Interesting story coming up in The Herald

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 am, February 20th, 2015 - 104 comments
Categories: accountability, Dirty Politics, journalism - Tags: ,

There will probably be a story soonish in The Herald that will be of particular interest to The Standard community.

We have had nothing to do with the coverage. We’ve just been watching events unfold on Twitter, and we’re happy to see it come out via The Herald.

104 comments on “Interesting story coming up in The Herald”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    My curiosity is killing me. You are a teaser!

  2. marya46 2

    If it’s what I think it is at this stage, then it could be about the “prominent NZer.” Right? There was something in the NZH late yesterday about that one and the lifting of name suppression. Political fallout perhaps? But I could be wrong here. However, I wait in anticipation!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      I suspect that may be a different ‘prominent New Zealander’ than the one you’re thinking of.

      In one case, there is a disputed facts hearing under the sentencing act. In the other, a not guilty plea has been entered.

      In one, all facts are ‘suppressed’. In the other, we know what the charges are and we’re allowed to talk about it: twelve counts of indecent assault.

      • vto 2.1.1

        Does a suppression order prevent people from trying to work out and guess who the person is, out loud? And if in doing so the suppressee is named accidentally, does that breach the order?

        It seems pretty clear who this case is about ……

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          How do you know this is the same case?

        • te reo putake 2.1.1.2

          “Does a suppression order prevent people from trying to work out and guess who the person is, out loud?”

          Yes, it does. Though speculating in, say, the smoko room or the pub is not really problematic. Speculation in public forums, including blogs like TS, is another matter, so attempting to join the dots in an obvious way should probably be avoided.

          • weka 2.1.1.2.1

            Although going by what has gotten through moderation on ts, speculating without joining the dots is acceptable.

          • vto 2.1.1.2.2

            Oh…

            but what gsays below

            it seems suppression orders ignore some basic human traits and that can only lead to failure.

        • gsays 2.1.1.3

          hi vto, i concur, this is so pythonesque, so catch 22 ish.

          all details are suppressed, so unless you are in the court at the time of suppression and know the details, you are not to know.

          if you are not in the court at the time of the suppression, you dont know, so how can you breach the order if you dont know what it is about.
          to me then speculation is all that is left.
          this potentially leaves vulnerable victims open to more pain.

          • te reo putake 2.1.1.3.1

            It seems more than likely that the suppression order is in place to protect the victim. That should be uppermost in our minds, I reckon.

            • marty mars 2.1.1.3.1.1

              exactly – the speculation is gratuitous imo

            • gsays 2.1.1.3.1.2

              hi trp, while i would like to unreservedly agree with you, our justice system does not work that way.

              they with the most money gets the most favourable treatment.

              there are examples of where renown/celebrity/class have garnered bias in their favour.

              the gist of my post however is that we dont know what we are not supposed to talk about.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.3.1.3

              suppression of information relating to identifying victims remains suppressed but the name of the accused and other factual details not leading to victim id seem to have been lifted (pending appeal).

              • Cheers for the clarification, Tracey.

              • Does that mean that whoever is the prominent NZer, has been already been convicted, is about to be sentenced.
                And the suppression order is to be lifted after sentencing?

                • weka

                  I think there is confusion here because there are two potential cases being discussed.

                  • Yes, my guess is that this piece has something to do with Ben’s twitter explosion the other day.

                    But, as this thread is talking about a “prominant NZer”, I thought it appropriate to ask a general question about his or her sentencing and appeal process.

                    Can anyone tell from the reporting whether or not the prominant person has been convicted?
                    With the mention of time to lodge an appeal, it does sound like a judgement has been made

                    • weka

                      I don’t know which court case you are referring to. There are two.

                    • Ahh, ok.

                      Was referring to this one
                      Herald – Thursday Feb 19, 2015: Prominent New Zealander charged with indecent assault loses name suppression

                    • weka

                      Thanks.

                      “The charges faced by the man, who elected trial by jury, can now be revealed.”

                      I took that to mean the trial hasn’t happened yet. Also the article refers to alleged victims, so I’m guessing no conviction yet.

                      (plus I don’t know if that’s the recent prominent NZer, or the one from earlier last year).

                    • ok – just trying to get my head around it – guessing I’ll have to wait for the suppression to lift

                    • lprent

                      But, as this thread is talking about a “prominant NZer”, I thought it appropriate to ask a general question about his or her sentencing and appeal process.

                      There are several cases floating about at present that are or have been under suppression.

                      There was a auckland businessman whose suppression order got lifted recently with his conviction on charges of something like underage sex, supplying minors with P, and being a P addict. (Can’t locate the link)

                      The Northland and political rumor mills are rife with speculation on Mike Sabin to the point that even my normally legally deaf ears keep hearing about it.

                      Mike Sabin has the “personal issues” for which he resigned over. These seem to involve time in court yesterday (someone saw him there).

                      The rumor mill says that there is allegedly some unspecified suppression on details which is why everyone is being coy about it. Exactly if or what is suppressed is an interesting point – which is why I’m not going into any of the details that I have been told about charges or which court or anything else. It’d be nice if the courts would give some warnings about what and where suppression orders are – but I guess that would defeat the point of them.

                      The political and public interest question is if John Key and/or the National party hierarchy knew about whatever is alleged (if anything was) prior to the 2011 election but decided to continue with him as a candidate. The same for the 2014 election and afterwards when he was made chair of the police select committee.

                      Since this is the same group who were involved in selecting him in the first place. Then despite whatever his “personal issues” are, I think that there is a damn good case for a public interest lifting of the alleged suppression order in view of the byelection.

                      The countervailing argument against lifting such a suppression order would probably have to do with that exposing a victim by association and/or awareness of any charges or allegations. Those kinds of blanket suppression of the type I have been told about are usually restricted to sexual charges and/or charges related to the family.

                      But I suspect that we won’t get anything one way or another until after the by-election.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.3.2

            However, I think that it’s confirmed that we, as a society, need to be more careful about which New Zealanders we elevate to prominence.

      • Tracey 2.1.2

        According to the Herald the prominent NZer is charged with 12 counts of indecent assault on 2 complainants.

        name suppression has been denied BUT remains in force allowing 20 days to appeal.

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.2.1

          We also know that it’s the class of indecent assault that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Indecent assault on an adult has a 7 year maximum.

      • Sacha 2.1.3

        Thanks, OAB. That’s what I thought.

      • rawshark-yeshe 2.1.4

        the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive …. could be same citizen …

  3. Pete George 3

    I’ve seen something interesting unfolding on Twitter that has a Standard connection and collated some of it here – Rachinger previously – and here – Ben Rachinger versus Cameron Slater.

    Ben seemed to quieten down after that but has made some follow up comments:

    If Slater had tweeted what I said and showed you all yesterday, it would have been everywhere. Think about the complicity of your media.

    Not even a peep from the Opposition. I guess everyone wants to pretend politics is a fair ‘game’. Power isn’t a game and it def isn’t fair

    Knowing the way things are twisted and spun, how else was I to get word out? You, who have listened and read, deserve better information.

    Yesterday he quoted Martin Luther King “And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause” etc.

    And a couple more quotes.

    “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Albert Einstein

    “To see a wrong and not to expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.” Dr. John Raymond Baker

    Slater has targeted NZ Herald in particular in his criticisms of old media , and has specifically targeted NZH journalists. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see some interest returned.

    • Skinny 3.1

      Of course your beady eyes would have lightened up seeing a Little & Mc Carten alleged connection.

      • Pete George 3.1.1

        Of course you’re make false presumptions. Odd that you think to mention them in relation to this. I don’t think that’s the focus of this story.

        • Skinny 3.1.1.1

          Oh that Is rich from you Pete after dump posting that nonsense about Little and his late paying of an account, then running away refusing to reply ‘yet again’ I don’t know why I bothered to just write this as you probably won’t comeback till you do
          another dump & run.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Voles are commonly mistaken for other small animals. Moles, gophers, mice, rats and even shrews have similar characteristics and behavioral tendencies. Since voles will commonly use burrows with many exit holes, they can be mistaken for gophers or some kind of ground squirrel.

            Voles thrive on small plants yet, like shrews, they will eat dead animals and, like mice or rats, they can live on almost any nut or fruit. Additionally, voles will target plants more than most other small animals, making their presence evident. Voles will readily girdle small trees and ground cover much like a porcupine. This girdling can easily kill young plants and is not healthy for trees or other shrubs.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Ben Rachinger’s Twitter feed has been quite interesting of late.

    I am known as someone who knows about network and computer security, in some circles. You get offered jobs. Would you like to hear about it?…

    I was offered $5,000 and bonuses to hack The Standard and pull out the authors list and keep a Backdoor in.

    I did not. Now you know.

    Lefties need to clean their house. Right wingers need to grow a pair and sort their elites out. Kiwis need to wake up and Stand Up…

    The Police are involved.

    He also posted a text exchange between himself and Slater.

    This would be great clickbait for anyone looking to boost their flaccid statistics. Yawns.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Lefties need to clean their house.

      I wonder whether he’s talking about web security or people. If the latter, forget it: witchhunts are damaging and ineffectual: has National uncovered Hager’s informants yet?

    • weka 4.2

      https://twitter.com/B3nRaching3r/status/567512543321530370

      Either that or the vast left wing conspiracy has finally been uncovered and the standard is in the thick of it. 😛

    • Tracey 4.3

      This makes more sense in conjunction with the Post teaser because the “prominent NZer” and Sabin is not of special interest to The Standard.

      The Post hints at a much more direct link than that, imo, and your post above alludes to that.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.4

      I’m not a fan of Ben Rachinger in any way, but he has done a very good thing bringing this piece of dirty politics and tech espionage to light.

      Worth noting that his refusal to participate doesn’t mean that someone else did not.

      Also the state security apparatus can crack The Standard very quickly on their own if they wished to.

      • Anne 4.4.1

        It has always been in the back of my mind that this government’s dirty political machine would – through one means or another – attempt to access TS for the identities of authors and regular posters. For me, it has served as encouragement to raise the proverbial finger… and comment as much as I like.

        • Colonial Rawshark 4.4.1.1

          Exactly. Transparency is a form of protection in of itself.

          • weka 4.4.1.1.1

            For some people. Not for others.

            • Anne 4.4.1.1.1.1

              True weka. Public Servants, beneficiaries and others employed in areas which have connections of one sort or another with govt, entities are at risk of having their lives/careers diminished if their identities become known. Hence the need for pseudonyms.

              Take note MSM. You are protected by your journalistic status. We are not!

              • Colonial Rawshark

                The kind of society which requires people to act out their lives in a lie is exactly what the Stasi state in East Germany created.

                • weka

                  The thing that really gets me about it is the left wingers/liberals who are either anti-pseudonym and/or have objections without understanding the dynamics or crucial issues involved (like the one you just pointed out). It’s an area of somewhat alarming ignorance amongst otherwise intelligent people who should know better.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Some lefties still carry around an innate trust in the activities and objectives of government, the deep state and associated authorities which nowadays may not be warranted.

      • lprent 4.4.2

        Yes, but there is little to see. I have no idea why people seem to think that there is.

        Authors either blog under their own names and usual emails, or they blog under pseudonyms and arbitrary email addresses from gmail or under invalid emails. Commentators do the same. We don’t care if an email is valid, and the login system is off unless you are an author or have and login already.

        The public systems are isolated. The systems self-check each others code. I get to see (and usually do) anyone getting logins, logging in, or getting promoted. So ‘backdoors’ have problems at doing anything apart from looking for associations.

        The spy agencies could see everything current if they tapped the net at the access points, and historical if they stored it. But what they would see is exactly what we state. A group of labour movement people doing usual political activities and discussion and their online critics.

        Even the most paranoid fool in the police or security forces would have a real problem making anything of it.

        • weka 4.4.2.1

          I had assumed it was mostly email addresses and names/pseudonyms, but also things like IP adresses and other data that might make someone’s RL ID, location etc more guessable or trackable. Given Slater’s history on this, it makes sense people would be unclear and/or cautious about implications.

          The problem isn’t that ts is riddled with Important People that Slater can out. It’s that the whole hacking/DP thing is making people nervous because so much of it is alien either technically or ethically. Upfront explanations like you have just given are good 🙂

  5. Skinny 5

    These punk hackers if any good get recruited to hack the hackers. Slater is a nerdy character and appears to not have grown up reading some of that crap.

  6. Pascals bookie 6

    Wee reminder that Key has said he knows who Rawshark is, but he just can’t be bothered really.

    (chances that he does know are v.slim to nil, so just a reminder that he said it, coz he’s a dick)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Knowing the way things are twisted and spun, how else was I to get word out?

      Rachinger.

      If I didn’t do it, who would have? If I didn’t do it this way, how could it have been done?

      Rawshark.

      Informed speculation is one thing. Proof is another thing entirely.

    • rawshark-yeshe 6.2

      eckshully, probably forgotten by now even if he ever did know ???

  7. I predict nothing will come of this.

  8. ankerawshark 8

    I trust Lynn completely when doing all he can to protect the Standard from being hacked.

    However given this man’s claims and if they seem credible, it would be helpful to know (eventually) what the Standard’s response might be. I am sure we will, I am not meaning to rush the process, but surely some consideration needs to be given to this?

    Sooner or later if it is true that Slater is trying to procure someone to hack the Standard, he will find someone. Just my opinion is that it would be better to take action sooner rather than once the horse has bolted so to speak.

    • vto 8.1

      I think one has to assume that it has been hacked already.

      What say thee mr prent?

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1

        I think you are correct in making that assumption, but as lprent said above – there’s not much to see.

        • vto 8.1.1.1

          If one is anti-national when they are in power and then anti-labour when they are in power is that better or worse than being just anti one or the other? …. in the eyes of the powerful …. do you think

      • lprent 8.1.2

        I always assume that if it hasn’t been, then it will be. The best protection is to not have anything to hide, exceptionally hard to extract information (like bank logins or access to otehr systems), and whole lot of effort to make it bloody hard to plant anything.

      • r0b 8.1.3

        As far as I know we have not been hacked.

        I know nothing about networking / security, I take Lynn’s word for it that things are shut down pretty tight. The most likely form of attack is “phishing” / social engineering, authors having weak passwords, that sort of thing. All authors take care!

        However, as per Lynn above, there really is nothing to see. The same names as appear on the front pages and some (usually nonsense) gmail addresses. An occasional internal discussion where we argue with each other far too vigorously. And that’s it.

        (We keep all our huge payments from the well funded Left Wing Conspiracy off site in our HSBC bank accounts of course.)

    • lprent 8.2

      I answered that elsewhere. In essence it is that there is little to hide (we are extraordinarily open about what we do and why) and it is bloody hard to monitor without that sending up flags everywhere.

      Everything apart from drafts (which are wiped regularly), authors comments to each other (started after the election and probably wiped regularly) and pretty innocuous compared with what they say in public, and a pile of rubbish emails / and dynamic IPs are public.

      I don’t engage much in private conversations and I don’t store them for later purposes (blackmail? why was blubberboy storing all that crap?)

  9. veutoviper 9

    In the light of Twitter conversations over the last hour or so (I am not providing any links), I wouldn’t hold your breath expecting anything in the Herald or other media in the near future on the subject of the original post.

    However, PG’s posting of material from other people’s Twitter feeds seems to now be of concern to that person in terms of being prejudicial to that person’s reputation.

      • rawshark-yeshe 9.1.1

        it’s gone already ! o, vole duo …. lol

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          He was just asking who PG was, but it was funny because he said PG seemed to like him realllllly a lot. It’s in reference to what veuto said and PG’s blogposts on Ben.

      • Clemgeopin 9.1.2

        No access to messages now. It has been PGed, I think.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      Ben Rachinger’s twitter feed has gone private: what was the gist of the last hour or so?

      • weka 9.2.1

        He asked who PG was (funny)

        He said he hasn’t been speaking to the media.

        The week’s been hard so he’s going off for the weekend.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.1

          Thanks Weka.

          Translation: I want to be unreachable when the story breaks. Well, that’s what I hope it means 🙂

          • weka 9.2.1.1.1

            Maybe. Or he’s been getting some hard out shit from people pissed at him and wants a break for a few days.

            I’m curious about his statement re the media and the notice at the top of this thread. Maybe I’ve been following the wrong people. Anyone had a look at the Herald journo twitter accounts?

            Of course this announcement might have nothing to do with Ben at all and could be something completely different.

      • veutoviper 9.2.2

        I have been out for an hour or so. But prior to my comment, discussion and advice, included the legality etc of hacking, receiving and disseminating information from such activities and related matters in terms of both Ben’s situation and Hager’s, sources of further advice and legal expertise on these matters. One participant in the discussion was a well-known lawyer.

        I am not surprised that Ben’s twitter feed has now gone private – in fact that is what I personally would have advised.

        I don’t know Ben but I became aware of him some time ago. Based on what I have read over longer than just the last few days, my perceptions are that while he is quite young, brash at times and sometime rubs people up the wrong way, he is also very intelligent and a deep thinker. At this point, I am not prepared to write him off and wish him well if what he is claiming is true. Time will tell.

        As Weka has noted, he said that he had not been speaking to media and would not be (one or two were trying to get in touch with him yesterday).

        IMHO his comment about PG liking him realllly a lot was sarcasm, based on Ben’s writing style at times. He also mentioned PG’s postings being damaging to his reputation.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.2.1

          Thanks Veuto – very interesting.

          I share your assessment of Rachinger – so far as a Twitter feed is a window into someone’s character. I wonder if some of his remarks might be potentially prejudicial in the event of future legal action.

          And yes, I should think he’d be really impressed by Racist George’s attention 😈

          • veutoviper 9.2.2.1.1

            I wonder if some of his remarks might be potentially prejudicial in the event of future legal action.

            Agreed. Personally, I don’t think he should do anything without very good legal advice, particularly talking to the media. I think he is intelligent enough to know this; and possibly now has some leads as to where to get that advice. There are a number of lawyers well up with the play on such matters at present, including no doubt Hager’s legal team.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=11347803

            IIRC the Hager case starts in March – think I saw a tweet on this some time ago but don’t recall where.

        • Anne 9.2.2.2

          IMHO his comment about PG liking him realllly a lot was sarcasm,

          Exactly.

  10. the pigman 10

    Only been following Rachinger since Lynn alluded to his twitter conversation earlier this week.

    At first I was quite seduced by how he painted himself as an “insider” on DPF/Slater/Odgers and talked of further dumps to come.

    Then I looked a little deeper – specifically at the videos on his youtube channel he made before last year’s election (plenty of Key boosting + referring to Goodfellow’s personal life like it was some big scoop he’d become privy to through his YoungNats activities rather than 2009’s news).

    Relevant facts seem to be:

    – He was/is still a YoungNat that was boosting FJK online as recently as July 2014;
    – He attended some 5 different high schools in his teenage years (as a grammar “old boy”, this is a serious black mark)
    – After his DPF e-mail leak (which was telling and should have garnered MSM attention), he said he was only 0.1% of the way through a dump – in fact nothing followed in the 24hours apart from self-aggrandizing photos of him posing with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot (remind you of anyone?)
    – He considers himself a businessman with one of his businesses being “Social Analytics” (feel a vom coming on, anyone got a bucket?)
    – He has a fairly strong hatred of the Left, including axes to grind against KDC and Chris Trotter, who he accused of hatching a plot to make Slater kill himself (lawl)

    My conclusion is that he is most likely a very troubled/damaged individual with minor delusions of grandeur. He is certainly not Martin Luther King or Einstein. If his leaks re: Farrar and Slater are the subject of something in the weekend papers, I expect their leak will be framed as “more dirty politics from both sides, nothing to see here” at best.

    Sighhh.

    • the pigman 10.1

      Ahh where for art thou edit function? The point re: the 5 schools was that the first he lists in his social media profile is Auckland Grammar. Point being that his attendance there might be pretty telling as to his values.. (moreso than the moving around H/S so regularly).

    • Molly 10.2

      Yes, his Youtube account seems to be cheerleadering for – if not the National Party, John Key definitely.

      Would treat this with caution.

  11. Neil 11

    I just found this article on reddit about Ben Rachinger, http://www.reddit.com/r/newzealand/comments/2kvgn4/individual_identifies_himself_as_rawshark_via/
    If you click on the link it takes you to his twitter page.

    • the pigman 11.1

      This is just an “I am Spartacus”/”I am Bradley Manning”/”Je suis Charlie” kinda thing… and pretty dated. I think if you read more deeply into this guy’s recent posts (he was actually visited by police and questioned sometime after this tweet) it becomes pretty clear he’s not.

      The saddest part is he seems more wannabe martyr (if you look at his recent posts). He says he has so much more to come on the VRWC but we’ll see, eh…

  12. James 12

    Nothing that I could see this weekend – I was thinking it may have been in the Sunday Herald.

    Any idea on the timing of whatever this is coming out?

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