Police re-investigating home invasion assault after complaint by Blomfield

Police are re-investigating a 2014 home invasion in which Matthew Blomfield was seriously assaulted, including being shot at in front of his family. The assailant was caught through  a DNA match, convicted and imprisoned, but the motive was never disclosed. Blomfield has complained to the police that others may have been involved, but until recently they have not done much to investigate.

This is detailed in David Fisher’s latest Big Read:  The blogger and the businessman – how the police failed, and new inquiries into a vicious home invasion

I’m familiar with a lot of the history covered in this. I have posted here about the attacks against Blomfield on Whale Oil, the long defamation case that resulted in Cameron Slater being found in October 2018 by a judge to have no defence (Slater recently withdrew an appeal), the illegal use of private data when a hard drive was supplied to Blomfield, and a number of other related things.

I have also posted about the assault on Blomfield. What is new are the claims of police inaction in investigating, and the current re-investigating.

Remember how quickly the police investigated Nicky Hager after a complaint by Slater that he had been hacked? The police overstepped in their raid on Hager’s home and obtaining bank information, for which they have since apologised for and paid compensation.

Remember how the police investigated and prosecuted Ben Rachinger after a complaint by Slater? And how, when Slater was prosecuted for trying procure a hack of The Standard, the police gave him diversion after Slater accepted guilt (but soon after posted that his contrition was not genuine).

Blomfield seems to have had a lot more difficulty getting the police to investigate for him, on complicity in the assault, and in how Slater got thehard drive. This has ended up resulting in a complaint to Independent Police Conduct Authority, and the re-opening of an investigation.

Blomfield’s complaints to police began in April 2012 when he told police Slater had obtained a hard drive with his personal and business information. Slater used the material as the basis of a series of blog posts over the next six months which led to the seven-year defamation action.

Blomfield’s interaction with police over the next four years included complaints about the hard drive, being interviewed as the victim of a home invasion which took place in April 2014 and a further complaint after his computer was hacked – possibly on more than one occasion.

Blomfield complained to the Independent Police Conduct Authority over police handling of complaints, leading to a review of police files identified areas that “warrant further police investigation”.

Detective Inspector Hayden Mander followed with a letter in December 2017 in which he said there had been multiple failures by police investigating a range of complaints.

On the hard drive:

He said there was “little comprehension” the first complaint about the hard drive could be seen as a possible crime involving the use of the data.

“Having reviewed the file, I believe there was a failure from the outset in comprehending the complexity of this investigation; in that it might be something other than a theft or burglary.

“Once computer crime was considered, there are gaps in the investigation and there was a lack of comprehensive assessment of the criminal culpability of the persons of interest that were identified during the inquiry.”

Mander, who has since left the police, said a specific complaint of “computer crime” had been made by Blomfield at the time. He said there was no evidence it had been investigated and no victim statement had been taken.

He said there needed to be a new investigation into the use of the hard drive and whether it was a “computer crime”.

There is an irony over Slater using the hard drive data to post a series of attacks on Blomfield on Whale Oil – Slater has long claimed bitterly about being hacked and data obtained being used to discredit him.

Mander also said police had not properly investigated a complaint by Blomfield made in 2014 after emails of his post-dating the hard drive were published online. The emails were from a password-protected cloud service, leading Blomfield to complain his information had been hacked.

On the assault:

Mander’s letter said there were further failures by police, including around a terrifying assault on Blomfield at his Greenhithe home in April 2014.

The incident saw Ned Tehuru Paraha, now 41, enter the home where Blomfield and his family live, face covered with a Spiderman mask and carrying a shotgun.

During the assault which followed, Paraha fired a shotgun at Blomfield on at least two occasions. One of Blomfield’s young daughters hid inside while the other saw her father – and for a period, her mother – fight back against the invader until he was forced to flee.

Blomfield was left seriously injured as a result of the assault, and has since testified as to the lasting damage the attack had on his and his family’s feeling of safety and security in their own home.

Paraha was caught a month later and pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to injure, aggravated burglary and assault with intent to injure. He was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison.

Mander said the “front end” of the investigation – Paraha’s identification through DNA and conviction – was carried out properly.

No reason or motive was disclosed.

“However, it was acknowledged from those conducting the police investigation and from yourself that others were likely responsible for the planning of this offending.

“To date, no-one else has been held to account for this offending.

“Despite you advising police of your suspicions that specific people were involved in the planning of this offending, these avenues of inquiry have never been followed up. Further, you have provided police with other lines of inquiry that remain on the file but have not been completed.”

Mander said there was a “clear need” to investigate parts of the incident.

He states that the police did obtain phone records that at least indicated others had prior knowledge of the home invasion, but didn’t act on this information.

In the recording, Mander said a production order had been used during the earlier investigation to access an individual’s phone records.

He told Blomfield police “didn’t really do a very good job of examining the data it produced”.

Mander said he had examined the phone traffic and seen contact the days before, the day of and the day after the assault which needed further investigation.

Blomfield claims that Slater knew about the attack and thinks the police should have south information from him (he doesn’t allege that Slater was directly involved).

Blomfield said he believed there was reason for police to speak with Slater in relation to the attack and had previously provided information which should have been acted on.

He said a comment made by Slater in the High Court precinct at Auckland, prior to a June 2016 judicial settlement conference, suggested Slater had knowledge as to where Paraha had obtained the shotgun used in the attack.

Blomfield said it was confirmation Slater had received information about the attack and the email was passed to police. He received a response saying: “Your email is noted and has been added to the file.”

A file that seems to have had more cobwebs than police attention.

Blomfield said he since received information anonymously from someone describing themselves as the hacker Rawshark, the identity used by the person who hacked Slater’s computer in 2014 then passed the contents to journalist Nicky Hager. The hacked material was used as the basis for the book Dirty Politics.

He said the information provided to him – which matches information supplied to and printed by the Herald in 2014 – gave him cause for concern over Slater’s attitude towards him.

The Rawshark files included social media correspondence between Slater and contacts developed through the blog. Some of the content from late 2013 reflected the defamation action was placing Slater under increased pressure.

In other messages in November 2013, Slater told the contact he believed gang members were looking for Blomfield in relation to money owed on behalf of a family member. It is unknown if there was any basis for this belief.

In the message, Slater says: “they are now looking for him … I know where he is and where he works if they want to find him … name is Matthew Blomfield”.

In another message, previously unreported, Slater tells the same contact: “Can you find out who wants to bash blomfield … I can help them find him.”

Slater has testified since he embellished claims made in conversations obtained by Rawshark. There is no evidence in the Rawshark material Slater’s conversation turned into actions in the real world.

The month after the messages, on December 14 2013, Slater posted to his blog a copy of a district court decision from the defamation case which included a cover letter with Blomfield’s home address.

In a blog post which has since been deleted, the blog’s administrator wrote: “I wouldn’t want to be Mr Blomfield for the next 10 years. The other side of Karma is coming.”

It seems that Karma has been catching up on Slater, with a series of losses in defamation proceedings, bankruptcy and a stroke (a common cause being stress).

Blomfield has said he believed the attack was somehow connected to the Whaleoil blog posts, although is definite in saying there is no evidence directly linking it to Slater.

On the Whaleoil blog, Slater has rejected any connection between his website and the attack. In a post, since deleted, he pointed to Paraha’s gang connections and said he doubted any of his readers mixed in such circles.

It was claimed in a comment here on Your NZ last October that gang members were present outside the court on the day of a hearing  on the Blomfield v Slater defamation. A name other than Slater’s (but in his circle) was associated with this.

Blomfield told the Herald there were lines of inquiry police should have pursue in relation to most complaints, yet did not.

He said the home invasion in 2014, during which he was shot at least two times, was never properly investigated.

“Someone sent this guy to do this.” Blomfield said the delay in the investigation meant evidence would have decayed. “It now seems that (information) is going to be lost.”

He said there was no sensible reason for a Tribesman-affiliated gang member from Manukau, to whom he had no links or connection, to come to his Greenhithe home firing a loaded shotgun.

“It would be totally reasonable to ask the Police why it is taking so long and when that investigation will be completed.”

But Blomfield and his lawyer claims that the police have continued to do little to investigate.

Barrister Felix Geiringer, who was Blomfield’s lawyer in the defamation case, said the lack of action by police was shocking yet even more so given the police review appeared to show an officer had acted in a way which prevented a proper investigation taking place.

He said the home invasion offending was criminal behaviour at the most serious end of the scale and it was “terrifying” police could “so easily decide not to take basic investigative steps”.

Geiringer said there was a clear lack of urgency which included delays with the fresh investigation.

“Six months after informing Matt that they had never properly investigated the attempt on his life, a newly appointed investigator informed Matt that he had not yet read the file.

“Over 18 months later, and the Police have still not decided what further action, if any, they intend to take.

“Matt and his family have never felt safe since the attack. They don’t feel that the New Zealand police have any interest in protecting them. Who could blame them?”

I for one can’t blame them. I was dragged into this long running feud and attacks via blog posts and the courts.

I have had what could be construed as implied death threats. I have had my address and photo of my home posted on a website that ran a series of attacks on me, and incorrectly linked me with Blomfield. I believe that people in Slater’s circle of associates were involved (they and Slater were definitely involved in vexatious legal actions against me).

Emails on the court file show the meeting, with former business associates of Blomfield, saw discussion focused on targeting Blomfield in a scheme called “Operation Bumslide”.

In the chain of emails between the conspirators, there was a joke about Blomfield being raped and one in which an associate of Slater’s made disparaging sexual remarks about Blomfield’s wife.

So far Slater has borne the brunt of Blomfield’s fight back via the defamation, and he is the only one named in Fisher’s article.

The impression I get from this latest ‘big read’ from Fisher is that Slater may be able to help the police with their inquiries, if they ever make proper inquiries. Perhaps ‘an associate of Slater’s’ (or more) could also warrant some investigation. So far they have managed to leave Slater to cop most of the fallout. It looks to me like Slater may have been used as a ‘useful idiot’ in what started as a business feud against Blomfield.

Things can hardly get much worse for Slater, but others who have so far escaped being held to account may find things getting awkward for them if the police start doing their job properly.

Unanswered questions over Hager case

The Police gave Nicky Hager a comprehensive apology and a substantial payout after they admitted overstepping procedures and breaking the law in their investigation of Hager when they tried to find out who the hacker ‘Rawshark’ was who supplied Hager with data from Cameron Slater and his Whale oil website.

There are unanswered questions about whether ‘Rawshark’ was a sole operator or a group, whether he/she/they were hacking from the outside or whether it was an inside job (whistleblower). The police failed to find any of this out, and Hager himself claims not to know.

The police made it clear that Hager was investigated as a witness and “was not a suspect of any offending” (which made their botching of the investigation substantially more troubling).

There is a big unanswered question over why the police went to such great lengths when they have made it clear that Hager was investigated as a witness and not as a possible offender – in contrast to their investigation of another acase where Slater tried to have The Standard hacked.

Tim Watkins goes over the case and in particular asks this in More questions from the Nicky Hager case.

Slater had reported the hack to police and quite properly, the police began investigating. However, they began investigating with such vigour they broke the law and were not honest with the courts. It’s a remarkable series of events that appears to go beyond ineptitude, to something more deliberate.

In a country where victims of burglary often complain about the slow response from police and around the time that the national burglary resolution rate (2015) was a record low 9.3 per cent, it’s curious that police would expend such resources on this computer.

But most notably there were other dodgy dealings with computers in the news around the same time, as well. Dirty Politics itself revealed that Slater and National Party staffer and others had been rooting around in the back-end of the Labour Party website. Hager had alleged that one of those who had been in the site was a staff member in the Prime Minister’s office. While Police admitted in their statement yesterday that Hager “was not a suspect of any offending”, there were questions being asked at the time about the legality of that behaviour. Yet nothing so rigorous was undertaken.

Also around the same time, the victim of Rawshark’s hack – Cameraon Slater – was himself commissioning Ben Rachinger to hack The Standard website to establish whether Labour MPs and staff were anonymously writing for the Labour-aligned blog. Rachinger turned whistle blower, leading to a story by me and Lisa Owen that saw Slater finally charged with attempting to procure a hack. He admitted guilt and received diversion.

Slater had to admit guilt to qualify for diversion, but he later suggested on Whale oil that this wasn’t sincere – if so that would make it misleading the court.

I know from my work on that story and my repeated calls to police how slow they were to act on Slater’s actions.

Quite reasonably, police have pointed out that Rawshark’s actual hack (with the potential for a seven year prison sentence) was a worse offence than Slater’s attempted and failed hack (with a maximum sentence of two and a half years).

But when you consider such extensive efforts on one side (where there was serious public interest in the behaviour of people in and around government) and such reluctance to investigate on the other (where, while embarrassing, the ‘crime’ of writing anonymous blog posts was much the lesser justification for a hack), it does raise questions.

The biggest being: Why?

The next question is who: Who made the decisions to deceive the court and the third parties? Who made the decision to conduct the raid in such a way that breached his rights to journalistic privilege? Who breached the Bill of Rights by their approaches to third parties?

Who in the police was responsible, culpable, is an important question.

The dark shadow hanging over all this is political. The police investigation was into a journalist who had made serious allegations against the sitting government of the day. Those are the times when police have to be at their scrupulous best, their most transparent and their most even-handed. Yet they were not.

If the police don’t clear this up they leave a dark political shadow hanging.

At the very least the public needs clear assurances from Police bosses and the Police Ministers around that time – Anne Tolley and Michael Woodhouse – that the politics at play did not influence the investigation. Without honest and frank interviews addressing these questions, how can the public’s trust in police not be effected.

Police officials have not fully discharged their duty yet.

I agree. Perhaps the media can get some honest and frank answers from Tolley and Woodhouse.

And the police need to front up on this. Unless they do that serious questions will remain.

The Bradbury story: ‘unlawful’ access of bank records

This would appear to be big Bomber story, from NZH: Hunt for Rawshark sees police rapped again for ‘unlawful’ search of banking records

Police have again been caught unlawfully harvesting private banking information in the search for the hacker behind the Dirty Politics book.

This time it is activist and journalist Martyn Bradbury who has been drawn into the police investigation.

And this time police inquiries are said to have had an awful impact, leading to two suicidal episodes.

Bradbury’s is the latest case of police unlawfully exploiting the Privacy Act to get personal banking information without getting a court order.

The practice has been ruled unlawful after Bradbury – who runs The Daily Blog website – complained to the Privacy Commissioner.

Bradbury told the NZ Herald he uncovered the police probe after being rejected for credit by his bank.

He said he became suspicious because the “extensions of credit weren’t extravagant and the manner in which the declines occurred just seemed odd”.

When Bradbury sought information through the Privacy Act, he discovered that detectives working on the Rawshark case had made a request for his records saying they were investigating “computer fraud”.

Bradbury had publicly indicated some knowledge of the Rawshark hack of Slater so I guess the Police could have seen him as possibly involved, but illegal access of his bank accounts seems excessive.

Detectives did so quoting a section of the Privacy Act allowing those holding data to ignore people’s privacy if there are “reasonable grounds” to believe it would help “maintenance of the law”.

The ruling from Privacy Commissioner John Edwards found police gave Bradbury’s bank no information to make an assessment of whether the request was “reasonable”.

Edwards rejected police submissions that the request only lacked supporting information for the bank to make a proper decision.

Even if police had provided the information, Edwards said detectives “were not justified” in asking for the banking records without a legal order from a judge.

“It is our view the request for your banking records, given their sensitivity, ought to have been placed before a judicial officer for decision on whether it met the grounds for a production order.”

He said the “nature and the scope of the request was unfair and unreasonably intrusive”.

The request for information was “unlawful” because it was constituted a “search” and the Bill of Rights stated “everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search”.

He said the “nature and the scope of the request was unfair and unreasonably intrusive”.

The request for information was “unlawful” because it was constituted a “search” and the Bill of Rights stated “everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search”.

Bradbury, who insisted he has no connection to or knowledge of the hacking of Slater’s computers, said: “They should have taken it to a judge and got a warrant.”

Instead, they sought “everything they could get their hands on”.

Yes, the police should have got a warrant.

But Bradbury’s claim he had no knowledge of the hacking is interesting. I posted this in October 2014: On Hager and “Dirty Politics and dirty politics

Two days before the launch of Hager’s book left wing activist, blogger and big noter Martyn Bradbury posted:

Here are my 3 guesses on his book.

1 – Right wing spin doctors in Wellington will be crying harder than Matthew Hooton post the Hollow Men.
2 – We won’t hear from the Taxpayer Union for a while.
3 – This won’t be the only time Nicky makes an impact before the election.

When his “guesses” were queried he responded on Twitter:

pfft – Nicky contacted me months ago asking specific questions which helped my guesses – the lesson is read TDB

It is hard to know whether his ‘guesses’ were simply that and he had only vague knowledge, or if they were attempts to disguise any connection to the hack. Bradbury is fairly well known to claim or imply more inside knowledge than anyone trusts him with.

The police may or may not have known of Bradbury’s blowhardness.

Bradbury said the credit requests were to help keep The Daily Blog going and getting knocked back triggered a huge depressive episode.

He said he had lived with depression since suffering a brain injury aged 18 from a car accident.

“Over the last five years that depression has become very difficult to manage and the financial stress of not extending credit all combined in late 2016 in two suicidal episodes.

“When your little black dog morphs and mutates into a huge black bear, you’re looking for anything that will ease the anguish and pain.”

Oh jeez. It’s hard to know what to think or feel about this.

Felix Geiringer, the barrister who acted for Hager overturning the police search warrant, said it was hard to understand any “credible basis” for including Bradbury in the Rawshark inquiry.

He said police appeared to have sought Bradbury’s records to try and establish the hacker was paid to carry out the hack. “There’s no evidence that took place in this case. There’s none.”

Geiringer said Bradbury – like Hager – was a journalist which conveyed specific protections around searches.

Bradbury is a sort of a journalist, similar to Cameron Slater – they investigate and they publish, but they are also political activists and as far as I understand they have both received payment for political work, so journalism and activism get muddy.

It was the same issue which the High Court rapped police in the Hager case, he said.

The NZ Herald has previously shown how police have used the Privacy Act exploit to gain banking details of potentially thousands of people without any court or judicial order – and that at least one bank has used it to red-flag customers.

The practice was widespread when the NZ Herald exposed it in 2013 and saw police headquarters offer assurances that it would not be used to access detailed banking records.

Yet police continued to use the exploit, not only in the Rawshark investigation against Nicky Hager, but in cases identified across the country.

I presume the investigation of Bradbury was some time ago, the Police say “no officers are currently assigned to the investigation” of the Rawshark hack.

I hope Police practices regarding seeking bank records has improved somewhat.


Bradbury took his story to the herald but is still claiming ‘exclusive’ on posts at The Daily Blog.

EXCLUSIVE: The Rawshark Investigation & secret Police mass surveillance program against 100 000 NZers

The NZ Police have lied about the scope of their investigation into who hacked Cameron Slater’s computer. It was originally just Nicky Hager, but it also included myself and possibly several other left wing activists and senior figures within the political left including the Labour Party.

EXCLUSIVE: My case against a secret NZ Police investigation that breached my privacy and my civil rights

It’s not important to like or dislike my work, but I think we can all agree that allowing the Police to conduct secret investigations into activists and political bloggers that then damage their reputation negatively based on spurious grounds isn’t acceptable in a liberal democracy.

Let me start by categorically stating, I never hacked Cameron Slater’s computer and have no idea who hacked Cameron Slater’s computer for the information that appeared in Nicky Hager’s book, ‘Dirty Politics’.

 

Dirty anti-dirty politics

‘Dirty Politics’ failed to swing the electorate against the Government last election, but it seems far from over.

‘Dirty Politics’ was raised as a major defence in the Williams versus Craig defamation trial, with Craig citing it as justification for his extraordinary responses to successful attempts to trash both his political career and the Conservative Party.

And despite bidding farewell in 2014, Whaledump reappeared briefly on Twitter recently.

Then this comment came up (posted elsewhere) yesterday:

How many wake up calls does the New Zealand public need?

Dirty politics.

Extensive slavery and fish dumping – environmental destruction – and screeds of evidence that the goverment has known about it for years and covered it up. And now customs covering up more abuses of the poorest, most exploited people in the world!

The Lying away the outrageous increase in child poverty and homelessness.

New Zealand’s key role, as yet unreported, in Panama. Of course, what many people don’t know is that that company has strong connection to Mi6 and the CIA: for it was the NZ goverment who initiated that financial arrangement, during the Iran crisis, given how much dirty operational money needed to be obscured… that’s right, folks… just as all the Iranian intel passed through the New Zealand embassy in Manila during that time, it was New Zealanders, and Mi6 employees stationed in NZ who facilitated the cashflow! Wonder why NZ has some strange surveillance concern with Iran? It’s historical.

Conspiracy theory no doubt…. As likely as members of the Hearst dynasty tied up with the Weather Underground moving to Christchurch and changed their surname to Tree.

What’s the point of the media, and you so-called leftists in the face of what you really face…. You can’t even see the tip of the iceberg! Sorry, just a little disappointed. Please, travel some more. Go live in a pagoda for a month in an empoverished province of a Western fucked nation.

Those who can, do what they can. We will live and die unknown and you will never know any better. Well, better to try than to do nothing at all. But you know who this is, don’t you SIS and friends. Thanks for the visit last year by the way. I didn’t say anything and showed her a good time. Trust she enjoyed herself.

In the next few months more revelations will come out – if there are people ready to listen. But to what end? To what effect? So depressing. Banging the old head against the wall…

It took you (opposition, media) two bloody years to twig to the extent of migrant labour abuses despite individuals from fairfax and other media organizations having the truth rubbed in your noses, repeatedly, by friends of ours. But there’s been some good work, especially by one particular journo now working for radio NZ. You know who I mean. Shoutout, sister! Still, you – the media – haven’t reported on the fact that anti-slavery activists have been harassed into the dirt by the intelligence services.

Yes, correct: go talk to all those who have housed, fed, and advocated for abused migrant workers. The filmmakers who tried to bring the issue to attention also. Followed, harassed, and intimidated by our own security services as well as by private contractors. No doubt they were affecting New Zealand’s economic well being…

Talk to the director of Slaves of the Ocean about it. Talk to the activists who protected the fishermen who fled the Oyang. It’s an incredible story of human rights defenders – patriots of the highest order – being harrasssed and crushed by the state and by private contractors working closely together. They were even spying the hell out of the Anglican Church, for God’s sake. Facist, anti – human rights surveillance. Yes, in New Zealand.

Oh, to change the subject just slightly (cough – prettty obvious guys), be quite skeptical about who exactly was behind the leak of Slater’s emails. Curious, isn’t it, who was mentioned in those dumps (not always by the same people by the way).

[Redacted] Think about it… that doesn’t apply to all releases….

[Redacted]

Ask yourself how many leaks of this magnitude have not resulted in an arrest. Yes. Ponder that. In the history of large scale hacks, how often is it that the purpetrator (lol) has not been caught?

The true situation is much, much more complex that people realize. The mix is extraordinary.

Reasons for why the PM didn’t want to pursue “Rawshark”?

[Redacted]

Another breather who unfortunately left a trail of sorts is an activist authorities don’t dare arrest because the dirt he has is even worse, much, much worse and damaging. GCSB and industry related.

Another is a woman with such just cause very few in the NZ public, no matter how mean they may have become, would abide her persecution I bet – and they bet too clearly.

Oh and there’s others… It’s an open joke among hackers how open the systems of Slater, that slithery insect, were. He should be grateful to the hackers he so loathes. They have standards or morals to such a degree that they have agreed to draw a line[Redacted] That’s right, Cam: some of them have had that used against them by the security services you praise so much. I’m afraid they operate to a much higher ethical standard.

Will anyone ever get to the bottom of it? Well the truth is they mostly have and for the above and other reasons it won’t come out. [Redacted]

If this comment gets through, know, players listed above, that we know all your weaknesses. We have documents for East Germany and dirt for Africa. But you know that don’t you? You rely on the fact that the public doesn’t care: that it doesn’t care about the minutiae of your business, of the shady deals you do, [Redacted]…. could run to 500 pages but due to go clubbing just shortly…

We are here, we are not going away, and any move (or more moves) you make against us will result in devastating leaks. But you know that.

We have communicated what we expect. And recently you have been coming to the party at least in terms of prosecuting migrant labour abuses. Smiley face and big tick!

But we are not going away. We know you purposefully did not consult with Maori over the Kermadecs. It’s not the first time you have tried to use Tangata Whenua (sorry, the Maori Party who are hardly representational) to shoot down labour and environmental issues at sea. Remember when the Maori Party changed their mind at the last moment in respect of the foreign charter legislation? They looked freaked out, didn’t they…. I wonder why. Don’t forget who you are dealing with. You cannot arrest us, we know too much – and you know that very well now don’t you?

We know you know who we are. Hell, we don’t even bother to hide ourselves to mr [Redacted]. Top bloke.

Until soon

Sounds dirty as, all round.

I think this needs airing but I have redacted claims and accusations against people that aren’t backed by evidence – it’s difficult to know what is dirty, and what might be dirty lies.

Time will tell whether ‘in the next few months more revelations will come out’, and whether anyone much will listen.

Slater proud of political hack

Cameron Slater suggests he is proud of being the victim of a political hack, but has moved from playing down to ignoring his own involvement in an attempted political hack.

And he seems to be promoting political hacking as just a part of elections here in New Zealand – but uses a news report on US presidential campaigning as an example.

Yesterday he posted It appears that hacking as part of elections is here to stay.

I would say I am proud to have been the first in New Zealand, but that would ignore the Hollow Men hack, and perhaps others that have been just as effective and less public.

He has often complained about much of a victim he was, but now seems to be proud of the hacker’s attention.

Politically motivated hacking seems to be alive and well in New Zealand.  And judging by the news story, it’s here to stay. 

The news story has got nothing to do with New Zealand.

Would it be unfair to say it’s most, if not all, done by or for the left? 

Considering that Slater admitted to police and court that he was guilty of trying to procure a hack (for political purposes) it is disingenuous denial to say that only the left do it.

Let’s face it, hacking is a great leveling tool.  It can bring National’s millions to its knees by just a few people with a computer and the Internet.

But…

The good thing is that once they had all my emails, they bungled it.   The electorate may not have liked Dirty Politics, but they liked the way the left had packaged it and were trying to make a molehill into a mountain even less. Bless the voters and bless the left for thinking they would care about a beltway issue such as a blogger writing stories or handing leads to media.

He seems to be claiming hacking is a great levelling tool except that it didn’t bring National to it’s knees, it was ineffective. Who can tell what he means.

It is the same reason I can’t get any traction on getting justice for the hack – people don’t care.

Really? I thought it looked like the police failed to identify the hacker or find evidence of who the hacker was.

Stater has claimed to know who the hacker was and who financed the hack and who was involved in using the hacked information but still fails to substantiate any of his claims. Last week he tried to dump accusations on Ben Rachinger, saying he wasn’t claiming anything himself.

There have always been the infiltration of campaigns, spying and going through rubbish bins after political meetings.  But it is time to both realise and accept that hacking is now a standard part of campaigning.

It happened once. It backfired. Slater tried to do it. That backfired. Doesn’t that make it look stupid?

So why is Slater trying to normalise it as ‘a standard part of campaigning’? Does he think he will get away with it next time?

He also takes a swipe, again, at Hager and the media.

But now, Hager’s even managed to get the media to work with him.  Some, because they are idiots, and others I suspect due to the fact he’s got information on them.  All the media have done is cut off their links to right wing sources and are all-in on the left wing ones. 

All the media have done is cut off their links to Slater. Despite his belief in his importance he can hardly have been the sole right wing source.

Sources like Matthew Hooton, David Farrar and David Seymour still seem to have relationships with the media. And John Key and National Ministers and MPs seem to still be an occasional source for the media.

Kind of awesome, if it wasn’t for their incompetence.

Kind of ironic given Slater’s incompetence.

The only thing that tickles me pink about this is that the Media Party will inevitably end up being hacked as well.   If they haven’t already.

Is that wishful thinking? Or is it a veiled threat?

As well as threatening to reveal all about the Rawshark hacking and all those alleged to be involved Slater has threatened to reveal embarrassing information about media complicity with the hack and with himself. Like many of his promises of revelations he keeps failing to deliver.

Slater is all over the place here. On the Rawshark hack he flip flops between being proud (‘yay, me!’) to self pity (‘poor me!’).

What seems to be lacking is any remorse for getting busted – he now seems to be suggest hacking is an acceptable political tactic.

“The wrong hacker”

Spanish Bride (Edit: I originally refereed to Cameron Slater as the author, not noticing the post was under his wife’s name, but that makes little difference) had posted about and assured he had information about the hack (‘Rawshark’) and had promised to reveal all, but was apparently holding back due to the police investigation into the hack.

The police investigation, which resulted in the raid on Nicky Hager and the seizing of his computers and data, now seems to be at an end.

Today Slater has posted some specific allegations and a fairly obvious implication:

Looks Like Team Hager hired the wrong hacker

In an attempt to subvert an election a hacker was hired. He did what he was paid to do, handed over an edited selection as told to by his mega pay master to Nicky Hager and the rest is history.

But Slater has provided no details. I have seen no evidence of any of those claims.

Can we assume from this he has no evidence and is either guessing or simply making things up?

It wouldn’t be surprising, he and some of his associates have a record of making  accusations but failing to front up with any credible evidence.

Police won’t appeal Hager ruling

Cameron Slater said on Facebook today that the police won’t be appealing the High Court ruling in the Hager case. He doesn’t sound like a happy chap.

Then the Police ring me and tell me that they aren’t going to appeal the High Court ruling in the Hager case. So the lefty cunts who stole my data, and tried to steal an election all get away with their criminality.

They say they are pursuing other avenues, but yet again Nicky Hager has laundered stolen goods, made plenty of money and tried to influence an election…with zero consequences.

It is days like this that you really question whether or not karma exists…or why you even bother doing what you do. Still there is much to be thankful for.

Despite everything I still think I am very blessed and lucky to live in this country…though I’m not sure how long can bothered living here anymore. I might just go back to my place of birth (Fiji) or live somewhere totally different…like Israel….because New Zealand really doesn’t feel like home sometimes.

I can understand him being grumpy about a lack of progress against Hager and Rawshark, but they seem to have covered themselves effectively. The police can’t act without evidence. At least they tried (perhaps too hard).

See Hager house raid ruled illegal

I guess he could continue blogging from Israel or Fiji. If he’s allowed to leave New Zealand.

Hager decision and the journalist question

There’s been a lot of comment in media about the court decision that ruled the police raid on Nicky Hager’s house as unlawful.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that aspects of the police raid were of significant concern.

Herald article Hager decision: Why you should care quotes media law expert Professor Ursula Cheer:

“For citizens to be able to understand what is going on, who is governing them and who is spending money on their behalf and whether people are behaving according to the rule of law and all that, then journalists need to be out there holding power to account,” Ms Cheer said.

“Often they have to get information from people who don’t want their identity to be made public and those people probably wouldn’t give their information if they thought their identity would be made public, so that is what confidentiality of sources is all about. Join the dots and journalists are doing a job on our behalf because we don’t have time to investigate and find out what is going on.”

Ms Cheer said it set a precedent about was acceptable and unacceptable police behaviour around seeking warrants to raid journalists’ homes.

“This really affirms to police what the Court of Appeal said about 10 years ago before this new Search and Surveillance Act applies if they are going to get warrants against journalists,” she said.

“It all ties back to journalists actually doing a really useful job which is holding power to account. They need to have their sources and their sources need to know they can trust the journalist so the law needs to be very very careful before it allows something to happen that might damage those relationships.

“It is not just a rarefied decision that makes journalists happy, it [allows] journalists to get on and do the job that they are doing on our behalf.”

This all seems to assume that Hager was acting as a journalist, and that his informant ‘Rawshark’ was acting in the public good.

I think there was certainly some good in exposing what Cameron Slater, Jason Eade and associates had been doing. It was contrary to good and fair politics and democracy.

But it also seemed to be very deliberately focused on some people – Slater and John kery in particular – during an election campaign. And there are both indications and claims that some parts of the revelations were deliberately suppressed.

Yes I think dirty politics should be exposed.

But I still have grave concerns about illegally obtaining private comunications data, using that to influence an election, and the apparent acceptance of that by some people that this is justified.

I suspect that those who applaud and excuse rawshark and Hager would be condemning it if their side of politics was what was exposed, especially leading up to an election.

In fact some of those who applaud what Rawshark and Hager did have condemned Slater and Eade for exposing Labour Party website data. In my view what Eade and Slater did there went furhter than was reasonable and they had malicious intent, but it was nowhere near as severe or serious as what Rawshark and Hager did.

I welcome what I hope will be a more careful and rigorous approach to searching homes and property of both journalists and of political activists. Even when someone is acting as both at the same time.

But I’m disappointed that some who strongly support the rights to privacy of Hager seem to have a totally different view about the rights to privacy of Slater.

I’ve condemned Slater on many things.  While he has had some notable achievements I think he represents some of the worst of nasty blogging and dirty politics. And more.

However I still have serious concerns about the illegal hacking of private data and using it in the political arena.

Some may be happy to pat Rawshark and Hager on the back and say “good job”, but if people from the other side of politics see and claim  public good in doing similar to expose dirty dealings on the left they may be as dismayed with that as I am with their justification of illegal political activism.

 

Hager house raid ruled illegal

Not surprising to see that the police raid on Nicky Hager’s house has been ruled illegal. There were some concerning aspects of it.

High Court finds police raid on Nicky Hager was illegal

High Court finds police raid on Nicky Hager was illegal

Wellington High Court judge Justice Clifford issued his judgement today on the legality of the police search of Nicky Hager’s home on 2 October 2014.

The judge found that the search was illegal. He said that the Police had failed to disclose relevant information to the Judge who issued the warrant. As a result, he formally declared that the warrant was “fundamentally unlawful”. He also found that the search was therefore unlawful. Justice Clifford also expressed concerns about other aspects of the Police’s actions.

Mr Hager said he is very happy about the decision, for his family and because of the important principles it upholds.

“The heart of the case is the public’s right to receive information about the actions of people in positions of authority. This decision acknowledges that confidential sources used in investigative journalism, in this case my book Dirty Politics, deserve legal protection.”

More hearings will follow on other police actions taken against Mr Hager and on the subject of costs and damages. But Mr Hager said this decision was the most important one, affecting all news media and also present and future whistle blowers. “This decision is very good news for New Zealand journalism,” he said.

Mr Hager thanked the large numbers of people who donated money to help cover court costs and the experts who wrote affidavits supporting his case.

Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1512/S00268/high-court-finds-police-raid-on-nicky-hager-was-illegal.htm

The ruling:

A final comment

[148] I note one final matter: I am not persuaded that the approach the police took to enabling Mr Hager to claim privilege was the preferred one. It was only during the second telephone conversation that the police asked Mr Hager if he was claiming privilege. That is not the type of facilitation that I consider the Search and Surveillance Act anticipates. Rather, when they discovered Mr Hager was not at his home, I would have anticipated that the police would have initiated contact with Mr Hager, told him that the Search, if successful, of necessity would disclose evidence protected by s 68, and have positively given him the opportunity to claim privilege.

Result

[149] Mr Hager has succeeded in his application for a declaration that the Warrant and the Search were fundamentally unlawful.

[150] In light of that, and of counsel’s agreed deferring of the questions of the lawfulness of the information inquiries undertaken by the police, and of the question of NZBORA damages, I invite a memorandum from counsel as to the way forward.

http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/cases/hager-v-attorney-general-1/at_download/fileDecision

Matt Nippert is quick out of the blocks: Nicky Hager police raid ruling a win for journalism

Nicky Hager’s victory in the High Court today allows the fourth estate – especially its burgeoning offshoots both new and old – to breathe a sigh of relief.

Hager’s ultimately successful legal challenge was based on a complaint that police, in going through his daughter’s underwear drawer, seizing more than a dozen storage devices, and turning his personal and professional life upside down, had ignored Hager’s important legal rights as a journalist to protect his sources.

These rights are important to encourage a check on the powers-that-be, enabling information that some may consider secret or confidential to be aired if publishing or broadcasting is in the public interest.

Having been in contact with Rawshark while working for the Sunday Star-Times, and having reviewed much of the source material Hager used in writing Dirty Politics, I’m satisfied conclusions he reached were both accurate and newsworthy and definitely passed the public interest test.

At the nub of Hager’s challenge was how far these rights of journalistic privilege extended. Their applicability to mainstream media sources, like this newspaper, has long been broadly accepted.

And Nippert concludes:

The dismissal of this argument, in effect granting new media online and old media in book publishing the same ability as mainstream media organisations to proudly carry the rights and responsibilities that the tag ‘journalist’.

Ironically enough, in separate proceedings, the target of Rawshark’s hacking – Cameron Slater – is also engaged in arguments also trying to extend journalistic privileges: to bloggers such as himself.

Today’s ruling helpfully confirms that, where the public interest test is met, authors – and bloggers – should all be entitled to wear that badge.

Whale Oil doesn’t appear to have posted anything on this yet. Nothing I can find in comments there either.

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?