Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Te Qaeda and the God Squad

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  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    From page 6

    Posted at 3:32PM on 16 Oct 07. Report. Permalink.

    I've got $10 on Mintos quote coming true - no terrorism charges.

    Mr Minto said the police have put an "exit strategy" in place and the terrorism charges will not see the light of day.

    As it's Cup Day - Who was playing bookie?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Anyone want to explain what just happened here - secret Supreme Court rulings?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Crown Solicitor's statement about today's withdrawal of most charges.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    exactly - looks like they will be releasing it all eventually

    My guess is that the cops crossed some (still secret) line in their evidence gathering - there was a lot of cellphone and texting intercepts going on here, maybe someone didn't get the required warrants? will there be repercussions

    quick thought - maybe the terrorism act they were originally charged under allows warrant-less wiretaps, but the rest of our laws don't, and when the terrorist charges fell apart the rest of the evidence turned into a house of cards - that kind of makes the terror law a bit silly you can't use it to investigate things unless you already have evidence of terrorism and in that case you don't need the act to gather more evidence

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    (BTW I have no inside knowledge of the case, I'm simply making the sort of speculation that a secret court ruling invites in an open democratic country)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Clown Law Office...

    today’s withdrawal of most charges.

    NZ Police seem to have cornered the market in clowning around in public - their back-pedalling is becoming very accomplished in recent times...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The Solicitor-General subsequently ruled out charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act - saying the law was "almost impossible to apply in a coherent manner"
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10749743

    Law makers, FAIL

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    There are no laws AFAIK that allow warrantless wiretaps.

    However what I'd suspect them of doing is obtaining initial leads via (illegal) warrantless interception, possibly via another UKUSA state, and then getting a warrant for further activity.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    That would make sense - maybe to keep the chain of evidence they were being required to release who gave them the original information.

    I wonder does someone (some foreign entity) have a fibre splitter in our main fibre trunks somewhere? - chances all the country's cell (and landline long distance) communications run on unencrypted ATM circuits up and down the country

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Four years is hell of a long time to have your life in stasis, unable to get a proper job or to travel or to have any number of other freedoms. Justice delayed, justice denied, and all that.

    It would not be practical for any such trials to proceed prior to the main trial in February

    A cynic would speculate that it would be a bad look to have these trials during the RWC.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    during the RWC

    during the election lead-up, you mean

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Sacha,

    during the election lead-up, you mean

    Wasn't Labour was in government during the relevant period? I don't really see how the Nats would be hurt by the fallout.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I can't see anyone in rugby circles being hurt, can you?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Might force some attention on policy areas that either big party wants to avoid.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I wonder does someone (some foreign entity) have a fibre splitter in our main fibre trunks somewhere?

    It might still be an effective monopoly here, but it's an open enough network that it is vanishingly unlikely for someone to be able to hide that kind of equipment on the network. Too many people have access to the entirety of the network (including the backbone) and virtually none of them have an interest in keeping quiet about that sort of equipment should they come across it.

    Which isn't to say that there aren't other ways of spying on the network, and the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004 requires that network operators build some kind of monitoring equipment into their network, but as a rule of thumb the stuff that's out there is pretty rudimentary (mainly because the Act is so vague on technical details.) In practice, the Privacy Act is a pretty good buffer against "fishing expeditions".

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Echelon is probably sufficient to spy on locals, and our privacy act is trumped by security agencies. I recall mention of the NSA installing their gear into the US ISPs within days after 9/11.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    My guess is that the cops crossed some (still secret) line in their evidence gathering – there was a lot of cellphone and texting intercepts going on here, maybe someone didn’t get the required warrants? will there be repercussions

    They obtained the warrants under the Terrorism Suppression Act, and then couldn't use most of the evidence after the Solicitor General declined to approve TSA charges being brought, but said the police investigation had brought to light "some very disturbing activities".

    At that point, the police were fucked -- and it's entirely their own fault. They could have obtained intercept warrants under different laws, but they got excited about having a terrorism case.

    My view remains that there were things going on that warranted the attention of the police, even if was mostly idiocy. Sadly, they managed to be bigger idiots than the "terrorists" were.

    I strongly suspect that if the original police affidavit isn't released after the trials, it will be leaked by someone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    There are a few alternatives.

    The US has satellites that can intercept microwave spillage from fixed links between cell sites. The on-air encryption used by GSM has been cracked allowing eavesdropping on voice/text/data.

    And I'm not that convinced that it wouldn't be possible for GCSB to install a "lawful access" box into places like France St that purported to only divert monitored traffic but in fact took a much wider slurp.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    A cynic would speculate that it would be a bad look to have these trials during the RWC.

    But, I thought RWC stood for Ruatoria War Crimes...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Howard Broad has left the building, got his gong and had more shit on others than an Animal Farm to get that far.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Broad

    A fool and his charges aren't soon parted.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Russell Brown,

    My view remains that there were things going on that warranted the attention of the police, even if was mostly idiocy. Sadly, they managed to be bigger idiots than the “terrorists” were.

    I strongly suspect that if the original police affidavit isn’t released after the trials, it will be leaked by someone

    Agreed on all points, but as has been noted here and elsewhere, the police (as a group, culture, what have you) used this as a pretext to crack down on people who were irritants to them, and that has very sinister implications.

    (And it’s another reason not to trust Phil effing Goff, who condoned this shit, but that’s another redundantly irrelevant tangential digression.)

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking, in reply to Kracklite,

    That is just too charitable by far IMO.

    Some people held firearms without a licence, some were fairly dealt with, others weren't by millions of dollars.

    Like this guy:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/462418/Musician-on-firearms-charges-loses-suppression-battle

    I've not met Bernard or Tama but know people who count each as a friend.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Just thinking,

    Like this guy

    Who, the article reports, had this lot:

    two military flares, a smoke grenade, a thunderflash explosive, part of an anti-personnel mine, eight sticks of powergel explosive, a grenade launcher, and two military-style semi-automatic firearms.

    I presume the court will be told why, but in the meantime that sure doesn't sound too harmless from here, no matter how friendly the guy is.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Just thinking,

    Actually, yes, I agree that people can be dragged into, indulge in radical movements due to an excess of testosterone or simple vileness, but there have been a lot of the activist community who were attacked because they were simply activists. "Activist" and "terrorist" are two different categories and as I know in Wellington, the police cracked down on activists using the pretext of suppression of terrorism and that is what I find disturbing. Suppression of actual terrorism, however incompetent it may be, is justifiable, but the fact is that they used this as a pretext to persecute activists, however wrong, naive, foolish they may be, is the most disturbing aspect of Operation 8.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Sacha,

    I presume the court will be told why, but in the meantime that sure doesn’t sound too harmless from here, no matter how friendly the guy is.

    That does disturb me, but using that as a pretext to suppress political dissent by people who do not use such things also disturbs me.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

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