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Bomber Bradbury wins privacy complaint against Police

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, August 28th, 2017 - 47 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, democracy under attack, Dirty Politics, Politics - Tags: , ,

Shades of dirty politics …

David Fisher at the Herald is reporting that Bomber Bradbury has succeeded in getting the Privacy Commissioner to rule that Police use of Privacy Act powers to access Bradbury’s bank accounts without a warrant was unlawful.  From the article:

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.

It follows the revelation that Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager also had his banking records handed over to police without any legal compulsion to do so.
The practice has been ruled unlawful after Bradbury – who runs The Daily Blog website – complained to the Privacy Commissioner.

The records were sought to show that whoever hacked Slater’s site was paid to do so.  Why they suspected Bradbury is not clear and on the face of it somewhat bizarre.  The exercise has the feel of an overblown fishing trip.

The repercussions were significant on Bomber.  An application for an increase in credit was declined because of the Police approach and his depression hit big time.

The police powers to require this information is contained in the Privacy Principles that are in the Privacy Act.  The relevant provisions are the following:

Principle 2
Source of personal information

(2) It is not necessary for an agency to comply with subclause (1) if the agency believes, on reasonable grounds …

(d) that non-compliance is necessary—
(i) to avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law by any public sector agency, including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offences …

Principle 3
Collection of information from subject
(1) Where an agency collects personal information directly from the individual concerned, the agency shall take such steps (if any) as are, in the circumstances, reasonable to ensure that the individual concerned is aware of [various details relating to the collection].
(4) It is not necessary for an agency to comply with subclause (1) if the agency believes, on reasonable grounds,—
(c)  that non-compliance is necessary—
(i)  to avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law by any public sector agency, including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offences …

Principle 11
Limits on disclosure of personal information
An agency that holds personal information shall not disclose the information to a person or body or agency unless the agency believes, on reasonable grounds,—
(e) that non-compliance is necessary—
(i) to avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law by any public sector agency, including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offences …

All principles require there to be belief on “reasonable grounds” that the requirements are met.  The Privacy Commissioner has ruled that the applications failed to set out why they were necessary and in any event were very heavy handed and should have been subject to Judicial scrutiny because otherwise it was unlawful in that it breached the Bill of Rights Act prohibition against unreasonable search.

Again from the Herald:

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”.

Well done Bomber for taking this action and all strength to him.  His allegation that others may also have has their records searched deserves further scrutiny.

 

47 comments on “Bomber Bradbury wins privacy complaint against Police”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Now THIS is a major scandal.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      It was a major scandal when they did it to Hager too.

    • tracey 1.2

      Nah. The police just have to say sorry. That is what Bennett did and now she is PM.

      Was it done under former Police Minister (and leaker of private info) Collins watch?

      • Carolyn_nth 1.2.1

        She was stood down from cabinet fairly soon after Dirty Politics was published.

        • tracey 1.2.1.1

          Bennett or Colins? Both are current Cabinet Members. And Collins behaviour has been far worse than Turei’s ever was, IMO

          • Carolyn_nth 1.2.1.1.1

            Collins was stood down from being Minister of Justice, in the fallout from Dirty Politics August 2014) – the raiding of Hager’s home happened later, October 2014, and that was related to the presence of Rawshark around the same time.

            She hadn’t been Minister of Police since 2011, and then became Minister of Police and of Corrections in December 2015.

            Bennett did not become Minister of Police til December 2016.

      • tracey 1.2.2

        Deputy PM

    • patricia bremner 1.3

      Yes!! Martyn had his (and others) privacy invaded and was made ill by it.

      I hope he wins all he asks!!

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Why they suspected Bradbury is not clear and on the face of it somewhat bizarre…

    …do you suppose he was the only left wing blogger with what the police clearly imagine are “computer skills” who has been given this treatment?

  3. Hope the bank gets sorted too. Imo the whole police thing was vindictive and designed to bring him down. Good it didn’t work.

    • Siobhan 3.1

      But in an important and very scary way it has worked..its pushed Martyn to the edge, its taken up who knows how much of his time and energy…and it sends a message to the citizenry…”Keep in line, don’t get involved, or we’ll stuff you up”.

      This is why so many people are fearful of revealing their identities on these blogs. It’s not just employment issues, or fear of random stalkers…its fear of the authorities and their vindictive, so called ‘fishing’.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        + 1 yep very good points

      • tc 3.1.2

        Excellent points ! Another example of our politicised police force doing as directed by national not the rule of law.

        How many have been subject to this abuse of power who dont have the skills and access to bring their plight into the public domain as bomber has ?

        • Eco maori 3.1.2.1

          +10000 tc I don’t have the money that I assume Bradbury has but I have this site to let people no of my fight for my human and privacy rights.
          Bradbury case of harassment and intimidation helps me validate my case to the people who read my post.

          The NZ Police are intruding on my clients they don’t even have the compassion to think that there presence in my client’s lives is stressful and will cause damage to there health . One off my clients has cancer and the police still impose there presence on them it piss me off as these are the nicest people one could ever meet in one’s lifetime the invite me into there house for tea an scones WTF

          • Eco maori 3.1.2.1.1

            I would never ask any old or vunerable people to be a witness sorry about the grammar as this is posted by ph

      • tracey 3.1.3

        Which also worked for Bennett. Made beneficiaries very aware that speaking out would cost public humiliation.

    • Richard Christie 3.2

      .vindictive and designed to bring him down.

      It’s a standard police tactic to tie up people that they don’t like , often with weak charges through the courts etc, and they get away with it all the time.

      • marty mars 3.2.1

        Yes and if they crack and hurt themselves because of the pressure then that is considered a broken eggshell, collateral damage, so sad – they should have asked for help…

  4. dukeofurl 4

    Many years ago when I worked at what later became Vodafone, they had a special person who worked on these police requests.
    The desk didnt have the normal computer screen but one flush with the desk top so that colleagues would have great difficulty seeing what was being accessed.
    In those days not everyone had mobiles like they do now.

  5. 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”.

    That obviously needs to be changed so that they require a court order at all times. It seems that giving the police any sort of leeway results in them abusing it.

  6. Anne 6

    Now this is the real scandal.

    I expect quite a few people fell under suspicion to one degree or another and may not know to this day they were the target of a covert police investigation.

    Behind the DP story is another big story which would include pressure from ‘on high’ for the police to leave no stone unturned in their quest for rawshark’s identity – and to hell with the law.The dirty dozen (however many there were) behind the DP activity would have cast aspersions on all manner of individuals and the police investigated them. Unbelievable scenario because the DP mob were the criminals and they were never brought to justice. Hager for example was merely the messenger.

    I understand now how Bradbury has been feeling. Those of us who have been on the receiving end of hounding of this kind know the depth of despair it generates. There is always fallout that lingers for years afterward and that is the hardest part to cope with.

    • Cinny 6.1

      Now this is the real scandal. Far out yes.

    • OncewasTim 6.2

      @Anne -I seem to remember (with aging brain) that you have experience with employment disputes within our now very dysfunctional, politicised public service – correct?
      If so, know when to let it ride in favour of your personal wellbeing.
      At sometime in the future, they come unstuck. The worst thing is that when they do-people have forgotten the issue and the principles you were defending. The best thing is, sometimes they end up being banged up at Madge’s pleasure in a runt hole run by Serco. And even if not, they don’t end up living very happy lives. The sudden realisation they can’t take it with them when they pop their designer clogs though is usually we’re all expected to feel sympathy for.

  7. Stephen Doyle 7

    We might not all agree with Bomber a lot of the time, but we need to be in his corner on this one.

  8. lprent 8

    I think that I should query my bank and the police to find out just how widespread this kind of probing is. Primarily because I don’t trust the police that much. I have quite a few reasons to do so given their history with the activists in my family.

    I run a buttoned down systems specifically designed to prevent these kind of privacy breaches. They are designed to make any intrusions into my life and activities quite transparent either by police or any other arseholes who target activists. Cameron is one. The mad fuckwits at LF are another.

    I run my own very paranoid servers so they’d have had to either do a physical intrusion or a man-in-the-middle attack. Even then

    Anyone who has read the saga about my niece and Gilchrist would understand part of the reasoning behind that. But having search warrants executed by the police and dubious charges laid against her for protesting is another.

    Not that I would have needed anyone else to hack Cameron’s systems. They sound like they were very poorly protected and I’m pretty competent with any kind of intrusions. Albeit mostly from the side of preventing them both in my work life and in my activist activities.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Now they know they’ve broken the law, the onus has to be on the cops and banks to contact everyone whose right to privacy they’ve violated.

      Then the courts can decide what to do with them.

      Fat chance I know, but hey.

      • WILD KATIPO 8.1.1

        Why not ?

        How low does this country have to go before it grows a pair and does the right thing ?

        How long do we have to be scared to admit that this country has more than its fair share of corrupt wankers just like anywhere else?

        And how long before we do something like the Aussies did about it and stop being such a pack of craven gutless wonders?

        Fitzgerald Inquiry – Wikipedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzgerald_Inquiry

  9. Carolyn_nth 9

    Apart from the unlawful contacting of the bank, it seems majorly wrong to me that a query about fraud, labels someone as a credit risk. ie there’s a presumption of guilt even though there’s no evidence of it.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      Thats the benefit for the banks, they get a heads up about anyone and everyone the police are interested in.
      They then take measures to reduce their financial risk- as Bradbury found out.

      Win -Win, as they used to sa,y for Police and Banks

  10. Humphrey 10

    Far from it for me to contribute but why don’t you all take a class action against Slater for falsely accusing you all in this?

    He’s written on his blog before that Chris Trotter told him there was a meeting where you all wished him to commit suicide from this. If this is defamation on Slater’s part that lead to a police inquiry then surely it is actionable against him as well?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      Cameron Slater’s paranoid fantasies recidivist lies can’t possibly harm anyone’s reputation, because he’s from the gutter where the National Party lives.

      Like being accused of something by Jordan “Section 128(A)7 of the Crimes Act” Williams: the accuser has insufficient character and credibility.

    • Anne 10.2

      Chris Trotter told him there was a meeting where you all wished him to commit suicide from this.

      I never go there so… are you implying that he said all TS posters and commenters got together and had a meeting about him? That’s the funniest conspiracy theory I’ve heard in a long time. He must be stark raving bonkers. Well, we know he is.

      • patricia bremner 10.2.1

        Poor Martyn, when you are sick sometimes stupid ideas seem possible.
        As for Trotter passing that garbage on!! What the Hell was he playing at??

        Martyn, you write thought provoking items and articles, and I am a financial supporter and will remain so.

        Others might like to do at least the basic payment, so Martyn is in a position to go after these sods.

        Thank you for the work you have put in so far. Keep well Martyn.

        • Anne 10.2.1.1

          As for Trotter passing that garbage on!! What the Hell was he playing at??

          Nope. That was almost certainly Slater making the story up. Sorry for the ambiguity. I was talking about Slater not Trotter @ 10.2

        • Ian 10.2.1.2

          Bomber is a living example of the breakdown in mental health services in New zealand.I hope he is now getting the help that he so obviously has needed for a very long time.

          • Anne 10.2.1.2.1

            You are an ill informed, stupid ignoramus and I wish you would seek help with your lack of cognitive and empathetic abilities. We can’t all be intelligent but how about night classes to improve what little grey matter you have. Oh hell I forgot… Paula Bennett closed them all down. No help for you.

    • lprent 10.3

      He’s written on his blog before that Chris Trotter told him there was a meeting where you all wished him to commit suicide from this.

      The problem is that I’ve never seen this post, nor who was (falsely) accused. I have had reports that the Cameron Slater had accused me about this, but have never seen any details.

      I did try to look it up once, but I suspect that like so much of the Whaleoil site, it has been cowardly removed to avoid litigation.

      Basically Cameron Slater is just a deluded incompetent clown who seems to spend his live developing conspiracy theories about how people are out to get him. Which they are after the loudmouth idiot attacks them without provocation, and often for pay from even bigger arseholes.

      Sure after having 9 years of various attacks by the fool, I will go out of my way to make sure that he is held fully accountable for any crimes or incursions and defamation against other people he commits. It doesn’t mean that I ‘conspire’ to cause him to suicide.

      It just means that I have no patience with self-absorbed moron who has tried to attack my employers, run trolling campaigns against the website I’m operating, tried to hire people to hack my computers, and appeared in court to give completely irrelevant evidence in a private prosecution against me by one of his mates. I simply don’t like him and see no particular reason to help him in any way, including by standing aside.

      Personally I rather suspect that either this ‘meeting’ or that he was told about it by Trotter is just pure fantasy by the monumentally deluded and kind of pathetic Cameron Slater.

  11. Delia 11

    This is awful and it is always people perceived as on the left who are subjected to these trawling operations.

  12. Pete 12

    It’s a major scandal? No, it’s not.

    It would be a major scandal, if Labour were in power and it were some well-heeled businessman from Epsom having been treated illegally. If that were the case, David (I need all the publicity I can get) Seymour would be going mental about it and would be in all the headlines.

    Have we heard from him about the crooked agents of the state? Have we heard from the Taxpayers’ Union wanting to know their money has been well spent?

  13. mosa 13

    I fear that Martyn Bradbury has suffered more than we will ever know and not just because of this action but from his quest to try and bring light to some of the most appalling acts committed by this government and its cronies.

    I sometimes wonder if i recognise this country anymore.

    I hope he is awarded damages from this and the Police and their behaviour leave a lot to be desired putting it mildly.

    This has to be an election issue.

  14. SMILIN 14

    3 cheers Bomber so glad that you arent going to be the next round of abuse by right wing thugs over an election
    Now Keys got his kthd I suppose the illegal surveillance is slowly subsiding and the stress required to protect Key and his value for the worlds ruling elite is not important anymore with the truth of shillary and the nobel peace fraudster out of power
    Pity Key isnt nabbed for what he tried to do to Nicky
    Anyway hows our mate Rawshark …just kidding and fuck Key for the millionth time
    Best of luck and I know brain damage is hell Im another one

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  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
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  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
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  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
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  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
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