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“Democracy Under Attack”.

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, September 7th, 2014 - 89 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, brand key, corruption, democracy under attack, john key, Media, national, newspapers, political education, Politics - Tags:

Years ago, when you applied for a marine radio operators licence, you had to sign a statement that you would maintain “secrecy of correspondence”.

“Secrecy of correspondence” was the legal principle that, “Under no circumstances would you divulge the contents of any radio message to a third party”.

In other words privacy of communication was sacrosanct. All radio operators hearing a message, including Government radio operators , were only allowed to divulge the existence or the contents of a radio message to “the proper recipient”.

I am sure this was often honoured in the breach by intelligence agencies. But the principle that an individuals right to privacy overrode any other interests for any reason, was there.

Similarly it has been a legal principle, in most “democratic” States, that phone calls can only be intercepted on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

Usually by a judicial or court order. Police are not allowed to listen to private phone calls at random.

Why then! Are we allowing the State, and even worse, private ISP companies and copyright holders to breach a our privacy in case “we” are breaking the law. At the same time they are taking injunctions to prevent their own subversion of open discourse to become public..

Sure they have all sort of laudable reasons. Protecting copyright holders, attempting to limit paedophilia and catching organised criminals. But anyone, who wants to intercept other forms of communication to prevent these crimes, has to see a judge.

Of course reasonable people support intercepting paedophiles and terrorists on the internet. Who wouldn’t.

However, those people can easily find ways and means to bypass internet scrutiny.

While the rest of us have our rights to privacy and free and open communication with our friends trampled on.

Once a Government starts internet scrutiny do you think they will stop with intercepting illegal traffic. How long before they intercept Wikileaks, The New Zealand Socialist Party. The Labour party!  Anything which embarrasses them!

How long before the SIS and police start making lists. Of people who are not comfortable with the present Government.

How long before “they” use control of the internet and media to bury adverse information, subvert democracy and vilify and silence those who disagree.

 

“They” have done it before.

And as Nicky Hager has shown, “they” are doing it, NOW!

A Government no longer has legitimacy, when they regard their own citizens as the enemy.

89 comments on ““Democracy Under Attack”.”

  1. But conspiracies? No Never! They would never do that!

  2. Sable 3

    This government are representatives of a third party (the USA and its cronies) not the people of this country. They are betrayers along with the MSM trash…

    Interesting if you search for this site it keep moving further and further down the hit list. I had a hard time finding it today for the first time. Just as well I bookmarked.

  3. crocodill 4

    There are real concerns, as far as technology is concerned, but I would also argue that before 1995 people simply picked up the phone or talked to each other during smoko or whatever. It would be a stretch to say that all the historic workers movements/union moments in NZ history wouldn’t have happened if the internet hadn’t been around. My tendency would be to stretch it out the other way and say that, 1) the internet is almost entirely full of the proverbial excrement and 2) if the internet disappeared it would revitalise local “Real” community contact and 3) Labour (specifically) would have greater “worker’s support” roots and legitimacy. As any mid-level intelligence officer will tell you, it’s quite time-consuming to locate an “off-grid” organisation in the technological age. Putting it all online just makes it easier for “the enemy” to find you.

  4. weka 5

    Why then! Are we allowing the State, and even worse, private ISP companies and copyright holders to breach a our privacy in case “we” are breaking the law.

    Can you please give some examples so we know what you are talking about?

    Sure they have all sort of laudable reasons. Protecting copyright holders, attempting to limit paedophilia and catching organised criminals. But anyone, who wants to intercept other forms of communication to prevent these crimes, has to see a judge.

    Of course reasonable people support intercepting paedophiles and terrorists on the internet. Who wouldn’t.

    However, those people can easily find ways and means to bypass internet scrutiny.

    Not sure what your argument is there. Do you mean that because some criminals will find x, y, z ways to commit crimes, we shouldn’t use a, b, c ways?

    • KJT 5.1

      Weka.
      Terrorism and paedophiles are excuses used to justify mass surveillance.
      As is the record and movie companies moves to protect their archaic and exploitative business models.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6625136/Search-and-Surveillance-Bill-passes
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Communications_Security_Bureau
      “It contradicted GCSB head Ian Fletcher’s comments that the bureau had not unlawfully spied on anyone other than Dotcom showing that the GCSB may have unlawfully spied on up to 85 people between April 2003 and September 2012”.

      Poetic justice, when those who think mass surveillance of the rest of us is fine, are caught out by their own private emails. “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear”, Eh!

      Then there is internet censorship. Like Twitter removing “Rawshark”.

      Abuse of power, such as the right wing campaign against School principals opposed to National Standards.

      Bloggers affiliated to rabid right wing parties outing and threats.

      Smear campaigns like the one against Len Brown. What consenting adults do in private is their own business, not the media’s.

      When the party in power retain power subverting the process by using underhanded means, then they are no longer a legitimate Government..

      • weka 5.1.1

        “Then there is internet censorship. Like Twitter removing “Rawshark”.”

        Calling major bullshit on that one. Rawshark broke Twitter’s rules, rules which he would have been well aware of. How is that any different that someone breaking the rules here on ts and getting a ban?

        Don’t get me wrong, I completely support Rawshark circumnavigating that by opening another account. But if you are suggesting that Twitter shouldn’t have any rules, then you are basically saying that the internet can govern itself and hence we have fuckwits like Slater. Myself, I don’t have a high enough level of skill and knowledge to protect myself (not least, I might add, because of geekdom’s inability to share with the wider population), so I am ok with websites having rules.

        I still don’t understand what your post is about. The link you give is 2 1/2 years old and is about general surveillance legislation, not the internet. So I will ask again, can you please give some examples of what you mean by this,

        Why then! Are we allowing the State, and even worse, private ISP companies and copyright holders to breach a our privacy in case “we” are breaking the law.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Calling major bullshit on that one. Rawshark broke Twitter’s rules, rules which he would have been well aware of. How is that any different that someone breaking the rules here on ts and getting a ban?

          Corporate service to profitability and the interests of the power elite is a pretty obvious difference.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            So hypothetically, let’s say Twitter was non-profit, and not serving the power elites, how should Twitter manage its rules to allow Rawshark to do what he did, but not allow others to break the rules?

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              No such situation exists; any large scale social media service which is seen as direct competition is either bought out or crushed. Ask Kim Dotcom.

              • weka

                you know what hypothetical means right?

                • Colonial Viper

                  I’ll frame my answer this way. US journalists and news channels get given classified information to report on from the Pentagon and White House all the time. “A highly placed source in the Pentagon who refused to be named said…” etc. This information is of course selected to support and reinforce the chosen narrative of the power elite. Everyone in every step of the chain handling and disseminating this classified information is breaking the law. But nothing ever happens to any of these people. No investigations carried out, no charges filed.

                  But, you release classified information on US forces torturing and killing innocent people, suddenly you are Enemy no 1 and they put you in prison for 28 years.

                  • weka

                    Yes. I’m just not sure what that has to do with what I’ve been talking about in this thread.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It means that these corporates have and will always enforce their rules extraordinarily selectively to favour those acting on ‘their side’.

                      In real life USA it means if you’re Black and you steal a pack of cigarettes you might get shot to death by police; if you’re white and wealthy and steal $2000 worth of clothes from a high end store, you might get a suspended sentence and a warning.

                    • weka

                      Yes, I understand that too, but it’s not what I was talking about.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Can you please give some examples so we know what you are talking about?

      Everything you do on the net is recorded by the ISP. These records will go back months and, in some cases, years. Found that out when I was working on an ISP’s helpdesk.

      Do you mean that because some criminals will find x, y, z ways to commit crimes, we shouldn’t use a, b, c ways?

      It won’t be *some* that will get around the surveillance, it will be *most* and it will be the really serious crimes. Mass surveillance of what people do on the internet will not stop them and it won’t catch them either.

      • weka 5.2.1

        “Everything you do on the net is recorded by the ISP”

        I think you need to restate that. AFAIK they don’t record content of online banking transactions for instance. I’m not being picky here, I think it’s important to be as clear as possible about what we actually mean.

        “It won’t be *some* that will get around the surveillance, it will be *most* and it will be the really serious crimes.”

        Do you have any evidence that that is true?

        Recently I saw a number of geeks make statements online about how anyone could have accessed the Labour party website when it was open. I think this is simply not true*. What they mean is that anyone with their level of skill could.

        *I could be wrong, because the other overriding feature of that whole saga is that I have yet to see a coherent explanation in lay terms of what was wrong with the website and how it was accessed and that any 3 geeks can agree on.

        I’ve seen this argument for years – you can’t control the internet therefore attemps at censorship will fail to have an impact on paedophilia. If that is true, then someone should be able to explain to me in terms that I can understand. All I ever see are generic statements that support internet freedom.

        • Rich 5.2.1.1

          I would think that online banking transactions are recorded not just by the banks (and where do they sit on this issue?) but by the N at S ec A ge who are rumoured to have broken most, if not all, encryption standards. Now that might be big brother just playing the ‘behave yourself or god will find out’ card but it’s more likely to be true.

          • weka 5.2.1.1.1

            Of course they’re recorded by the banks. Sorry but I don’t understand why you would say that.

            What is N at S ec A ge?

            • Rich 5.2.1.1.1.1

              The NSA I was just trying to make it less obvious so that it didn’t make it easy for their key word searches. Their algorithms probably search on all the alternates now though so not much point really.

              And the banks will share their information with the NSA, of that I have no doubt. But they’ve possibly broken the encryption anyway just in case there’s a bank somewhere that does not co-operate.

              • weka

                RIght, so the NSA is harvesting everything with the idea that it can be read alter. But Draco said the ISP is recording everything, and that’s what I’m still not clear about. Is vodafone copying this as I type? Did they keep a copy of my online banking earlier even if they can’t read it? My emails?

                • Rich

                  Vodafone is allegedly one of the companies that has a direct pipe into five eyes. So the answer is probably yes.

                  But companies in the corporate world have been harvesting stuff as well. On an iPhone or android whenever you download a new app you agree to its terms and conditions. Often that has meant that the new game your 12yo downloaded last night now has a copy of your address book and maybe all of your text messages as well etc etc. A few years ago one of the Australian right wing moguls (I can’t remember who) was trying to get all this data together in one place in Arizona to bring together information from government, banks, your gym and library etc etc. The HMRC (the UK IRD) has just started to suggest that it is going to sell its data on its ‘customers’.

                  It’s out of control. Iceland afaik is the only country that offers any consumer/citizen protection whatsoever. Reading their recently enacted legislation and their parliamentary debates is like going back 40 years in any of our supposed democracies.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2

          AFAIK they don’t record content of online banking transactions for instance.

          They won’t record what happened on the site but they will record that you went *to* the site.

          Do you have any evidence that that is true?

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1366490/Paedophiles-bypassing-blocks-placed-child-abuse-websites-warns-Internet-watchdog.html

          I think this is simply not true*. What they mean is that anyone with their level of skill could.

          Although skill would help any sort of experience with inputting URLs directly into the address bar was all that was needed.

          I’ve seen this argument for years – you can’t control the internet therefore attemps at censorship will fail to have an impact on paedophilia. If that is true, then someone should be able to explain to me in terms that I can understand. All I ever see are generic statements that support internet freedom.</blockquote
          There's two points:

          1. You need to know the IP address to access the site. IP addresses can be, and often are, temporary
          2. Encryption. There's two parts to this point. The first is that you would need to have a password to access the site and if that password is only passed by word of mouth then the chances are that that password is not known by the authorities and if it is then they don't need the mass surveillance. The second part is that the data is transmitted in encrypted format that can't be broken making mass surveillance useless because it can't read the data to recognise it.

          All this makes mass surveillance to detect crimes rather useless. Politicians would know this because they'd have bright people telling them and so they're doing the mass surveillance for other purposes.

          • weka 5.2.1.2.1

            “They won’t record what happened on the site but they will record that you went *to* the site.”

            Yes. Which is a different thing than them recording everything I do on the internet. These are important distinctions.

            “0/Paedophiles-bypassing-blocks-placed-child-abuse-websites-warns-Internet-watchdog.html”

            That article talks about how some people bypass attempts to block child porn online. I’m not disputing that. I’m asking for evidence that such attempts to control access don’t lower access to the whole population.

            “Although skill would help any sort of experience with inputting URLs directly into the address bar was all that was needed.”

            Not sure if you are talking about the Labour party website or child pornography sites, but if it’s the former, I’ll just say again that I’ve yet to see a coherent explanation of what actually happened. So the idea that anyone could have accessed it is actuall wrong.

            “1. You need to know the IP address to access the site. IP addresses can be, and often are, temporary
            2. Encryption. There’s two parts to this point. The first is that you would need to have a password to access the site and if that password is only passed by word of mouth then the chances are that that password is not known by the authorities and if it is then they don’t need the mass surveillance. The second part is that the data is transmitted in encrypted format that can’t be broken making mass surveillance useless because it can’t read the data to recognise it.”

            Right, so isn’t this saying that you need to be in the loop in order to access? ie blocking open access online is working.

            “All this makes mass surveillance to detect crimes rather useless.”

            Which would be relevant if I was advocating mass surveillance, but I’m not.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2.1.1

              I’m asking for evidence that such attempts to control access don’t lower access to the whole population.

              And I’m pretty sure that amounts to shifting the goal posts. You asked for evidence that the mass surveillance of the internet doesn’t doesn’t work. I provided that.

              Right, so isn’t this saying that you need to be in the loop in order to access? ie blocking open access online is working.

              Yes to the first, no to the latter as you have to be in the loop to get access in the first place.

              Which would be relevant if I was advocating mass surveillance, but I’m not.

              Actually, you are. That, basically, is what the whole post was against and yet you’ve been here saying that it’s all good.

      • joe90 5.2.2

        Everything you do on the net is recorded by the ISP.

        Most probably everything you do on the net is harvested and able to be retrieved at a later date.

        The U.S. government had a problem: Spying in the digital age required access to the fiber-optic cables traversing the world’s oceans, carrying torrents of data at the speed of light. And one of the biggest operators of those cables was being sold to an Asian firm, potentially complicating American surveillance efforts.

        Enter “Team Telecom.”

        In months of private talks, the team of lawyers from the FBI and the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security demanded that the company maintain what amounted to an internal corporate cell of American citizens with government clearances. Among their jobs, documents show, was ensuring that surveillance requests got fulfilled quickly and confidentially.

        This “Network Security Agreement,” signed in September 2003 by Global Crossing, became a model for other deals over the past decade as foreign investors increasingly acquired pieces of the world’s telecommunications infrastructure.

        The publicly available agreements offer a window into efforts by U.S. officials to safeguard their ability to conduct surveillance through the fiber-optic networks that carry a huge majority of the world’s voice and Internet traffic.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/agreements-with-private-companies-protect-us-access-to-cables-data-for-surveillance/2013/07/06/aa5d017a-df77-11e2-b2d4-ea6d8f477a01_story.html

        • weka 5.2.2.1

          do you mean content or metadata or both?

          • Rich 5.2.2.1.1

            They’re allegedly taking everything. So if they can’t decrypt some of it now, with better technology in 10 or 20 years they probably will be able to.

          • joe90 5.2.2.1.2

            In time, the lot.

            Exactly how much data the NSA will be able to store there is classified. Engineers on the project believe the capacity is bigger than Google’s largest data center. Estimates are in a range difficult to imagine but outside experts believe it will keep exabytes or zettabytes of data. An exabyte is roughly 100,000 times the size of the printed material in the Library of Congress; a zettabyte is 1,000 times larger.

            But without a reliable electrical system to run computers and keep them cool, the NSA’s global surveillance data systems can’t function. The NSA chose Bluffdale, Utah, to house the data center largely because of the abundance of cheap electricity. It continuously uses 65 megawatts, which could power a small city of at least 20,000, at a cost of more than $1 million a month, according to project officials and documents.

            Utah is the largest of several new NSA data centers, including a nearly $900 million facility at its Fort Meade, Md., headquarters and a smaller one in San Antonio. The first of four data facilities at the Utah center was originally scheduled to open in October 2012, according to project documents.

            In the wake of the Snowden leaks, the NSA has been criticized for its expansive domestic operations. Through court orders, the NSA collects the phone records of nearly all Americans and has built a system with telecommunications companies that provides coverage of roughly 75% of Internet communications in the U.S.

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441404579119490744478398

            The link is pay walled so a google referral through <a href=https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Meltdowns+Hobble+NSA+Data+Center+Investigators+Stumped+by+What%27s+Causing+Power+Surges+That+Destroy+Equipment&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=rcs&gfe_rd=cr&ei=VhUMVNa-I8qN8Qfar4GwCQ<the first link here.

  5. kenny 6

    Do you trust John Key?

    I don’t.

    Do you trust National?

    I don’t.

  6. tricledrown 7

    5 eyes is already here the GSCB and SIS is in with Echelelon which is deliberately undermining the left wing only !
    Thats why Key is trying to hold onto power at all costs!
    Andy Coulson was David Cameron’s go to Dirty Trickster!
    Jason Ede Keys Fall guy’

  7. small thing 8

    Democracy and the mechanics of the net
    Most would not be aware that computers made since 2008 all are capable of being accessed thru their motherboards without the owerners/users knowledge by the security agencies of the five eyes net work and probably others outside that
    dont shoot the messenger
    Key is a master of disinformation hes been at it since the 1987 financial crash
    Most of his term in office has been a process of burying Democratic process in this countries governance
    As dotcom stated a while ago we have a 10 lane information highway this govt allows the use of one lane
    Key is a weird bred of conservative possibly Fascist when it comes to information.His vision should be given a new name
    “Thru the Keyhole about as broad as it gets.”

    • yeshe 8.1

      can we fix our motherboards ?

      • Brigid 8.1.1

        It’s got nothing to do with your mother board. If anything it’s the modem you bought from your ISP with purpose built softwear on it. sheeeshhhhh!!! Go on google and find out how data gets to your machine from your ISP ffs

        • yeshe 8.1.1.1

          bit hot under the collar there ? I was asking because of what was written above re access via our motherboards.

          sheeeeshhh yourself. take some deep breaths and chill ffs.

          • Rich 8.1.1.1.1

            The modem is possibly made in China by Huawai. The motherboard is also made in China but the company will be American. That’s the reason for the rant I’d say.

            Anyway time out for me.

    • Tracey 8.3

      Plus 1

  8. Rich 9

    I’m thinking the same. I think the National Party hierarchy has opted out of the democratic process. National party minions should consider this seriously and try and make the right decision in their own interests based on what this means, and not on the propaganda directed their way.

  9. disturbed 10

    JK Prime Minister can go to his laptop any time, any day and look up anyone and see what they are doing in their activities, communications, what they do say or think, so the power has gone to a man we cannot trust.

    So much over riding power in the hands of one person with no controls, so now you can see why he looks smug and called teflon John.

    We already have a dictatorship folks.

    How do we rid a dictator?

    The thought is chilling. How did they get rid of the others who pop up every now and then?

    • David H 10.1

      “How do we rid a dictator?”

      They usually ended up having a last walk on a chilly dawn, with 12 ‘good and true’ Men loaded with live. Now it seems we are civilised, and we can’t get rid of them at all. they just come back as Media Consultants.

      • KJT 10.1.1

        I am morally opposed to the death penalty, even for arrogant and thieving politicians.

        However “personal responsibility” should apply to those who, from the Douglas era, are responsible for over 250 thousand children in unnecessary poverty and the drop in New Zealanders living standards, in relation to similar countries.
        The massive loss of our wealth to finance companies and offshore owners.
        And those who are subverting the election process with falsehoods, propaganda and obfuscation.

        Gaol terms, and loss of personal property gained from their theft of New Zealand, are appropriate.

        But! We know that the parties of “individual responsibility” never take responsibility for anything……….

        We once had National party politicians who were there for the benefit of New Zealanders. Even if I disagreed with them, at least they had vision and principles.
        Now it is more a retirement scheme. Spend a stint in Parliament giving away assets and wealth to their funders, in return for lucrative directorships and shareholdings with the same people afterwards.

        • Tracey 10.1.1.1

          I wonder what percentage of his total tax over the years Key paid to the nz govt

          • KJT 10.1.1.1.1

            About the same percentage as Hotchin, Glenn, Fay, etc, I suspect?

            • Tracey 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Me too. So this “ordinary bloke” has probably not contributed to our nation financially for a decade or two but gets paid by the taxper since 2002, so he is kind of a long term beneficiary

  10. Halcyon 11

    Unfortunately the 9/11 attack ended our innocence. If the USA had better better surveillance then lives could have been saved. I am more than happy for the government to monitor my telephone and e-mail communications. I have no difficulty with copyright holders checking out my downloads to ensure I do not infringe.

    Only those with something to hide favour secrecy.

      • Halcyon 11.1.1

        A very emotive article and based on fiction more than imperial evidence. The Government (whether Labour, National, or Internet-Mana at some time in the future ) already know how much I earn, where I live, how much I spend and my current health status. I often inform my local MP just what I think of him and his government That which I wish to keep private I do not place on the internet.

        • Rich 11.1.1.1

          Yes but your doctor can, your facebook friends can, someone who doesn’t like you can etc etc

          The system is broken, not the citizen.

          • Halcyon 11.1.1.1.1

            And that is why I do not use Facebook. Anything placed on Facebook is like releasing it in the Public Domain. And my doctor only knows what I share with him on a “needs to know” basis.

            There is nothing wrong with the system. People have forgotten how to take responsibility for themselves. We focus too much on “rights” and we ignore “responsibilities”.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Only those with something to hide favour secrecy.

              Fuck you, you submissive, obsequious to authority apparatchik prick.

              Why should those 0.1% in power have the privilege of keeping all their affairs, activities, schemes, networks, financials, medicals and personal plans secret, while you shill on their behalf to make the rest of us 99.9% kowtow to them and ensure that they know every single thing about our personal lives, intimate relationships and inner thoughts.

              • Halcyon

                Like I said originally, only those with something to hide fear the light. What are you so scared of?

                • McFlock

                  Well, I’m scared of illegal surveillance by the intelliegence services being used to justify a reckless raid by armed police, including pointing weapons at a pregnant woman and obese man without even bothering to have an ambulance on standby.

                  I’m scared that information I believe to be innocent might be used to draw false assumptions about me, which might then impact my life and ability to work – look at the thousands of people accidentally on no-fly lists, for example.

                  I’m scared that a culture of routine search and seizure becomes part of a social norm to the point that “no officer, I forgot to carry my identity card today” becomes grounds for arrest.

                  That shit scres me much more than a couple of dozen idiots with shitty little bangbangs, because a malevolent government will always be more dangerous than a malevolent individual.

                  The fact you don’t care about that shit is also pretty worrying.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Like I said originally, only those with something to hide fear the light. What are you so scared of?

                  Hey you little obsequious apparatchik. Answer the fucking question you submissive apologist creep.

                  Why do you support the 0.1% power elite knowing everything about us, our personal lives, our plans, our family affairs, while you also fucking support them hiding EVERYTHING about their interests, relationships, financial dealings, crony schemes from US?

                  What is it that THEY are hiding?

            • millsy 11.1.1.1.1.2

              I suppose you think Rosa Parks should have gone to the back of the bus then.

        • McFlock 11.1.1.2

          A very emotive article and based on fiction more than imperial evidence

          Darth Vader has suppressed the Imperial evidence.

        • North 11.1.1.3

          Freudian slip there Halcyon @ 11.1.1 – the “imperial” evidence you refer to. Do not challenge the viceroy what ?

    • joe90 11.2

      If the USA had better better surveillance then lives could have been saved.

      The US had more than enough surveillance. They ignored it.

      President Bush was told more than a month before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that supporters of Osama bin Laden planned an attack within the United States with explosives and wanted to hijack airplanes, a government official said Friday.

      The warning came in a secret briefing that Mr. Bush received at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, 2001. A report by a joint Congressional committee last year alluded to a ”closely held intelligence report” that month about the threat of an attack by Al Qaeda, and the official confirmed an account by The Associated Press on Friday saying that the report was in fact part of the president’s briefing in Crawford.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/10/us/august-01-brief-is-said-to-warn-of-attack-plans.html

      • Halcyon 11.2.1

        That is unfortunately true. Bad decision making at the top. Bush believed that the good ol’ US of A was invincible.

        • lprent 11.2.1.1

          That doesn’t tie in with your other comment. I can’t see any evidence in your example about the CGT of your daughter and son-in-law taking the responsibility for running a property investment business – which includes the responsibility of accounting for it in accordance with the current law.

          As far as I can see you want them to have the right to take windfall capital gains profits from investment without having the responsibility of being taxed on those profits.

          • Halcyon 11.2.1.1.1

            I don’t follow your argument Iprent. If you work for a boss you expect a return on your effort. If you employ a painter to paint your house then you expect to pay the painter’s wages. Surely the same philosophy follows. If you work improving your asset surely you should expect to at least cover your expenses.

            • McFlock 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Just to be completely explicit:

              Calculating the Gain
              The tax will be applied to net capital gains. The CGT is a net tax. It is calculated on the net gain, which is the gross gain after the costs associated with buying and selling the asset are deducted. Such costs include: stockbrokers’ fees, legal fees, valuation fees, advertising costs to find a buyer or costs associated with improving the value of the asset

              [my italics]

              So your example of a couple buying a house and doing it up means the CGT will be calculated on purchase price plus renovation costs. Your opposition is groundless.

              • Halcyon

                Thank you for your clarification of the matter McFlock. It was one point that was causing concern. I certainly have no problem with the notion of taxing the increased value of an asset. After all, those who work for their money pay taxes.

                • McFlock

                  it was easy enough to look up.

                  I perplexes me that so many people who are concerned about any particular policy area or outline will gripe about possible pitfalls without bothering to actually read the policy. There’s more than a few who do it, too, from all sides of the spectrum.

                  • greywarbler

                    @ McFlock 11.21
                    Thanks also McFlock. It may be thought easy to look up basic information such as policy wording and meaning, but finding the right place for oneself, and then the relevant clause is not always a cinch.

            • lprent 11.2.1.1.1.2

              Yes in exactly the same way as the other two. You pay taxes on your profits.

              And if it is a family home then you don’t.

              You appear to be saying that your daughter and son-in-law are entitled to be different from the workers because they own a investment property.

              • Halcyon

                No Iprent, I am saying that if my daughter and partner add value to their home then that added value, including a reasonable amount to cover the cost of labour, should be added to the price of the family home. It is their family home and they live in it while caring out the improvements.

                • KJT

                  And then, like all the rest of us, they should pay tax on their price of labour and any unearned income due to appreciation over that.

                  I can see the political reasons for exempting the “family home” but it makes a CGT too difficult.
                  There are better ways of avoiding an unreasonable charge on families, at the lower end without distorting the basis of the tax.

                  Why should someone whose home in Auckland has appreciated $300 per week, not be taxed on that when they sell it.
                  The rest of us in the provinces are already taxed with higher interest rates, which go into bank profits, taking much needed equity out of the country, because of Auckland price rises.

                • lprent

                  Well if it is their family home, then guess what? It isn’t subject to Labour’s capital gains tax.

                  Don’t you ever read what is written about policies before you start getting ‘concerned‘ about them? Or does that violate your inalienable right to be a gormless moran?

                  Note that I asked you that question (if it was a family home?) on the *first* comment I left in reply, and almost every one since I have pointed out that there is a difference between a family home and an investment property. I guess that you were either too thick to pick up on these unsubtle hints or you have been deliberately wasting my time.

      • greywarbler 11.2.2

        The Bush family may have had major influence on the willingness of the USA authorities to upset the oilcart by taking steps that would inconvenience friends.

        There seems a large amount of historical evidence about the Bush family and the bin Ladens dealing in concert.

        While serving as governor of Texas, George W. Bush met with high-level Al Qaeda leaders, hoping to get support to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. Four months into his presidency, he rewarded the Taliban by handing over $43 million in May 2001, only four months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks….

        And incredibly, George Bush Sr. was in a business meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington on the morning of September 11th with one of Osama bin Laden’s brothers….

        All airlines in the United States were grounded for two days after 9/11. Yet, on September 13, 2001, the White House authorized six Saudi jets to fly bin Laden family members from America to Saudi Arabia.
        http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_911_35d.htm

        http://www.salon.com/2004/03/11/unger_1/
        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-tangled-web-of-us-saudi-ties/
        http://www.hermes-press.com/BushSaud.htm

        • greywarbler 11.2.2.1

          Further to my comment on the possibility that the President of the USA having personal deep financial relationships with an influential people of another country that were to be protected and not upset could mean that there was reluctance to act on reports of dangers involving Saudi Arabian citizens, or businesses.

          I was thinking that a small country with a leader with close ties with a large country where the leader had lived and made a useful fortune, might feel more allied to that country rather than his own little burg. If it could happen with the President of the USA, it could be paralleled in NZ.

    • Murray Olsen 11.3

      Bullshit. If the intelligence agencies of the US and A had talked to each other, 11/9 may have been prevented. It doesn’t matter how much information agencies have if they don’t use it effectively.

      But thanks for accepting that Key, Collins, and Slug Boy have things to hide.

  11. Poission 12

    Who would want to have a trade agreement with the US?

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/05/us-governments-plans-use-economic-espionage-benefit-american-corporations/

    There is also the take home point,if they deny it it is probably true

  12. Crunchtime 13

    Recently the Vinny Eastwood show’s Youtube channel was shut down and the account suspended.

    There is no question in my mind that this was done due to politically motivated takedown notices.

    This was the video that was posted just before it was posted. Watch/listen and decide for yourself…

    http://www.thevinnyeastwoodshow.com/vinny-mr-news-eastwoods-blog/john-keys-real-past-exposed-must-see-please-share-6mins

    This isn’t the only example recently of takedown requests and other forms of politically motivated censorship.

    Have you seen Planet Key by Darren Watson? Video by Jeremy Jones.

    The Electoral office has clearly overstepped its bounds in declaring the song and video a “political advertisement” and thereby effectively preventing its airplay anywhere, preventing its distribution, preventing Darren from selling it on iTunes (it hit #5 top selling single before Darren was forced to take it down).

    These are two examples, there are more.

    Our freedom of speech and our democracy is under attack right now, and has been for some time.

    • joe90 13.1

      Yeah, Jewish banker schtick, that’ll work. Fucking morans.

      • Crunchtime 13.1.1

        What does “Jewish banker schtick” got to do with this??

        Simple facts: NZ Government debt is at record highs, and Key looks very likely to be profiting directly from that debt.

        Key was working for a corporation that is widely regarded as part of what caused the global financial crisis in 2008, then entered parliament.

        It paints an ugly picture of a profiteer, borderline criminal and sociopath. Not “Jewish banker”.

        • joe90 13.1.1.1

          And that may be CT but given the all too often inferences in content from both eastwood and the Raglan loon who routinely posts on TS the image used in the video most certainly isn’t incidental.

          • Crunchtime 13.1.1.1.1

            Convenient distraction from the facts given rapid-fire in Eastwood’s 6-minute video, in which no mention or reference was made to Key’s ethnicity.

            It’s entirely about who he is and what he’s done, not who his ancestors are.

  13. KJT 14

    Note to Pete George.

    I have had nothing to do with Labour since I resigned my membership in 1986.

    Since my job was threatened by one of the then ACT infiltrators in Labour. One who is still there, by the way. The reason why I do not post under my own name. I was shocked that so much effort would be expended to silence a voice that had as little power as I did. It was my staunchly Republican gun nut US boss who saved my job. “I think you are talking a load of crap, but no-one should be sacked for a political view”. I have had a soft spot for genuinely principled right wingers, ever since.

    All the negativity is simply accurate descriptions of how truly entitled, greedy and awful National’s senior figures have been exposed to be. how anyone who claims to have a conscience or any regard for Democracy thinks they still deserve support is beyound me.

    Too many Authoritarian followers like Pete George, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Altemeyer, Who ignore reality because it would interfere with their comfortable world view.

    Lately I support the Greens, in removing the ongoing disaster that is National’s destruction of New Zealand.

    I would post on “yournz” but we cannot trust the right wing not to breach our privacy.

    • Halcyon 14.1

      I agree with your comments KJT. My only fear is that the Labour/Green government will move legislation to protect Dotcom from extradition should the judiciary find he has a case to answer in America. By so doing the Government will undermine our whole justice system.

      • KJT 14.1.1

        I doubt if our justice system will extradite for a supposed crime that is a civil, not a criminal, offence in New Zealand.

  14. Halcyon 15

    I would suggest that our own law prohibits the breach of copyright. I know that schools pay a fee every year that allows them to copy up to 10% of any book. Therefore I would suggest that breaching copyright as Schmitt has been accused of is a criminal offence.

    • McFlock 15.1

      1: What’s the dude’s legal name?
      2: You would suggest, would you? I would suggest that it is no more a “criminal” offence than libel, or patent infringment. Civil law, not criminal.

    • KJT 15.2

      Except that Dotcom did not do anything more in this case than provide a repository for peoples files. Just like Microsoft, Google, youtube and many other internet and software companies cloud storage. Why are they not being charged?

      He is no more responsible for the content than any other internet provider.

      Copyright holders are simply trying for the easiest target, to support their failed and exploitative business model.

      As more and more of us buy original art, music and books, we like, directly from the people who make them, bypassing expensive and greedy middlemen.

      This case has shown, as much as anything, that too many, so called journalists, and politicians, have no comprehension of how the internet functions.

      • Crunchtime 15.2.1

        …with the exception that megaupload gave cash rewards for the most popular downloads, regardless of the legality of the download. That was the only dumb mistake made on their part, as far as I’m aware.

        All the others indirectly do that to. Have a look at Google ads.

        • Crunchtime 15.2.1.1

          If you’re going to edit my post then at least put some initials to your edit, and spell “too” correctly.

          Also, I believe the difference is with Google ads is that they are advertising, it is indeed “indirect” and within legal channels. It’s a technicality, I know. Fortunes and livelihoods are won and lost on technicalities, unfortunately.

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