Nottingham fails again in Court of Appeal, judicial system faltering

Another failed Dermot Nottingham attempt to get leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal, this time against myself and Allied Press Limited.

This follows over three years of two related private prosecution proceedings. Last week Nottingham was also declined leave to appeal in the Court of Appeal versus Lynn Prentice and APN Limited – see Nottingham fails another attempted appeal.

All four parties were originally charged together in July 2015, but the cases against Allied Press and I were moved to Dunedin as they had been incorrectly filed in Auckland.

Prentice and APN went to trial in June 2016 and all charges were dismissed. They were eventually awarded costs. Nottingham unsuccessfully appealed the dismissal and costs in the High Court, and last week failed to get leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal.

The  week after those dismissals at trial Allied Press and I had a hearing seeking dismissal of charges prior to trial. Nottingham had not submitted opposing this. At the hearing Nottingham sought and obtained the Court’s leave to withdraw the charges.

We subsequently applied for costs and these were eventually awarded. In March this year Nottingham lost a High Court appeal against the costs, and has now failed to get leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal. After a hearing before three judges on 9 October 2018 their judgment has just come out.

[5] The private prosecution initiated by Mr Nottingham charged Allied Press Ltd and Mr George with breaching a suppression order by publishing articles on their respective websites in breach of s 211 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

[8] Mr Nottingham’s principal argument in support of his application for leave to appeal is that convictions of Allied Press Ltd and Mr George were inevitable if he had chosen to continue with the prosecution. He submits that Davidson J’s finding that the prosecution was defendable was “inconsistent with the indisputable facts”.

At the time the charges were withdrawn the case was in a hopeless state. The 1000+ page long 3 month+ late initial disclosure was inadequate, a promised expert witness statement was never produced, and Nottingham repeatedly failed to comply with law, court rules and timetables.

Both APN and I had entered not guilty please, legally we were ‘not guilty’ when the charges were withdrawn by the prosecutor, and we both believe we are not guilty in fact and could have defended the charges. Seven judges have agreed that the charges were defendable, but as the cases had never gone to trial could not rule out the possibility that Nottingham could have eventually proved something. he never has.

[9] Mr Nottingham says that the issues of costs against a prosecutor and what published information will breach a suppression order require clarification…

[10] These questions are all fact specific and relate only to this case.

[11] We are of the view that the questions posed are not issues of general principle or of general importance in the administration of the criminal law by the courts.

[12] Nor are we satisfied that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred or may occur unless the appeal is heard. Discontinuation of proceedings will ordinarily have cost consequences. This was not a case where the prosecution would have clearly succeeded but for circumstances unrelated to the merits. We agree with the Judge that the prosecution was defendable. The issues would have included whether the publications contained any suppressed information and whether the requisite mental element was established for charges that are not of strict liability. Further, as the Judge mentioned, if the issue of “hidden computer search tools” had become relevant, then the legal and evidential issues would have been more complex. There were no clear answers to these issues on the untested evidence.

[13] We accordingly decline the application for leave to appeal.

The evidence had never been tested at trial, so despite Nottingham effectively trying to re-litigate the case at four subsequent hearings over costs we remain ‘not guilty’ (and, I believe, not guilty).

Note: there is suppression (Order prohibiting publication of evidence and submissions contained in
this judgment) related to a different prosecution (and conviction), so those details cannot be published at this stage, and the full judgment won’t be published pending the final outcome of the other case.

Prior to the last High Court appeal Nottingham indicated he intended taking the case to both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, so a further legal step is possible. I think this would be futile, and would use up more of the already overstretched court resources.

Nottingham currently has three cases pending before the Supreme Court following other failed appeals – see Case information 2018

Further attempts at appeal would incur further costs. Nottingham has admitted he has been insolvent for some time, has claimed to have debts of about $2 million (about quarter of a million in various court costs awarded against him), and he was adjudicated bankrupt in September – see HONEY v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 2382 [11 September 2018].

He seems to have had no intention of paying costs, and no ability to pay costs, yet he continues to force people to incur costs through the courts. In an email in 2015 he said that if various intended litigation took ten years ‘he was up for it”.

Nottingham has incurred all the costs but has not been acting alone.

Robert Earle McKinney has been closely involved with the proceedings against us. He arranged for the initial serving of documents (that was funny, I was photographed being served the documents on a Dunedin street). He shared the same email account as Nottingham, which was associated with his company Advantage Advocacy Limited (now in liquidation – see First Liquidators Report). Nottingham was said to be the sole employee of this company, and the company was registered at his address.

Cameron Slater was named as an informant to the prosecution, and was named as an expert witness (but never provided a witness statement). He appeared as a witness in the Prentice/APN trial. See NOTTINGHAM v APN NEWS & MEDIA LTD [2018] NZHC 596 [29 March 2018]:

  • calling a witness who had not been brief, Mr Slater. The detail and nature of this evidence had not been provided to the defence prior to the presentation of the witness to the Court;

Slater has been named by Nottingham as involved in ongoing attempts at litigation against me. He was also associated with the failed Court Order attempt by Marc Spring.

Marc Spring was also involved in serving court documents for Nottingham, and openly associated himself with @LaudaFinem in a campaign of harassment against me, at one stage suggesting I would be ‘fucked over’ as happens at Whale Oil. He has been involved in a number of ways in trying to trash and take down Your NZ. I believe he was also contributor to content (posts and comments under various pseudonyms) at the now taken down laudafinem.com blog. – see from sentencing notes:

“Either Dermot Nottingham is Lauda Finem (in other words, the leading mind of that blog) or he is so intimately related to it that it is proper to conclude that he provided information and draft articles to that blog site knowing and intending that they would be published.”

There is a lot more on Spring’s involvement in various things but that is for another story. Others have also been involved in various ways.

Due to all of this I have learned a lot about how our judicial system works. I don’t think it has coped well with people who use it to attack and use it to try to cause hardship to others, and who repeatedly abuse processes and fail to comply with laws, rules and conventions that lawyers are bound to adhere to.  They have wasted a large amount of court time and resources.

I think that private prosecutions are an important part of our judicial system, as is the right to represent oneself and act as a lay litigant.

But I think that far less leniency for breaches of laws, rules and timetables would make things more fair for the targets of vexatious litigation.

There are apparently strict requirements for filing court submissions according to defined timetables. In theory this allows for orderly and fair processes.  But Nottingham has been allowed far too much leniency, and due to his frequency of litigation he should not get away with the excuse of lay litigant ignorance. Courts have pointed that out.

Nottingham repeatedly ignored requirements. A few examples (from many) from my proceedings.

“At the commencement of criminal proceedings, or as soon as practicable after that time, and in any event not later than the applicable date, the prosecutor must disclose the following information to the defendant.”

“In this section, applicable date means—

(a) the date that is 15 working days after the commencement of criminal proceedings

That means he should have provided disclosure by mid-August 2015. After he failed disclosure was requested by counsel and instructed by the Court. He still failed to disclose, and at one stage said he was deliberately delaying disclosure. He finally served a 9cm think pile of garbage (that has to be all read in case there is something important, not cheap when you are paying a lawyer to do it) in December 2015, three and a half months late.

When we applied for and submitted on costs Nottingham filed his submission late with the court but failed to serve it on us (the Applicants). When just prior to a scheduled hearing we found out he had submitted but not served the Court directed that he serve, but he failed to do that. I had to spend half a day in Court reading through hundreds of pages just in case there was something in it that was important.

Nottingham failed to appear at the costs hearing, but instead emailed a further submission during the hearing. remarkable the Court gave us copies and the Judge ordered a short adjournment so we could read it (a ridiculous situation to put us in). Then when the hearing resumed another submission arrived in court. At least the judge refused to accept that one.

For the Court of Appeal proceedings Nottingham:

  • filed his application seeking leave to appeal out of time
  • failed to file a submission as directed by a judge to give reasons for applying out of time
  • failed to file his submission as Applicant by the due date
  • after being told he had not filed by the court he set his own timetable
  • he finally filed his submission after both respondents had filed our submissions on time
  • two hours prior to the appeal hearing he filed another submission.

How did the Court deal with all of these transgressions? One of the three appeal judges said he two hour prior to hearing submission was ‘unhelpful’.

I made the point in oral submissions that all of these failures impose severe difficulties on the respondents, and also costs for those who have lawyers having to try and deal with the chaos. But that was not noted in the judgment.

I have been severely inconvenienced and disadvantaged through 3+ years of proceedings due to the actions and failures to comply of Nottingham. Lawyers would not get away with any of this (they wouldn’t attempt to get away with it).

While the various judges and courts have had difficulty dealing with a recidivist abuser of processes I believe hey have in effect aided and abetted these abuses by being so lenient with Nottingham time and time again.

If the courts want to reduce the pressure on time and resources they could help themselves by ensuring that litigants at least mostly comply with requirements.

This has been a huge learning curve for me, being my first experience in litigation and the courts. I found out what I was required to do, and did everything as required, on time. I have been severely disadvantaged by the numerous breaches by Nottingham, unchecked by the courts.

What have I got for this? Some costs awarded, with the likelihood that none of that will be paid. And I have got off cheaply compared to others.

The law is largely not an ass, and court staff and judges generally do good jobs under pressure, but the judicial system could be improved with some simple insistences that basic processes are complied with.

Nottingham fails another attempted appeal

The courts are catching up with Dermot Nottingham’s vexatious court proceedings. he has just lost another appeal in the Court of Appeal, this time to APN Limited and Lynn Prentice.

NOTTINGHAM v PRENTICE [2018] NZCA 461 [29 October 2018]

[1] Mr Nottingham seeks leave to appeal a decision of Wylie J in the High Court.

[2] In the decision at issue, Wylie J declined to grant Mr Nottingham an extension of time under s 298(4) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 to apply for leave to appeal two rulings and a costs judgment issued by Judge Collins in the District Court.

[3] For the reasons articulated in the decision of this Court in two other proceedings also involving Mr Nottingham, we are satisfied we do not have jurisdiction to entertain Mr Nottingham’s application. That is so whether it is characterised as an application for leave to appeal Wylie J’s decision declining to grant an extension of time, or an application for leave to appeal Wylie J’s decision declining to grant leave to appeal.

[4] The application for leave to appeal is accordingly declined.

This is a result of private prosecutions started by Nottingham in July 2015, which went to trial in June 2016 where all charges were dismissed, after which Prentice sought and was awarded costs. Nottingham appealed the decisions, losing and incurring further costs to Prentice and costs to APN.

This appeal was an attempt to challenge the costs and to appeal the dismissals.

This is related to the private prosecution of myself and Allied Press Limited. We were similarly charged (private prosecutions) but the charges were withdrawn at a hearing seeking the charges be dismissed, just after the Prentice/APN charges were dismissed. We were subsequently awarded costs, Nottingham lost a High Court Appeal and then lodged an appeal to the Court of Appeal. We are waiting for a judgment on ‘seeking leave to appeal’.

The other proceedings referred to above involving Nottingham are in a single judgment HONEY v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 2382 [11 September 2018]:

[33] The application in CA670/2017 for leave to appeal against the decision in the High Court refusing leave is declined on the basis that the Court has no jurisdiction to hear such an application.

[34] The application in CA733/2017 for leave to appeal against the decision in the High Court refusing to grant an extension of time to appeal against a costs order is declined on the basis that the Court has no jurisdiction to hear such an application.

Despite it being clear that the Court has no jurisdiction to hear Nottingham’s applications, he is trying to appeal to the Supreme Court.

This is despite him being adjudicated bankrupt due to an unwillingness and/or inability to pay court costs already incurred- see HONEY v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 2382 [11 September 2018].

As he is insolvent (by his own admission) Nottingham seems unlikely to be able to pay any existing costs let alone more costs incurred through his ongoing attempts to appeal and re-litigate.

This is a hopeless waste of Court time and resources, and I believe there is malice involved – trying to incur as many costs as possible with no ability or intention to pay costs awarded against him.

 

Hager: “If it was Rawshark it would be prison”

Newshub reports that Nicky Hager questions ‘Slater sentence’ – in fact Slater wasn’t sentenced, he accepted his guilt as a condition of choosing the diversion that was offered to him. But Hager doesn’t call it  sentence.

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager is questioning the punishment handed down to “Whaleoil” blogger Cameron Slater over his involvement in the plot to hack a political website.

Mr Hager doubts the unknown hacker ‘Rawshark’ who supplied information for his book “Dirty Politics” would be given the same treatment.

“If Rawshark gets caught, I don’t think that Rawshark will get diversion and 40 hours of community service. I think that even though that person did a noble thing in my opinion, they’d quite likely go to prison.”

But the two offences are hardly comparable.

Slater paid Rachinger to hack The Standard (that’s what Slater admitted to in court despite claiming differently since then). But there was no hack. There was no use of illegally obtained data.

And even if it had been successful revealing that Labour had some contact with The Standard would have surprised few and caused no more than some minor embarrassment.

Note that Lynn Prentice and Andrew Little both strongly deny allegations of a direct financial or author relationsip between the Labour Party and The Standard.

In comparison ‘Rawshark’ obtained a a large amount of data from the hacking of Slater, and this was used by Hager to right a book and the book and associated campaigns were used to try and significantly influence the 2014 election.

So both the scale and the success where vastly different.

So if Rawshark is identified, charged and convicted I would expect their sentence to be different to Slater’s diversion.

But now that it has been revealed that Slater got diversion that would make any possible trial and sentence of Rawshark very contentious.

Regarding severity it’s also worth considering what could have happened had Rachinger successfully hacked Prentice and obtained say a large amount of both Standard data and Prentice’s private data?

Slater has a record of seriously misusing data he has obtained, like from the Labour party website and from the hard drive of Matthew Blomfield data. But he hasn’t been charged for either (although Blomfield is taking civil/defamation action against Slater).

Vendettas and death notices

Cameron Slater has claimed he has had death threats as a result of the news onslaught yesterday.

I hope Judge McIlraith is watching the comments, the death threats have started. He didn’t think this was such a problem.

 

original

While it could be perceived as a threat of violence it doesn’t go as far as being a death threat, but is nasty it is unfortunately not uncommon talk online.

Something that was apparent yesterday was Slater’s continued association with Lauda Finem.

Two days ago LF posted an attack on  Ben Rachinger and others, and blatantly included information subject to court ordered suppression, and some of that suppression is still in force. There are not many possible sources for the judgment they published in full (actually it was a first version of the judgment that was corrected).

Then remarkably early yesterday LF published a media statement from Slater that also breached suppression. That seems certain to have been sourced from Slater.

After several hours it was taken down, in itself remarkable as the previous day LF refused to amend a false claim they made about Bradley Ambrose. This suggests preferential treatment for Slater at LF.

Then this exchange appeared on Twitter:

LFSpringTwitter

Spring coughing over vendettas alongside tweets involving Slater and LF is more than a little ironic.

Talking of vendettas this comment appeared on LF about the same time as the Slater statement appeared (overnight Monday):

DeathNoticeRedacted

Redacted comments breach the law and make false claims.

I don’t think that was Slater, but that’s the sort of people and website he associates and utilises. And that’s a more serious implication of a death threat than what he complained about.

I condemn any threats, implied or otherwise, of violence or death, including against Slater.

I wonder if Slater would likewise openly condemn the threat aimed at me, and ask his friends to take down this threat like his statement was taken down.

On John Armstrong – insightful and spiteful

There’s been many tributes to John Armstrong on his retirement from regular column writing due to illness – here are many of them: Twitter tributes to John Armstrong

There’s been a number of blog posts as well. Here are two contrasting views on Armstrong – one from Lynn Prentice at The Standard and the other from Danyl McLauchlan at Dim Post.

retweeted Prentice’s post saying:

An honest piece by Lynn – insightful.

The post: John Armstrong – a person worth disagreeing with

In the pages of The Standard there is one journalist who has generated or been referenced in more posts than any other. Today John Armstrong published his swansong at the NZ Herald. He is losing his long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Like most things that John wrote, it is worth reading.

I come in this post not to praise him as a person, for I barely knew him outside of a few brief encounters at recent party conferences. I come to condemn him for being  the type of political journalist who made it hard for us to shove in a little box.

John Armstrong is an obnoxiously valuable analyst providing documentation of our local political world over the whole 8 years of this sites life. It made it hard to take the easy route, to pin a label on him and then forever to deal with him as we do with lightweight entertainers masquerading as opinion makers.

More than 500 posts out of our 17,000+ published posts have referenced John Armstrong. They were written by almost every author who has ever written at The Standard. No other journalist or opinion maker comes close.

The whole post is worth reading – it shows how it’s possible to be critical without being pissy-minded.

Prentice sums up:

But back to my reference post. Like other authors since, Steve had to revise his opinion. In fact, Steve just had to add this addendum to his post on the same day.

[Update: all that notwithstanding, Armstrong’s piece today critiquing the Treasury briefing to English is good

For me that sums up John Armstrong. You might disagree with his conclusions and his overall conservative viewpoint. But it was damn hard to disagree with him when he had one of those breath taking insights into the politics of this country – at all levels.

It is going to be missed in the coming years when he is no longer able to offer it.

In contrast McLauchlan sounds more spiteful than insightful because he sees Armstrong as a supporter of the incumbent government and of the political establishment. He has just posted Notes on John Armstrong’s final column, and in it says things like:

  • His columns generally defended powerful establishment figures and attacked and mocked their critics, and because he’s a fine writer and deftly articulated elite conventional wisdom this made him very respected in those same establishment circles. It’s not a form of journalism I admire. I think it’s the opposite of everything journalists should aspire to.
  • In his final column he articulates his belief that politics is a game and he enjoys seeing how it is played, which is a fair summary of his approach to the subject. Facts never had a place in his work. His view of politics is one in which substance is nothing and style is everything.
  • This indifference to truth and enthusiastic celebration of spin and distortion is also, I think, the opposite of everything political commentary is supposed to be about. Governments have enormous resources to spin and obfuscate. Under Key this is mainly what the government does. If the press gallery isn’t there to debunk all of the propaganda and spin then it has no purpose.
  • There’s no obvious replacement for Armstrong’s role in the political media ecosystem. Key prefers to communicate directly with voters through soft media outlets where his messaging is even less challenged than in Armstrong’s columns. This propaganda model is so effective his heirs will all do the same. Lying to a large number of voters more effectively is the kind of ‘playing the game’ that Armstrong has always celebrated, so I think he’d have to admire this change.

I suppose Prentice has been involved in establishment politics for many years, including providing assistance to Helen Clark.

McLauchlan seems more inclined to wanting a markedly different type of politics and journalism to what Armstrong has been a significant part of for the last thirty years.

He presumably prefers the Green way and anything that is different or praises anything different is seen as not just the wrong way, but a way to be despised. Therefore anyone who is a part of the wrong way should also be despised. Like John Armstrong.

It would be interesting to know what sort of  journalists McLauchlan might approve of.

Prentice: “completely and utterly wrong on the data”

Well, maybe not completely and utterly wrong but he’s a way of the mark. Perhaps he should go to Uni and do Data 101.

Lynn Prentice has damned Keith Ng’s analysis of Labour’s house sale data.

And Keith Ng is completely and utterly wrong on the data. You couldn’t get better data.

You could get much better data. Barfoot and Thompson could gather details of the ethnicity of each property buyer so they would have accurate data that didn’t rely on

The point was that it is the BEST data that is currently available because it is the only data that indicates where the money for residential properties is coming from. Therefore there is no better data.

The data doesn’t do that at all. It does indicate the probable ethnicity of about 40% of the buyers. But it indicates zero percent where the money came from.

The only other statistical data around just shows that the money for the higher total values of property sales isn’t coming from banks. It could be coming from socks as far as we can currently tell.

They could be cash buyers, Lenders may not be banks. But the data shows nothing about where the buyers came from, or where the money came from.

Keith Ng is talking crap – unless he can show a source of data that allows a similar type of analysis about money sources for purchasing residential properties.

It’s not for Ng to provide data that Labour and Prentice lack. He pointed out sever deficiencies in the claims made by Labour. He could do the same about Prentice’s assertions if he could be bothered.

At the earliest that won’t apparently happen until October, which will probably be catastrophic for our economy. By the sounds of Nationals posturing any data and analysis from that will not be public.

And that’s just posturing, based on what data? None.

Prentice is close to being completely and utterly wrong on the data.

UPDATE: And Prentice goes into more depth:

The next stage is to look for causation for high probability correlations.

Labour have pointed out the obvious causation for the huge difference between the percentages of family name segments of the population as a whole and those buying houses during this period. That is what you an many others appear to be having an issue with.

That’s one of the two big mistakes Labour made. “The obvious causation” seems to be a story Labour wanted to tell but seems to have been at best uninformed assumption. And it appears as if it is inaccurate as a number of people have pointed out (and I’l be posting another example tomorrow night).

So far I haven’t seen any alternate explanations that make any sense apart from imported overseas investment money. The money isn’t getting borrowed from local banks. It appears to be large enough to drive the kinds of crazy 25+% per annum house price increases that we have seen since 2011.

He hasn’t looked very far then, or doesn’t want to see anything else. See Chinese locals snap up 23 sections within minutes and  Who’s buying Auckland property?

What it seems to identify compared to previous economic research as recent as 2013 is that we are rapidly hitting the point where Auckland house prices are largely caused by overseas investment money buying property from other overseas investors.

It identifies nothing of the sort. Two politicians and a blogger claiming it’s so based on no evidence doesn’t make it so.

At about 40% it is freaking high, but even worse is that it appears to be rising rapidly.

Appears to be rising rapidly? The data doesn’t say that, it is only from one real estate company from three months.

That it has nothing to do with the real economic value of the land or properties themselves to our economy. That means that it will therefore almost certainly cause a nasty economic crash that will reverberate throughout the rest of NZ. Bearing in mind our current fragile economic state, that is something worth actually worrying about, and one that bears considerable real-world consequences.

You notice that what Labour actually asked for was to get some immediate data collection and analysis going on in the area of foreign investment in property? Seems rather mild compared to what I think is actually needed.

The Government has already organised better data collection, starting in October.

Probably because we have people worrying about how statistics data is collected and analysed for reasons that seem to owe more to the thoughts of Lysenko than anything vaguely rational.

Just looks like a whole pile of avoidance behaviour to me. Probably with the kinds of downstream consequences of that exercise of group thinking.

You couldn’t call Prentice’s thoughts ‘group thinking’, unless Twyford, Little and Prentice make up a group.

NOTE: Prentice appears to be in a small minority at The Standard who are prepared to defend what Labour have done and especially how they have done it. There has bee a lot of reasoned condemnation there.

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.

WHOIS and Prentice’s misuse and motives

Lynn Prentice (lprent) has tried to defend his abusive attack on a young person who was involved in a spoof political site, Kiwi-O-Meter, which has since been taken down by the site owner.

I think his excuses are disingenuous bull.

But there’s another thing that he hasn’t defended. I don’t think he can credibly defend it.

The title of Prentice’s post at The Standard shows it’s attacking and abusive intent – Ben Guerin: a dirty politics fuckwit.

Personal abuse from Prentice is normal, as is over-reacting. Less common is his use of a post to attack someone like this.But what stood out was his posting the personal contact details – email address, phone number and home address – of the target of his apparent anger.

While his intent in doing this could be argued Prentice applied strict moderation, personally clearing all comments, banning some commenters and admitting to trashing about 25% of comments. But Prentice passed this comment from Atiawa:

I just sent him a text letting him know what a shit head he is. Can’t see much harm in anyone else telling him the same.

So Prentice approved of the contact details he posted being used to abuse Guerin, and he approved the comment “Can’t see much harm in anyone else telling him the same”.

Prentice claims to be a Internet expert so he must have been aware of the possibility, even probability, that his publishing personal details would result in personal abuse.

And when challenged on his actions by ‘Izzy’…

I think it’s disappointing that you saw fit to publish his contact information, which apparently commentators here have now used to send him abusive messages.

He said something about your team that you didn’t like, which pissed you off, and that’s chill. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to like his politics, you’re allowed to question whether the site was made in a work capacity or done independently (which he has answered). But he doesn’t deserve the level of vitriol in this post, and he doesn’t deserve texts and emails telling him he’s a piece of shit. Being a Nat doesn’t make him immune to being hurt by this kind of thing. Be kind.

One of Prentice’s excuses was:

The “voitrol” was because he didn’t provide any information on the site to identify who was responsible for it.

That’s an interesting accusation.

If a person wanted to find out who was responsible for The Standard what would they find? Their about page specifically says they won’t identify themselves.

Why don’t you say who you are?

Some of the authors here use their real names, but others choose to blog anonymously for a variety of reasons. Some of us have professional reasons for doing so, others of us are reluctant to expose ourselves to the kind of personal threats sometimes made online. Those of us using pseudonyms discussed this issue long and hard before we began and came down on the side of anonymity. We hope you can see why. You might also want to contemplate the implications of this link.

If you want to get hold of us, have a look on the Contact Page.

The contact page also doesn’t identify who is responsible for the site. It gives two email addresses, but when i emailed one of them last week on a serious matter I didn’t get a reply.

So it appears that Prentice is applying one standard to Guerin, using it as an excuse to reveal personal contact details, but  ignoring that standard himself.

What Prentice has done looks like it could be a breach of conditions of use of the WHOIS look up – I detailed this in Prentice actions “strictly forbidden” by InternetNZ.

% Users are advised that the following activities are strictly forbidden.
%
% Using any information contained in the WHOIS query output to attempt a
% targeted contact campaign with any person, or any organisation, using any
% medium.

Prentice’s response to this:

Bearing in mind the gutless wonders that you and other people are about acting on your words, which in this case should be to make a complaint, I’ll write to InternetNZ – firstly asking them to inform me of any complaints (I anticipate none to date), and secondly asking for a ruling on what you fuckwits should be asking them based on your idiotic allegations.

If he thinks that the correct way to deal with misuse is to submit a complaint to InternetNZ why didn’t he do that regarding his complaint about Guerin rather than launching an online attack on him and not only deliberately or recklessly exposing him to abuse but also personally allowing abusive comments including a comment encouraging more abuse using the contact details posted.

Another double standard.

Prentice has defended his use of WHOIS contact information.

I didn’t incite anyone. I wrote an opinion about a domain owner deliberately misusing their domain by non-transparently masquerading as someone else. To do so, I used and published the chain of evidence that showed who owned the domain and what their affiliations were. There was nothing in my post that was a ” ….attempt a targeted contact campaign with any person, or any organisation…”

This is exactly what the whois is intended for.

His post is more than ‘an opinion’, it is a vindictive looking attack on Guerin and it encouraged others to attack Guerin using publicised contact information.

Prentice has also stated:

But as usual, rather than dealing with the issue that was in my post, you chose to make a big deal about publishing the information. Including the identifying information that is specifically public to allow the identification of the owners and operators of domains. You appear to have been too lazy to look at why that detail was actually published in my post. It was there to make it quite specific exactly who I was talking about. That is something that is typically done with addresses, emails addresses and phone numbers.

Prentice has previously complained about phone numbers and addresses being published on Whale Oil. He is well aware of what can happen when details like that are promoted on attack blogs. Another double standard.

He has also stated:

Actually I suspect that you are too rigidly cast into your unthinking attitudes to actually look at any evidence.

But others who still operate their intelligence may actually read the whois policies amd why they are formed. That is useful for the ongoing debate.

I frequently look for evidence, I think I do this more than most in political forums.

Here are excerpts the Terms of Service from WHOIS:

1. Acceptance of Terms

By using http://www.who.is (“Who.is”) you agree that you are over 18 years of age and have the ability to enter into a binding agreement. Any access to or use of Who.is constitutes acceptance of the following Terms of Service (“TOS”).

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO ANY PROVISION IN THE FOLLOWING TOS OR IF ANY SECTION OF THE TOS IS BREACHED BY YOU; YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO, AND SHALL NOT USE OR CONTINUE TO USE, OUR SERVICES.

2. Responsibilities and Regulations

Use of our services requires that you agree to uphold the following responsibilities and abide by the following regulations. Failure to do so in any constitutes immediate breach of this TOS.

You may not use our site to engage in any behavior that violates any local law or any law or regulation that is applicable to the venue created in this agreement. This prohibition includes, but is in no way limited to, use of our products or services in any way associated with activities that:

(b) attack, harass, threaten, defame, or otherwise infringe on the legal rights of any other individual or entity including but not limited to protection afforded to them via applicable criminal or privacy regulations.

Prentice’s post certainly looks like an attack on Guerin. It also enables harassment in the comments by allowing more abuse to be published. And by posting contact details and allowing a comment that admits using those details to abuse and harass Guerin and encourage further abuse Prentice appears to be a willing party to this.

(c) violate or would cause Who.is to violate any law, regulation or ethical standard. Who.is reserves the right to determine and establish what constitutes both what qualifies as a violation or ethical standard in our sole discretion at any time.

Prentice violates ethical standards he himself writes and complains about and imposes on others. I don’t know specifically what current WHOIS ethical standards are.

Prentice also wrote:

I wasn’t asking for a right of reply – I really just think you are being a stupid idiot. I was merely informing you of the steps I’d be taking to shut the internet morons like yourself up by exposing exactly how little you understood about why the whois is there.

This is what WHOIS suggests it’s information is for:

What is WHOIS data used for?

WHOIS is indispensable to the smooth operation of the DNS and is used for many legitimate purposes, including:

  • To determine whether or not a given domain is available.
  • To contact network administrators for resolution of technical matters related to networks associated with a domain name (e.g., DNS or routing matter, origin and path analysis of DoS and other network-based attacks).
  • To diagnose registration difficulties. WHOIS queries provide information that is often useful in resolving a registration ownership issue, such as the creation and expiration dates and the identity of the registrar.
  • To contact web administrators for resolution of technical matters associated with a domain name.
  • To obtain the real world identity, business location and contact information of an online merchant or business, or generally, any organization that has an online presence.
  • To associate a company, organization, or individual with a domain name, and to identify the party that is operating a web or other publicly accessible service using a domain name, for commercial or other purposes.
  • To contact a domain name registrant for the purpose of discussing and negotiating a secondary market transaction related to a registered domain name.
  • To notify a domain name registrant of the registrant’s obligation to maintain accurate registration information.
  • To contact a domain name registrant on matters related to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
  • To establish or look into an identity in cyberspace, and as part of an incident response following an Internet or computer attack. (Security professionals and law enforcement agents use WHOIS to identify points of contact for a domain name.)
  • To gather investigative leads (i.e., to identify parties from whom additional information might be obtained). Law enforcement agents use WHOIS to find email addresses and attempt to identify the location of an alleged perpetrator of a crime involving fraud.
  • To investigate spam, law enforcement agents look to the WHOIS database to collect information on the website advertised in the spam.

I don’t see anything  there that suggests publishing contact information as a part of petty politically motivated attacks. Nor vindictive personal attacks.

Lynn – you say you wrote the post and managed the comments to expose Guerin (for doing similar things to what is done on The Standard).

Your words:

The “voitrol” was because he didn’t provide any information on the site to identify who was responsible for it. As far as I’m concerned he was concealing who was responsible from the public.

You easily found out who was responsible – that’s what WHOIS is for, isn’t it. Guerin had also been open about his involvement elsewhere in social media and other blogs had posted about who was responsible – without going to the level of abuse and exposure you did.

But all that aside Lynn can you explain this:

Why, after publishing abuse from yourself, contact information and abuse from others, and this comment from Atiawa:

I just sent him a text letting him know what a shit head he is. Can’t see much harm in anyone else telling him the same.

Why, after Guerin advised you that as a result of what you posted he been abused (and you published):

Unfortunately, after my personal details including phone number, postal address and email address were published on an article on The Standard, I receive a significant amount of hatred-filled vitriol directly at me personally via txt message, phone calls, emails and messages sent to my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Why, five hours after Guerin posted that so you were well aware of what happened after you posted his contact details, in direct response to Guerin, why did you post this?

I have been busy this morning and lunch is a bit short for a full reply.

Here is Pete George, registrant of yournz.org.nz (just because I am thinking about complaining to him about his stupid and ignorant post this morning pushing this PR line)

This is explicitly public information to allow people to be able to check who is responsible for a domain, and for them to be able to contact them if there is an issue. This is a concept known as personal responsibility. Get used to it.

Lynn, why did you do this?

Prentice right of reply on Ben Guerin post

On Thursday I posted Prentice actions “strictly forbidden” by InternetNZ.

This related to an lprent post at The Standard: Ben Guerin: a dirty politics fuckwit

Lynn Prentice has chose to respond in comments but I think it’s fair to give it equal exposure so here it is in full:

So rather than being a useless lazy critic, lay a complaint with InternetNZ.

I didn’t incite anyone. I wrote an opinion about a domain owner deliberately misusing their domain by non-transparently masquerading as someone else. To do so, I used and published the chain of evidence that showed who owned the domain and what their affiliations were. There was nothing in my post that was a ” ….attempt a targeted contact campaign with any person, or any organisation…”

This is exactly what the whois is intended for. Now about of strawman arguments that you, Duncan Brown or any other idiot craphouse lawyers invent.

Bearing in mind the gutless wonders that you and other people are about acting on your words, which in this case should be to make a complaint, I’ll write to InternetNZ – firstly asking them to inform me of any complaints (I anticipate none to date), and secondly asking for a ruling on what you fuckwits should be asking them based on your idiotic allegations.

And

BTW: I posted your Open Letter link into the internal forums. I have no idea why you think that we act as a collective (apart from annoying over optimistic statement in the about from 2007 that we have never gotten rid of). We never agree on anything. We operate as a cooperative as has been stated many times and is inherent is the statement about using a trust further in on the about.

So I’d think that your appeal is likely to be pretty useless, even excluding your strange ideas and that I actually run the plant…. But hey, if an author missed reading it – they now have their chance.

I’ve responded in part on that post but will do so in more detail here soon in comments.

Prentice actions “strictly forbidden” by InternetNZ

Lynn Prentice often tells the world how well he knows the Internet, but Duncan Brown did a bit of simple checking and shows that when Prentice published the physical addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of Ben Guerin and myself he clearly breached conditions of the use of WHOIS registry searching.

What he did appears to be “strictly forbidden” by InternetNZ – not just a one off slip, it was a series of deliberate actions by Prentice over a two day extended period.

Duncan has details in Vindictive Prentice breaks the rules.

Prentice can’t claim ignorance (maybe). In his  Ben Guerin: a dirty politics fuckwit post he provided a link to clear warnings at the head of the information he re-published:

Registrar Info
% NZRS Limited 
% Users confirm on submission their agreement to all published Terms 
%
And just underneath:
% 
% Users are advised that the following activities are strictly forbidden. 
% 
% Using multiple WHOIS queries, or using the output of multiple WHOIS 
% queries in conjunction with any other facility or service, to enable 
% or effect a download of part or all of the .nz Register. 
% 
% Using any information contained in the WHOIS query output to attempt a 
% targeted contact campaign with any person, or any organisation, using any 
% medium. 
% 
% A breach of these conditions will be treated as a breach of the .nz Policies 
% and Procedures.  Sanctions in line with those specified in the policies and 
% procedures at http://www.dnc.org.nz may result from any breach. 
% 
% Copyright InternetNZ

It looks clear to me that Prentice breached “Using any information contained in the WHOIS query output to attempt a targeted contact campaign with any person, or any organisation, using any medium.”

In his post he encouraged people to contact Guerin:

FFS: Could someone inform the pathetic dickhead that Dirty Politics was so last year.

He made it clear that he would carefully check any comment before allowing it to go public:

Just a wee warning. Because of the amount of diversion trolling going on on my post (some people like to live dangerously), I’ve put a full moderation on this post.

I’m letting through any half way reasonable comment and mostly answering them. But it’d inadvisable for the usual trolls to try diversion trolling. I’m really not in the mood for it, but I am finding it hilarious to do permanent bans for the fools who do it.

He cleared this comment (which was in response to one of his own):

Atiawa 9.1.1

I just sent him a text letting him know what a shit head he is. Can’t see much harm in anyone else telling him the same.

So he approved of someone using the information he provided to abuse Guerin and who also encouraged more harassment. He heavily censored others and banned several commenters, seemingly more out of spite or anger than anything.

‘Izzy’ responded to Atiawa:

I think it’s disappointing that you saw fit to publish his contact information, which apparently commentators here have now used to send him abusive messages.

Prentice replied to tha, indicazting he was well aware of abuse as a result of WHOIS information he published:

The information that was published was the public information that every registrant for a domain must make public. If you want to change that then I suggest that you talk to IANA.

It is there specifically to allow people to find out who is responsible for uses of that domain. Perhaps you should bestir yourself to find out what the responsibilities are for a domain name holder.

Prentice should have found out what the responsibilities of WHOIS users are. Actually he did find out, he posted a link to them and then breached them.

And allowed and encouraged people to do his dirty work.

He can’t claim he had no knowledge of the abuse as Guerin made it clear in a comment.

Unfortunately, after my personal details including phone number, postal address and email address were published on an article on The Standard, I receive a significant amount of hatred-filled vitriol directly at me personally via txt message, phone calls, emails and messages sent to my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Prentice responded to that by posting my own private address and phone number, and said (amongst other things):

That information is available for ALL domain names and their registrants, admins, and technical contacts. That is because domain names are a privilege requiring personal responsibility. If you put up a website or mail server or anything else under a domain, then you are responsible for the content published under it. The contact details are there for people to contact you. Sometimes that contact may be unpleasant.

He made the contact details available to others at The Standard and encouraged contact that was unpleasant.

From your whinging, personal responsibility appears to be something you are uncomfortable with. Perhaps you should not put up websites until you are better able to bear the burden.

It’s not likely Prentice will follow his own advice, he frequently ignores the rules he imposes on others.

I this case it looks clear he has broken some one else’s rules, something that is clearly “strictly forbidden” by InternetNZ. For all his claimed knowledge about the Internet ignorance is hardly an excuse he can use, and it wouldn’t wash anyway.

Responsibility is not something Prentice has any idea about unless trying to force it on others