Dirty Politics: Police refuse to charge Slater

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, August 1st, 2015 - 197 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, Dirty Politics, john key, Politics - Tags: ,

Well blow me down. I thought Cameron Slater’s and Jason Ede’s investigation of a clearly crippled Labour server was as clear an example of hacking as you could imagine.  But the Police has decided that nothing untoward has occurred and are refusing to charge them.

The following is a passage from a letter from the Police to the Labour Party indicating the police would take no further action over Labour’s complaint.

Turning to the matter under point 3, the accessing of the Labour Party Computer.  We quested and Mr Barnett subsequently supplied to us technical information regarding the alleged breach and a summary of how the breach was dealt with by Labour Party management at the time it was discovered circa June 2011.

That information has been considered, along with the content of chapter 2 of Mr Hagar’s [sic] book relating to the alleged breach and other material publicly available on the internet e.g. Whale Oil blog posts from 2011.

I am satisfied there is no evidence of criminal offending in relation to the accessing of the Labour Party computer records.

While the matter may raise privacy and ethical issues, these are not the domain of criminal law.

It helps to recall what the complaint involved.  Cameron Slater and Jason Ede came across a clearly crippled Labour website and could see the directory structure on a Labour Party server.  They elected to choose to have a look around and even downloaded at least one file.  This is not conjecture.  It is not some far out conspiracy advanced by the left.  It was admitted by National’s General Manager Greg Hamilton in 2011.  His letter included this passage:

We do accept that one of our staff visited your public website via URL http://healthyhomeshealthykiwis.org.nz and read files that were publicly available …

It appears that he downloaded a file named Labour Newsletter and several compressed files with the view of reading later. In fact the compressed files remain un-opened.

Although he is not named it is clear that National was referring to Jason Ede.  And John Key’s statement that he stood by Mr Ede and his actions raises concern about Key’s ethical compass.

The right have claimed repeatedly that because the information was accessible easily via the ethernet no offence has occurred.  As for the ethics of this claim Felix summed it up really well in this comment in response to SHG’s claim that it was all in order:

If you leave your door unlocked, the private files in your desk draw don’t suddenly become public information.

The best analogy for what you or Cam or Jason did is that you saw an unlocked door that you know should be locked, entered the house, rummaged through the desk, photocopied any interesting papers to take with you, had a squizz through the family photo albums, and a quick rummage in the knicker drawer.

Oh yeah, and then publish what you found.

And as for the legality of the behaviour this was really thrashed out in this post by Rocky.  My personal belief is that it is clearly in breach of section 252 of the Crimes Act 1961.  This says:

(1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who intentionally accesses, directly or indirectly, any computer system without authorisation, knowing that he or she is not authorised to access that computer system.
(2) To avoid doubt, subsection(1) does not apply if a person who is authorised to access a computer system accesses that computer system for a purpose other than the one for which that person was given access.

Clearly the access was without authorisation.  Only an idiot with Slater level stupidity would believe that coming across a crippled server provided him with authorisation to access it.  And as for (2) because he could access the site to view the web pages did this allow him to have a sniff around the directories and download files?  In my view he was never permitted to access the server.  All he was permitted to do was receive web pages from the server once he typed in the url.  The files were clearly in a different “system” to the “system” from which he could receive the web pages.  Otherwise if he has a gmail account he could claim that this permitted him to access every other gmail account that is on the server.

Some commentators have referred to the definitions of “access” and “computer system” contained in section 248.  Rather bizarrely they did not apply to section 252 according to the section in the form that it was in at the time.  This has been corrected since.

Of course National knew they had done wrong.  This is why Ede rejoiced in having a dynamic IP address.

But don’t take my word about the legality or otherwise of what happened.  Victoria University Associate Professor of Law Nicole Moreham said this about the suggestion that the intrusion was somehow authorised:

But there are lots of ways such an argument could be refuted.  Its success might depend, for example, on how easily Slater and Ede got hold of the information – if a person needed a tip off and/or sophisticated computer skills to get at the donor and supporter lists, it would be hard to argue they thought they were for general consumption.

And what about other indications that the information was not intended for Ede and Slater’s eyes?  Might the structure of the website have made this clear?  Or the nature of the information itself – a court might say it is obvious, for example, that members of the public weren’t meant to be seeing donors’ credit card details.

There was a further compelling opinion that I remember reading on the NBR that also concluded that section 252 had been breached but it looks like it has been deleted which is a shame really.

This is one of those cases which yells out to be put before the Court so that a decision can be made and the public can be satisfied that justice is being done.  Guidance could have been provided on the meaning of the hacking provisions of the Crimes Act.  Instead of this we are told in very basic terms that the police do not believe that offending has occurred.  And the Government and the political party currently in power get away with a monstrous wrong.

And still Dirty Politics is a blight on our political landscape.  Bunji’s description of this decision as a “whitewash” is very appropriate.

197 comments on “Dirty Politics: Police refuse to charge Slater”

  1. Matthew Hooton 1

    The police are hopeless when it comes to “political” cases. Has anyone ever been charged for election overspending? If the police had done their job, there would have been arrests over Labour’s 2005 election campaign.

    • Ma Rohemo 1.1

      You should have mentioned National sneaking in under the election spending threshold by refusing to pay the GST on their advertising bill.

    • Brendon Harre 1.2

      In an ideal re-working of NZ’s constitutional arrangements there would be a separation between the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers

      In the past I have suggested the Speaker of the House be elected by a super-majority or unanimous vote in Parliament. There would be some mechanism such as all MPs locked in Parliament until they decide collectively who is the most neutral fair referee.

      The elected Speaker would oversee parliamentary debates and the general running of the House.

      They could also then be in charge of key appointments in the Executive and Judicial branches of governance. Commissioner of Police for instance.

      I believe that MMP has made the separation of powers problem in NZ worse. MMP quite rightly was designed to put limits on the government’s legislative powers, following Roger and Ruthnomics playing fast and loose with democracy and their electoral mandate.

      MMP was designed to force political party’s to consult and negotiate with each other. Unfortunately it placed no limits on the executive.

      So the tendency has been for governments to bypass legislative processes and govern by executive powers alone. So now we are seeing patronage used more. And dictatorial decrees -see the Christchurch Red-zone and the third source of power.

      View at Medium.com

      I think this is the context we should view “Dirty Politics”.

    • burt 1.3

      Oh Matthew, it’s different when Labour do it.

      • Naturesong 1.3.1

        Why is that?

        Kinda the same in that police should have charged the parties involved in each instance.

        But very different in that one is overspending, and the other is illegally accessing information (the same charge that Rawshark is facing).
        Only one of these crimes carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment.

        • James 1.3.1.1

          You have managed to work out that the police (the ones with all the information to hand – as opposed to a one eyed bias forum posters), have established that there was no illegal activity right?

      • mickysavage 1.3.2

        National’s last line of defence is Labour does it too. When they get to this stage you know that they are conceding that what happened is wrong.

    • Nick Morris 1.4

      In fact that was precisely the threat and perhaps in part why Labour were so quick to agree to pay back the money used.

      In my view this was wrong-doing (described enthusiastically by Tories as “corruption”) which was technical in the extreme. Whether it merited any punishment at all was highly moot. It related to the use of parliamentary funding during the specific period before an election to send out a pledge card of Labour’s proposed policy for the next electoral period. If the “crime” had been committed a week or so earlier, it wouldn’t have been a crime at all. If they had taken the cost of dispatch out of another pocket it would also have been fine. No one suggests that the information contained was wrong, misleading or in any other way unacceptable. It was just sent too late. But Labour were afraid that the political and financial cost of allowing the matter to drag on was more that they were prepared to confront. They accepted they had erred and paid the sum back without equivocation.

      Oh if the Nats were so quick with a mea culpa.

      Don’t hold your breath.

      This nonsense from Hooton is typical of the moral equivalence defence that National apologists never tire of trotting out. But they are entirely wrong. As any fair-minded observer is likely to concede, the current governing party’s principal political novelty – and perhaps their legacy project – has been to set a new benchmark in sleaze.

      If National had only to defend Paintergate, Waimategate and Showerheadgate after seven years of surpluses, Hooten would never let us forget it!

  2. b waghorn 2

    ” Key’s ethical compass.” Ha haa good one the man has none but it made me laugh.

    • NZJester 2.1

      No he has one, it is just that it tend to points toward the largest stack of money instead of the true and honest path! Only when the opinion polls are so great does it start to wander away from that stack of cash toward the true path. But as the pull of the cash is so great it never really points back to the true path just a middle path that still tends to favor that pile of cash more than it does the honest path.

  3. Kevin 3

    “The best analogy for what you or Cam or Jason did is that you saw an unlocked door that you know should be locked, entered the house, rummaged through the desk, photocopied any interesting papers to take with you, had a squizz through the family photo albums, and a quick rummage in the knicker drawer.”

    No, the best analogy is leaving your dirty underwear out in a public park and later someone comes along, takes photos, and posts it on Facebook.

  4. tc 4

    Sends a clear message to anyone expecting the dirty politics crew to be held accountable. Don’t bother the refs on our side.

    • James 4.1

      Accountability comes AFTER it is proven there was wrongdoing. In this case there the police have established there was none.

      • Hanswurst 4.1.1

        They have obstructed an attempt to establish whether there was wrongdoing.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2

        The Police, acting as judge and jury on Planet James. James can’t see what’s wrong with that, and deserves our sympathy.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.2.1

          James does seem to be unfortunately dim / brainwashed and incapable of thinking for himself.

      • mickysavage 4.1.3

        Have you formed an opinion James on the legality of what happened given that it is all in the public domain? Saying “someone else said it is ok” is not a substitute for forming an opinion.

  5. Sacha 5

    Disgusting. Police prosecutors need a clean-out.

  6. Tory 6

    “Clearly the access was without authorisation…”.
    Yet Haget using hacked emails is OK?
    It’s starts with H and ends in Y, try to work it out…

    • So, what crime did Hagar commit when publishing his book?

      • Grantoc 6.1.1

        He knowing used stolen material.

        But I guess that’s ok because he’s on the right (or should that be left) side of the moral compass.

        • Naturesong 6.1.1.1

          Yes he knowingly used stolen material.

          His potential issue is privacy though, not on illegally accessing electronic material.

          The reason it’s alright for Hagar to use that specific stolen material in that way is because he has a watertight public interest defence.
          This doesn’t prevent anyone from trying to prosecute him for breaches of privacy, it’s just that they’ll lose.

          Do you understand the legal framework we work under in NZ? (and Aus, UK, etc) and why your opinion about the use of material matters less than the legal boundries within which we all work?

    • Sacha 6.2

      What public interest was served by Slater publishing details of Labour party members? There’s your difference, legally.

      • cancerman 6.2.1

        It shows who supports and therefore has influence in the party.

        • Naturesong 6.2.1.1

          You could argue that the release of information were in the public interest if it were discovered that donations were being made to the Labour party specifically in order to influence policy.
          But you’d have to prove a direct link.

          And only the detail regarding that specific donation might be considered public interest.
          That was not the case here. And that argument only addresses the privacy issue.

          The criminal issue is separate.

    • Clemgeopin 6.3

      In the case of Hager, there was a huge ‘public interest imperative’ in revealing the dodgy behaviour and conspiracy methodologically being operated from the Prime Minister’s office through a blogger in order to damage the Labour party and its leaders and massively distort democracy.

      The case of the deliberate unauthorised intrusion into the Labour party private files, downloading and the publishing of the personal details of Labour party members was a criminal act with absolutely no ‘public interest imperative’.

      Don’t you see the difference?

      The police report has simply stated that they think what Slater/Ede etc did was not a criminal activity, but have not given any legal reasons for their opinion by referring to any appropriate provisions/articles of the law as far as I have read so far. Have they?

  7. Sable 7

    Equality of law and order in this country is pretty much almost gone. This government looks more and more like a dictatorship….

  8. Wayback machine 4 Nov 2012:

    Did Whaleoil break law with Labour data grab? Snap legal opinions


    Crimes Act in play
    For Lowdnes Jordan partner Rick Shera, the Crimes Act comes into play.

    Mr Shera told NBR, “The test is contained in section 252(1) of the Act.” That is:

    Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years who intentionally accesses, directly or indirectly, any computer system without authorisation, knowing that he or she is not authorised to access that computer system, or being reckless as to whether or not he or she is authorised to access that computer system.

    “There is then an exception created by subsection 252(2) where a person has been given authorisation to access a system for one purpose but then accesses it for another – so that is not a crime, although might still be a breach of the Privacy Act,” Mr Shera said.

    “According to some reports, the information was wide open on the Labour site. I don’t know if it was generally accessible or it required a little bit of ingenuity or even ‘cracking’. However, that is not the issue. The issue is whether Cameron Slater was authorised to access the material for any purpose. If he wasn’t, or if there was doubt and he just did it anyway without caring – that is, recklessly, then he may be liable.

    “In my view, authorisation carries with it the idea of an intention to allow access and not just an implicit authority through a lack of security, but the issue has never been tested,” Mr Shera said.

    He added: I’ll say one thing for Mr Slater though, he is certainly doing a service to internet legal precedent, whether he wins or loses this time.”

    • James 8.1

      Again – without the evidence all being known at the time.

      Its the police who make the decision based on the full and actual evidence.

      As it should be.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        Personally I think it’s a terrific precedent.

        The NZ Police have basically declared that accessing any computer and extracting any data and then publishing it for any purpose is NOT a crime.

        So I take it you’ve no objection to someone posting your browsing history, online bank details and tax records here on The Standard? Just checking to see how you feel about it before we go ahead.

        Next target – John Key’s phone records, IRD computers, GCSB, National Party computers – oh the list is endless. Hell you even have to conclude that what Swondon did was not only in the public interest – but perfectly non-criminal as well.

        Or does this Police ruling only apply when the target is a left-wing computer?

        • Clemgeopin 8.1.1.1

          +1
          That sums it up perfectly. If they are not charging Slater now, then they can’t charge anyone else in the future. And if in the future they charge any one else, then they will need to revisit this complaint and charge Slater then!

      • Sacha 8.1.2

        Courts are meant to make legal decisions, not the police.

    • cancerman 8.2

      You could argue that everyone in the public was authorised to have access as the info was published by the party on a public accessible website.

      • Blue 8.2.1

        You have a strange understanding of the word ‘authorised’.

        If this happened to a large online business, such as Amazon, for example, I would love to see someone try to argue this line of shit in court.

        “Oh Your Honour, I just assumed Amazon wanted me to have all their customers’ personal details and credit card numbers.”

        I say court because I’m pretty sure the police would actually do something about it if it was a business rather than a political party.

        • Naturesong 8.2.1.1

          FIFY

          … I say court because I’m pretty sure the police would actually do something about it if it was a business rather than the Labour party

  9. Here’s a question for the Labour caucus.

    If you don’t stand up for yourself, why should anyone believe you’ll stand up for us?

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    I find the timing interesting.
    No action on Slater + taser (reward) + need to chill protests of restless citizens

    I find the timing interesting:
    No Police action on Slater hack + Taser (reward +need to chill protesting citizens getting restless.)

    Is someone putting pressure on the Police to be complicit in the coverup?

    • Sacha 10.1

      I’d welcome an investigation into the Police’s pattern of refusals to prosecute, but who is well-placed to carry it out?

      • James 10.1.1

        You know you can only prosecute if there is evidence of wrongdoing right?

        Again – there was no evidence of such.

        Sigh – such simple concepts.

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          What are you talking about? There is evidence of wrongdoing. At best for the police is that this is new territory that hasn’t been tested in court before, but I’d say that’s a reason to go ahead not back off.

          • James 10.1.1.1.1

            “What are you talking about? There is evidence of wrongdoing.”

            Only to the lefties on this site – Not to the police who have investigated and have all the information.

            I will quote the police to help you “”there is no evidence of criminal offending”

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Your implication seems to be that the NZ police are infallible, above critique, and have never made mistakes before with regards to prosecution. That’s patently not true. What’s happening is the public are responding to the police’s report by critiquing it. It’s what happens in a democracy. The pertinent bit isn’t who those critiquers vote for but what their level of expertise is. I see multiple lawyers saying similar things. Why are they to be considered less important than the police who investigated?

              “Only to the lefties on this site”

              Which tells me you are not actually bothering to read the posts on the standard, because they’ve been quoting and linking to legal professionals offsite.

              • James

                “Your implication seems to be that the NZ police are infallible, above critique, and have never made mistakes before with regards to prosecution. ”

                Where as your implication is that they are wrong without having seen all the evidence.

                • weka

                  no, that’s not my implication at all. I’m saying that the police’s decision in this matter is up for question and that is a valid thing to do.

                • mickysavage

                  James you keep repeating the police made a decision therefore it is OK. Are you even slightly troubled about what happened? Or is the police opinion all that you base your opinion on.

                  • James

                    Not troubled in the slightest. And yes – Im going by the police view as they have all the information so far – that is good enough for me.

                    Trust professionals to do a professional job.

                    • mickysavage

                      So essentially you are adding nothing to this discussion by refusing to analyse what has happened because the police have made a call and that is fine by you.

                      How did you feel about Arthur Allan Thomas’s conviction?

                    • Mike S

                      You trust the NZ Police?? You’ve obviously never had to deal with them much and obviously never heard of such high profile cases like the Arthur Allen Thomas travesty amongst many many others..

                    • Ffloyd

                      Good grief, are you for real??

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      So, James, was what Slater’s and Ede’s purposeful accessing of Labour’s private data moral or immoral?

                    • freedom

                      James, If you are “Not troubled in the slightest” then answering RedLogix’s question should be a simple task …

                      Dirty Politics: Police refuse to charge Slater

                      cue tumbleweeds

                    • Anno1701

                      “Trust professionals to do a professional job”

                      are you serious ?

                  • cancerman

                    Why can’t someone pursue a private prosecution ah la John Banks if you think it should be a case. Isn’t this an option?

                    • James

                      Replying to cancerman – as cannot reply to the comments above due to reply depth (I assume)

                      In regard to AAT – A travesty I agree. I think that the police concerned should have been charged and locked up for a significant period.

                      However – if you look at the Millions of cases that the police are involved in – There are extremely few cases of police having done something like this. Or been proven to be taking instructions from ‘the invisible hand of the government’.

                      Generally the police get it right and try to do a good job.

                      Mike S – You are right – I dont deal with them much (other than a few attending the same boxing gym). The times I have had to call them I have always found them professional and helpful.

                      Draco – Morals are not the argument. I think that a lot of people do things that while not moral are not illegal.

                      I think it far worse that people who cheat of their husband / wife are more immoral – Yet its not illegal. Which is why they are not charged.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      @James

                      Morals are not the argument.

                      You keep saying that and yet don’t say if you think Slater’s and Ede’s actions were immoral. You really seem to be trying to stay away from doing that.

                      I think that a lot of people do things that while not moral are not illegal.

                      In this case there were laws that applied and Slater actually put a video online of him accessing that data illegally so there definitely was evidence.

            • Hanswurst 10.1.1.1.1.2

              You’re on a hiding to nothing with that argument when people consider that the information they already have constitutes evidence (note, not proof) of wrongdoing. Do you actually have an argument as to why you think there was no wrongdoing, or does your argument boil down to “The police are infallible”?

              If so, I would ask whether you are aware of the courts’ having taken a very different view from the police in the John Banks case, for instance. Regardless of how the case panned out in its most recent ruling, the courts clearly demonstrated that there was a legal case to answer, i. e. “evidence of wrongdoing”, where the police had delivered a different view.

              Edit: beaten to it by Weka.

              • weka

                pretty sure James is here to parrot RW trole lines. He’s had the opportunity to present his argument and hasn’t been able to.

                • James

                  Weka,

                  I’ve been out playing with the cars and not been online – sorry for the inconvenience of not replying in the ‘opportune’ time.

                  Im happy with the argument I have put forward. You seem happy to ignore it.

                  Fair enough. But at the end of the day – “you guys” can moan all you like – Slater isnt ever going to be charged over this.

                  • weka

                    You miss the point. It’s nothing to do with when you’ve posted, or how much you’ve posted, it’s that you are simply making assertions with no back up. People have then challenged you assertions, and you still can’t back them up or come back with anything meaningful in the debate other than that you make stuff up about lefties and you think the police are right.

                  • Anno1701

                    “I’ve been out playing with the cars”

                    hotwheels or dinky ?

                    or the ones that got seized in llerslie the other day ?

        • Hanswurst 10.1.1.2

          Sigh – such simple concepts.

          Which makes your inability to wrap your head around them all the more disturbing.

      • Brendon Harre 10.1.2

        Sacha do you see the problem I stated at 1.2

        • Sacha 10.1.2.1

          Yes. Big issues. Even a public prosecution service separate from the police would be a start in this narrower context.

          • Brendon Harre 10.1.2.1.1

            Sacha it might work for awhile. But the powers of patronage would lead some to suspect that the service’s true master is to the person that appoints them -a cabinet minister, not the general public.

    • Anne 10.2

      Is someone putting pressure on the Police to be complicit in the coverup?

      And leaves instructions when to make the the findings available – ie late Friday dump during an extra busy news cycle.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Who is in charge of the good running of our country? The police are adopting stop and search at will. Who are they answerable to? They have tremendous coercive and decision making powers over a wide area of the public’s activities and now with more weapons, physical and internet, IT etc.

    Our political parties constantly change, and seem to be little better than a new committee in a community service group. The justice system is being decimated underfunded.

    There is not enough community building going on within the vulnerable suburbs being nests of crime, and too much in throwing into prison on the scrapheap and punitive, soulless, dismissive attitudes by powers that be who don’t spend the time advising the public about the need for different approaches, and listening to the real concerns of the public and showing they are attending to them.

  12. Deadsmurf 12

    This decision by the police doesn’t surprise me. Their complete lack of action since the complaint was lodged meant that this was likely to be the outcome. It contrasts starkly with the actions they took with Nicky Hager.

    The police are not part of the solution that are very much part of problem with the toxicity peculating through our political institutions.

    • thechangeling 12.1

      Great post. Yes have to agree that at the highest level the police in NZ are definitely corrupt and being bought off/pressured by senior National Party members a la Key and co. I wonder what the pay-off is?

  13. infused 13

    Public website hosting labour party website.

    Idiot IT doing backups to publicly accessible folder

    This is now hacking…

    lol.

    Time to upgrade your IT. I don’t see how putting anything sensitive on a website and failing to secure it, or in this case, not securing it at all, is anyone’s fault apart from the operators.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      The degree of effort required to access the data can hardly be a very reliable criterion to decide whether the intrusion qualifies as ‘unauthorised’.

      I think we all agree that in this case the failure to properly secure this material meant that even someone as stupid as Slater was able to access it with perfect ease. It’s fair enough to say that the door was left wide open.

      But as we all know – it doesn’t take a lot of skill to find ways into many systems – and with increasing levels of systems knowledge the level of ease increases.

      Indeed if you have the resources and skills such as say the NSA possesses – almost everyone’s computer is effectively wide open. Would you be happy for the NSA use this ‘ease of access’ as justification for intruding into any computer?

      • infused 13.1.1

        NSA and the like generally use some type of exploit or bug to gain access. Quite different to a public website that some tard misconfigured.

        Read up on Stuxnet. This is how it’s really done. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet

        Specifically:

        Stuxnet attacked Windows systems using an unprecedented four zero-day attacks (plus the CPLINK vulnerability and a vulnerability used by the Conficker worm[46]).

        Now, the only way for this to happen is from some very smart people. MS would most probably have known as well…

        But anyways, this is one of the best cases.

        The whole NSA intercept stuff is a different kettle of fish. No one is doing that here.

        Off topic, but Stuxnet is damm fascinating for anyone interested in security. It was said, this was developed back in 2003… if someone had this sort of stuff on the drawing board then, I can only imagine what’s going on now.

        • RedLogix 13.1.1.1

          So your definition of ‘hacking’ or ‘unauthorised access’ is dependent on the level of difficulty involved in accessing it? Surely you can see what a slippery argument that is? Where do you draw the line?

          By your reasoning – it’s always the fault of the system owners that their systems had a vulnerability open for attack. For a sufficiently skilled and experienced person – actually implementing these attacks is ‘easy’. Once the vulnerability is discovered – it’s only a matter of time before it’s exploited. What you are arguing is that “if the door is left open” it’s perfectly ok to walk through it and do whatever you like.

          Being an industrial automation engineer you’d have to imagine I’m pretty familiar with Stuxnet. While that particular threat is old hat now – protecting ICS systems from attack is a major on-going concern. This kind of vulnerability is a VERY live issue for me professionally. I attended a conference session on the topic just this week. Just late last year we saw this happen:

          http://www.wired.com/2015/01/german-steel-mill-hack-destruction/

          I’d bet my left testicle that if the German police discover who is responsible for this – there will be a prosecution.

          The whole NSA intercept stuff is a different kettle of fish. No one is doing that here.

          And on what grounds can you rule it out?

    • Naturesong 13.2

      Lowdnes Jordan partner Rick Shera;

      “The test is contained in section 252(1) of the Act. That is:
      Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years who intentionally accesses, directly or indirectly, any computer system without authorisation, knowing that he or she is not authorised to access that computer system, or being reckless as to whether or not he or she is authorised to access that computer system.

      We are still a nation of laws, aren’t we?

      • Kevin 13.2.1

        So if I create directory on my website for all my “secret files” that I want to be able to download when I’m out and about, and somehow someone finds out about it and downloads those files, then they’re breaking the law?

        • Naturesong 13.2.1.1

          Pretty much.

          Though you’d need to argue that a reasonable person would understand that the files were not for public view.

          If your files contained personal and financial information, like say a membership list or credit card details then you’d be in a strong position..

          But I don’t need to explain this to you, just read the legislation:

          Crimes Act 1961 Sect. 252 Accessing computer system without authorisation
          Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years who intentionally accesses, directly or indirectly, any computer system without authorisation, knowing that he or she is not authorised to access that computer system, or being reckless as to whether or not he or she is authorised to access that computer system.

          So, say for instance, I typed in http://www.somerandomURL.co.nz, and instead of displaying a webpage, the directory listing was displayed, I could be at risk of prosecution if I read or copied any file from that directory that didnt have an obvious html tag.
          If I copied or read a file from there that had personal and/or financial information, then I’d have a much, much harder time convincing the judge that I was sure I had authorisation.
          Cause it’d look an awful lot like I didn’t.

          But if you still don’t get it. go talk to a proper lawyer and ask them to explain it to you.

          • cancerman 13.2.1.1.1

            There is a difference between not suppose to be in public view and were in public view.

            • RedLogix 13.2.1.1.1.1

              If I accidentally leave the keys in the ignition of my car – and it gets nicked – then yes I’m an idiot for making it easy.

              But the Courts would never accept the defense arguing “that because the keys were in the ignition it was too easy – and therefore not really theft”.

            • Naturesong 13.2.1.1.1.2

              Certainly I’d expect Slater to make that argument in his defence.

              However Ede displays a guilty mind in communications with Slater at the time.

              So someone would probably have to make a judgement on whether Slater/Ede believed they were authorised to copy the material.

              If only there was a profession whose job it was to decide these things?
              And a systematic way documenting and presenting the evidence for that person to judge?

      • infused 13.2.2

        Invalid when it’s a public web server.

        • Lanthanide 13.2.2.1

          The servers that run Gmail are public, that’s how you can access them. So if there was a weird bug some day, where you logged in and it took you to someone else’s account, if you then proceeded root around in all their emails, found sensitive information on them, and then were stupid enough to publish that on the internet, do you think the defense of “it’s a public server and Google fucked up, so I’m not responsible for my deliberate actions” would have any merit?

    • Lanthanide 13.3

      No, it’s not hacking by any usual definition of the term.

      It is still however, unauthorised access, which is what is against the law.

      Just like using someone’s computer when they walk away to get a coffee is unauthorised access, not hacking, but still illegal.

      • Bob 13.3.1

        Isn’t it Labours job by law to keep private information safe? https://www.privacy.org.nz/the-privacy-act-and-codes/privacy-principles/storage-and-security-of-personal-information-principle-five/

        [lprent: Yes they are required to make reasonable attempts. Just as Slater is not meant to make malicious attempts to secure private information. However I bet that you don’t understand the Act. See /dirty-politics-police-refuse-to-charge-slater/#comment-1054251 ]

        • McFlock 13.3.1.1

          Hey, it’s my job by law to keep some stuff secure.

          But if I fuck up and leave a toilet window open, the wandering thief who knows damned well they’re not supposed to be there is still committing a crime.

          Nobody’s saying that the person(s) responsible for the Labour party website at the time did an exemplary job. But there’s a difference between fucking up and intentionally accessing information that you know you should not have been authorised to access.

          • Bob 13.3.1.1.1

            Completely different situation entirely!
            By law that person could be done for trespass and unlawful entry if they climbed in your window, you have done nothing wrong by law by leaving your window open.
            What Labour did likely breached the Privacy act, they effectively left peoples private information laying out on a private owned road, the public could easily access it, and there was no signage saying it wasn’t free to a good home

            [lprent: Bullshit. See /dirty-politics-police-refuse-to-charge-slater/#comment-1054251 ]

            • Lanthanide 13.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes, theoretically Labour have failed in their duty to keep private information safe, and I would be fine with the police also pressing charges against them in this instance – part of the purpose of the justice system is to make an example of bad behaviour as a deterrent to others.

              But just because Labour broke the law, doesn’t mean someone else is therefore given free reign to also break the law. That should be obvious.

              The law really is quite clear about whether someone knows they have authorisation to access the data being a factor in whether they have committed the crime. Whale Oil obviously knew that the information was not intended to be published, or he’s more of a cretin than anyone truly suspected. Given his gloating over how he was going to destroy Labour’s ability to fundraise, we in fact know that he was fully aware of what he was doing and that he is also a cretin.

              What Whale should have done, to stay within the law, is alert Labour to the vulnerability. Once it was confirmed as fixed, then he could have published on his blog about how useless Labour were and how they broke the privacy law – all without getting his own hands dirty. But he’s such a slimy scumbag that he couldn’t help himself and ended up committing a crime.

            • McFlock 13.3.1.1.1.2

              Not at all different – there are many things that are actually illegal to leave unsecured – firearms, for example.

              Your defence is like that of a burglar who says “but there wasn’t a ‘keep out’ sign by the open window”. The information was not in the middle of the road, it took a bit of snooping about to get there, if you bothered to look at slater’s video. It was perfectly obvious that that information was not supposed to be available to slater.

              • Bob

                I am saying, the Police could not prosecute Slater for obtaining information he should not have, without also prosecuting the Labour Party for not making a reasonable attempt to keep the information secure.
                If you cannot see how this is different from climbing in through an open window and stealing shit, you are either stupid or deliberately being obtuse, I personally believe it must be the later, but happy for you to confirm otherwise

                EDIT – Labour Party for “not” making a reasonable attempt

                [lprent: Point to the Act, its relevant sections, and show how the police would be able to lay a charge.

                The act you appear to be referring to is the Privacy Act. I suggest you read it. From my understanding of the legislation you are lying on both counts. The privacy commission would require a complaint by someone affected, which I haven’t heard as having happened. The police are extremely unlikely to be involved because privacy breaches are not handled in front of one of the general courts.

                You are asserting a “fact” with no backing or even a rational explanation. Check the policy for how we view that.

                Now because you have been trolling this bit of idiotic and ignorant crap over the site this morning, so I am imposing a penalty because this is a consistent pattern of behaviour for you, and one that you persist in repeating idiotic unsubstantiated assertions of fact that have no basis in reality.

                You have a choice of apologising for lying, showing a legal means by which your exact scenario in this comment could happen (ie the police able to lay a charge against Labour for not securing information), or a year ban.

                Make your choice within the next 24 hours. Since I am assuming you have no rational answer and will be unable to admit that you are lying, I will read anything you do from the spam folder. I will rescind the ban if you manage to satisfy wither of the first two conditions. ]

                • McFlock

                  So if someone sneaks through a window and steals my firearm that was not secured in a locked cabinet, and also picked up some legally-restricted data and a few HSNO petrie dishes, do you really think that I would not also be prosecuted as well as the burglar? Of course I would, for a variety of offences.

                  I’m perfectly at home with the police prosecuting both parties for whatever crime that might have on the face of it been committed.

                  What criminal offence do you think the police should prosecute Labour for? Act and section, please. Here’s the government legislation website to get you started.

                • Bob

                  Apologies lprent, legitimate mistake, I have re-read the Act and have found that we don’t take privacy anywhere near as seriously as I thought in this country. It appears agencies that have knowledge of NZ law (such as the Police) are unable to lay a complaint on your behalf. Even if any of the people who’s data had been downloaded by Slater, did lay a complaint under section 5a on the act, the Labour party would simply have been told to “do better next time” by the Privacy Commissioner.
                  No wonder cretins like Slater get away with half the shit they do in this country!

                  Regardless of outcome on the ban, please delete this post for me: /dirty-politics-police-refuse-to-charge-slater/#comment-1054187

                  [lprent: Ok. Apology accepted. Ban rescinded.

                  The privacy commission does not have any particular power as they aren’t the enforcement arm of that legislation. You have to look at the Human Rights Tribunal decisions, the people sitting in judgement, and the sanctions applied.

                  I’d suggest that you don’t want to get on the wrong end of the privacy commission, and get sent to the Human Right Tribunal unless you really want to risk paying a lot in fines, costs, and your time.

                  But when you read the decisions, you also see that legitimate mistakes and errors do get sent there. It is the deliberately malicious who do. Like Mr Crampton ]

      • weka 13.3.2

        “Just like using someone’s computer when they walk away to get a coffee is unauthorised access, not hacking, but still illegal.”

        As I understand it a lay person couldn’t have found the files by just sitting at an unoccupied computer. It required specialist knowledge.

        • Lanthanide 13.3.2.1

          I never said they could.

          I’m just illustrating that you don’t have to “hack” something in order to access something in an unauthorised way, and that it is illegal.

          • weka 13.3.2.1.1

            Is there a legal definition of ‘hack’?

            I think this situatin fits the lay person’s definition of hack.

            • Lanthanide 13.3.2.1.1.1

              There is no legal definition of hack.

              And yes, it might fit the lay person’s definition of a hack, but ‘hack’ is a terribly mis-used word by the media and lay people anyway.

              I’m speaking from an IT perspective (as was infused, who I was replying to).

              • weka

                Thanks, I agree there are substantial differences in how the word gets used. I’ve had a few conversations with tech savvy people about this who have argued it’s not hacking, anyone could access the information, but I think it’s clear that most people wouldn’t know how to do that. Which I guess is geeks misusing concepts as well (although in some cases that’s going to be political because of the context).

  14. G C 14

    How could the police possibly have the time or resources to prosecute Slater! They are far too busy running beneficiaries though the Courts for trying to makes ends meet!

  15. ZTesh 15

    The Police have charged and convicted Slater before.

    They are hardly biased towards him and in fact, if anything the opposite is true.

    They also didn’t prosecute Hager or labour in order to ‘let the courts decide’…as case law has dictated when Police prosecute without a reasonable probability of a conviction they not only breach the solictors general guidelines but also open themselves up to serious judicial criticism and costs.

    • Anne 15.1

      They also didn’t prosecute Hager or labour in order to ‘let the courts decide’…

      What piffle. Why would they prosecute Labour? Labour hasn’t hacked into anyone’s computer. Some thugs called Slater and Ede – working for John Key – hacked into their computer. So the police need to prosecute Labour for what Slater/Ede did to them? That sounds about the right level of comprehension on the part of the right wing lackey boys and girls.

      No, they didn’t prosecute Hager, but the police have been treating him like a suspected criminal (he doesn’t have a criminal bone in his body and they know it) by intimidating him with a full scale search of his home. And there’s every chance that is not all that has happened… but Hager isn’t likely to reveal anything else until after the appeal court decision has been published.

      • ZTesh 15.1.1

        Because it’s hypocritical to demand that Slater be prosecuted for ‘hacking’ when at the same time Hager sold a book for profit as a direct result of someone hacking into Slaters emails.

        And it’s simply not the polices job to let the courts decide, infact there was a recent case when they did exactly that and the person they charged was able to sue them for costs.

        • Kevin 15.1.1.1

          “hacking” in this case meaning typing in a url…

        • lprent 15.1.1.2

          Anyone can sue in a civil case. Did they win? It is unlikely. If they didn’t or haven’t, then your example has all of the credibility of a idiot bullshitting.

          Also generally link, or be regarded as a stupid liar peddling urban myths. Read the about because we ban for not linking to asserted facts.

          • ZTesh 15.1.1.2.1

            I’m not sure where your aggression comes from, and there is nothing in the rules that I can see about having to have a link to everything you claim. If there is I apologize, but it would also appear that the vast majority of commentators assert ‘facts’ without linking to sources.

            The case I’m talking about was just recently in the major news papers, it involved a civil dispute between two businesses, where the officer investigating charged one of the parties,and evidence was given that he had stated to them in his investigation that he would ‘let the courts decide’. The judge dismissed the charges, ruled costs against the Crown, and slammed the police decision to ‘let the courts decide’.

            It’s also very common knowledge in legal circles that with the new amendment that decisions to prosecute in cases such as this can result in serious repercussion. Without sounding rude, I would suggest you talk to a colleague in the criminal bar about the new case review system and decisions on costs. It has changed markedly.

        • Naturesong 15.1.1.3

          News Flash.
          Hypocrisy is not a crime (and in this instance I think you are wrong).

          Comparing the potential privacy or defamation issues that Hagar had to navigate in order to publish his book with Slater and Ede’s unauthorised access is comparing apples and oranges.

          Also, Slater has to navigate privacy and defamation issues same as Hager does, he’s just really shit at it which is why he spends a lot more time in court.

    • Naturesong 15.2

      Just curious, under what statute do you think Hagar should be charged?

  16. reason 16

    Hagers book was about two faced sleazy dirty tricks politics and those in the national party and their side-kicks who operate this way…… Farrar, Slater, Key etc etc

    These two faced political criminals kept their dirty tricks secret ( of course ), and Nicky Hager shone the light on them …… James’s and co don’t like this.

    The only other thing i can take from this thread is that James must think the Roastbusters broke no laws ( or did anything wrong ) ……….. because the police never charged them.

    I’ve a feeling that people like james operate on the principle of ‘what can I get away with’, according to the law ……………

    We are into the third term of National now and the Sabinization effect on government and the police in particular is showing through strongly ……..

  17. burt 17

    This is the same Hager that published a book based on hacked emails right? The same guy who’s published illegally obtained private communications claiming he did nothing wrong?

    The same guy is also saying its criminal to access information obtained via search engine results, unprotected, unencrypted private information for all to see.

    I’ve got two separate people confused as one, surely?

    • dv 17.1

      Hager really should have published the private intimate stuff he had,

      BUT he didn’t, must be a different Hager then Burt.

      • Anne 17.1.1

        If I was Hager I would be tempted to go ahead and publish the personal stuff which sounded to me like it was pretty horrendous. But Hager’s not me so he no doubt has too much integrity. 🙂

        • burt 17.1.1.1

          WhaleOil has never published any private information from his discovery, would you say he should have published that too?

          • mickysavage 17.1.1.1.1

            So if a burglar steals your private information but does not publish it this makes it somehow better.

            I am also intrigued burt. You seem to say that because Hager stole Slater’s information Slater is justified in stealing Labour’s information. Do you really believe this? And do you have any proof Hager stole Slater’s information?

            • burt 17.1.1.1.1.1

              So if a burglar steals your private information but does not publish it this makes it somehow better.

              It wasn’t a burglar. Can you please explain how you justify using the term ‘bulgar’ (justify the metaphor on legal principles) in relation to what WhaleOil did.

              Unencrypted, unprotected data on the internet is not private.

              I am also intrigued burt. You seem to say that because Hager stole Slater’s information Slater is justified in stealing Labour’s information.

              What Slater did has nothing to do with what Hager did. It was years earlier. Labour were embarrassed and fixed their mistake. There is no crime of downloading publicly available information from a web server that I’m aware of. Well not unless it’s material that is classified as objectionable. But that’s another matter.

              Either way it’s not sensible to say what Hager did justified what WhaleOild did given WhaleOil did it years earlier and at the time nobody made a legal case it was a crime. Activists etc had their shouts, as you would expect. But to the best of my knowledge no formal complaints were laid by Labour.

              It seems most people agree how the emails Hager user were obtained was illegal, how people judge Hager’s use of them is more divided along partisan lines.

              • RedLogix

                There is no crime of downloading publicly available information from a web server that I’m aware of.

                All information in all computers is ‘publicly available’ burt. Just a matter of how much time and effort you want to put into finding the doorway.

                • burt

                  All information in all computers is ‘publicly available’ burt. Just a matter of how much time and effort you want to put into finding the doorway.

                  If the information on your computer is available to me with nothing more than a web browser, knowledge of how to use a publicly available search engine and no more skills than a person searching for their favourite recipe – Would I be hacking you if I access your information?

                  • mickysavage

                    It astounds me how the right without hesitation think they are justified in taking advantage of a computer that is clearly compromised.

                    • burt

                      Defend Hager and also say this, how do you do it !

                    • burt

                      If the computer was compromised as you say, then it was compromised by incompetence not by the actions of a hacker. This is the thing that was so embarrassing for Labour isn’t it. Surely Hager has done Labour a disservice reminding everyone how stupid Labour were a few years back?

                    • RedLogix

                      Because, among other things, Hagar has a rock-solid public interest defense – and Slater does not.

                    • RedLogix

                      burt – if you accidentally left the keys to your car in the ignition – does that ‘authorise’ anyone to just come along and drive it off if they want to?

                    • James

                      Just to clarify – it was not compromised – it was just not setup properly.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      The scenario I put forward in the following comment reflects your point and shows that the absurd decision by the police not to prosecute was definitely wrong. Doesn’t it? Take a look:

                      Dirty Politics: Police refuse to charge Slater

                  • RedLogix

                    If you were to find information that was clearly of a personal or confidential nature, copied it, and then boasted that you were going to use it to embarrass or compromise me – then yes – that would fit my definition of ‘hacking’.

                    The means of entry is of only minor relevance here – it is the intent of the acts committed once inside that are crucial.

                    If you leave your front door open – and I wander in uninvited out of say curiosity and concern for your welfare – then it’s highly unlikely any charges will result.

                    If however I take a copy of say your passport, banking details etc – and then attempt to sell them to criminals – the police would likely take a much livelier interest. Unless of course you are a ‘left-wing activist’. Apparently they’re fair game these days.

                  • lprent

                    FFS Burt, you know damn well how easy it is to write plugins for browsers, and there are no silly sandboxes for remote computers.

                    Conversely anything you can do with a browser can also be done in ANY shell with curl, wgetwget, bash and any number of other tools.

                    I routinely write ‘browsers’ these days for dialogue interfaces.

                    These are all “web browsers”, which have access to numerous protocols ranging from http, to ftp, to SQL, to apt, and whatever protocols you want to attach to them. You would have to be a technical illiterate to think that the tool defines the means.

                    These are all tools legally and easily available on the net

                    The Crimes legislation says unauthorised access not the tool or protocol for a reason. That the police appear to be incapable of understanding the law as it is written seems to have more to do with a wilful and completely irresponsible blindness than anything else.

                    Your distinction is completely arbitary, meaningless, stupid, and outright pig ignorant.

                    • burt

                      Unauthorised access ? Like stolen emails ?

                    • lprent []

                      Yep. Have you ever heard me say that rawshark should not be prosecuted? He/she should be. So should Slater for exactly the same reason. Unauthorized access.

                      rawshark also deserves a medal for acting in the public interest as well. After realising the public interest of what they found, they passed it to a journalist to expose to the public.

                      Whereas it is perfectly clear that Slater was only acting in his own interests – that of promoting himself and his website. He was operating under the most vindictive and malicious motivation. Just as he was with Blomfield or in entering a conspiracy to pay someone to hack my systems.

                    • Macro

                      Oh burt of little brain, the two cases are poles apart, it has been explained many times but your poor simple mind seems incapable of comprehending anything other than one sentence at a time. So here goes:

                      “Public interest”
                      Public interest has been considered as the core of “democratic theories of government”. It is the welfare or well-being of the general public.

                      Now can you get your simple little mind around that concept burt? What is in the public interest, and what is not?

                      Is it in the interest of the public to know how one political party is abusing the OIA for it’s own political gain? Obviously it is, and if that information comes from the computer of one Cameron Slater then the informant is protected – it’s called whistle blowing –
                      you can read about it here:
                      http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/what-we-do/protecting-your-rights/protected-disclosures-whistle-blowing

                      Is it in the interests of the public to gain the information of who supports a political party? It may be, but it would be drawing a long bow to suggest it was anything like the corruption of a political system referred to above. So is lawful to take that information without the authorization of those involved? No it is not.

                    • burt

                      Macro

                      The two cases are poles apart, that’s what you are responding too right ?

                      What Slater did has nothing to do with what Hager did.

                      I’ve stated it and you are repeating it telling me you shouldn’t need to explain it to me too, keep up Macro.

          • Anne 17.1.1.1.2

            He boasted about publishing details of the membership list including “outing” individuals etc. on his blog-site and to the media. The only reason he didn’t was because he was warned of the likely legal consequences.

            • burt 17.1.1.1.2.1

              The only reason he didn’t was because he was warned of the likely legal consequences.

              As I’m sure Hager was.

              • Anne

                The faulty right wing logic again. Hager DID publish the information that had been given to him. He openly talked of how he ran everything through his lawyer before publishing. In fact his lawyer was standing next to him at the book launch. He had nothing to hide. Slater has lots and lots to hide.

                • Lanthanide

                  No, it’s not faulty logic, it’s ignorance (deliberate or otherwise) of the actual reality of what happened. When you don’t have all the facts, it’s easy to draw idiotic conclusions, especially when you’re already biased in that direction.

            • Sacha 17.1.1.1.2.2

              And had he been charged/convicted over breaching suppression by then?

    • Naturesong 17.2

      So, what crime would you charge Hagar with then?

  18. Nicky Hager used “stolen emails” to write a book exposing underhanded actions aimed at destroying political opponents and subverting public information processes, run from right inside the Prime Minister’s office.

    Keith Ng exploited a vulnerability in government computer kiosks to highlight the risks of people’s personal information being accessed due to sloppy security.

    Cameron Slater stole personal information from a political party’s server explicitly to intimidate that party’s supporters while his buddy who worked inside the PM’s office crowed about being able to cover his tracks.

    I think anyone with even half a sense of perspective can see why the last one isn’t the same as the first two.

    Interestingly enough, only two of those people got labelled “hackers” by the PM and his mates.

    • Anne 18.1

      Thanks Stephanie Rodgers. Best evaluation yet.

      Interesting it should be the first one the police appear to be concentrating on. That either says something about their faulty logic or… they’re acting on behalf of others?

    • infused 18.2

      Because they meet the IT term of hacking. You even said it yourself (vulnerability).

      Accessing a public web server is not hacking.

      • Nicky Hager did literally no hacking. So you’re wrong.

        And if Keith Ng’s method – mapping *open* computers on a network – counts as hacking then Slater & co’s smash-and-grab on Labour’s website absolutely counts.

        Too bad for your friends.

        (Of course, you avoided the actual point: there’s real public interest in knowing about government corruption and protection of personal information, and none in knowing “these are all the names of people who donated to the Labour Party”.)

        • burt 18.2.1.1

          Nicky Hager did literally no hacking. So you’re wrong.

          So, if WhaleOil gave me the data he found on ( you say he stole from ) an unprotected web site and I published that, I’d have done literally no hacking either. Would you defend my right to make profit from doing that ?

          • Kevin 18.2.1.1.1

            And if I receive emails including personal emails hacked from The Standard showing corruption in the Labour Party and plans to sabotage the next election I’m allowed to publish those emails, under “public interest”. And like Hager naturally I wouldn’t publish the personal ones but that wouldn’t stop me reading them.

            [lprent: They never existed, and we don’t like fuckwits who insinuate that we are like the insane corrupt arseholes that frequent the right. Unlike Slater we aren’t a sockpuppet for a political parties dirty tricks. The one time it was tried, we stopped it hard. Banned for 2 weeks as a warning. Read the about and the policy and abide by the latter or don’t comment here. ]

            • RedLogix 18.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually the answer to that hypothetical Kevin is – yes. If you can demonstrate genuine public interest (other than the prurient or personal) – then I would 100% back you doing just that.

          • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1.1.2

            Sure, if it was in the public interest as the information in Nicky Hager’s book was.

            But lets get back to the point here. Slater and Ede accessed Labour’s server illegally for the purpose of political gain. So, they performed an illegal action to help them perform another illegal action.

            Now, answer this:
            Was what Slater and Ede did, in you opinion, moral?

          • Naturesong 18.2.1.1.3

            I’d defend your right to publish, and if you make a profit from doing that, sure.

            But you’ll want to be sure that the private information you publish is limited to that which is of public interest, because if it’s not, I’ll sue your sorry ass back into the stone age.

            Notice that this is a civil matter, not a criminal one (unlike unauthorised access).

        • infused 18.2.1.2

          Good to see you have no idea.

    • Kevin 18.3

      Actually according to Hager’s own admission he received the emails out of the blue, so to speak. But instead of going to the police like he should have done he decided to use the emails to try and sabotage the election and failed spectacularly.

      • Anne 18.3.1

        Well in light of the police’s response to Labour’s complaint it’s just as well he didn’t go to the police. The biggest cover-up this side of the black stump would have ensued and we would still be in the dark.

      • Lanthanide 18.3.2

        You don’t seem to have any understanding of the role of “the journalist” in a modern democracy. That seems to be where you keep falling down.

        Hager, because of his occupation, gets afforded special privileges that the average member of society does not. But he also has to play by the rules, the main one being “public interest”.

        • Naturesong 18.3.2.1

          It’s worth noting that he doesn’t get consideration just because he is wearing a label saying journalist.

          Everything he publishes has the potential to land him in court (privacy and defamation) so has to be defendable.

          The people he writes about when detailing corruption, dishonesty and abuse of power in government will generally take exception the sunlight he shines about the place. And they can afford lawyers, good ones.

  19. Ed 19

    Its all part of the privatisation agenda. Restrict resources for a government department until services become unacceptable. How to measure unacceptable? Either (a) party members complain, in which case get priorities changed so those areas don’t miss out, or (b) encourage aggrieved people to take a private prosecution – you can then get the justice you are prepared to pay for. . . .

  20. James 20

    Stephanie – why is “Stolen emails” in ” “‘s. Are you inferring they were not stolen?

    • Magisterium 20.1

      Of course they weren’t stolen, Slater isn’t accused of deleting them from the Labour server. Which means they were at worst “duplicated without authorisation”. The definition of theft in the Crimes Act is quite clear.

      • infused 20.1.1

        Yeah, the piracy isn’t stealing…

        Just duplicating without authorization… lol.. you guys..

    • Sacha 20.2

      Because it’s a Nat/Act talking point, dear chap.

    • What Sacha said, and also you mixed up “inferring” and “implying”.

  21. cancerman 21

    One question is considering this happened in 2011 and Whale Oil published the data. Why was the complaint only laid last year by the Labour Party? It appears they are casual with there member information and casual complaining to the police. I would never leave something I considered theft a few years before laying a complaint with the police.
    This seems odd.

    • mickysavage 21.1

      The complaint was laid immediately after Dirty Politics was released after the extent of Slater’s behaviour became known.

      What a stupid thing to say. So if a victim of an offence for their own reasons decide not to immediately complain they are somehow at fault?

      • cancerman 21.1.1

        The extent of what he had done was surely known when Whale Oil published the data and how he got it. That was surely enough info for a complaint.

        No, in some crimes and circumstances it is very understandable but in this circumstance its seems odd as it wasn’t an attack on an individual nor was it violent compared to other crimes.

        • Sacha 21.1.1.1

          I’d agree.

        • mickysavage 21.1.1.2

          It was the middle of an election campaign. Other things were considered more important at the time.

          Besides Labour’s police complaint involved three different areas, two of which only appeared after the book was published.

          • cancerman 21.1.1.2.1

            So was the when Labour laid the complaint? surely 2012 would have been a not busy time. Plus there was enough for a complaint the first instance.

    • Anne 21.2

      I would never leave something I considered theft a few years before laying a complaint with the police.
      This seems odd.

      Nothing odd about it cancerman. There are all a manner of reasons why a victim of crime doesn’t immediately lay a complaint. Here are 3 of them.

      1) Fear. When a victim is being bullied and intimidated they will invariably be too frightened to lay a complaint for fear it will escalate.
      2) The knowledge that if they lay a complaint they will lose their job.
      3) This one applies more to women than men… the knowledge that they are unlikely to be believed.

      I took the bull by the horns and laid some complaints years ago.

      a) The bullying and intimidation escalated.
      b) I was effectively forced out of my job.
      c) My employment superiors (and ultimately the police) believed the perpetrators rather than me.

      So I speak from experience.

      • cancerman 21.2.1

        Hi Anne

        I completely agree with your post but don’t think the Labour Party has any of those situations apply to them or any other ones that might be completely valid reasons for delaying complaints or not making a complaint.

        I’m sorry for your experience

        • Anne 21.2.1.1

          It happened a long time ago. I was talking more generally about reasons people delay complaints

          My understanding is that it was an election year and they felt a police investigation would distract from the campaign in a negative way. Given what happened after “Dirty Politics” was published I think they were right.

  22. cancerman 22

    If they were too busy in the 2011 campaign they had adequate time in 2012,2013 to lay complaint while not being busy by an election campaign. And then ironically laid the complaint in the proceeding campaign period when you think they would be equally too busy.

    • Anne 22.1

      mickysavage explains @21.1.1.2

      To elaborate: It was only after Dirty Politics was published that Labour was able to fully appreciate the extent of the dirty campaign against them. It made it possible for them to present a more robust complaint to the police. That the police appear to have ignored significant aspects of the complaint and concentrate only on technicalities is testament to their desire not to prosecute.

      And the reason why? Well, lets get it out into the open:

      Because Of Ede’s and Slater’s close association with John Key.

  23. Clemgeopin 23

    As there is widespread debate and doubts, the police should have tested it in the court. They have set a bad precedent for the future.

    Now that they have strangely decided not to prosecute, why not proceed with a private prosecution? Probably too costly. If Labour decides to go ahead, please set up a donation page. I will be happy to donate a small amount that I can afford. I suspect that a lot of people may also be keen to support. Many small amounts and a few large amounts will build up a good amount. Has Labour made any comments about all this yet?

    Besides, hopefully Labour may also be able to get some good pro Bono legal support.

    • cancerman 23.1

      Also surely the Labour Party has some supporters that are good lawyers and will work pro bono

      • Clemgeopin 23.1.1

        There may even be some right leaning honest and good lawyers who may consider this long delayed police decision as being simply appalling and a complete travesty of justice and may decide to help. Who knows!

    • ZTesh 23.2

      “As there is widespread debate and doubts, the police should have tested it in the court. They have set a bad precedent for the future.”

      No because the courts have already said the Police shouldn’t arrest, charge and prosecute people to ‘test’ evidence in cases where there isn’t a good * probability* of a conviction. And if they do proceed to prosecute, and the defendant is found not guilty they will be liable for costs.

      So would we really rather they turn Slater into a right wing martyr who receives a big payout from us (courtesy of the Police)?

      • Clemgeopin 23.2.1

        Do, are you saying that when there is some sort of doubt about the validity of dome parts of a complaint, then the police should never prosecute? That is crap because there is ALWAYS some sort of doubt in some aspects of every complaint.

        Also if your logic/information is correct, then every time the police decide to prosecute but lose, they will have to pay costs!

        Doesn’t seem sensible.

        • cancerman 23.2.1.1

          No matter what you think this would never be a slam dunk case in court. Labour did publish the data in public this is a fact.

          • Clemgeopin 23.2.1.1.1

            Here is a scenario: Let us say Slater is allowed into your lounge. At one time, he is there for taking a look at one of your albums or may be he actually comes along with some other ulterior motive.

            Unfortunately for you, you are naked in your bedroom but you have carelessly/accidentally left your bedroom door open. Then without asking or being given permission, Slater ambles along and without your knowledge/awareness/permission, takes some naked pictures of you and gives it to Key, Ede and others and publishes or threatens to publish them.

            Is that OK by you?
            Is that, as Joyce once said about the Cold Play or Eminem song they stole/used for the National Party, “We think it’s pretty legal actually”?

            Do you still think it will ‘never be a ‘slam dunk case in court’? Why not?

      • Naturesong 23.2.2

        I’d be quite keen to see this decision;
        No because the courts have already said the Police shouldn’t arrest, charge and prosecute people to ‘test’ evidence in cases where there isn’t a good * probability* of a conviction.

        Could you link to, or even just cite the case please.

    • Anne 23.3

      When you consider how much was raised for Nicky Hager’s case against the police then Labour should have no trouble raising the money from supporters and others who value our sovereign right to fairness and justice from the police and other state agencies.

      • Naturesong 23.3.1

        Hmm, Hagar is an internationally renounded investigative journalist who has always conducted himself honestly and with humility.
        Those aren’t words I’d use to describe the Labour Party leadership.

        I am supportive of Hagars work generally, and was happy to buy his book (not happy after I’d read it). And was inclined to contribute to his case prosecuting the Police (I didn’t though – I was skint, and he seemed to have reasonable support).

        If I were to give money to help Labour prosecute this matter in court, it would only be because I see it as an investment in our democracy.
        It would not be because I am supportive of Labour.

        Point being, Labour may find it more difficult to raise money for the case in the same way Hagar did.

  24. Mike the Savage One 24

    This whole business with the police not taking action in this matter is just ONE tiny bit of an incident to worry about. There are even larger things happening that should get us worried. Yes we have so-called “watch-dogs” called the Health and Disability Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner and the Ombudsman. I know from first hand sources, that they are part of the whole basically corrupt agenda also. I have read decisions that were made on complaints, with ample evidence, where they simply decided to “take no further action”.

    This is absolutely appalling what some of this involves, even where staff that the HDC Office LIED, in order to justify to not bother investigating a well known doctor.

    There are similar other complaints, all treated at best with a “wet bus ticket slap on the wrist” approach.

    The Ombudsman defended one of her staff members while she was evidently not doing her job, and may have lied to her boss, about the evidence before her. The matter appears to have been presented to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, but that one, we can presume why, is as silent as a lamb, and is not responding. This is the state of affairs in New Zealand, most are rather believing the rather superficial or even dishonest mainstream media, the lying PM and government, than dare question what really goes on. Most of what I referred to is well on record and will be followed up. I believe some in opposition are informed.

    This is shit that can hit the fan soon, so watch this space, but going by the way the system works, they will try all, to bury it under whatever excuses and paragraphs justifying no response or investigation to be needed.

    New Zealand is a rather corrupt country, a well known, absolutely trustworthy migrant from the UK told me just days ago. Sadly few dig deeper, and few dare asking questions and demand the truth. Nicky Hager bare scratched the surface, the elite and upper levels of the powers there are in Wellington they keep their lips sealed, as they are mostly part of the whole game.

    • Ffloyd 24.1

      What is the point of a Governor General? Proper question.

      • Naturesong 24.1.1

        Constitutional, ceremonial and diplomatic.
        Functions of the GG
        Constitutional Role
        Royal Assent

        Their daily itinerary is relentless. Not a job for the faint hearted.

        As I understand it the power for the GG to dissolve parliament in NZ was removed.
        As is their ability to refuse Royal Assent unless advised to do so by the executive. (This is currently being abused by our Govt.)

        Anyone remember when this was done? Or the legislation used?

  25. Clemgeopin 25

    The grubbiest part of the police decision not to prosecute was their strange decision to dump this important news late on a Friday evening! Not sure what time they dumped it. It did not make the TV news at 6 pm as far as I know. (What about the late news?).

    Why would the police do the late dump in this case? I think they owe an explanation to the people, the party, the country and for a fair and honest justice in a democracy.

  26. Ztesh 26

    Natures song. Here is just a basic example of what could happen. Now imagine Slaters crowing if that had been him…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11479451

  27. dv 27

    One of the interesting things is that if there was no truth with what Hager wrote WHERE is Ede now?

  28. Bob 28

    [lprent: deleted by request of the commenter ]

  29. Smilin 29

    They have committed a burglary maximum sentence ten years nothing more to it .They should be charged, it doesnt matter that it was a computer it is a case of being on or in some else’s property without permission which is not trespass .

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