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Dirty Politics done in the Netsafe style – part 3

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, April 7th, 2017 - 25 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

Well, it has been a week without any further developments. I have still not received ANY information about the complaint from Netsafe or the complainant about why they are complaining about the specific material. I have also not received any notice of complaint under section 24 of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 despite the means to contact us being prominently displayed  as Contact on every public page in the site.

To make it explicit, the details about how to comply with the requirements of the Act by any complainant or and authorised agent under the Act are now in the Contact page

If you are complaining or communicating about the Harmful Digital Communications Act of 2015, you MUST comply with the stringent provisions required by the act and this site. They are described in a separate page (click here).

That page “Contact for complaints and communications under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015” describes explicitly the procedure and information requirements that this will use and needs to process any complain or communication related to the Act.

Of particular note it defines the privacy requirements

For all complaints, communications and queries related to the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015, contact me as the sysop of the site on my personal email address lprent@primary.geek.nz

Warning: All communications passed about the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 to me are deemed to not be private communications by me. They may be used without reference to other parties at my discretion in public debate about the use of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. In most cases personal information will be withheld unless it is deemed by me to be within the public’s need to know (see my note at the end of this page).

I have made this contact to be a personal one to me as the sysop of the site. This is to ensure that I can lodge criminal complaints against anyone who abuses the Act and its processes. Or who appears to be determined to abuse the process to cause us  harm – which in the absence of any information about the complainant or why they are objecting to the specified content is what I think it going on with this complaint.

So:-

Repeated failures to comply with these reasonable limits will result in laying a personal complaint with the police of criminal nuisance against the perpetrator, and if required, a criminal private prosecution against any individual causing me a nuisance.

I am sure that the usual dirty politics operatives and hopefully Netsafe can be assured that I will do exactly what I say. I don’t tolerate repeated deliberate wasting of my time. If we have to push this to a criminal charge, then I will.

While the authorised agent under the Act has been granted immunity against civil actions, they are still liable for criminal actions. Rather than allowing political debate to be stifled under the misapplied application of this Act, I am happy to take direct legal action against individuals who misuse it. But if you have a legitimate complaint, then just be up front with it.

I see that Bomber over at The Daily Blog has had the same kind of issues with Netsafe attempting to gag any debate on the public transparency in the use of the Act. He appears to alluding to a same kind of political issue (dirty politics) – where the actors appear to be getting Netsafe to defend them from open public political debate.  Or in a less charitable interpretation, it could be Netsafe wishing to avoid being seen to interfere in legitimate public political debate on a manner that violates the Bill Of Rights Act that they (and the courts) are meant to consider.

Meanwhile the government appears to be more interested in proclaiming the ‘success’ of the Act rather than its flaws. Politik reports in their email feed (I couldn’t see it online) what is presumably a press statement.. The early timing of which tends to display some concern about what has been going on. It has barely had enough time to get into action, let alone have any real consequences. But note the paucity of details – for instance what in this are the court orders which are the primary effective method in the Act.

Since coming into force the Act has resulted in:

  • 132 criminal charges filed

  • 77 criminal cases finalised

  • 50 convictions and sentences

  • 4 diversions completed

  • 3 dismissals

  • 1 discharge without conviction

I’d point out that I know of exactly four actions under the Act at present. A failed attempt to get a court order by what appeared to be illegal deception “Judge scammed by a legal idiot and his pet pest” against another political website, a valid use of the act with regards to revenge porn “High Court upholds first appeal under Harmful Digital Communication Act”, and what so far appears to an two attempt to muzzle political discussion about dirty politics. Not a good public track record for spending millions of taxpayer dollars on.

See also “Dirty Politics done in the Netsafe style” and “Dirty Politics done in the Netsafe style – Part 2”

25 comments on “Dirty Politics done in the Netsafe style – part 3 ”

  1. Greg 1

    So if we,talking about bank runs immanent houseing collapse open bank resolution policy stealing deposits mass bankruptcy tax evasions by the elites nz dollar collapse and pet national party poodles would that spark netsafes Intrest just as an example

    • xanthe 1.1

      any mention of “bank run” will be considered “inciting terrorism” and dealt with extra judicially by SIS not under the harmful digital bits act , as will any mention of 001000 0011100 0010101 or 0000111

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    But note the paucity of details – for instance what in this are the court orders which are the primary effective method in the Act.

    Have you considered an OIA to get those details?

  3. weka 3

    So did Bradbury get different instructions than you? It looks like he got told he wasn’t allowed to talk about the ‘request’ (that it had been made, or if he complied, even that he had removed content from the site), after the interactions Netsafe had had with you. If that’s true, it looks like they’re just making this up as they go along.

    • lprent 3.1

      If that’s true, it looks like they’re just making this up as they go along.

      That to a degree is what you’d expect. Legislation isn’t a particularly precise mechanism. Organisations subject to legislation tend to develop their own procedures – which then get modified by the courts looking at how the base law means that they should be operating.

      For instance Netsafe seem to think that they can act on things that were placed on the net prior to the HDCA coming into force. That is on the basis that they are on the net right now.

      I suspect that the courts won’t like that. There is a whole body of law about implicitly retrospective legislation that says essentially that it doesn’t exist unless it is defined in the legislation (and even then the courts usually manage to overrule it eventually).

      There isn’t any real difference between the net and the physical world (eg paper) in legal terms. It is extraordinarily hard to see how they could argue that position.

  4. ianmac 4

    Warning shots ahead of the Election? Intimidate leftish sites?
    Maybe someone like Whaleoil playing silly tricks?

    • lprent 4.1

      I suspect that this is one of the dirty politics crowd. And I suspect that Cameron Slater is the one doing it.

      Fortunately I don’t know for certain, so there is no constraint to me saying that is my opinion.

  5. [r0b: Please don’t do anything that can be interpreted as misrepresenting someone else’s identity]

    Members of Parliament are able to exercise privileged speech, subject to sub judice provisions.

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/visit-and-learn/how-parliament-works/parliamentary-privilege/

  6. dukeofurl 6

    I have a sneaky suspicion that the one behind all the complaints is Slater and his coterie.
    he has a ‘crew’ writing and running his blog so he has the resources.

  7. greywarshark 7

    And I thought that running a political blogsite was easy! Thanks lprent for reading all the fine print.

    Before we have the elections and a stream of law meant to hobble thoughtful speech yet allowing unbridled obnoxious speech, perhaps we should read the Wikipedia list of legal latin terms, which hopefully won’t cause you Lynn a mensa et thoro.

    We seem to have an agency looking for actus reus to which we may have to argue similar to contract law’s contra proferentem, and even make a plea to corpus jurius gentium.

    I look forward to reaching debellatio from a strong position demonstrating a fortiori.

    (And I’m only up to the d’s!)

    • Running a site the size of TS is never easy. LPrent puts in a ton of work that’s obvious to maintaining and improving the site, and then probably several tons more that isn’t.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Matthew Whitehead
        That is odd, you seem to have taken my comment literally about running this blog being easy. I must remember to put the /sarc in for people who can’t see it or irony in comments. I have been here for yonks. I know that this blog is a little miracle, or was. Now it’s a large miracle.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Came upon this about ‘the law’.

    “If you enjoy sausage and respect the law, you should avoid watching
    either one being made. ”
    -Anonymous

  9. dukeofurl 9

    The Trump government is using its powers to see whos behind twitter accounts

    Twitter disclosed in a federal court filing on Thursday that it had received a summons directing it to reveal the identity or identities of those behind @ALT_USCIS, one of several so-called alt-accounts run by people purporting to be current or former federal employees. The @ALT_USCIS account, which quickly gained tens of thousands of followers, has frequently criticized the Trump administration’s immigration policies and enforcement actions.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/technology/twitter-sues-the-government-to-block-the-unmasking-of-an-account-critical-of-trump.html?ref=business

    Its like its now open season on left wing blogs and anti Trump social media

  10. mpledger 10

    Are you sure it wasn’t someone purporting to be from Netsafe? It seems so badly done.

  11. Ross 11

    I found the following comments, made by Judge David Harvey in August 2016, about the Harmful Digital Communications Act interesting. It seems that if you plead not guilty to a charge under the HDCA, you could have a long wait to have your case heard.

    Of the charges to which pleas of “not guilty” have been entered, the dates of alleged offending tell an interesting story. As at the date of writing, none of the defended cases have been heard. By date of alleged offence the oldest took place on 19 August 2015. The most recent was alleged to have occurred on 21 April 2016. Eleven cases arose in 2016 – the remaining five arose in 2015. Of those, there has been one disposal where a charge was withdrawn by leave (Alleged offence date 28 December 2015, Dunedin District Court CR 15044006509). Although trial by jury is available, none of the defendants have elected trial by jury and have chosen to be dealt with by a judge alone.

    The delay in getting cases to hearing must be a matter of concern. Apart from the well-known stresses that are a part of having to relive offending during the course of giving evidence, the definition of harm as serious emotional distress means that victims will have to revisit this specific form of harm many months after the alleged offending took place. This can hardly be said to assist the recovery process. In addition, a specific purpose of the HDC Act is to provide victims of harmful digital communications with a quick and efficient means of redress. Although this probably refers primarily to the civil enforcement process it is my view that it must apply with equal force to the victims of section 22 offences. The language of the clause specifically refers to victim, and the word victim is used in section 22 and especially section 22(5). Given this specific purpose behind the legislation, the hearing of cases involving offending against section 22 should be accorded priority and should be expedited.

    http://www.adls.org.nz/for-the-profession/news-and-opinion/2016/8/26/prosecutions-under-the-hdc-act/

    • Ross 11.1

      Although reading his comments again, you could be forgiven thinking that his position is that anyone who is charged is likely guilty.

      …victims will have to revisit this specific form of harm many months after the alleged offending took place.

      It might be that person charged with breaching the HDCA has been wrongly charged and may be the victim.

      • Carolyn_nth 11.1.1

        Thanks, Ross. This makes me wonder if the legislation is very flawed. i.e. the claim that the aim is to get a quick result, implies that there will never be any false, spurious or politically-motivated claims of harm.

        This is in keeping with some MOR views that social media is full of people doing nasty things, and it just needs to quick retribution to make such nasty things stop.

        It assumes guilty as charged, rather than the more cautious approach of innocent til proven guilty.

        Many claims of online harm-doing cannot be so easily and quickly resolved while being fair to all concerned.

        And it leaves the opportunity open for dirty politics type censorship.

    • lprent 11.2

      The immediate redress are the court orders to remove material and to prevent any repetition on putting it up. Under the HDCA these can be done long before any trial. This is what Judge Harvey was referring to as the civil redress.

      Furthermore that can be done without being permitted to offer any challenge or defence. If the police do it, they will at least investigate the details first and report those to the judge.

      Netsafe appear to be incapable of doing that kind investigation because they don’t appear to view their job as doing any investigation or interaction with the author or the site. They view it purely as representing the victim.

      For a political blog site, everything that is said is probably harmful to someone. However it has to be balanced against the free speech, free association, and other principles in the Bill of Rights Act. While Netsafe is meant to take cognisance of that in their assessment – it is clear in practice that it is part of their legislative responsibility that they are ignoring.

      So I suspect that many of the court orders that they get involved with will be overturned. Because I’ll certainly object to having material arbitrarily removed from this site by an undefended court hearing without even being consulted on it.

      But you also should remember that our courts are highly backlogged at present for criminal cases. That is partially a result of idiotic populism in the increase of the types of offences that need to get dealt with by the courts (as is clear in our excessive prison population). But mostly as a result of systematic underfunding by the Ministry of Justice of the court system.

      Delays of a year between charges being laid and a defended trial date are common even at a district court level.

      For instance I had a charge made against me in a private prosecution in July 2015. It went to trial finally in June 2016. Admittedly some of the delay was because the prosecutor is a legal idiot. My defence didn’t slow anything at all.

      When it finally got to trial, the case dismissed as having no case to answer within minutes (after years) of finally being able to offer a defence.

      Now in April 2017, I am still waiting for a hearing on costs and lifting the damn court orders that stop me saying much about the legal idiot and his pathetic case.

      • dukeofurl 11.2.1

        “Delays of a year between charges being laid and a defended trial date are common even at a district court level.”

        Strange then that a civil jury case involving Little roared up the lists to be heard in only 10 months.

  12. reason 12

    I’ve posted in parts 1 & 2 of ‘dirty politics done in the netsafe style, linking to where journalist Suzie Dawson exposed the dishonesty used ……. much like a Trojan horse …. when Judith Collins and the Nacts tricked New Zealand into supporting these gagging laws …. https://www.spinbin.co.nz/grotesque-hypocrisies-behind-new-zealands-anti-troll-legislation/

    But aside from showing the intrinsic dishonesty of Judith and the Nacts …. we are also given a clear example of how dirty politics has kept this governments popularity or support at fairly high levels …. with Beehive originated fake news being spread by our media …..

    Consider the levels of support Judith and the Government received by people believing their lie … that the Harmful Digital Communications Act was in response to the Roastbusters outrage… and it would put a stop to that…… along with other types of Internet victimization/bullying ……

    Versus the levels of support they would have got if the true story ….. that of them cynically using the Roastbuster victims to pass laws ….. whose real design was to threaten and possibly prosecute websites …. for the new ‘crime’ of printing true but critical facts regarding Judith or Nationals supporters and associates.

    National ride high because our media has people suckered into believing their crap … and not hearing about their dirty deeds…… HDCA is to help them with the “not hearing” part.

    On a personal level …. early last year the suicide of two people on the periphery of my social scene left me depressed for a while ….

    One was a talented teenage girl who had been selected for Rep level sport, she could speak 3 languages and was a good kid …… There were a few factors involved in her tragedy …. but one was bullying by a group of jealous girls which followed her home after school via facebook

    I can guarantee that the HDCA was nowhere to be seen in her plight …

    So I tend to think Amy Adams is now running with the bullshit baton Judith passed her……..

    This law was designed to be misused ………..a bit like tax loopholes

    The true depth of their concern for the Roastbuster victims was displayed when both voted to protect NZs booze industry and damaging drinking culture … in their dirty politics hatchet job on our Alcohol law review….

    Judiths friend Slater ran smears against health professionals and others speaking out against Alcohol harm at the time.

    Amy Adams is still running cover for the booze industry….. by deflecting and delaying any changes to them advertising their drug at children via sport and sponsorship.

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