Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Chur. So much interesting stuff I'm having trouble remembering who said what.

    Funny that Stuff could pick up on Snowden's NSA presence in Auckland comment but end the article with Briscoe's denial without raising Snowden's response as you said.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    "No. It's not happening. These criminals and traitors are making it up. And this is why we have to do it anyway. I mean, that's the GCSB's job, innit?"

    - shorter Bruce Ferguson on Campbell Live. I think he left his intelligence behind when he left the service.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    Derek Cheng did an amazing job of transcribing the meat at the Herald and the video’s now processed.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to ,

    That certainly makes more sense. But you wouldn't have got that impression from reading this.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to ,

    It’s not a fucking TV game show, Lemming.

    A) I’m pleased to see politics has you so passionate
    B) Dotcom announced it as his moment of truth that Key had lied about him
    C) that’s nzlemming (all one word).

    Just so you know.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    How far from the sea does Southern Cross "own" the cable?? It has to go somewhere across land once it is ashore and.....well.....it can go anywhere after that. Anyone got a map??? Whenuapai maybe???

    Well bugger me!! It was a good guess!! Here it is

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ross Mason,

    It’s fun to speculate, but really we’re talking about the NSA here. These guys could have swapped hardware from inside the firm with stuff they made themselves. They could have paid anyone at all in there to do that any money you could reasonably consider imagining someone being paid for it, and since the discovery of that would constitute a huge crime, possibly treason, they’re hardly going to tell us all. Once we’re talking about spooks of that magnitude, there’s no point to us tech minnows trying to figure out how it could be done. Their budget is huge, their scruples non-existent, and their interest in doing this high.

    ETA: In other words, I don’t see much point trying to overthink the technical side of it, when really obvious low tech alternatives exists, like paying someone on the inside.

    ETA2: Or blackmailing them, or any of the other nasty shit that the NSA routinely does to get stuff done.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    These guys could have swapped hardware from inside the firm with stuff they made themselves. They could have paid anyone at all in there to do that any money you could reasonably consider imagining someone being paid for it, and since the discovery of that would constitute a huge crime, possibly treason, they’re hardly going to tell us all.

    Absolutely. If I was doing it, I wouldn't bother with the cable - too much can go wrong. You want the best access? Go to the nexus where the international cable plugs into the national network and futz with the servers and switches. Makes you wonder why Lance Wiggs' alternative cable couldn't get funded, eh?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s fun to speculate, but really we’re talking about the NSA here. These guys could have swapped hardware from inside the firm with stuff they made themselves.

    I suspect software rather than hardware. If you can imagine a torrent swarm consisting of practically every computer on the planet, a giant bot net. They can share and store miniscule amounts of coded data hidden in operating system files to be indexed for searching on the fly. Then all you need is an internet connection with enough bandwidth. You don’t need to spike the cable at all. That’s just a red herring.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I suspect software rather than hardware.

    Or both! Try firmware. It's both soft and hard.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    Or both! Try firmware. It’s both soft and hard.

    And flashable remotely when you want to 'upgrade'.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    firmware.

    Firm but fair... Not easy to do on a large scale without detection though but eh?
    At times like these you need Trojan!.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Southern Cross cable hit by an outage, November 9, 2012 ;)

    Southern Cross cable has reportedly been hit by a "catastrophic failure" at its Alexandria landing station in Sydney.

    New Zealand Labour IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today that the outage occurred this morning due to an "unauthorised and un-notified software change" made to the wavelength switching platform.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Firm but fair… Not easy to do on a large scale without detection though but eh?

    If you can intercept the hardware and replace a chip, it's more than possible to do it undetected. Although it's even easier if you can hold the telco to secrecy about what you're doing for, y'know, national security purposes.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to nzlemming,

    Go to the nexus where the international cable plugs into the national network and futz with the servers and switches.

    Yup, and do it at the American end where you don’t even have to lean on anyone very hard, when it comes to questions of national security. They drive past the prison every day that you could stuff them in and throw away the key.

    ETA: Probably wouldn't work for the Australian end, but...which cable are we thinking was hacked? Meh...it's all speculation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    On the balance of probabilities alone, i.e. we have a credible internationally recognised exiled whistle-blower facing 30 years jail in an allied jurisdiction for the theft of evidence (the authenticity of which has never been officially refuted) that in part directly disputes the PM’s narrative.

    Only when prompted has this PM gone on record stating that a department under his watch even considered – or contemplated – let alone discussed or quite possibly conspired to commit the GCSB to the mass surveillance/ protection of the New Zealand public.

    A PM who has determined to wait for these allegations, to disrupt an election week, and only then, exploited this opportunity to both malign or castigate foreign nationals and a resident – in the international arena – for their part in causing this sideshow ‘five days before an election’. Carrying this out despite having had ample opportunity to preemptively minimise much of the fallout from this weekend in a timely and manageable manner.

    This is a PM who – in an enterprise of dubious national value – then declassified and released Government documents, of ambiguous relevance, in a well publicised and concerted effort to contest incomplete allegations – allegations limited to media speculation – assumedly in the interests of nothing more than minimising harm to his personal reputation, and his employment prospects.

    Playing out in a partisan MSM environment which is comprehensively bucking a significant trend established by the world’s leading media outlets and the European Parliament in deeming both Snowden’s testimony and the NSA’s highly damning evidence as effectively accurate and of indisputabe public interest. Instead we see our MSM stigmatising this content that Snowden has – at severe personal cost – lifted from an Agency of the United States Government, by way of crudely and glibly requesting Snowden to:

    Show me the evidence.

    On principle alone, despite various protestation and deflection, and in spite of a compromised media, this should be sufficient – at the very least – for individuals to be seriously considering calling for John Key’s, resignation.

    This need not necessarily be a call based on the conjecture, testimony, evidence, revisions, refutations, denials, assumptions or even the very high likelihood that John Key lacks the faculties to fulfill the function of office with outright and unimpeachable integrity or in a judicious or prudent manner. My argument is very simply that on the 15th September 2014 and the weeks/ months/ years leading up to it, John Key, through aspersion, discourtesy, invective, contempt, contrivance and a sustained and deliberate campaign of character assassination has irredeemably failed to behave in a manner befitting the reasonable expectations one might have of a Prime Minister of New Zealand, or a Prime Minister of any western democracy for that matter. He has tarnished not only his individual reputation, but that of the post, and in turn, by behaving accordingly on the world stage, as a representative, he has tainted the reputation of our nation, and us.

    But, we’re a tolerant bunch. 100% Pure tolerance.

    "Dotcom set out to demolish the Prime Minister’s credibility. He has spectacularly failed."

    Which is nothing if not a perversely creative application of the term ‘credibility’, As aspirations go, our whanau, our cousins, our nieces and nephews and most importantly our children could perhaps be better served with a role model, a representative, a Member of Parliament and a Prime Minister not so predisposed to antagonism and pernicious invective.

    Very few taxpayers would keep their job after assailing a client, a customer, a coworker or their boss in any remotely comparable manner. It’s textbook professional suicide. But if you – dear writer of that risible quote directly above – genuinely believe that this self-aggrandising bully, – smeared by his own propensity for issuing all manner of filth to denigrate members of your profession for essentially doing your jobs, resolutely immune to the more delicate subtleties of being – if you absolutely feel that what we have seen is an appropriate example for our children with his ‘henchman’ and his ‘butt’ and his ‘loser’ and that this man embodies any credibility whatsoever, then I can only doubt yours.

    John Key is an abuser. I pity his wife, family and colleagues. For many New Zealanders including yourself, this behaviour may be acceptable; this harassment and intimidation is clearly up to your expectations, and admissible. We’ll assume he is fit for office barring proof that he lied about some or other speculative detail at some point somewhen. But IMHO, as someone with perhaps higher expectations of humanity and the humanity of our leaders in a representative democracy, I am proposing, without hesitation, that John Key resign, effective immediately.

    Mainly, I just don’t want to have to live in fear, amongst everything else, of being ridiculed and called a loser, at least not by the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

    Australia? no worries. I never paid his salary.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    David Fisher launches into his own spot of character assassination Dotcom turns up empty-handed to ’Moment of Truth’

    "But it didn’t stop questions, leaving Dotcom trying to point the media to the issue of mass surveillance.

    [The public] don’t care about my case tonight. They care about being subjected to this evil mass surveillance."

    And he’s entirely correct, why would we? It's marginal. 4 days out from an election and you’ve got 550 words to waste on someone who’s not even standing for Parliament. We read that news yesterday, find something of genuine public interest to do with your time you Slaterised hack.

    And yes sir, we read that, you reformed, and yet you’re still an embarrassment to any genuine journalistic aspirations you may have once flushed down the toilet.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to mark taslov,

    David Fisher launches into his own spot of character assassination Dotcom turns up empty-handed to ’Moment of Truth’

    Well, is our own Keith Ng a character assassin too, because he was… somewhat underwhelmed…

    Let’s get this out of the way: The Warner Bros email was a complete clusterfuck. Faced with claims that the emails were fake, TeamDotcom did a TeamKey – they got Hone to send it off to the Privileges Committee then flat out refused to talk about it because, apparently, it needs to work through that process and talking about it would somethingsomethingsubjudicelookoverthere. They refused to talk about where it came from, and when asked whether it was fake, Kim Dotcom could only manage a “to the best of my knowledge” response, and said they weren’t there to talk about that email (contrary to what he’s been saying for months, right up to yesterday).

    Basically, they have no confidence in the veracity of that email – and so neither should we.

    Sorry Mark, but you don't get to have it both ways.

    And he’s entirely correct, why would we? It’s marginal. 4 days out from an election and you’ve got 550 words to waste on someone who’s not even standing for Parliament. We read that news yesterday, find something of genuine public interest to do with your time you Slaterised hack.

    So, it's not longer a matter of genuine public interest that Dotcom has been claiming for months he had irrefutable evidence that the Prime Minister not only lied but was donkey deep in a conspiracy to engage in political interference in immigration matters at the behest of a foreign corporation and the White House? Yeah, right...

    In terms of political theatre, I’ve got to say The Moment of Truth was a gig where the support acts blew the headliner out of the water.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    So, it’s not longer a matter of genuine public interest that Dotcom has been claiming for months he had irrefutable evidence that the Prime Minister not only lied but was donkey deep in a conspiracy to engage in political interference in immigration matters at the behest of a foreign corporation and the White House? Yeah, right…

    That fell like a lead balloon yesterday, risible it was. they banked that story.

    When asked by reporters afterwards why he didn't talk about his claim that Mr Key knew of him before the raid on his mansion, Mr Dotcom said: ''I think the evidence is pretty clear today in the Herald''.

    ''It's going through the official process in Parliament, we're going to give the Prime Minister the due process that he denied me.''

    Dotcom said he believed the email was ''100 per cent true''.

    In a somewhat heated press conference, Dotcom responded to question about the email by saying the evening was about the issue of mass surveillance.

    Dotcom became angry at reporters' questions saying the media should have better held the Government to account.

    Same shit different article.

    Well, is our own Keith Ng a character assassin too, because he was… somewhat underwhelmed…

    I’d class that as 4th vs 5th estate comparison Craig, my expectations of the 4th are rightly/wrongly higher.

    In terms of political theatre, I’ve got to say The Moment of Truth was a gig where the support acts blew the headliner out of the water.

    I couldn’t agree more ;)

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    In terms of political theatre, I’ve got to say The Moment of Truth was a gig where the support acts blew the headliner out of the water.

    Agreed, but more important anyway.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to mark taslov,

    Visual. 4 days, there’s no public interest in this narrative. The driving concern for almost everyone who tuned in is mass surveillance of New Zealanders.

    With all due respect, Mark, there's a lot of people in this country -- not least political refugees -- who'd really like to know their immigration status is not contingent on blatant political interference from the highest levels of government. Helen Clark used to be fond of saying that the secret to political success was to "under-promise and over-deliver." It's advice Dotcom should have taken, and I'm sorry if it's politically inconvenient for you that Fisher reported on that but I think the intemperate smack was unfair and out of order.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And a lot of people don’t need to read recycled content in two articles from the same morning Newspaper both released overnight. With limited space and time, that’s arguably a luxury our democracy can ill afford.

    I’m sorry if it’s politically inconvenient for you that Fisher reported

    it’s really not. Adam Bennett (9:00 PM Monday), David Fisher (5:52 AM). Surely there are a lot more pressing issues for New Zealand this week.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    Agreed, but more important anyway.

    Again, and with all due and sincere respect, I actually think it's very important that our immigration processes are not subject to blatant political interference at the behest of foreign governments and multinational corporations. Dotcom made incredibly serious claims, and for months has been promising he had irrefutable, rock solid evidence the Prime Minister lied and was complicit in such a conspiracy. He didn't deliver, and while it might be political inconvenient for Internet Mana to have that pointed out "do[ing] a Team Key" (as Keith put it) isn't good enough. Or it shouldn't be.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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