Dirty Politics done in the Netsafe style.

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, March 30th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: admin, blogs, Dirty Politics, internet, making shit up, Media, Politics, The Standard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday afternoon I received the email that you will see at the foot of the post (see updated note below). It starts with:-

I’m emailing you on behalf of Netsafe about a complaint we have received.  Under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 (HDCA), Netsafe receives and assesses complaints about harm caused to individuals by digital communications.

Hummph. I have been wondering when I’d get one of those. This is what is known in the Act as being a “notice of a complaint” as specified in section 24 “Process for obtaining protection against liability for specific content”.  It means that a clock started running and I have 48 hours from when the notice arrived in my mailbox to when I have to have made a decision. The notice came from Netsafe under section 25 (1) “Further provisions related to section 24“.


Updated: Netsafe asserts that this email wasn’t a “notice of complaint”. It had all of the provisions of one under section 24 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 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.

They 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?


However the act has specific provisions that are meant to be supplied to me to help me make these kinds of decisions. Netsafe apparently doesn’t think that the statute’s provisions do not apply to them. My notes in bold italic.

24 (3) A notice of complaint must—

(a) state the complainant’s name and a telephone number, a physical address, and an email address for the complainant; and

Nope. In fact they don’t even provide all of these details for Netsafe (otherwise I might have gone there this morning rather than writing this post)

(b) state the specific content, and explain why the complainant considers that the specific content—

(i) is unlawful; or       Didn’t claim that – not relevant.
(ii) breaches 1 or more communication principles and has caused harm; and

Did claim that but did not explain WHY each principle was breached or how it caused harm.

(c) sufficiently enable the specific content to be readily located; and

They did do that. Unfortunately the content wasn’t on our site. I am also pretty sure that the content was actually released in 2014 as part of a massive dump which predates the act which was passed in 2015. A phrase in the specific material linked to was distinctive. For that matter neither of the authors of the specified material are authors on our site, and nor was the person who released it.

(d) state whether the complainant consents to personal information that identifies the complainant being released to the author; and

They did not provide this at all. This particular post had a number of sections in it

(e) contain any other information that the complainant considers relevant.

 In  other words Netsafe failed almost every part of the mandated requirements for a notice of complaint. Those provisions were put into the act with a definite purpose. They were there to provide the site operators and authors enough information to make decisions about liability, and to do the balance between protecting their authors/commenters and the legal issues. There were also specific provisions about what private information could be passed on.

Why such specific provisions? Because most of us have been doing this social networking for way longer than whatever underpaid flunkies that an organisation like Netsafe could employ. In my case, I first went active on a social network back in 1979 at the University of Waikato’s internal network. Moreover I’m a computer programmer by profession and still working at it at age 57 and currently working 10-12 hour days to finish a project.

None of the operators on social networks have time for playing phone or email tag over a 48 hour period. It was way too short. That required that the people providing the information to us actually provided relevant information.

The legislation was written to minimise that kind of ridiculous meeting times, so the provisions were made tight. Clearly Netsafe failed to understand this. This was predictable and predicted by many of the presenters to the select committee and elsewhere. So was that the majority of complainants would be adults rather than the kids that the bill sponsors said would be the bulk of the work.


But here is the kicker, guess what the complainants post was about? Two of the key figures from Dirty Politics in a passage from the dirty politics dumps about the dirty politics that they were playing over the port worker strikes. Cameron Slater was almost certainly being paid by the Auckland Ports to try to break the strike. Jordan Williams was digging up information to assist from ‘friends’.

http://4.1m.yt/vqrExQE.png

Ah yes. But face it. There are three players in this mix. One is the ‘nurse’. So what do I have to make a judgement on?

Information within the 14 September blog post (specifically, the material obtained from http://4.1m.yt/vqrExQE.png) appears to breach communication principles in the HDCA (specifically principles 3, 6 and 7). It also appears that the blog content is causing serious emotional distress to the complainant.

Section 6 of the act gives these.

3. A digital communication should not be grossly offensive to a reasonable person in the position of the affected individual.

6. A digital communication should not make a false allegation.

7. A digital communication should not contain a matter that is published in breach of confidence.

Unfortunately I can’t tell which of these three people this relates to. So I’m going to make a call here. This reads to me like a Dirty Politics move. It could be either the Jordan Williams (Slater’s ex-lawyer), or it could that legal dimwit that Cameron Slater goes in and out of court with and why he is steadily losing to Matthew Blomfield and others in court (and vice versa).

I can’t see how the nurse would view a conversation between two other parties about her to be confidential. While the conversation would be grossly offensive for her, I can’t see how she could allege that the statements were false.  She wasn’t a participant in the conversation. It was unlikely that she would have been aware of it until the release of the dump. What breach of confidence? These were the musing of a ‘man’ who appears to spend a lot of time dreaming up misogynist comments (see the post link below).

For the other two, the claim of a breach of confidence does rather disagree with the false allegation claim (either it is made up or it was stolen – it can hardly be both). That would tend to indicate that at least one is at variance with the truth. Since it is well known that the conversations were stolen, there was no breach of confidence. But I’d be happy to provide my considerable skills on any digital originals that Cameron Slater still has in his possession (and for that matter Rawshark and/or Whaledump) to determine which (if any) was fraudulent. However I can’t see and have not been provided with any evidence that this one is.

It is also quite clear that neither party to this and other conversations, as were pointed out in the post “Beware, creepy men of the right: Rawshark returns (briefly)“, could possibly have been “grossly offensive to a reasonable person in the position of the affected individual” at the time period when the conversation was taking place. After all Cameron Slater and Jordan Williams were the participants in many conversations that gave them a well deserved reputation of being complete gormless boastful dickheads after the publication of Dirty Politics. We have to be guided by the position of either affected individual at the time. How could they be so offended about themselves?

Why I can write this post? Well there is no requirement for me in law to keep it private.

Netsafe didn’t gag me with the privacy provisions in the Act because they didn’t tell me who the complainant was. I have to guess, just like everyone else. Of course being around politics in NZ for the last 30 odd years, it usually isn’t that hard. That was how we saw dirty politics going on a decade ago on the local net. And that is why I can smell it in this action and the way it has happened. I don’t care if dirty politics comes from sleazebags like Cameron Slater (the guy who tried to get someone to hack my personal computers) or his ex-lawyer Jason Williams or even from that recent government beneficiary Netsafe.

If it does turn out that the complainant was the nurse and that Netsafe didn’t tell me, then I’d say I am sorry, that I’d reconsider the specific material when I know more details and that Netsafe should have damn well followed the Act. That is after all what they are paid millions of dollars per annum to do.

In the meantime, I will head off for another long day at work chasing bugs. Hopefully I will be back before 8pm to an email from Netsafe repairing their deficiencies.


The ridiculous notice of complaint.

Hello there

I’m emailing you on behalf of Netsafe about a complaint we have received.  Under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 (HDCA), Netsafe receives and assesses complaints about harm caused to individuals by digital communications.

The complaint relates to two blog posts hosted on The Daily Blog, which are:

· a blog post published on 14 September 2016 by Stephanie Rodgers  https://thestandard.org.nz/beware-creepy-men-of-the-right-rawshark-returns-briefly/

Information within the 14 September blog post (specifically, the material obtained from http://4.1m.yt/vqrExQE.png) appears to breach communication principles in the HDCA (specifically principles 3, 6 and 7).  It also appears that the blog content is causing serious emotional distress to the complainant.

 We ask for your assistance.
 As the host of these blog posts there are some steps you might take to help resolve this complaint including:
  • Moderating or deleting the harmful content, if you think it is appropriate to do so;
  • Forwarding this email to the authors of the content, asking them to contact me to discuss.

I would appreciate it if you or the authors could confirm, within the next 48 hours, what steps you/they have taken.

If Netsafe is unable to resolve this complaint, then the person who made the report has the option to make an application to the District Court for court orders under the HDCA. This may result in court orders being made either against you (as the host of the content) or against the author/s.

You can find out more about the HDCA and its new civil regime here. If you have any questions or would like more information (for example, to help you identify the content which may breach communication principles), please let me know.

Kind regards
Jandy

NetSafe / 0508 638 723 / www.netsafe.org.nz
Our contact centre is open from 8am till 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am till 5pm Saturday and Sunday.

48 comments on “Dirty Politics done in the Netsafe style. ”

  1. Antoine 1

    Kia kaha

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Surely there is a strong public interest in knowing exactly what sort of person Jordan Williams is, especially in the context of the case before the court at the time.

    IIRC, he was crying about having his reputation besmirched after another woman had “confided” in him.

    • lprent 2.1

      Public interest isn’t one of the direct principles in the HDCA. Read section 6

      However it is part of what the court and Netsafe has to look at. Look at s6(2)(b)..

      Drat missed that

      • reason 2.1.1

        The HDCA was pushed through by a dishonest bully under false pretenses …

        “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.” …

        “Capitalizing on Gang Rape: The Roastbusters Connection” …… “This 30 June 2015 NZ Herald article describes the legislation as “wide-reaching” and continues:

        ” The legislation was drafted after the so-called Roast Busters case, in which teenage boys boasted on-line about sex with drunk and under-age girls.

        But it wasn’t at all.

        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 and over and over and over and over and over again.

        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.”

        https://www.spinbin.co.nz/grotesque-hypocrisies-behind-new-zealands-anti-troll-legislation/

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

        Judith and the Nacts real purpose is being dealt with by Lyn … as he fights the attempted gagging by low lifes …. who do not want the bad reputations due from their own actions and words.

  3. Keith 3

    Was it not suspected that the unexpressed intention of this act was to suppress negative comment about this government and probably as a direct result of the exposure of their filthy practices in Dirty Politics. One way of the other they appear to have good control of what remains of the corporate media but this area was one they had no control of.

    Much like Keys Whistleblower legislation, because National MUST not allow any truth to escape!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11694279

    • lprent 3.1

      I couldn’t possibly comment.

      However the ‘interesting’ reinterpretation of the requirements of the actual use of the Act does tend to make it hard to know what in the hell NetSafe are looking at and why.

      The legislation was a compromise between mass systems like facebook or twitter who are willing to deal with the kiddie or nutter complaint if Netsafe complained, and sites like this who are somewhat more discriminating and knowledgeable about their audience, environment, and the local world. For that matter we tend to be somewhat more discriminating about ‘authors’ including commenters.

      • Rightly or Wrongly 3.1.1

        To stop a flood of malicious and vexatious complaints floating in from the ether I would have thought that Netsafe would not pass on complaints until they verified the identity of the complainant.

        Anything else is ridiculous.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          They may know. However they did not do what they should have done when they sent me a notice of complaint and tell me as they are required to do in the act.

  4. weka 4

    Did they really confuse The Standard with The Daily Blog?

    • lprent 4.1

      Yes. I didn’t comment much on that little error. However in my email to Netsafe pointing out their many deficiencies it was the first on my list.

      • inspider 4.1.1

        From what you have described it looks as though Netsafe have just done a flick on pass using a basic template.

        That’s disgraceful given the consequences of a successful complaint.

        Their role is not just to represent complainants, but to ensure due process to protect information providers from non compliant complaints.

        Other agencies (eg Press council, Advertising standards) won’t allow complaints that don’t fit their criteria through their doors. Netsafe should do the same.

  5. Patrick 5

    The Facebook link they’ve provided “Follow NetSafe on Facebook” links to a dodgy looking herbal health and wellness page. A little weird, no?

    • weka 5.1

      Or really weird. NetsafeNZ’s FB is https://www.facebook.com/netsafeNZ/ The link in the email is https://www.facebook.com/netsafe

    • lprent 5.2

      Indeed. However their email link I checked out first (didn’t bother with facebook) was valid.

    • Neil 5.3

      It sure looks like the email LPRENT received could quite well be a fake email & if it is, it sure makes the author of the email has made some basic mistakes of making sure the link to the netsafe facebook page directed you to their facebook page & not some herbal health wellness page. Also the start of the email saying “Hello there” which is not how someone from netsafe write & also the ending with only a first name & no indentifying job title.

  6. D'Esterre 6

    Is it a scam, perchance? What public servant worth their salt begins an e-mail with “Hello there”? Or am I just out of date….

    Also the misdirected message: if it were kosher, I’d have expected Netsafe to know which blogsite ought to have been the recipient.

    And the way in which it is signed looks strange.

    We run a business from home; we receive many scam e-mails. Aspects of this are of a piece with the stuff that gets deleted from our mailbox.

    • Corokia 6.1

      It does look very casual. Addressed to “Hello there” . No last name or position from the sender. I know formal writing standards have declined in recent years, but surely that’s a bit too relaxed for a formal complaint. Though they did refrain from using emoticons 😉

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Got an email that was supposedly from Auckland Transport but all the links went to some website that I didn’t recognise and a quick whois didn’t return anything reassuring.

      So I went through ATs contact page and told them of the email and how it was using all the same techniques as every single scammer throughout the entire world and that if it was legitimate they probably stop using that method. Oh, and that I’d already junked it as a basic security measure.

      The response I got back was that it was legitimate and that I should just blithely click on all those links that redirected to an unknown website with the strange URL. Yeah, not going to happen.

      The point here is that many managers in NZ don’t have a basic grasp of net security or even how the net works and they get really upset and nasty when their competence is called into question.

      I suspect that a few of Netsafes managers blood pressure has gone up a few bars.

      • Dv 6.2.1

        Currently the ANZ bank has a warning on its login page about a scam, and click on this link to find out more. I had a moan, they said it was genuine , and showed little concern about the form.
        Click on this link to find out more, yeah right.

        • weka 6.2.1.1

          Is the issue there that the website could be fake, or that someone could put a dodgy link into the actual ANZ site?

          • McFlock 6.2.1.1.1

            At the very least it trains people to blindly “click here” in relation to their online finances, on websites that look sort of like (but not exactly like the consistent banking page). Mixed security message.

          • dv 6.2.1.1.2

            ANZ said the link was genuine, but McFlock puts his? finger on it. And ANZ seemed to be oblivious to the problem.
            I suggested they put the line after the logon- no response.

      • D'Esterre 6.2.2

        Draco T Bastard: “…. many managers in NZ don’t have a basic grasp of net security or even how the net works and they get really upset and nasty when their competence is called into question.”

        Very peculiar: I’d assumed that wouldn’t apply to anybody working for Netsafe. If we can’t expect punctiliousness in such matters from Netsafe of all organisations, what is the world coming to?

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2.1

          You would expect the people at Netsafe to know what they’re doing but lprent’s article proves that they haven’t got a clue.

      • Strypey 6.2.3

        “The response I got back was that it was legitimate and that I should just blithely click on all those links that redirected to an unknown website with the strange URL. Yeah, not going to happen.”

        It’s really disturbing how much of people’s information is being blithely turned over to gratis “services”, companies like MailChimp and NationBuilder (yes I’m looking at you NZ Greens) who send HTML emails full of those weird links, which are designed to allow them to do all sorts of sinister tracking stuff, and can be a vector for all sorts of other spyware infections.

        I always turn off HTML email (HTML is for the web!) on any email system I used. When I get those dodgy mass emails, I immediately unsubscribe, and email the organisation to tell them why, and suggest some replacement services that respect their users and subscribers. If enough people do that, maybe there will be one less spyware-based business model, and the world would become a very slightly better place.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Would anyone consent to intimacy with Jordan Williams if they knew his true intentions?

    Crimes Act S128 (a) 7: “A person does not consent to an act of sexual activity if he or she allows the act because he or she is mistaken about its nature and quality.”

    You can draw your own conclusions about what Jordan Williams is.

  8. Netsafe is being paid enough that they should be doing basic checks to tell that the complaint is being directed at the correct site, for starters, let alone all the issues with not gathering the legally required information. It is completely unacceptable that they not have a human checking these things, or that they do have a human checking them and they missed such a basic error.

    And yeah, I have real sympathies if it’s the nurse who’s actually complaining. If it’s one of the scum who were talking about her though… tough bikkies. Were I Martyn, I would ask them to prove it wasn’t true before I considered taking the comment down.

    • lprent 8.1

      $16.4 million for budget year 2016/7

      I figured that whoever it was making a false political claim would target TDB, Pete George, and probably a few other sites as well. That was why I decided that this was complete crap and to go as public as possible. As much to warn as raise awareness.

      If they go ahead and get a court order while I’m not in court or represented, then I will force an rapid hearing including a review of the way that NetSafe mishandled this. I will also go for costs.

      Besides – to me it is pretty obvious that whoever took the complaint at NetSafe simply didn’t read the post, didn’t know the Act, and I really don’t have time to deal with net illiterate numbskulls at present. It’d be simpler for me to detail a lawyer to oppose it at court while retaining the freedom to criticize NetSafe’s lack of competence.

      NetSafe were chosen because they are the choice for the net safety of schoolchildren. It isn’t a common demographic on this site or virtually any politics, tech, or any other type of site that I have frequented in the last few decades.

      Incidentally, if anyone has any horror stories with the Act and NetSafe. Please feel free to share them.

  9. mary_a 9

    Doesn’t seem a credible way for an agency such as Netsafe to do legitimate business. Quite sloppy in fact.

    I would have thought there would have been more checks and balances done prior to issuing such an email. The blog site discrepancy by the agency is quite weird! From memory I have never seen a Stephanie Rodgers blog or post on The Daily Blog. However, I stand to be corrected there.

    Anyway good luck Lyn with getting it sorted. We look forward to a satisfactory outcome, if that’s possible!

    • weka 9.1

      Stephanie did write there for a while, a long time ago. I’d be surprised if that was why they made the mistake.

  10. Interesting that people whose profession is working with the internet got the wrong blog name and also got the URL of their own Facebook page wrong – doesn’t fill you with confidence.

    Still, it was nice of Jandy to draw this to our attention, as I don’t remember reading that post at the time. Although, I guess that wasn’t the point…

    • weka 10.1

      Hard to know if they are unaware of the Streisand Effect, or don’t care and this is just someone having a go at Lynn and/or the Trust/site.

  11. McFlock 11

    This sort of shit should be netsafe’s bread and butter work, yet they still haven’t figured out how to meet statutory requirements in their notice.

    How are they expected to muzzle dissent and discontent within the peasantry if they can’t even run a basic checklist to ensure they comply with the law?

    If you were a real bastard you’d just refuse to respond until it goes to court, upon which you’d demonstrate that Netsafe hadn’t delivered formal notice and that therefore can the trust get court costs and make them start the entire process again, please.

  12. This is very interesting… I wonder what Netsafe will say

    • lprent 12.1

      I may find out. Or I may not. I would take a bet on something eventually.

      Either way I suspect that the bounds of the Netsafe behaviour will need to either be set by the Ministry of Justice or the courts.

  13. “The complaint relates to two blog posts hosted on The Daily Blog, which are:

    · a blog post published on 14 September 2016 by Stephanie Rodgers ”

    Rodgers and Bradbury are comrades now? Ok this is definitely a Slater conspiracy theory.

  14. Pete 14

    April the first is Saturday. Someone got their days wrong.

  15. ropata 15

    Hopefully Netsafe gets their act together and the person who complained of “serious emotional distress” is not further distressed by this post. I would have waited before going in guns blazing like this.

    This post is OTT, it might not be dirty politics, it might just be someone who doesn’t understand the internet outside of facebook. The confusion between TDB and TS seems to point to that.

    At least you (lprent) haven’t named names, apart from the usual suspects.

    • repateet 15.1

      Over the top? “Under the top”, well under the top, is the performance of Netsafe.

      I presume they understand the internet outside of Facebook and understand the Act.
      Would what’s here be here if their performance was acceptable?

    • Sacha 15.2

      “Hopefully Netsafe gets their act together”

      If they want to be an official regulatory agency, hope should not be a factor.

  16. In Vino 16

    I agree with the chorus of support, and cynicism regarding Netsafe.

    A bit finicky – maybe you could fix an awkward double negative:

    “Netsafe apparently doesn’t think that the statute’s provisions do not apply to them. My notes in bold italic.”

    Then wipe this response entirely, or leave the first line?

  17. EE 17

    If this isn’t a Scam, then it is Online Bullying & Harassment.
    Have you reported it to the appropriate authorities.
    https://www.netsafe.org.nz/reportanincident/

  18. Neil 18

    I maybe wrong but the way I see it is that these emails between Williams & Slater were already in the public domain after Rawshark published them for the public to see, so how can LPRENT be in breach of the   Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 when these emails were already in the public domain

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