hack was of significant public importance but how important compared to other crimes?

Scoop with part 2 of Hager raid files

Three weeks ago Scoop published documents related to the police raid on Nicky Hager, looking for evidence related to ther ‘Rawshark’ hack of Cameron Slater’s data.

Inside The Hunt For Rawshark – The Hager Raid Court File

They have just published a second set of documents, partially redacted:

Inside The Hunt For Rawshark – Hager Raid Court File Part 2

Scoop Independent News has secured access to the court file for the Nicky Hager Rawshark Raid Case and today publishes partially redacted versions a second group of documents released by the High Court.

They provide links to affidavits, exhibits and a ‘key police disclosure’.

There doesn’t appear tio be a corresponding article by David Fisher this time so you’ll either have to read through them yourself or wait for some coverage from someone else who has.

Slater versus Hager/Rawshark et al revived

It looks like Cameron Slater has started to do as promised since last year – see Slater claims detailed evidence on hacking – reveal what he knows about the hacking by ‘Rawshark’ (that may or may not be a single person), and the degree of involvement of Nicky Hager and others who may have been involved.

(UPDATE: the post was done by SB – Spanish Bride – not Cameron, but I assume she hasn’t done it entirely independently)

He had said he wouldn’t say anything publicly until police investigations had been completed as he had laid a complaint, but that has either gone nowhere or he has decided to speak up anyway.

Early last year Cameron Slater was hacked and a lot of communications data was taken. Some of this data formed the basis of Hager’s book Dirty Politics, which was launched leading into the election campaign, implicating John Key and National.

National went on to win the election regardless.

But Slater was badly damaged – his credibility (however much he had) was shot as it was confirmed that what he bragged about he had done – politics on a very dirty scale. I have often criticised this approach to politics by Slater.

It also isolated Slater politically, with Key and most if not all National MPs avoiding him. Even his friend and preferred National Party leader Judith Collins seems to have distanced herself. Last weekend she went door knocking in her electorate with a party supporter who appears to be from a Muslim family – I doubt that Slater would be onside with that although he didn’t slam her in an anti-National anti-Islamic post as he probably have done with many other National MPS (or Key).

And many of Slater’s story sources dried up. He has continued with Whale Oil but has lost much of his point of difference.

I think revelations of his dirty, manipulative and post-for-a-fee were just a matter of time. I was aware of much of it anyway, Hager’s book and the subsequent data dump by the supposed hacker Rawshark just highlighted it and showed some of the extent.

Despite this Slater has continued to promote his preference for doing politics dirty. That has helped reduce his effectiveness.

I have strongly criticised the hacking which appears to have been politically motivated and certainly aimed to damage Slater. In no way does Slater’s behaviour warrant a political hit job using illegally obtained data.

I have also questioned Hager’s claims that he had no political intent in writing his book and launching it on 13 August 2014, just over five weeks before the election.

Hager has many years of experience in activism and authoring political hit jobs. I don’t believe he didn’t consider the implications of the timing on the election. I believe he was intended to influence the outcome of the election. If not he was used by ‘Rawshark’ to try to swing the election but I don’t believe Hager is that naive.

So Slater has started to drip feed the information he has on the hacking and Hager and ‘Rawshark’.

Which version do you believe? Part ONE in the Nicky Hager series

Nicky Hager has been interviewed and quoted by many different people over the course of the Dirty Politics book launch. Now a year later after the dust has settled I decided to go back to compare what he said in one interview with what he said in another.

This details a number of variations in Hager’s explanation of how he obtained the hacked data and what he knew about ‘Rawshark’.

I have noticed and posted on discrepancies in Hager’s claims before. These posts from last year revise much of what happened and was known.

Since taking an interest in politics a few years ago I’ve spoken against dirty politics and abuse in social media. This has meant I’ve clashed a number of times with Cameron Slater, on Whale Oil and Twitter. I disagree with his approach to politics where he promotes and brags about it being nasty. I think political debate and campaigning should be robust but civil so we have totally different approaches.

Having said I disagree with Slater on dirty politics I want to differentiate between that and “Dirty Politics”. There are aspects of the book and associated issues that I find potentially disturbing and in this I agree with Slater. “Dirty Politics” would appear to involve some dirty politics.

Was the hacking of Cameron Slater’s personal data a reactive attack on Slater by one individual that happened to uncover information that happened to make it’s way into Hager’s possession that was a useful coincidence as it supported an ongoing issue of interest to Hager?

Or was Hager a tool used by a black ops campaign by political operators to discredit Slater and bring down the Key Government?

How much was Nicky Hager a participant and how much was he a pawn?

If Cameron Slater follows through on claims he has made then his brand of dirty politics looks set to continue, that’s how he sometimes does things.

Related but separate to that is what is yet to come about Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics”. Hager and whoever else has been involved in the illegal hacking of communications data have themselves been involved in some dirty politics.

“Dirty Politics” both exposes and practises dirty politics.

It will be interesting to see what SB reveals over the next few days.

UPDATE: another post on it today: Which version do you believe? Part TWO in the Nicky Hager Series – this is again authored by SB but she says “In Part One of this series we looked at the different versions of what happened” which suggests a joint effort. She says:

It was a journalist’s privileged information that was hacked. This is extremely ironic given that Nicky Hager has been squealing journalistic privilege in his court case. This is a case where he is on the one hand saying that he was entitled to take another journalist’s privileged information obtained by criminal activity and make money from it but that the New Zealand police had no right to look at any of his privileged information using a legal search warrant to try to find out the identity of the criminal hacker.

It can only lead me to the conclusion that Nicky would prefer someone to hack him and then hand the stolen information over to an ‘ investigative ‘ journalist so they can write a book and then arrange to drip feed what isn’t in the book to the MSM.

Fair point.

Ashley Madison publicity “disgraceful”

Ugly Truth posted this in Open Forum about the released data hacked from Ashley Madison.

As threatened a few weeks ago, the hackers who managed to break into Ashley Madison’s servers have now allegedly posted the data from that hack online. The data, which weighs in at nearly 10GB, was initially posted to a .onion address on the dark web.

“Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men,” the hackers wrote in a message accompanying the leaked data. “We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data.”

Industrious folks on 4chan are already combing through the names, with one user finding a whole host of email addresses that appear to belong to members of the British government.

This will be an interesting couple of days for some people.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/hackers-post-what-appears-to-be-stolen-ashley-madison-account-data

Missy responded:

Personally I think this is disgraceful, whilst we might morally be opposed to adultery it is not illegal in most of the countries that will have members, and therefore there is no reason to do this except malicious intent. And the NZ media are no better as they gleefully report what domain names of the email addresses included (well some, but please note they have not said if there are any email addresses associated with nz media outlets – protecting their own again no doubt).

One woman in Australia rang up a Radio Station and was told live on air that her husband’s name was on the list, now whilst she was stupid to call up, it was irresponsible of the radio host’s to say live on air who was on the list. Just disgraceful salacious gossipy reporting.

It is none of our business, and if the media didn’t report it then the hackers / blackmailers would have no publicity. It shows the disgusting nature of the media, not just in NZ, but elsewhere, and journalists are probably are still wondering why they are the least trusted profession in NZ!

I agree with that. I’m not a fan of the Ashley Madison website nor a fan of adultery, it’s not my thing. And a website encouraging it is of very dubious morality.

But this is a massive breach of privacy and may have serious repercussions for many individuals and families.

However Ugly Truth poijted out:

I think the point to take home is not to give sensitive information to anyone unless you trust them.

It’s wise to treat anything you do on the Internet as potentialy public.

UPDATE: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has issued some advice on this:

What you need to know about the Ashley Madison breach

When the Ashley Madison data breach story first broke, it was quite isolated. It was a criminal matter for local authorities and a PR disaster for Ashley Madison itself, but that’s as far as it went.

Now that the hackers have released the data, there is much greater potential for the incident to affect people around the world – including here in New Zealand. With that in mind, we’ve put together some questions and answers about  the issue.

https://www.privacy.org.nz/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-ashley-madison-breach/

A lawyer’s view on Slater’s non-hack of Labour

Lawyer Graeme Edgeler has posted his view on the police decision that Cameron Slater’s accessing an unprotected Labour website – he thinks it was not illegal.

Cameron Slater: computer hacker?

In September last year, David Parker laid a complaint with the Policeabout a supposed “hack” of the Labour Party website by Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater. On Friday, Police released a letter explaining that their investigation was over, and they were satisfied that “there was no evidence of criminal offending”. They considered that while the matter “may raise privacy and ethical issues, these are not the domain of the criminal law.”

I will be clear: based on what I understand occurred, I do not think Cameron Slater’s “hack” of the Labour Party server donor’s list was criminal.

That’s clear.

The possible offence we are considering is the offence against section 252 of the Crimes Act: accessing a computer system without authorisation. You commit a crime if you:

  • intentionally access (directly or indirectly)
  • any computer system
  • without authorisation
  • and you either know that you are not authorised to access that computer system, or are reckless as to whether or you are authorised to access that computer system.”

But the law comes with a caveat: this offence is not committed “if a person who is authorised to access a computer system accesses that computer system for a purpose other than the one for which that person was given access.”

For me, this subsection means that Cameron, who was, like the rest of us, authorised to go to Labour’s server to look at Labour’s website, was not committing a crime by looking at the other files that Labour had left open to view on their server.

He notes that there could be other interpretations:

The definition of computer system is open to some interpretation

computer system—

(a) means—

(i) a computer; or

(ii) 2 or more interconnected computers; or

(iii) any communication links between computers or to remote terminals or another device; or

(iv) 2 or more interconnected computers combined with any communication links between computers or to remote terminals or any other device; and

(b) includes any part of the items described in paragraph (a) and all related input, output, processing, storage, software, or communication facilities, and stored data.

You will note that “computer system” includes “any part” of a computer system.

The drafting of the definition in this way is, I think, intended to forestall arguments that someone has not accessed a computer system because all they actually did was access some small part of it. The argument “I didn’t access their computer system, all I did was access their hard drive” doesn’t fly.

But the definition can be argued the other way. The part of the gmail servers that contain your gmail account, is defined as a computer system. I may have permission to access other computer systems owned by Google, like the parts of their servers that contain my gmail account, but I lack authorisation to access that part which contains your (which, under this interpretation, is a separate computer system), and I could thus commit a crime if I access it.

And this is what Rawshark apparently did – accessed Slater’s gmail account knowing he wasn’t authorised to. That’s different to an open web page.

I have to concede that the argument can be made, and that my position does, in some respects, try to narrow the definition of computer system which might be seen as clear.

Which brings me back to the police investigation. The Police have said they don’t consider there was crime. That conclusion accords with my view, but the debate is a legal one.

I have been asked a few times about the possibility of private prosecutions arising from Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics. My advice is generally that prosecuting is hard: the defendant has a right to silence, you have to prove things beyond reasonable doubt, and private prosecutors can’t get search warrants. Dirty Politics contained several claims that could be allegations of criminal activity, but they will be difficult to prove without the coercive powers of the state.

But that caution doesn’t apply here. There is little if any factual dispute about what has happened here. It is not going to be difficult to prove that Cameron accessed the Labour Party website, or how it was done: Cameron published a video showing how he was able to access the information Labour had on its server.

Edgeler acknowledges that other people disagree with his assessment but challenges them:

Like I have said, I don’t think what Cameron explains doing in that video is criminal, but I know that some people in whose legal judgment I ordinarily place much confidence disagree with me, so I have to be open to the alternative view.

If Labour seriously considers that what Cameron Slater did in accessing their server amounts to criminal hacking, a private prosecution to resolve the question will not be difficult.

I hope that, absent new evidence, a prosecution would fail, but for those who disagree with my view, the way forward is clear.

Will Labour attempt a private prosecution? I doubt it. That risks failure.

Another Graham, the McCready one, may try but that is not likely to help or enthral Labour.

Thomas Lumley commented:

I say definition or interpretation because I don’t know if this is something that would need a law change or whether the courts could do it.

This still wouldn’t make clear whether it was an offence to access files that were open on the Labour Party server but without links, and where access was fairly obviously not intended. It’s similar to the situation when Keith Ng (inscrutable hacker and master of disguise) showed the WINZ documents were accessible on their kiosk systems. Personally, I’d prefer that not to be illegal.

Standard reaction to non-hacking

Despite Slater cleared of hacking claims there’s been an unsurprising reaction at The Standard.

First reaction from Anne:

Oh dear oh dear,

The police are covering up for Slater. Claim he and Ede committed no offence when they hacked into Labour’s computer system. Slater’s going to demand an apology from Little.

Geez… I hope Little ridicules him and tells him where to get off in the strongest of language.

It clearly wasn’t hacking.

Detective Superintendent R T Drew said:

I am satisfied that there is no evidence of criminal offending in relation to the accessing of the Labour party computer records.

Take your pick.

Alan W has asked Anne:

pretty strong claim there Anne, got any evidence to back it up??????

That was at 6.05 pm. No response so far, even thought she has commented four times since on it on another thread [Edit: and has just comment above Alan’s request to back up her claim.] – Daily Review, where mickysavage kicked of the incredulousness:

Despite Slater filming his attack on the Labour Party crippled website the Police are not going to be taking any action. They have to be fecking joking …

As a lawyer he should understand the legal aspects, perhaps he doesn’t understand the IT aspects.

And Anne adds:

The proviso: they’re not protecting so much Slater but JOHN KEY AND HIS OFFICE.

I’m going to use stronger language ms. I call it bloody disgusting. I wouldn’t even rule out interference from some quarter on this one. But of course the police will deny it.

Actually I’m so disgusted I think I will write a letter to the police and tell them what I think of them. Can anyone advise me who to send the letter to… ?

She is probably as likely to get the response she wants as Slater gets from Andrew Little.

Draco T Bastard:

The police seem to be operating at the behest of the National Party.

Lynn Prentice posted on this recently in Charge Cameron Slater or let me hack systems:

  1. In 2011, Cameron Slater, Jason Ede of John Keys parliamentary office and an unnamed IT tech at National party head office accessed files without authorisation on the NZ Labour party website. Far from being the innocent accident that he and National portrayed it as being at the time, subsequent revelations in Dirty Politics (pages 28-36) and the rawshark email dumps showed that they’d actively opened files and paid someone to open database files.What is quite clear from those sources is that this group were deliberately attempting to gain political advantage using this material (which makes it a dishonest purpose under Section 249) and that it involved clearly reckless, unauthorised,and repeated access to the Labour party computer system. This was part of a formal complaint by the Labour party to the police in December 2014 after the election.There appears to have been no outcome from this to date, more than 6 months afterwards.2The Labour party deserves some flak for not laying a complaint with the police in 2011. They generously chose instead to believe the public lies that Cameron Slater and the National party hierarchy were using in 2011.

UPDATE: Bunji has put a post up ta The standard on this now: Whitewash

I just have to express my astonishment with the release late on a Friday afternoon (dump time!) that thepolice will not be pursuing any action against Slater/Ede for hacking Labour’s website.

Given a whole year to investigate, they didn’t manage to find out how to spell Nicky Hager or Tim Barnett’s names.  Yup, that’s how much effort and thought they put into whether a clear case of illegal behaviour warranted police action.

And yet, they seemed to be able to get Nicky Hager’s name right for an invasive search warrant on a journalist and mere witness to discover how Hager found out the details of this illegal behaviour.  How dare he do their job for them!

The incompetence and bias is staggering.  The police need to get to understand computer crimes, and be less scared of prosecuting political/electoral crimes.  Our democracy is in sad need of protection…

The comments generally concur with this, and Adam tries to compare two quite different cases:

So if Jason Ede committed no crime, neither did Rawshark, so the prosecution of Nicky Hager is a waste of police resources.

But there are some alternative takes on it – for example ZTesh:

All I’m seeing are people biased against the outcome complaining against it.

Trying to suggest that the Police are corrupt purely because you don’t get the decision you want is rather churlish not to mention ridiculous. Given that they undoubtedly expect the decision to be legally analysed, I highly doubt that they would lay their careers on the line to protect Cameron Slater….

mickysavage (Greg Presland) is reported to be preparing his own post on it, I hope he is able to put aside partisan emotions and have a decent look at the legal aspects of it.

Slater cleared of hacking claims

Cameron Slater has been cleared of criminal offences related to the accessing data on a Labour Party website, but not cleared of ethical or privacy issues.

NZ Herald report Dirty Politics: Police clear blogger over Labour hacking claims

Not so Dirty Politics after all.

That’s the message from police over a blogger accessing Labour Party computer systems to gather financial and membership details.

The country’s most senior detective Rodney Drew today told the Labour Party that “there is no evidence of criminal offending”.

“While the matter may raise privacy and ethical issues, these are not the domain of criminal law.”

The details revealed in the book led to the Labour Party complaining it had been hacked, among other claims. The other matters were dismissed by police last year. The reason, in a letter from Mr Drew, was that the “only evidence being relied on was contents of Mr Hagar’s (sic) book and the entities and persons named did not want to pursue any action”.

Two government inquiries into matters raised in Dirty Politics found evidence given by Slater could not be relied on – and that he had overstated his contacts and influence.

I’m not surprised by this finding. Labour had acknowledged they left data open to access, and Slater publicised how easily it was accessed and ridiculed Labour.

But I think Slater went to far with what he did with the data, allegedly copying off financial and membership details and threatening to expose them. That is the bit that looks unethical.

I liken it to finding a bunch of papers on the footpath or roadside. It’s fair enough to check them out and  criticise someone’s mistake in losing them, but rummaging through them and threatening the information maliciously is where it can get dirty.

Labour Party general secretary Tim Barnett…

… said the police conclusions were “unbelievable”. He said the party was considering further action.

He said compared to the effort being put into investigating Slater did not compare to the energy put into investigating Hager.

“I would expect to see a level of energy from the police that was equitable and we certainly haven’t seen that in the treatment of us.”

The two aren’t comparable. Slater legally saw data and dirtily threatened to disclose details but didn’t (he has a record of threatening disclosure and not delivering).

In comparison someone illegally hacked Slater’s data and supplied it to Hager and later journalists, and then Hager used that data to make money off a book and appears to have attempted to defeat a Government.

That’s a very different scale of offending and unethical behaviour.

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.

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.