Technology and the law – and going after Hager

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, October 29th, 2015 - 213 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Dirty Politics, law, science - Tags: , , , ,

Technology moves much more quickly than the law, throwing up all sorts of questions about privacy, intellectual property, consent, responsibility, ownership, and more. We have one interesting case in point developing in NZ right now, with the recent supreme court ruling that a computer file is “property”. As always, Andrew Geddis is required reading:

Dixon v R: An easy case that raises hard questions

The story of Jonathan Dixon doesn’t raise much sympathy. He was a bouncer at a Queenstown bar back in 2011. While working there, he observed the English rugby player Mike Tindall – who had just married the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips – “cavorting” with a woman on the dance floor. So Dixon went into the bar’s computer system, copied a file containing the video footage of Tindall’s escapades (which he then deleted from the bar’s computer) and tried to shop it to the UK tabloids (who, in an unexpected fit of ethics, refused to pay him).

This case then managed to wend its way up to the Supreme Court on a seemingly narrow point of law; did Dixon “obtain[] any property” when he copied the file containing footage of Tindall from his employer’s computer system?

Certainly what Dixon did looks a lot like the sort of thing we think of as being “theft”. … And, in a nutshell, that’s what the Supreme Court thinks about the matter (judgment available here). The digital file that Dixon took was something that his employer wanted, that his employer didn’t want Tindall to have, and which had an economic value. If something looks like property, sounds like property and gets treated like property, it should be considered property. … And so the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s previous decision that the files weren’t “property”.

Remember what the Court is saying in Dixon (at least, in relation to s.249(1)(a)). A digital file – the “stored sequence of bytes” – constitutes “property”. So if you make a copy of that stored system of bytes in order to remove it from someone’s computer system, then you obtain that property. Meaning there are now two instances of the same property – the original file and the copied file, as both contain the same “stored sequence of bytes”.

Whereas, if Dixon were to have taken printed still photos from the bar’s video camera, scanned them into electronic form and put them up on the internet, it would not be a breach of s.246(1) for anyone to view, print, download or otherwise access them. Why not? Because you would not be receiving the stolen property – the printed still photos – but rather a copy of them that contains the same information. And the Supreme Court is very careful to say that “information, even confidential information, is not property” (at paras [23]-[24]).

Well now there’s an interesting can of worms. There are all sorts of technical questions and legal hypotheticals arising. The rest of Geddis’ post and the comments that follow explore many of them. Keith Ng also has a brief go at some of the technical absurdities. Seems that if you zip any file you’re copying you’re probably in the clear because it isn’t the same “stored sequence of bytes”. I’m not a file system expert [and I am not speaking in ANY professional capacity here], but it seems likely that in many cases simply copying from one file system to another results in a somewhat different sequence of bytes (because of varying file system attributes / tags / pointers / metadata).

All good sport for lawyers of course, but here’s a case of immediate relevance:

Court decision puts Hager back in frame

Ruling that hacked files used for book are property means charges possible

Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager may face criminal charges over accepting the hacked material used to write the bombshell book, according to documents obtained by the Herald.

Police will not say whether the investigative journalist is again a suspect, instead of simply a witness, after a pivotal Supreme Court decision which ruled computer files were property.

Documents show the new definition from the court puts Hager back in the frame over the computer files he was given by a hacker which he used as the basis for his book.

Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis said the Supreme Court decision was focused on one small part of the Crimes Act. But he said the logic behind the court’s decision would likely “follow through” to the way the courts handled other parts of the law – including receiving stolen goods.

“Rawshark will have obtained property in breach of [the law]. If Rawshark obtained property it’s hard to see those files are not still property when they get passed on to Mr Hager.”

Any shift in Hager’s status as a suspect or a witness could also impact the decision on his High Court challenge to the search warrant executed on his home in October 2014. Hager’s lawyers had insisted there was a higher hurdle to get a search warrant against somebody who was a witness – as Hager was on the day of the search – than for a suspect.

While Cameron Slater and the rest of the Dirty Politics crew carry on as usual, the Police really do seem determined to make life difficult for a whistle-blowing journalist in a case of significant public interest. Remember yesterday’s post on “A creeping authoritarianism from the current government”?

A question for legal types – how can this recent decision be applied retroactively to Hager? If to him, then surely to everyone, e.g. Slater’s taking of files from Labour’s server?

213 comments on “Technology and the law – and going after Hager”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    How can it be applied retroactively? It isn’t a law change – it’s an interpretation of existing law, so I don’t think it would be “retroactive”.

    Of course it also means that the Prime Minister’s office received stolen property, if interpreted that way.

  2. A question for legal types – how can this recent decision be applied retroactively to Hager? If to him, then surely to everyone, e.g. Slater’s taking of files from Labour’s server?

    In relation to the first question, the law works under a fiction. That fiction is that the law always has one true meaning, with the courts just “discovering” or “uncovering” this. So, when the Supreme Court says “computer files are property (at least in relation to s.249(1) of the Crimes Act)”, then this means that they ALWAYS were property (in relation to that section, at least). It doesn’t matter that the Court of Appeal said different. And it doesn’t matter if anyone relied on what the Court of Appeal said. Once the Supreme Court speaks, then that’s what the law both is and was.

    (Note how ridiculous this fiction is – the Supreme Court clearly is creating a meaning for the legislation in question … meaning that if you (or anyone else) want to know what the Crimes Act permits/prohibits at any point in time, you need to guess what it’s going to decide on the matter irrespective of what lower courts have said.)

    In relation to the second question, the question would be whether Slater “dishonestly or by deception, and without claim of right” took any files from Labour’s servers. As I understand it, his argument was that he simply copied information that was left available for the public to view. I’d guess he’d also argue that even if this was “obtaining property” on the Dixon test, he didn’t have the necessary mental intention for the offence.

    • In relation to the second question, the question would be whether Slater “dishonestly or by deception, and without claim of right” took any files from Labour’s servers. As I understand it, his argument was that he simply copied information that was left available for the public to view. I’d guess he’d also argue that even if this was “obtaining property” on the Dixon test, he didn’t have the necessary mental intention for the offence.

      Would that still be true if documentation, say in the form of PM’s or SMS between Slater and Ede, showed guilty intent?

      Speaking as a fan of calculas, I’ve quite comfortable with the idea of the legal fiction you describe. Our understanding of the law will always approach (but never quite get to) the true meaning.

      However it does raise the following:
      Can decisions made with a previous understanding of the newly uncovered/clarified point now be appealed by defendants or prosecutors of previous cases?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      Could the court rely on his conversations at the time of the offending (as reported in Dirty Politics) as evidence of intent? Where would this leave Mr. Ede?

      What is the significance of the fact that Dixon deleted the material he stole, whereas Slater/Ede did not?

      • Tracey 2.2.1

        did slater or ede use the info in any way?

        slater published personal stuff about blomfeld didnt he?

        • dukeofurl

          Slater did publish snippets of Labours data on his website, with identities blurred – just to show he had it.
          From memory, it included credit card payment details ?

          Not only that, Labours data was in the form of a backup of payment system files. Slater had to pay someone ( Reagan Cunliffe his website developer?) to reverse engineer the scrambled data to make it readable.

          This is important, it wasnt in a form easily readable by a browser or standard document viewer.

          • dukeofurl

            Watching Slaters video of what he did, its clear that the personal data was in SQL backup format. This needed some skill to make readable
            Other data formats were used an example is csv ( which is easily readable though)

    • Tracey 2.3

      and his receipt of the blomfeld files?

    • john 2.4

      Except Slater didn’t take anything that wasn’t publically available.
      A bit like putting a naked photo of yourself in your front window and then complaining that someone saw it.
      In this case EMails were taken via breaking into Slater’s computer, then distributed (for profit, a book).
      A similar case would be someone breaking into your house taking photos of you in the shower and posting them on the internet.

      • Tracey 2.4.1

        but even if the data was sitting there… slater using it in someway to breach privacy is sti a srong unless he got peoples permission first? eg credit card info? someone leaving docs on a bench and them being found doesnt change who can give permission to use them?

      • Tracey 2.4.2

        and it wasnt availa le to the public per se… LP fucked up everyones privacy… which is slightly different to what you are saying… not a public record like a phone book

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4.3

        You shouldn’t have left the window open: when you did that your whole house became publicly available. And the video of you induced vomiting in internet users.

        • dukeofurl

          Strictly speaking the same test could apply to accessing Slaters computer.

          The poor security on Labours website let him in and the poor security of his work computer let someone it.

          • Tracey

            BUT if you are coreect above, even with the useless security, not everyone could use the information, only those prepared to research (or already knew) how to decode/translate?

      • Naturesong 2.4.4

        Slaters video of how he obtained the information is here:

        It’s when the video gets to 4m10s the directory listing is revealed.
        At that point, there are two thoughts that pop up in most people’s heads (and most likely Slater himself given his later conversations with Ede about not wanting to get caught accessing the information).
        1. I’m not supposed to be seeing this. And …
        2. what a bunch of incompetents!

        Just because something is easy, or because the idiot who set up the site forgot to set permissions does not mean that anyone has a right to access that information.

        And that’s before any privacy considerations (membership lists, credit card details etc)

        You could argue that once he had stumbled upon it and realised what it was, he believed there was a public interest in the information, but that clearly is not the case here.

        That said, I’ll defer to Geddis and Edgler on the matter.

        • Tracey

          i would love to hear from them on this too naturesong.

          just cos i leave my phone in a room doesnt mean i am giving it away or giving permission to use my data

          • Naturesong

            I understand from the twitter that Edgler is thinking about doing a blog post explicitly covering the property aspect of this.

            It runs along the lines of the file (container) being property but the information contained therein not being (although privacy issues may apply).

            So if Rawshark had altered the files by (as a for instance) by adding a *space* (or anything else that would result in a different hash) then the files (the containers of the information) would not be considered the same and so are no longer the property that was stolen.

            This obviously is not a defence of Rawshark who I think everyone understands broke the law by accessing information he had no right to, but as semantic as it appears to me, might be abough to protect journalists.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Why would journalists need such semantic games when the public interest is a much stronger defence?

              • Tracey

                I asked Andrew Geddes (up there ) to confirm if public interest is a defence to receiving stolen goods? I don’t think he saw it.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I suspect you’d first have to establish that the by-products of the Rawshark hack constitute property rather than information.

        • dukeofurl

          Remember the “data” he was after wasnt normally readable, he had to get it ‘unscrambled’ to be able to see names.

      • George Hendry 2.4.5

        Sorry, John. Totally dissimilar. One runs into trouble like this when trying to misrepresent truth.

        Anyone who broke into my house, took photos of me naked in the shower (how would they do this without my knowing, this gets more ridiculous by the moment) then posted said photos on internet would quickly find they had not been doing so for profit. People would be demanding their money back even before they had paid any.

        “A bit like putting a naked photo of yourself in your front window and then complaining that someone saw it.”

        No. Nothing like it.

        The Labour party did not put their confidential files in their office window and then complain about people seeing them.

        You have indeed set yourself a hard task, explaining why Rawshark taking Slater’s files without his permission was illegal, and Ede taking Labour’s files without their permission was legal.

        All it clarifies is whose side you are on.

      • mpledger 2.4.6

        IIRC The Labour database had virtually no security other than the complexity of access that would take IT expertise in order to get at the data (IIRC Slater & co needed an IT expert to do the dirty work). Apparently, Slater had virtually no security other than an easily guessable password. In both cases, the security of the data was poor, the owners of the data did not wish the information to be publicly available and the people taking it knew that.

        Even if Slater’s access was not legally an offense, it was definitely felt to be an ethical and moral offense as a written apology was proffered by the National Party via it’s chairman (?).

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Your door was open, so I walked in and took photographs of everything in your house including copies of all documents. I’m in the clear because the Prime Minister’s office did it too.

          • Naturesong

            You might find it’s a poor defence to the breaking and entering you’d be charged with 😆

            But, you could do it during an open home.
            Be sure to keep us all updated as your trial progresses.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I forgot to mention I got paid to do it, through a trust run by my mate Jordan. He says if I get busted he’ll call the client and I’ll be taken care of. It’s all a bit hush hush, but the best thing is, we’re in the digital age, so they haven’t even got plausible deniability.

              Mum’s the word.

        • john

          Openly fact, the labour party encourage you to look, how far is irrelevant. Therefore there is an implication of invitation…no “locked doors here”.
          Slater had a password….like having a lock on your front door, if it is a poor lock….it’s still breaking and entering with NO invitation either stated or implied.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Which is why the thief in the PM’s office masked his IP address, because he knew he was doing nothing wrong.

            Do you have to repeatedly smash your head against a wall to achieve this level of cognitive dissonance? Or is it genetic?

            • Naturesong

              It is an interesting question though.

              If you have a guilty mind, believe you are committing a crime, but are in actual fact not.

              In this case however, it’s clear that information was accessed without authorisation (the nature of the information copied together with Slater and Ede’s relationship to the Labour Party requires a monumential leap of faith to come to any other conclusion), but until Dirty Politics came out there was no way to prove mens rea.

            • Andrew

              “Which is why the thief in the PM’s office masked his IP address”

              No he didn’t, i believe it was referred to as a “dynamic IP address”, which is what 95% of all people connected to the internet have. In particular anyone working for a company will generally have a dynamic IP address. try tying ipconfig /release, ipconfig /renew and see what happens. You might just get a new one.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                My bad. Jason “Dynamic” Ede offered “a hearty sigh of relief” that his prints weren’t on file, ‘cos had they been he’d’ve been “bang to rights, it’s a fair cop guv”.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And a dynamic IP address can be traced by the simple expedient of asking the ISP and/or the network admin who was logged on and using that IP address at that time.

          • Tracey

            Feel free to argue it in court, should it come to that, I hope Slater has a better defence than you would affford him.

      • weizguy 2.4.7

        “A bit like putting a naked photo of yourself in your front window and then complaining that someone saw it.”

        Or, a better analogy, someone walking into your house through an open door (because you left the ranch-slider open on a summer’s day) proceeding to your bathroom and taking, and publishing, photos of you in the bath.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.4.8

        Except Slater didn’t take anything that wasn’t publically available.

        If I leave my door open you can’t wander in and use everything in the house as you choose. If you do so you are committing a crime. This is what Slater did and thus, IMO, still committed a crime.

        In this case EMails were taken via breaking into Slater’s computer, then distributed (for profit, a book).

        But they weren’t taken – they were still there and profit from the book has nothing to do with it. Unless you’re arguing that nobody should ever get paid for their work?

        • john

          So theft is work, now.
          The labour party’s door was open….because they wanted it open, they invite everyone in.
          Slater did not invite anyone in, in fact he had password protect, no matter how poor, it is still NOT an invitation.

          • Draco T Bastard

            So theft is work, now.

            No, journalism is and it often skirts if not outright breaks the law which is why journalists have protection for doing so written into the law.

            The labour party’s door was open….because they wanted it open, they invite everyone in.

            That’s not how it works as you would know if you’d bothered to read the law.

            Slater did not invite anyone in, in fact he had password protect, no matter how poor, it is still NOT an invitation.

            Accessing Slater’s data was, as a matter of fact, a crime. Doing so exposed immoral and possibly illegal behaviour which is why Hager publishing a book is not a crime and nor is him receiving that information.

            • john

              Receiving that info., by hager, if data is property (supreme court)..then he has received stolen goods….a crime!!!!
              Searching through an OPEN web site (Labour’s, at the time) is not.
              Labour want you to explore their web site, don’t put anything on there you don’t want people to see, down load or copy.
              I don’t put my customer list or set of accounts on my web site. But you can see the products and services I supply…in fact I welcome people to look……… just like Labour….and all the other political parties.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                John the Bellman. What he tells you three times is true!!!!!! !!!! !!!!!!!!!

              • Tracey

                You need to read the actual decision rather than taking your knowledge on this from Mr Slater’s website.

                if you aren’t prepared to read the actual decision, then don’t be surprised if you get ridiculed.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Receiving that info., by hager, if data is property (supreme court)..then he has received stolen goods….a crime!!!!

                Well, the SC went to a great deal of effort to say that it usually isn’t.

                Searching through an OPEN web site (Labour’s, at the time) is not.

                It wasn’t a website. If anybody had just explored Labour’s website they would not have found it. To access the files that Slater and Ede did required that they go looking for them and that shows intent to access data that they weren’t entitled to.

                I don’t put my customer list or set of accounts on my web site.

                And neither did Labour.

                • john

                  labour put this on their web site open and accessible!! Even they admit it.
                  So..they searched the web site…so what. They could not have known it was there until they found it.
                  Maybe someone in the Labour party told them where to look?
                  As for the SC…usually isn’t does not mean never!!!

          • maui

            If you found a wallet would you just help yourself would you?

            • john

              The law says that it is the property of the person who lost, you should make all reasonable attempts to return it.
              NOT the same here, the Labour party INVITES you in to look around their web site, just like ALL other political parties. If they leave, in plain view, something in there that they don’t want seen…more fool them. You can’t unsee something!!
              Hager used STOLEN Emails from a person that BROKE INTO someone’s property…. Not the same at all.

      • travellerev 2.4.9

        Ah, the old they left the door open and therefore it’s not stealing argument!

        • john

          They didn’t leave the door open, …they invited everyone in to look around!

          • Draco T Bastard

            No they didn’t.

            • john

              Childish but……having a web site (such as all political parties do) is an invitation for people to look around it. Otherwise why isn’t it password protected and why does it actively encourage you to click on all the links on the front page, and as you go further in it encourages you to click on more links etc etc?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                If that’s how you see it your moral compass is due for a service.

              • lprent

                No it isn’t. Read the crimes act and privacy acts for the actual law rather than talking out of your area with stupid shit like that. Most networked computers have both public and private areas. Even computers on internal networks have public streams.

                If anyone breaks into the areas that are not meant to be public, then they have committed a crime. I will lay a complaint, and If the police don’t take action then I will probably prosecute them one way or another.

                • john

                  Not the case here …it was publically accessible and the Labour party have already admitted and apologised for that!!

              • weka

                the pages that Slater and Ede accessed weren’t clickable off the main site. You had to know how to access them, and most people wouldn’t. That’s not a definition of public.

                • Draco T Bastard


                  john of course knows this but acts to hide the truth of what happened even from himself.

              • Mike Bond

                @John. You are wasting your time trying to explain to the Anonymous Bloke. He is stuck in his thinking and thinks he is very smart to ridicule others who disagree with him. We have to wait and see what comes out of the court case. What I do find funny is all the support given to Hager, yet those very same people had heaps to say about their own privacy and the powers of the GCCB. They don’t want their privacy breached, but it is OK to hack someone’s e mails and then write a book based on these e mails. We did say hypocrisy is ripe on the left.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Who said it’s ok to hack emails?

                  Nobody. Not even the hacker. Once again your ‘argument’ has no foundation.

                  Has The Herald coming out for Hager not given you a little clue yet? My view is the majority one and you still haven’t read Dixon v R, have you.

                  Very very feeble.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            John hasn’t realised that an open door isn’t an invitation. So if you find John in your house just looking around, don’t call the police, take it as an invitation to teach John better manners by some appropriate method.

            John. Cuddling up to crims since forever.

            • BM

              John would be trespassing as he wasn’t invited in and anything he took would be considered stealing.

              My take is the way Labour set up their server it basically meant to was an invite to all to come on in , check it out and take what you want.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Like John’s, your take is woefully lacking in sense and sincerity.

                • BM

                  It’s why it’s quite hard to prosecute a friend,family or flatmate who’s stolen your stuff.

                  Normally it’s a civil matter, not a police matter.

                  • McFlock

                    Slater isn’t any of those to the Labour party though, is he?

                    He’s the halfwitted thug from down the road who sees you left your door ajar and wanders all over your home, sniffing the dirty laundry. Sure, they try “the door was open” as a defence, and the judge/jury still finds them guilty.

                    He knew he wasn’t supposed to have access to the information he was reading. That’s why it was a story. In my opinion (not tested in court) that’s also why he committed a crime.

                    • BM

                      Nah, it was about the incompetence of the Labour party.

                      Can’t even run a website yet think they can run a country, lol, lol, what a bunch of tools.

                      That was the story.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Tools with nine surpluses in a row, the lowest unemployment rate since the 1970s, and all this without Oravida bleach attacks.

                    • McFlock

                      You really do love to blame the victim.

                      The story was “door left open, see a buffoon walk through the house and sniff the panties“.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yeah but he’s a Gnat thug – like a certain prominent individual who a corrupt judiciary has determined shall remain nameless – and like the Masons were once purported to, Gnats enjoy inappropriate and disproportionate police and court cooperation.

                      So Hager will be prosecuted and Slater will probably get a knighthood – for services to the suppurating mass of corruption that is the Key administration.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    BM, cuddling up to crims since forever.

            • john

              But unlike rawshark, I won’t be in your house uninvited.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You said having the door open was an invitation. Slater left the door open, or Rawshark wouldn’t have gained entry. According to you, John, that means Slater invited Rawshark in.

                Relax, crims and their cuddlers (that’s you, John), have been running this line since Cain was a tacker. The law rejected it eons ago.

                Any chance of you getting up to speed this century?

                • john

                  No…read again….Rawshark Broke in by breaking past the password, there was no such block on the Labour party website and all comers are invited to explore ALL political party web sites.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Slater even tried to have The Standard hacked.

                    Rawshark admits his offending. John’s cuddling up to crims. No wonder Hager wants to disinfect your dirty little schemes with the sunlight of public exposure.

    • r0b 2.5

      Andrew – many thanks for your contributions. That description of “legal fiction” is one of the most interesting things I have read (and clearly never understood!) about the law.

      Seems to me that the legal fiction must fall over in the case of interpreting new technology? If the technology didn’t exist at the time a law was written there is no way it can have a “true meaning” that covers new developments.

      • dukeofurl 2.5.1

        Ist it a throwback to medieval Kings, who were sole arbiters of the law, and could never be wrong, even when they changed their mind, or more commonly changed Kings ?

      • @rOb,

        Well – it can! For example, the law on theft didn’t need to be rewritten to deal with the development of internet banking … if you get access to someone’s account on-line (say, they walk away from their computer without logging out of it) and transfer money into your account, you’ve “stolen” that money just as much as if you took $50 from their wallet. The question is, can existing concepts/definitions in the law stretch to encompass the new technology. If so, then the law can apply to it just as much as if it were around when the law was written.

        The REAL problem we have is that s.249 of the Crimes Act was written specifically to deal with a new technology (computers). What doesn’t seem to have been considered is how applying existing legal concepts (such as property) in the context of those sections (i.e. in relation to computers) might then flow through into other bits of the Crimes Act not written with computers in mind (i.e. the bits about receiving dishonestly obtained (stolen) “property”). Now the Supreme Court has forced us all to start thinking about that … and none of us really know!

        • r0b

          The law / technology interface is a really fascinating place to be right now (potential students take note!).

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          none of us really know!

          It can’t be that hard to figure out: the rule of law requires that governments and other dodgy types be held to account: freedom of expression is vital to that goal.

          What about precedents?

          Daniel Ellsberg springs to mind…

          • Tracey

            perhaps rule of law is now a

            nice to have

            • Pat

              perhaps rule of law is now ability to afford?….and wasnt it always so if to a lesser degree in the recent past?

          • Naturesong

            I don’t think it’s a matter of just finding out.
            This does appear to be new territory.

            It’ll be tested in court, and as each point is addressed and presidents are set, they become the true meaning of the law as indicated by Geddis above.

            Ellsberg was subject to the US judicial system so the precedent set there will not apply here (though judges do sometimes reference overseas rulings when setting precedents here)
            And, he was charged with theft, conspiracy and espionage. They threw the book at him.

            The issues these cases address (Dirty Politics, Blomfield and Labour website) appear to be:
            * Privacy
            * Defamation
            * The meaning of Property as it relates to information, or containers of information.
            * Unauthorised access of computer systems

            The issue that does overlap with Ellsberg is the public interest angle.
            The publishing of information which highlights abuse of power.
            Remember Ellsberg was a whistle-blower, Hager is a journalist.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              They threw the book at him, and the judge caught it and threw it (and their case) out of court.

              The SC ruling cites plenty of US law.

              They also refer to public interest and freedom of speech issues, which clearly covers Hager, The Herald, Paddy Gower et al,

              • Glad we agree.

                Or rather, I’m assuming we agree and you’re not left thinking that a lawyer representing a whistleblower in a New Zealand court could argue that a US ruling has any legal weight here.

                That’s not to say that a NZ Judge would not look to how judges overseas approached similar cases when setting precedent here.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  If they carry no legal weight, why cite them at all?

                  What emerges from our brief discussion of the United States authorities is that although they differ as to whether software is tangible or intangible, they are in general agreement that software is “property”. There seems no reason to treat data files differently from software in this respect. Even though the English Court of Appeal considered that an electronic database was not tangible property capable of being converted, it acknowledged that it might be property.

                  • Tracey

                    the precedent system can allow a court to consider a case from the USA but they do not HAVE to follow it, ergo, they are not bound by its ruling on a particular principle. The SC would have more latitude in this regard?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      They also cite case law from the UK which takes a different view. Obviously that carried less weight than the US rulings in this case.

                      What the RWNJs are ignoring is that the word “property” does not have a fixed, technical meaning but must be interpreted in context.

        • McFlock

          Funnily enough, I would have said that what Dixon obtained wasn’t “property”, but rather he obtained a “benefit”: the information he got was then able to be used by him to gain notoriety and attention.

          Although the justices obviously know better than me…

    • yabby 2.6

      If I remember rightly Slater showed people how to go into the Labour website and access the open files.

  3. weka 3

    What’s the problem with information being property?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Receiving it is a crime.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        which has implications for slater in tge blomfeld case?

      • weka 3.1.2

        “Receiving it is a crime.”

        Why is that a problem?

        • Tracey

          because receiving stolen goods is a criminal offence under the crimes act 1961

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It’s a problem because of the way it affects for eg: journalism – the Intercept, for instance.

          • weka

            ok, so apart from journalism, any other reasons why information being regarded as property is a problem?

            • mpledger

              Because there is no real way of knowing what information on the internet is stolen or not.

              Just look at youtube – if there is a video gone viral then there are often lots of copies on youtube where people have stolen the original video and uploaded it as if it was their own in order to get advertising revenue from the huge interest in it. If you look at the wrong one (i.e. one stolen from someone else) then you could be done for receiving under this new definition.

              • weka

                So the problems with internet usage should dictate whether information in general is property or not?

                AFAIK, if a video is copyrighted then uploading or downloading it without permission is illegal. That’s because the law grants ownership.

                • dukeofurl

                  Thats really an intellectual property situation, completely different. The copyright , which is a license not real property, is about using someone elses IP ( usually without paying!)

              • BM



                Hager knew the data was stolen, the person watching the you tube video does not.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Right wing bush lawyer arguing that Jason Ede stole property while working in the PM’s office.

                  The judgement makes it very clear that one of the reasons Dixon’s actions are considered theft is because he deleted the video footage. It also makes much of Parliament’s intent with regard to these matters and points out that the orthodox view is that information is not property.

                  Your narrow self-serving interpretation ignores Parliament’s intent with regard to journalism. The courts will not.

                  • Tracey

                    what is becoming apparent is at least 3 of our rightwing commenters have not read the decision despite it being available and have settled on a newspaper article as the basis of their assertions.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Not quite.

                    What happened was a “compliation” was made of the raw data – mostly showing the rugby player, this was copied onto Dixons USB, and then the COMPILATION WAS DELETED from desktop.

                    Now where does it say the raw data was deleted. (BTW sounds like they were experienced as this editing task)

                    “While the files from which the compilation was constructed REMAINED on the CCTV system, the compilation contained what was valuable in the full files.”
                    Supreme Court judgement [39]

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Do you have any material on your computer in breach of copyright? It just got upgraded to a whole new level of criminality.

              • weka

                my original question (“What’s the problem with information being property?”) isn’t about the current situation, it’s about the underlying issue of why information is not considered property (some information, other information already is).

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The judgement considers the question in exhaustive detail, including plenty of existing case law. It lays out the Court of Appeal’s reasoning, and its own reasons for overturning their judgement.

                  In doing so, the SC departs from what it terms the “orthodox” view – that information is not property. It’s clear from Prof. Geddis’ article that significant questions arise.

                  The accompanying media release says that the word “property” does not have a fixed, technical meaning but must be interpreted in context.

                  With regard to property, the court also makes reference to Parliament’s intent. It’s clear from other legislation that Parliament also “intends” to allow journalists to protect their sources.

                  Somewhere there’s a balance.

            • RJL

              It radically changes the penalties associated with activities like Copyright Infringement.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Knowing how to do maths is information.
              Knowing how to read is information.
              Your genetic code is information.

              It goes on and on and on. They’d be huge problems for society if information became property.

    • @Weka,

      If information is property in the same way as, say, your toothbrush or shoes are, then some free speech problems start to emerge.

      Consider. I am an evil entity (a company, or a union, if you prefer). I have been up to no-good. I write down my no-good deeds on a bit of paper. That information (the details of my no-good actions – not the bit of paper) then gets taken by a third party (an employee, or a cleaner, or whomever) and repeated to a campaigning journalist, who then broadcasts it to the world.

      Has the third party “stolen” my property (in the same way as taking your toothbrush or shoes would be)? Has the journalist then “received” that stolen property? In which case, hasn’t campaigning journalism just been criminalised? Is that then a good thing (from a societal point of view)?

      • Tracey 3.2.1

        thanks andrew.

        does public interest operate as a defence in this situation? Or is that what you mean about campaigning jouralism being criminalised? investigative too

      • weka 3.2.2

        what is campaigning journalism?

        Wouldn’t the scenario you describe be better covered by whistleblower/public interest legislation?

        But compare that to say someone making a copy of my computer’s HDD and sharing things from there that I don’t want shared. Nothing evil, just personal stuff or stuff that is confidential. Why should the information on my computer not be considered property?

        Conversely, how come my medical notes are the property of the medical practice I go to? Yes I am entitled to copies, but the originals are deemed to belong to the practice and I have limited control over the information I have shared. That information now belongs to other people.

        • Andrew Geddis


          Why should the information on my computer not be considered property?

          Well, it is a form of property, in that you have copyright over it and so can take civil action against anyone doing the sharing. What you’re asking is, why shouldn’t the Police be able to charge and the courts convict someone for what they’ve done. And the answer to that is the one I gave above … we should be very careful about extending the extensive criminal law protection we give to tangible property (shoes/toothbrushes/etc) to intangible “information” as the latter is so closely intertwined with free speech that we risk making public discussion/talking about things an illegal act.

          Case in point – if the person who is “sharing things from your HDD” has “taken property”, then everyone who they share with is “receiving it” and also has committed an offence. As would anyone that they>/i> share the information with. And so on. And so on.

          • BM

            Only if they know it’s stolen.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Not when they are a journalist working in the public interest.

              If they’re Jason Ede working in the Prime Minister’s office…you just dug yourself a big hole.

              • BM

                I can’t find it, but didn’t Hagar admit on radio that he knew the data he used for dirty politics was stolen.

                Sure it was on Hoskings show.

                Also if Slater and Eade broke the law they should be prosecuted

                • “If Slater and Eade broke the law they should be done like Hagar.”

                  By which you mean slandered by the PM and harassed but police?

                  Or do you mean charged with a crime, like Hager has not been?

                  • BM

                    Even though I edited my comment.

                    What I meant was that if Hager got done and Eade and Slater were guilty of the same sort of thing they should get done as well.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Slater’s situation is unclear. Ede has no defence though, because he isn’t a journalist.

                    • I don’t understand.

                      What Hagar did by publishing Dirty Politics from the information he received from Rawshark opens him up to privacy concerns and potentially defamation from the main subjects

                      Whereas what Slater/Ede did was accesses a computer system and download information they believed they did not have a right to. (This is on par with Rawshark’s behaviour, not Hagers)

                      There are however similarities between Hagar receiving information and writing Dirty Politics and Slater obtaining Blomfield’s information. These relate to privacy issues.

                      In addition, Slater has been taken to court by Blomfield for defamation.
                      This is an avenue that Slater can take against Hager but I suspect he’s terrified of what might be made public during discovery.
                      Additionally, Hager looks to have a pretty strong public interest defence should he end up in court.

                    • Tracey

                      I don’t think the police have ever raided Slater for either the Ede related information or the Blomfeld data.

                • dukeofurl

                  Like this time ?

                  “Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater has been accused of paying a man to hack into an opposition website( The Standard) for political gain.
                  In a statement provided to NZME. News Service, police confirmed they were investigating the claims, saying they had “received a complaint regarding an alleged attempt to procure the hacking of a computer system”.

                  Nothing came of that one ! Surprised not ?

            • Tracey

              do they have any obligation to ascertain that before using it BM

          • Jim in Tokyo

            I haven’t seen any indication that Slater’s computer was broken into / accessed. Nor have I seen any indication that files were moved or copied?

            Looking at Rawshark’s twitter feed, it looks like two hosted cloud computing services were accessed (Gmail and Facebook) and screenshots were made of the relevant messages then circulated.

            You can’t even “copy” a Facebook instant message on the byte level to my knowledge – the screenshot process is more akin to taking an iphone snap of the security monitor showing the dancing rugby blockhead and circulating that.

            That’s quite a different scenario from say receiving an illegally obtained physical harddrive or clone of a physical harddrive.

            • JeevesPOnzi

              That’s a refreshing slant on things- because up until now- Slater’s story has gathered steam without anybody actually examining it in detail.

              He’s been saying it was stolen…. and most people are now accepting on a certain level that Rawshark is ‘guilty’…

              But what if it wasn’t stolen… what if it was just ‘found’. And just because “Rawshark ” has said he is culpable, it still needs to be proven.

              At some point- in a series of improbable events – a person in possession of someone else’s goods, may have an argument of distant proximity from the crime?
              I see my neighbours car held back by a brick beneath the wheel, so I steal the brick. The car rolls down the hill and through the open gates of the farmyard at the bottom. Farmer picks it up on tractor and drops it out past the back paddock, on a country road. It sits there for two months until other farmer puts it in his paddock for safe keeping. Eventually weeds grow through it and his kids start driving it around the paddock… etc etc.

              Given the complexity of the cloud storage world vis a vis the archaic law applied to it- it may well be the real Rawshark could present a defence that simply usurps the law to the point that he plays no bigger a part than the Farmers’ kids driving in the paddock.

      • RJL 3.2.3

        If information is property of the “toothbrush kind”, can the police then seize it as “the proceeds of crime”?

      • Ross 3.2.4

        “Has the third party “stolen” my property?”

        What if the answer was yes but it was necessary to steal in order to protect the public?

      • McFlock 3.2.5

        Semantic point: I’m not sure “stolen” applies to the information (no ability to permanently deprive Slater of his texts or the bar owner of the security camera footage).

        But it’s only a semantic point:

        246 Receiving
        Every one is guilty of receiving who receives any property stolen or obtained by any other imprisonable offence, knowing that property to have been stolen or so obtained, or being reckless as to whether or not the property had been stolen or so obtained.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Dixon made a compilation which (apart from the copy he took) he deleted. The compilation is the property in question, not the raw footage. So yes, his employer was deprived of it.

      • nukefacts 3.2.6

        This idea that Information is Property is so very flawed. It seems based on a conflation of physical manifestations of information with information itself.

        Consider this. Historically, property was defined through several attributes:

        – it is tangible i.e. can be touched
        – it is immutable – i.e. generally, it can’t be significantly changed (think a car, boat, land, a book)
        – it is possible to determine it’s provenance i.e. who previously owned it and what has been done with it (think a car ownership and service history). Provenance thus defines ownership
        – it has a quantifiable cost to create and maintain, hence it’s loss through theft incurs real financial costs to the owner

        Information, while not well defined even by the ICT sector, has some different attributes:

        – it is intangible, being created and maintained within computer technology and hence can’t be touched and often not even seen
        – it is highly mutable i.e it can undergo change ranging from minor e.g. change a date, to extensive, e.g. re-write a novel
        – provenance is often completely unknowable, especially when information can be quickly assembled from a huge range of unattributed sources. This point is especially important when thinking of information as property – you frequently can’t prove who or what (e.g. machine, person) is responsible for creating an changing information. Thus ownership via Provenance breaks down (note that many Asian cultures don’t think of provenance and ownership as western cultures do, based on this understanding that in reality, all information passes through multiple hands and is built by many participants).
        – costs to create and maintain are often exceptionally low while the perceived value may be high (think a movie, e-book), but increasingly the value of digital information is being devalued as business models evolve. This makes it hard to prove loss of value

        Two examples nicely illustrate these issues:

        1. I steal someones car. The car is clearly tangible, immutable, with known provenance, and a high cost. It’s clearly someone’s property otherwise it would not have been purchased, used and have sufficient value to warrant being stolen.

        2. I steal someones digital medical record. This is not property as we understand it, and the theft has different consequences. The record is intangible, and highly mutable as it is continually modified until the patient is dead. Provenance is discoverable, but ownership is jointly held between the patient, doctor, hospital / GP, and other care providers. Costs to create are almost zero, and costs to maintain the record are very high for care provider labour, but almost nothing for the digital aspects of the record. There’s no financial cost to the theft of the record, and no physical asset is harmed or taken off someone. There are potential health and repetitional problems that can arise at different times (e.g. a mental health diagnosis may limit employment) but in no way can the record be considered ‘property’.

        To apply this thinking to the Dixon case. What was taken was a ‘mashup’ of existing footage. It was created by Dixon using his employers resources but it is unclear that he was actually forbidden from using these (e.g. computer, video footage). To conclude he stole property is clearly wrong. The employer owned the original CCTV footage, not the mashup, and the original footage was not deleted. The cost to produce the mashup was mostly Dixons labour, with some electricity etc from the employer. Dixon possibly breached privacy law by using the footage for a purpose it wasn’t intended for, but in no way did he steal property.

        In the case of Rawshark and Hager, Rawshark may have committed a crime. Hager however received a set of digital files that themselves are not the same as the original. To expand this point, any time you copy a file it’s not actually exactly the same as the original because the create/read/update metadata of the file is changed. You cannot make a digital copy of something and keep it on writable media (computer memory, hard disk, SSD etc) without this metadata being changed. Therefore it’s not the same file so he wasn’t receiving stolen property.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Dixon used his employer’s computer to make the compilation. The compilation automatically belongs to the employer, no?

          Put it this way: the SC ruling clearly states that Dixon’s access of the computer was “unauthorised”.

          Have you read the judgement?

          • McFlock

            The compilation automatically belongs to the employer, no?

            Well, there’s an interesting argument right there.

            E.g. what if the compilation used a small enough amount of the raw footage to count as “fair use” under the copyright act? Sure, it was obtained unlawfully, but if I steal a library book and write an article citing some of the contents, I own the article even if I can be done for theft. And aren’t Hager’s excerpts in the book a “compilation” of the hacked material?

            The entire issue is a dog’s breakfast.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I think it’s a bit of a leap between Dixon and Rawshark, and a far bigger one to Hager.

              As the SC points out, context is everything. Was Slater deprived of his information, for example? The ‘benefit’ from it was to the entire nation.

              I can sense many long bows being drawn 🙂

    • ianmac 3.3

      If you copy something and leave the original intact, then have you stolen anything? If I take say a cell phone it is gone. But Data on a computer is still there so has it been stolen?

      • john 3.3.1

        If you steal a car, drive it around town and return exactly where you found it with exactly the same amount of petrol in the tank, without the owners knowledge.
        It is still stealing!!!!

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It’s possible that you’d be a worse choice for Cameron’s lawyer than he is.

        • JeevesPOnzi

          No its not stealing- its borrowing without the owners consent.
          Particularly if you bring it back with petrol in it.

  4. Tory 4

    The good news is that this is sitting with the NZ Supreme Court and they will make a decision based on interpretation of the law. Personally I think Hager is in trouble.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      They’ve already made their decision and were at pains to point out that they intend a very narrow interpretation. Please try and keep up.

    • Tracey 4.2

      can you set out the legal basis for considering hager is in trouble?

      • dukeofurl 4.2.1

        It didnt say “best wishes from Cam” on his package.

        Knowing you have received stolen goods ( and not returning them) is the problem

        • ianmac

          So if Hager returned his data to Slater it is not stolen?

          • dukeofurl

            No. But for the person who received the stolen property , its a way of indicating they didnt have the ‘required intent’

            Merely possession of someone elses property usually isnt enough for a conviction. If you knew it was stolen AND kept it would however most likely be.

            • ianmac

              If I bought a stolen car it can be taken off me even if I didn’t know it had been stolen. Not sure if I am guilty of a crime unless I knowingly received.

            • john

              But Hager didn’t merely possess it did he…profited from the writing of a book using info he was not entitled to have and he knew was stolen (he said so himself).

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Slowly, you’re joining the dots. The dots that form the trivial part of your “case”.

                Now for the guts of it.

                When you’ve absorbed that information, and noticed that you have no case whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to ask questions.

      • Tory 4.2.2

        “Rawshark will have obtained property in breach of [the law]. If Rawshark obtained property it’s hard to see those files are not still property when they get passed on to Mr Hager.”

        I am sure you can join the dots….

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I’m sure that you are ignoring Hager’s cast-iron public interest defence. Sadly for you, the SC makes direct reference to it, as does Parliament.

          Keep wishfully wishing all your political opponents were in prison. Perhaps you could be a guard, wearing a smart uniform with shiny buttons, to open and close the gate.

        • Tracey

          so you read the herald articke and concluded hager was likely guilty? Cool. Fortunately the courts will delve deeper than the herald

    • George Hendry 4.3

      ‘Personally I think Hager is in trouble.’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

      He will have had no idea of this, and realising it will worry him greatly. Never yet having been in trouble with police, he naturally has no notion of what being harassed by them could be like.

      If they now have the law on their side, what might that give them the power to do?

      ‘It didnt say “best wishes from Cam” on his package.’

      There is no public evidence that Cam gives or has ever given best wishes to anybody, so to expect Rawshark to look for such a thing was unrealistic.

      • dukeofurl 4.3.1

        Dont be silly, it was meant as a way of saying the files werent sent with Slaters blessing.

        • George Hendry

          Indeed, I was hoping I could get you to say ‘…weren’t sent with Slater’s permission’, or even better, with his expressed agreement as a response to a specific request.

          His permission was not given. Nor was the Labour party’s permission given. So there was equal ‘theft’ (virtual theft?) in both cases.

          Our resident trolls have spent ages arguing on this long thread that Rawshark stole, because it was (more) difficult, and Ede didn’t steal, because it was easy. Totally beside the point.

          When in doubt, seek permission. Or run the risk of being charged with theft.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            There’s another difference between Slater/Ede and Rawshark – Rawshark admits personal responsibility for his crime.

            • The lost sheep

              Anonymous personal responsibility?

              Gee, now there’s a mind bending concept!

              So at first Personal Responsibility didn’t exist at all, then it did exist but only for those who were wealthy or of a Right Wing political persuasion, and now it has spread to a nebulous kind of half existence in an alternative universe where you can at the one and same time take it, without actually being answerable to it, because you can’t be identified….

              Progress. At this rate, some time in 2029 personal responsibility will have achieved that democratically Utopian state of applying to all citizens equally without discrimination.

              • McFlock

                Oh, you think that personal responsibility only applies to how other people treat you, rather than it being reated to some sort of internal characteristic of the person, like a conscience or other alien concept.

                My impression is that Rawshark knew perfectly well that what they were considering doing would be illegal, but made a rational choice to risk imprisonment and hack slater because they felt that would be the correct thing to do.

                My impression of Slater and Ede is that they think they are entitled to be repugnant without risk of any repercussion whatsoever, and that sense of entitlement extends to them being legally reckless.

                One case makes their choice and consciously takes their risks, minimising but accepting the possibility of punishment. The other case just assumes they’re legally, ethically and personally immune from any repercussions.

                I know which case I think comes closer to accepting “personal responsibility”.

                • Draco T Bastard


                  When it comes down to it, the right-wing never take responsibility for their actions unless they’re forced to by a court and even then they’ll deny blame.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Sheep correctly notes that the “personal responsibility” displayed by Rawshark is minimal. That’s still infinitely more than wingnuts display, despite the lip service they give.

                Still, my bad for not adding the smiley to indicate that I wasn’t being entirely serious, and confusing poor Sheep.

  5. savenz 5

    Shocking. What about legal protection for journalists and whistle blowers for public good?

    • savenz 5.1

      Quite different receiving incriminating data that shows evidence of corruption to a journalist than an employee copying security footage like in the UK case and trying to sell it for profit to breach somebodies privacy.

    • whateva next? 5.2

      or when “public good” is at odds with “good for government”???? it seems “good for government” wins every time these days

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        We seem to need laws that prevent the police going after people just because they’ve proven the government corrupt.

        • whateva next?

          not under this government, slightly against the trend of the laws they are passing in their reign?

  6. johnm 6

    I haven’t studied this deeply but my impression is this government led by Key the U$ lackey is copying what the fascist U$ is doing to Julian Assange the whistleblower. Hager has done the same here,but obviously on a much more micro level, exposed the venal small minded unprincipled corruption of this government. And they’re out to make him pay for it. JMO but this is fascist lite, certainly some Natsi mps seem to have a leadership cult for fuhrer Key! Some of them seem obsessed with saying… ” at the end of the day .” Are we looking at a 4 term Reich here? I hope not.

    • john 6.1

      Isn’t there some unwritten law of the internet…stating…as soon as you make reference to fascists/ n**i’s you have lost the debate?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.2

        As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1

        As for the notion of an unwritten law of the internet, I suppose there must be a video of it somewhere.

      • George Hendry 6.1.3

        “Isn’t there some unwritten law of the internet…”

        No, there isn’t. But there are those who believe there is. And that as long as they avoid such reference they can’t lose, no matter how faulty their arguments may be.

  7. Gabby 7

    If you receive a copy of the ‘property’, have you received the property itself? If you haven’t deleted the original as this fellow Dixon did, have you deprived the owner of anything except the exclusivity of the information?

    • savenz 7.1

      Good point!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      Basically, if you aren’t a journalist and there is no public interest in the information, you’re on shaky ground.

      Think industrial espionage, for example.

      • ianmac 7.2.1

        But industrial espionage would be for profit as was with the Queenstown barman.
        Neither Rawshark or Hager were taking for profit which is a distinction in the law – somewhere.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Even when it is ‘for profit’ – as in the case of a newspaper, for example, it’s clear that public interest is an over-riding principle.

        • john

          ????? are you suggesting that Hager gave the books away??? really???

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Are you suggesting that you still haven’t grasped the meaning of “public interest” – even though people have been so patient and polite with you? A less charitable observer might describe your behaviour as boorish, ungrateful, and completely lacking in any vestige of personal responsibility.

            You can lead a John to information but the poor wingnut can’t think.

      • Gabby 7.2.2

        That would be ‘intellectual property’ though. Bit of a long shot to call a planned smear campaign intellectual property.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I don’t think even the National Party would lay claim to Richard Nixon’s intellectual property. They probably owe enough in royalties as it is.

  8. savenz 8

    Imagine if individuals become criminalised for revealing information about criminal corruption or whatever by people in power.

    Corruption and criminal acts or even lying and hypocrisy would sky rocket in particular with people in power. (and probably already are). The criminals and wrongdoers would know they will be unlikely to be caught if it was illegal to reveal their actions.

    Goodbye transparency and justice.

    • Chooky 8.1

      +100 savenz …re “Imagine if individuals become criminalised for revealing information about criminal corruption or whatever by people in power”….and this could very well be the case with the persecution of Hager

      …not only because of what he revealed in ‘Dirty politics’ but also because of what he could further reveal on different issues and what he was working on

      this is not just a threat to investigative journalism , it is a threat to democracy and an open society and a civil society not riven with corruption

    • john 8.2

      ALL enquiries showed…no criminality and no corruption.
      So no public interest!!!

      [lprent: Are you talking about Nicky Hager and Rawshark? That was the topic of the post. But I’d agree. So far the police haven’t charged anyone and noone has taken a prosecution.

      Use the reply button or quote or reference the number of the comment you are replying to. Otherwise your opinion can be misconstrued.. ]

      • Chooky 8.2.1

        on the contrary, there is a huge amount of PUBLIC INTEREST!… in what has happened to Hager!

        …why has he been treated this way?!

        ….what have Westpac and the police got to hide ?!

        …or whose orders are Westpac and the police acting on?!…jonkey nactional?

        ….if so what is being hidden ?….and why do they FEAR Hager so?!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.2

        Gwynn Inquiry S.9, 10, 11, etc. don’t exist on Planet John. How will John manage to keep up with events on Earth?

      • George Hendry 8.2.3

        Come on, john. Out with it.

        Are you trolling?

  9. Tarquin 9

    I was under the impression the public good defense as used in the plough shears case is no longer viable. Not 100% sure, anyone know?

  10. NZJester 10

    Why did they never go after a certain someone who had a physical hard drive and physical paper files stolen from the person he was writing about then?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      Because the stories a certain someone made up were fashioned from whole cloth, not the stolen material?

  11. reason 11

    Its interesting to note that BM and srylands would both stand up and defend child abusers if they were caught on the basis of evidence of their crimes being taken from their computers without their permission …………….The spirit of sabin is strong in those two .

    John Key is a dirty ………….. his mate Cam slater is a natural fit for team Key….. Although not suffering any real consequences yet ………… they have at least been exposed.

    But that wont stop BM and Srylands from being their cheerleaders …………

    Srylands has admitted to giving money to Slater …… which makes one wonder what type of shit he gets up to ………………….. creepy guy.

    Nicky Hager has exposed the truth ……….. The police have already debased themselves aligning themselves with dirt and trying to criminalize him for it ………

    This is our brighter future …………….

    • Rodel 11.1

      Christ this is boring. The facts are :
      Hager is a decent person and should be recognised as a genuine New Zealand whistle blower .
      Slater is an arsehole, a shame to New Zealand and should be locked away in a bin.

  12. mikesh 12

    I don’t think, Rawshark can be accused of theft, nor Hager accused of fencing, since Slater still has his files. Also Rawshark didn’t access the files for his own purposes but, rather, to alert the public, through the agency of Nicky Hager, to the existence of the files and their content. This is really more analogous of the situation where a detective sniffs out information for the purpose of solving a crime. Of course, if a detective obtains information in a dodgy manner that information may be inadmissible in a court of law, but that particular sanction hardly applies in this case.

    The pair may of course stand accused of invading privacy but I would think that the “public interest” would in the these circumstances be considered a good defence.

    • ianmac 12.1

      That is true mikesh. There is no way that Rawshark could be accused of removing files for profit. Nor Hager. In both cases they took a great risk to themselves. Look what has happened in USA to whistleblowers who have annoyed the State. In our case I feel sure that even if the State here does not win the case against Hager, the State will be pleased that they have punished him and sent a message to all those other uppity journalists.

  13. infused 13

    Of course its property. What a stupid question.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Yes, the Supreme Court is being stupid. If only they had your wisdom, they’d be at war with North Korea 🙄

    • North 13.2

      A repugnant infusion ! No knowledge just Boys’ Own Ponce-Key sucking.

  14. Smilin 14

    Concerning copying property. In the machinery industry many people have copied designs without stealing the actual plans : ie; ploughs etc and built for their own use and sold at a later date either in or out of patent which in essence is the same as copyright and to sell is a breach of the law and who cares its only a plough.
    Not being a lawyer or legal judge I am only talkin of common practise and the little I understand
    But it appears to me Hager is in the position of someone being charged for receiving property from theft and not copying directly in the use of the information in its original form but used as in parts like a chop shop for cars even though it appears to be the bytes of information being in their original sequence, is it the same as “part or parts of”as in a copyright ?very confusing or is it all irrelevant .Or is the evidence being constructed in such away as to try and put treason into the case against Hager when it could be that is where the govt sits .

    But when does the deliberate action of a govt to pervert democracy become a chargeable offence if evidence of their action to do that becomes public property by whatever means, and when in essence it is public property by the fact that it is known and possibly the responsibility of an elected parliamentarian who has knowledge of the action that has taken place .Or that all govt action is accountable to the people and not the discretion of the govt of the day to play legal games with or institute protectionism to cover their arse
    A bit of a mishmash but I hope it brings some normality to the fact that this whole Dirty Politics thing is about an attack on democracy and ultimately there should be a people’s referendum to clear Mr Hager
    French Revolution anyone. It is the Guillotine for someone who will it be, our precious possibly ………..

    • Stuart Munro 14.1

      Yeah – you’re leaving out the bit that what Hager received and disseminated was evidence of crime or substantial wrongdoing. A public interest defence operates for genuine journalism disclosing inconvenient truths – not so much for Slater’s black publicly funded operation.

      But the police and courts have shown themselves to be completely corrupt and I have every confidence that injustice will prevail. NZ – is becoming a dystopian dream. Slater for PM next – like Trump, but even less savoury.

  15. ropata 15

    The “stored sequence of bytes” will differ between filesystems (NTFS, FAT32), different media (CD, USB, HDD), different encoding (ASCII, EBCDIC, UTF-8), file type (dos, unix, txt, rtf), etc etc etc

    • mikesh 15.1

      The exact form in which information is stored is surely irrelevant. The issue is whether copying information, and using that information, without the owner’s consent amounts to theft. Copying and selling copyrighted information would have to be considered theft because the culprit is effectively stealing income that belongs rightfully to someone else. Presumably though Slater’s emails were not copyrighted, though the Dixon case would seem to indicate that they don’t actually have to be in order that the information be considered “property”.

      The court in the Dixon case seems to be saying that while taking information is not theft, copying files, in which information is stored, is. It seems to me the courts are “bending over backwards” to find something that they can criminalize in these sorts of situations .

      • ropata 15.1.1

        By saying a “stored sequence of bytes” the Supreme Court refers to an exact duplicate, so the storage format surely IS relevant. If Hager received the data in a zip file, then no breach occurred! (not to mention the fact that ALL files on the web are broken up into TCP/IP packets, encoded, turned into bitstreams, transmitted via copper and handy servers, then re-assembled by the recipient). The court needs a better definition of digital data…

        If possessing “the information” was a crime, everyone who bought a copy of Dirty Politics would also be liable.

  16. Kev 16

    When selling digital goods sellers will often create a directory with an unguessable name and put the digital good (e.g. a video file, pdf file etc) in the directory. It’s low tech but simple. The problem is person A may buy the digital good and then give the url of the digital good to person B, who is then able to download the digital good for free by going directly to the url. In that case we have a clear case of theft. This is because the seller is being deprived of money and person B knows he is depriving the seller of money (act + guilty mind)

    The last sentence is important.

    Now let’s say someone puts up a spreadsheet on a website in a place where he thinks the public won’t look, because he wants to go home and view the spreadsheet on his home computer. He knows that provided they know the url anyone can view the spreadsheet. And instead of removing the spreadsheet after he’s finished he leaves it there. Someone comes along and somehow finds out the url of the spreadsheet, goes in, looks at it etc. It’s not theft because he’s not depriving the web site owner of anything. Arguably it’s unauthorised access provided the person knew he was somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be – although whether or not the law was meant to be applied to folks wandering around a website I don’t know. IMHO the law was meant to be applied to “hackers” – people who use scripts and vulnerabilities to get access to file systems on remote computers etc. So in this case we have at most unauthorised access and not theft.

    But wait, you say! What if the person not only looks at the spreadsheet but also downloads it? This is where I admit it gets murky. In this case we have the person taking something from someone. So we have an act of “theft”. Then we have to ask does the person know that he is doing wrong – that he knows that he is taking from another person something that he’s not supposed to? In that case I would say that arguably we have a case of theft. But if the person’s attitude is something like “tough luck, you left the spreadsheet in a publicly accessible place where anyone could look at it and download it” then arguably there’s no theft. Just at most unauthorised access (unlikely to stick) and or someone taking advantage of another’s negligence.

  17. AsleepWhileWalking 17

    RFIDs (probably with biometric data) stored in the cloud, used in place of a passport, and probably linked with government and banking info….yikes

  18. mikesh 18

    I doubt there is much difference between viewing online and dowloading since one could photograph
    something that one is viewing.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    10 hours ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    15 hours ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    19 hours ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    1 day ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    2 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    2 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    7 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    7 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    13 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    16 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    17 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    17 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    19 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago