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Dirty Politics done in the Netsafe style – part 2

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, March 31st, 2017 - 40 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , ,

A letter from Netsafe asserts that the email from yesterday wasn’t a “notice of complaint” under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015.

You could (and did) fool me. It had all of the provisions of one under section 24(2) listed below.

I’d say that if it waddles and quacks like a duck – then I and any reasonable person would suspect that it is a frigging duck and take steps to reduce the shit problem.

  • It notified me of a complaint under the HDCA just like s24 (2) of the act specifies
  • Had the wording “I’m emailing you on behalf of Netsafe about a complaint we have received” which reads exactly like a notice of a complaint.
  • Gave the same courses of action as s24(2) of the act
  • Gave the same time frame as s24(2) of the act.
  • Came on behalf of the authorised agent who can issue notices of complaint under s25(1) of the act.

If fact, it only lacked the information required under s24(3), the absence of which is what my post complained about.

Quite simply, as the authorised agent of the act, if they didn’t want it to be mistaken as a “notice of complaint”, then they needed to explicitly state that it was or was not a notice of complaint. Since they did not, as anyone with any even minimal legal training would have done, you have to assume the worst case.

Netsafe has also asserted that the email was private and shouldn’t have been published. In which case my question; is where did they request that in their email? For that matter they didn’t request that in their letter yesterday afternoon. In that latter instance, I’m going to be generous and not publish it.

But I consider that evaluating the performance of a tax paid organisation newly charged with assisting people on the net is pretty important in both political and net terms. Exposing the information that they appear to be using their position (even inadvertently) to try to censor information on a political blog site would have to be considered to be in the public interest, and a suitable topic for political debate.

It would be hard to be transparent in a public debate if you don’t publish the source documents. In this case I looked to see if there was anything that needed redacting, and found nothing. So what exactly is the ‘harm’ that Netsafe alleges could come to the unnamed and unknown complainant from releasing the email?

FFS: Netsafe is a statutory body under Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. From memory the budget for getting that all set up in 2016/17 was $16.4 million dollars of taxpayer funds. So far all they have managed to do in this instance for their complainant or for me as a taxpayer and user of the internet so far is to waste both their and my time and resources.

That is because they aren’t dealing directly with either the case or the issues. What they are managing to do is to look like an organisation being used as a political cats paw in an election year. If they do this with the main opposition website, where exactly are they planning to stop interfering with the public discourse so essential to a working democracy?

I’m getting somewhat irritated with them. When exactly are they going to get off their arses and provide the information that we need to make a decision?

If Netsafe doesn’t like having their performance reviewed by the net and political debates, then all I can suggest that they lift their game to the point that they don’t irritate me. For their information, I really only seem to write posts when I am irritated. It causes me to make time for doing them.

40 comments on “Dirty Politics done in the Netsafe style – part 2”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    They seem to have picked pointers from their web pages on ‘fake invoice scams’
    http://www.netsafe.org.nz/fake-invoice-scam/
    ‘The scammer will send an invoice for goods or services you haven’t requested, or for a fake service such as a trade directory. This could be a printed invoice that looks legitimate, or even an email that looks as it’s come from a legitimate business insisting that you’ve ordered the goods or services.

    Often these scammers target the office administration or accounts functions of a business and will attempt to intimidate by threatening legal action. They may also request changes be made to the usual billing arrangements.

    All the signs for the unwary of something it isnt.

    I get the impression its 90% marketing with all its services outsourced and a few bods at an office block at 130 Broadway New market ( from whois)

    Strangely a company at L3, 130 Broadway is Hectors World Ltd who’s 100% shareholder is Netsafe ‘Incorporated’- whatever that means

  2. keepcalmcarryon 2

    ” Hi there
    In event bad public posting on your site “Daily blog” Netsayfe urgently require depost $500 US make benefit Nigeria, safe children”

    thank you
    Netsayfe”

  3. weka 3

    Christ. Ok, so it sounds like they send out a fairly generic letter by email initially on the basis of a complaint in the hope that the website admin will just take down the allegedly offensive piece rather than bother with all the hooha?

    btw, when you say letter do you mean they didn’t sent it by email this time but as hardcopy?

    • lprent 3.1

      …initially on the basis of a complaint in the hope that the website admin will just take down the allegedly offensive piece rather than bother with all the hooha?

      That would be my bet. Of course on this site they will run into my carefully tuned technical (and political) paranoia that treats every unexplained event as being a unexplained and unexpected bug that needs to be fixed.

      It is a very bad tactic to use unexpected and ill-defined event on any system operator (or programmer) because they tend to get irritated and start with massive escalation. I have been known to stop whole countries accessing this site when I get unexplained traffic from widespread botnets for instance.

      Netsafe sent a email with a PDF inside.

  4. ianmac 4

    Such a “complaint” is a bit weird. Especially since it was pretty much old news.

  5. McFlock 5

    So let me get this straight:

    it wasn’t a notice of complaint, it was just a social email telling you about a complaint and asking you to advise them what you’d done about the complaint within 48hrs (same timeframe for response under 24(2) of the HDCA), and suggesting court action if netsafe can’t resolve the dispute, but you’re a moron for thinking it was a “notice of complaint”?

    This gets better and better.

  6. Ad 6

    Impressive that an enforcement agency would write to a powerful political website in election year and expect any privacy at all.

    LPrent if you give us their email address we can let them know our views. 😉

    • McFlock 6.1

      lol that’s a tory dirty trick. Let’s just sit back and watch the spectacle 🙂

    • lprent 6.2

      I think we can avoid the spam. Someone over there has read the last post, so I’d guess that they are probably getting the point.

  7. Skeptic 7

    Hey LPRENT, from the comments above and from what I’ve read about phishing and scamming/spamming, I’d say you’ve been spammed with a trogan or something similar. It might pay you to do a quick back-up them lodge a formal complaint yourself reporting possible computer fraud to Netsafe – but not the one you’ve been spammed from – and the DIA – get their’s direct from their website. This certainly seems more than a bit suspicious that you’ve been contacted out of the blue with no reasonable explanation or “probable cause”. If it is the real netsafe, then you’ve put them on notice that they’ll be investigated and will have to reveal all details – if it isn’t then you’ve helped shut down a particularly nasty piece of work.

    • lprent 7.1

      Nope. This is legitimate (apart from the facebook link).

      I took the precaution of establishing what were the correct email domains for Netsafe last year.

      I back traced and had a discussion with their email server about validation codes before I responded.

  8. keepcalmcarryon 8

    Yeah sorry, was just away sending my credit card details to apple again, they keep losing it and emailing me. Once Crown Prince Fayed pays up the inheritance Ill be able to downlaod some more music. Where was i?
    Oh yeah, The above correspondence from netsafe would have been straight in the bin at my place, Ive never had anything official starting “hi there” and ending on a first name basis. Notwithstanding facebook link to herbal supplements.
    Properly dodgy, wouldnt have looked at it twice, but then we wouldnt all be here talking i suppose!

    • lprent 8.1

      The spam gateways on my mail system are somewhat paranoid. That is because I have been continuously feeding them spam to learn from since 1990. Basically when I get better anti-spam programs, I give them the entire contents of several decades of accumulated spam to chew on.

      So I read everything that gets past it.

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    I’m curious as to whether their claim of privacy would stand up even if stated explicitly.

    Where does a government funded body get off trying to act in secret in a situation like this?

    I find their behaviour to be bullying and offensive. Maybe I’ll send them an abusive communication saying so.

    • Tui 9.1

      +100 OAB!!!

    • Richard@Downsouth 9.2

      According to several sites I viewed (consumer.org.nz, privacy.org.nz and cab.org.nz) it says that The Privacy Act 1993 deals with the collection and disclosure of personal information… seeing as Netsafe is not a person, but an organisation, I doubt that would be covered…

      It seems to me (I may be wrong), that this is most relevant:

      “The Privacy Act controls how ‘agencies’ collect, use, disclose, store and give access to ‘personal information’. ” (privacy.org.nz)

      I suggest someone else may be better informed

      • lprent 9.2.1

        Yep. But that is almost entirely about information collected for one purpose being used for a completely different purpose.

        Even at a narrow possible interpretation of the email request in this case on the post in question, I am dealing with a email directed to the operators of this site and asking to be sent to the author(s) on that post.

        The post in question had at least 50 individuals contributing to it.

        Just in the post itself, there was at least Stephanie, Whaledump2 (tweet), Cameron Slater, Jordan Williams, Helen Kelly (tweet), and Jared Savage / Bernard Orsman / Lincoln Tan (ODT quotation).

        Then there were 82 comments by a lot of people.

        That isn’t exactly a request for a private conversation.

        If you took an even narrower interpretation based on the authors of the specific material mentioned in the post, then I’d have simply forwarded the request to Cameron Slater and Jordan Williams as they wrote the offending material, and possibly whoever redacted the original dump.

    • lprent 9.3

      I’m curious as to whether their claim of privacy would stand up even if stated explicitly.

      Unless covered explicitly by legislation, it won’t if it is legitimately released by one of the parties to it. There are all sorts of provisos to that, but most of them are related to trust relationships eg between employer and employee, doctor and patient, etc. In NZ most of those are defined by legislation.

      None of them apply in this instance. About the only legislation that could cover it is under the privacy act or the HDCA. However they haven’t provided me with information that would trigger those. Probably why they went for the blanket ‘harm’.

      That means that effectively the only Act that would have an impact is the BORA (ie Bill of Rights Act) which would point a path of transparency.

      Where does a government funded body get off trying to act in secret in a situation like this?

      There are some legitimate reasons for Netsafe to apply it. For instance if it was a 15yo trying to get naked pictures of herself off the net.

      However if they did wish to apply for those kinds of cover, then they would have told me what they were. Having been around networks for a very long time on many sides of it, I can tell you that almost every legitimate request framed like that to a sysop will be acted on. However it requires some detail about what and why, because sysops are usually kind of suspicious.

      The only times that I have ever seen issues with that is when legal teams get involved and revert to extreme caution about liabilities.

      That talking about the operations of an organisation might cause ‘harm’ to the complainant is quite insufficient. It looks rather more like the usual 3rd party privacy figleaf used by the political PR idiots to prevent discussion political sensitivities. Like a political journalist, for political bloggers the figleaf defense is absolutely characteristic of something very dirty to hide.

      In this case I suspect just some simple political naivety and that they haven’t read Dirty Politics

  10. HDCAFriendlyTroll 10

    HDCA Act s24(5):

    “An online content host must not disclose any personal information about the complainant or author under privacy principle 11(e)(iv) in section 6 of the Privacy Act 1993, except by order of a District Court Judge or a High Court Judge made on an application under this subsection.”

    • lprent 10.1

      You are on a ban, but I pulled this out of spam to answer.

      The point about the post(s) is that :-

      1. I don’t know who the complainant is. If Netsafe had told me that, then I could have made a decision about what the site would do with the specified material that Netsafe told me was a problem for the unknown complainant. It is really hard to offer up personal information for someone that you don’t know.

      2. I (and for that matter everyone) have written about the participants referenced in specified material. However none of us have given out any personal details except those already in the public domain as specified under privacy principle 11(b) in section 6 of the Privacy Act 1993. Perhaps if you used your brain you could have spent 2 minutes to look that up rather than being a complete lazy dickhead.

      3. I offered opinions about who the complainant might be based on pure logic. But I doubt that you could understand that concept of logic, so we will leave that alone and not humiliate you further.

      4. The personal information being offered up appears to be from Jordan Williams to Cameron Slater. It is in the redacted part of the image, so we aren’t publishing it. It also relates to the nurse in question. Perhaps she should have a go at Jordan Williams for giving it and/or Cameron Slater for holding it so that it got released after rawshark stole it.

      I could go on. But I guess that you are a bit too much of a troll to understand any more subtle points.

  11. A letter from Netsafe asserts that the email from yesterday wasn’t a “notice of complaint” under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015.

    What was it then? Idle chat? Just making conversation? They have to spend the day doing something, I suppose, but this seems an unusually belligerent way of filling in the non-breaks part of the day.

  12. adam 12

    If this was not so annoying, it be really funny. It feels a bit like a scene from the film ‘Brazil’.

    That said, the one thing I’ve noticed over the time of this government, is that they hiring more idiots, and nincompoops in government department these days. And they get superior on you when you question their idiocy, mind you, they are quite slow to get offended, must be somthing to do with their thickness.

    There was not a snowballs chance in hell this was ever going to work, because you only need to have half a brain to work for the government – and that is on a good day.

    This government is good for one thing, and that is wreaking. They don’t care if people are involved, they will wreak, and wreak, and wreak.

    Well I hope all the people who support national have to deal with the government soon, because this is what happens when you let the Kakistocracy have power.

    • Ed 12.1

      What a load of crap. You are conflating our National party cabinet with government – the two are (thankfully) different. The issue of this thread apart, I don’t see wholesale errors from Netsafe’, indeed I see little from them at all. But your argument reads like the start of one of those sayings about the best thing we can do about government is get it small enough to drown in a bathtub. Lets not go down that stupid path more than the current pollies are already doing.

      • adam 12.1.1

        My guess is you have very little to do with government departments.

        I’m for no government, not small government.

        Next time put up an argument, or at least something to argue with, rather than a bunch of boorish assumptions.

        • Tui 12.1.1.1

          ~ tui

        • weka 12.1.1.2

          I can’t think of any culture that has had no governance structure. Can you?

          There are huge problems in the public sector now, but that’s a different thing than saying that anyone who works there has half a brain. I’ve known good people and bad people and those in between who’ve been civil servants.

          In terms of netsafe, afaik they’re not a govt department, and the issues seem to be both regulatory and within the organisation.

  13. Bill 13

    …as anyone with any even minimal legal training would have done, you have to assume the worst case

    Surely it depends what approach is more advantageous in the circumstances (allowing for wriggle room, plausible deniability etc)?

    Smartly playing stupid can go a long way and save a lot of time/energy.

    • lprent 13.1

      A philosophy that the National ministers brains lean to (ie their OR advisors)

      • Bill 13.1.1

        It’s not a philosophy Lynn. It’s an approach that avoids climbing the fucking wall.

        If the claim is that there has been a punch, then unless the claim explicitly alleges that a death has occurred as a result (ie – the worst possible case), then assume (with caveats) that the punch in question is merely about someone harmlessly punching the air.

  14. reason 14

    In Lprents “Dirty Politics done in the Netssafe style” (part one) …..I linked to good reporting which exposed the political deciet, the mainstream media spreading of this deciet ….

    with resulting emotional blackmail and pro Govt manipulation …..

    “Ultimately, only five Members of Parliament (out of 120) voted against the HDC – a landslide victory for its promoters.” … ( judith aka queen of dirty politics)

    Suzie Dawson was the reporters name and full credit to her for actually investigating and then reporting the truth ….instead of spreading misleading pro Govt fake news.

    she did a good job … unlike The Herald and other main media who were spreading misinformation . https://www.spinbin.co.nz/grotesque-hypocrisies-behind-new-zealands-anti-troll-legislation/

    Context …… : “The ex-Minister of Police and Justice, who resigned in 2014 due to close ties with an “attack blogger” who was “mercilessly attacking opponents” is the same who in April 2013 had been promoting her anti-cyber bullying legislation.” …

    It was drafted in April of 2013 and the Roastbusters scandal did not emerge until November 2013.”

    “Despite this, the Roastbusters scandal was used as direct and deliberate justification for the passage of the anti-Troll bill over … https://nzfvc.org.nz/news/harmful-digital-communications-bill-passes-second-reading

    & over http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/51HansD_20150324_00000024/harmful-digital-communications-bill-%E2%80%94-referral-to-justice

    & over http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11157392

    https://www.national.org.nz/news/news/media-releases/detail/2015/03/24/cyberbullies-one-step-closer-to-being-held-to-account

    “From official Parliament websites and press releases, to the National Party website, to a slew of media and NGO websites, the Roastbusters scandal was referenced time and time again as being the catalyst for the bill.”

    *************************************************************************

    In practice: … here we are in 2017 with teenage boys encouraging rape and starting to go all roastbustery on the net ………… with not a mention of HDCA doing anything…. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/90165634/investigation-launched-over-rape-comments-made-on-facebook-by-wellington-college-students

    Surprised ?

    Meanwhile sleazy people with close past associations to Judith Collins and the Nacts are trying to use Judiths new law to gag the truth being posted about them on ‘The Standard’ …. which shows them as sleazy by their own words and actions .

    Not to mention the Hassling of Lprent and wasting his time in a process…which they can not follow correctly.

    Some big Judith built Loopholes you could drive a whale through are being tested out …

    The ones behind her original intent ….. and achieved through such cynical dishonesty.

  15. mickysavage 15

    I wonder if Bomber received a similar email …

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    15 hours ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
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    16 hours ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
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    17 hours ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
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    1 day ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
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  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
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    2 days ago
  • More support for women and girls
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  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
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    2 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
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    2 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
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    2 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
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  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
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  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
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    3 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
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  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
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    3 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
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    3 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
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    3 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
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    3 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
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    3 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
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    4 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
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    4 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
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    4 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
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    4 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
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    4 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
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    4 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
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    5 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
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    5 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
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    5 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
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    5 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
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    5 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
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    5 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
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    5 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
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    5 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
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    6 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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    6 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
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    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
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    1 week ago