Friday, September 28, 2012

The art of diverting attention from the real mess by making a big fuss about a smaller one

The media is dutifully full of reports on the PM apologising to Kim Dotcom for the actions of the GCSB in spying on him. Courageous and honest of him, you might think.  Mind you, if you did you'd be wrong.

Hardly anybody in this country's heard of the GCSB.  Key can get up and give them a verbal hiding for incompetence, and people will think "Gosh, these GCSB clowns sound like a real pack of idiots, good job the PM's onto it" and think no further on it.  The PM's problem nicely sorted by drawing attention away from the actual issue at hand.

Which is, as very well laid out in this post by Graeme Edgeler, the role of the New Zealand Police in all this.  Heard the PM mention their involvement and the conclusions we can draw from it?  No, and don't expect to either.  Edgeler sums up:

The actions of the Police in using the GCSB as an end-run around laws we have put in place deliberately limiting police powers are of much greater concern.

This looks exactly like the Police asked the GCSB to intercept Dotcom's communications because NZ law prevented them doing it themselves, which would be of concern all on its own.  However, the Police (in the form of OFCANZ) also falsely assured GCSB that the people to be spied on weren't NZ citizens or residents, and later also falsely assured a New Zealand court that they hadn't involved any other agencies.

That is a steaming pile of very serious shit, and next to it the fact that GCSB took the cops' word for it about Dotcom not being a permanent resident is almost inconsequential.  Let's see some journos or oppo politicians putting Tolley's feet to the fire over this.  Coming after the Urewera "terrorist" fiasco this makes our cops look corrupt and incompetent.

27 comments:

Paulus said...

From reading the Neazor report it is obvious that the Police were leading the GCSB.
However an immigration law change by days involved led the GCSB to continue to believe the Police that they were foreigners in the law.
In fact Dotcom is, according to the report, either a German citizen or a Finnish one. I would expect his chances of a New Zealand passport (Citizenship)to be somewhat diminished now as any Government agency would be afraid of any implications.

Noel said...

Understandable that the Police went to GCSB. Police and other agencies can spy on communications within NZ after they have satisfied a judge that there are breaches of the law.
What they do not have is the ability to intercept communications of a person with his own servers and commuinications paths.
Hence the request to GCSB and the confusion that followed.
So much for the much repeated claim that this example can affect Joe Kiwi.
I and most Kiwis don't own our own server or dedicated communications path.

Anonymous said...

Paulus said
"I would expect his chances of a New Zealand passport (Citizenship)to be somewhat diminished now as any Government agency would be afraid of any implications."

I don't believe he wants one.
His only reason for moving here was to avoid a challenge to his thieving.
Proof is in the money he is spending to stop his extradition.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Come now Milt. Some extremely long bows being drawn here.

Hell, if you believe all this you'll have Obama being born in Mecca during the Haj.

Anonymous said...

I think Milt is right. I think they watch too much CSI where you threaten the suspect into submission.

I despair at the stupidity of people who say "If you have nothing toi hide what's the problem?" This event shows exactly what the problem is - the law enforceres will ignore the law when it suits and they think no-one will see. That is not how supposedly "free" societies should work.

3:16

Psycho Milt said...

So much for the much repeated claim that this example can affect Joe Kiwi.

For my part, I think the NZ Police acting illegally to circumvent the limits on their powers does affect all of us. If they can do it in the cases mentioned, they can do it in a case involving you.

Some extremely long bows being drawn here.

The idea that Key is concentrating on the GCSB because the police thing is a shit sandwich he doesn't want to bite into, yes that's idle speculation. But there are no long bows drawn over the facts that the Police requested GCSB to spy on a NZ resident, that they told the GCSB he wasn't a resident, and that they told a court they hadn't asked other agencies to do anything - those things are a matter of public record.

Noel said...

You said

"For my part, I think the NZ Police acting illegally to circumvent the limits on their powers does affect all of us. If they can do it in the cases mentioned, they can do it in a case involving you."

But the Nazor report says the documents he sighted had nothing to do with his case but only his movements and the people he was with.

In my circumstance, because I do not have my own dedicated communications system all the police would need to access would be my phones, facebook page if I had one,internet provider and bank cards with no need of any GCSB assistance.

If they had due cause then all those items could be accessed by police on a judges approval.

Anonymous said...

Yet again I agree with Milt.

It would be great if this was an isolated example. Unfortnately for New Zealanders this is yet another example of NZ Police riding roughshod over the law, New Zealand's unwritten constitution and individual rights.

Paranormal

Anonymous said...

The NZ police are full of corruption, in my view, and so is that John, moneybags, Key.

At last some traction for the Opposition, at long long last.

baxter said...

We have an International criminal with a serious previous conviction list currently wanted by the FBI for crimes committed in USA,
The Police are concerned that he and his gang of bodyguards are armed and may present a risk to life unless precautions are taken in their apprehension.
They enlist the aid of another Government agency to enlighten them on when the gang will be together in one place conducive to their safe apprehension.
A successful apprehension is made. OK there appear some breaches of bureaucratic process brought about by timings and costly hindrances
designed to obstruct rather than assist the process of effective law and order. The important thing is to have this felon removed to have his acts judged by the USA with whom NZ has an extradition agreement...The rest is bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Maybe its as simple as the police not having the expertise to spy (call it what you will) on the likes of KDC-convicted computer hacker, fraudster and embezzler, so they called on someone who did. If they had thought he was genuinely a New Zealand citizen they would have used the SIS and no one would have even known, however they stuffed up and used the wrong agency for the same end result. So bloody what.

Nick K said...

Baxter - the argument that "the ends justifies the means" is what is bullshit.

Tinman said...

Milt, I have looked at much of the published material regarding this and thought about it.

The first part of the first sentence of your last paragraph sums up most of it, including, unfortunately, your post.

A mistake was made, an apology both made and accepted and only pathetic politics remains.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Anon @ 3:18

Nailed it.

Shane Ponting said...

" all the police would need to access would be my phones, facebook page if I had one,internet provider and bank cards with no need of any GCSB assistance."

And there you completely miss the point.

The police don't NEED the GCSB, they simply use them to circumvent their own legislative (not technical) restraints through obfuscation and outright bullsh*t. Think this is the first time? Think this is the last time? The answer is NO.

Psycho Milt said...

It's good to see common ground with at least some of our readers on this one. Call me old-fashioned, but police forces acting illegally to try and get around the limits the legislators have put on their powers doesn't strike me as no big deal. If you care about your freedom yes it is a big deal.

Liberty said...

The point that most people forget is we should not forget
What we are dealing with.
• hacking, including selling access codes
• arrested trafficking in stolen phone calling card numbers
• convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud and 10 counts of data espionage
• accepting gang-related stolen goods
• guilty of insider trading in Germany’s then largest ever case of its type
• guilty of embezzlement
• The darling of the lefty Media.

Shane Ponting said...

Liberty, how have "most" people forgotten your list?, and more pressingly how is that in any way relevant to the poor actions of the police (i.e. the point of this thread).

Surely this is not as Nick K says, you justifying the means through the end?

Liberty said...

“Shane. How is that in any way relevant to the poor actions of the police (i.e. the point of this thread).”

It is relevant because the lefty media are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
And losing sight of the fact a criminal Act may have accrued.
The lefty media are also being hypocritical.
Think back to the Nine years of sordid scandals under labour. Mostly closed down
With a haughty command from Clark it was sub-judice. Move on. Like a pack of wimps the media crawled under the nearest rock.

smttc said...

So what are you saying? You would have had a problem with this even if KDC was not a NZ resident?

It was a fuck up and this is a beltway issue. So I agree all that is left is politics.

Noel said...

Shane you said
"The police don't NEED the GCSB, they simply use them to circumvent their own legislative (not technical) restraints through obfuscation and outright bullsh*t. Think this is the first time? Think this is the last time? The answer is NO."

Conjecture or fact?

Nazor said that the only information GSCB had from the intercepts were the same as the Police request.

Suggest to me it was more about technical ability than what you propose.

Psycho Milt said...

So what are you saying? You would have had a problem with this even if KDC was not a NZ resident?

I thought what I'm saying was clear enough in the post, but here it is again: it looks a lot like the New Zealand Police attempted to evade a limitation on their power that the citizens of NZ put there for our own protection. That is a Bad Thing.

Further, it looks to me as though the New Zealand Police lied to the GCSB and to a court of law, which is an Even Badder Thing.

I realise many of our readers are police-state authoritarians at heart, but blathering about "beltway issue" or "lefty media" isn't actually a coherent response to this event.

Anonymous said...

Nick K......There is alimb of a tree over obstructing a footpath at Piha. So far it has cost the Auckland Council over $12000 to decide nothing. The laws requiring this were basically the dreamchild of Palmer who would have been the brains also behind the pedantic processes in the amended procedures the authorities are now required to follow to ensure they can do their simple duties. In each case lawyers are richly rewarded if a commonsense action is not carried out.

The Veteran said...

PM ... Good post. I have no truck for TDC who clearly is fighting tooth and nail to avoid extradition to the US. One might ask why, if he were innocent (and there are varying degrees of innocence), he didn't just surrender himself and let 'justice' take its course.

But that is not the matter at hand.
It is the abuse of power that is concerning and it can never be the case that the 'end justifies the means'.

One final comment (where nobody yet has been prepared to go) ....
it is that but for the grace of god and a few months we could be facing a constitutional crisis of the first order.

Shane Ponting said...

"I realise many of our readers are police-state authoritarians at heart"

Yeah, and what scares me even more is that a lot of people I meet in daily life are much like this as well. Is civil liberties something that goes out of fashion or is the "western rot" just reaching a critical mass?


"People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both"

Anonymous said...

Shane,
You are reading too much into this blunder.
SIS and GCSB is a haven for ex military officers.
Such simple errors should be anticipated.

Psycho Milt said...

Yes, the GCSB's blunder is unsurprising given previous SIS blunders. However, the Police involvement didn't involve errors, it involved deliberate deception and downright lies.

I notice the Police are standing by their man who misled the court, which suggests he was misleading the court on the basis of instructions from his superiors. This just keeps getting worse.