There are many out there calling Keith Ng and Ira Bailey whistle-blowers.
I don’t think that is a fair call to label them as such.
Still others are calling it blackmail, but is it?
Well let’s look at this quite simply.
Ira Bailey, who has a less than honest background, is an employed system administrator and just happens to have some spare time to spend down at the local WINZ office. I don;t know about you guys but I know precious few employed people who willingly spend even a nano-second contemplating spending time in a WINZ office let alone as Keith Ng portrays it, having “half an hour to kill at a WINZ office”.
He then stumbles across someÂ sensitiveÂ data and instead of saying something he downloads some copies then buggers off. He calls up WINZ and asks if he can get paid of he tells them where a systems breach is.
When they don’t reply in his timeframe he trots off to his lefty mate, former Helen Clark staffer Keith Ng, who conveniently puts him in touch with a hacker.
Meanwhile WINZ gets back and says that they don’t pay for information. Ira Bailey then says oh that’s alright I’m talking to a journalist.
Several days later after explaining or showing Keith Ng how to do what he did they publish it all on line and create a mass of publicity.
So is this blackmail?
Well, answer this…Had Ira and/or Keith being paid a “consulting fee” would the story have run?
Of course it wouldn’t have…the loophole would have been closed, no one would have said anything and everyone would have been none the wiser. Instead we have this…now I ask again…Is this blackmail?
If it isn’t blackmail it certainly seems to be a new business model whereby you work with a hacker, nick some data, ask for a “reward”, then when told to nick off you publish it and ask for “donations”.