Federal Bureau of Investigation

Mega’s little problem with a pesky thing called the law

Kim Dotcom is blowing hard once again on Twitter.

megachat

He is going on about ‘his’ MegaChat…funny thing is he was crying poverty and said he had given all his shares in Mega to his estranged missus…so quite how it is his is another matter entirely. Perhaps he has misled another court?

In any case his boastfulness ignores a problem.

Chris Keall at NBR explains.

Mega has said it will abide by the laws of every company it operates in. As a registered commercial entity it can barely take any other stance.

And when the FBI so successfully eavesdropped on the Skype chats and instant messages Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants while investigating Megaupload, it did so with a warrant issued by a judge.

What would Mega do if a law enforcement agency in a country its service operates in (that is, anywhere), hands it, or one of its users, a lawful warrant asking for encryption keys? In NZ, it has to live under the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act, aka TICS, which gives our government broad-brush powers to demand depcryption keys from a service provider when there is a (very broadly defined) threat to NZ’s national interest. This as-yet-untested legislation gives the ICT Minister discretion over who is defined as a service provider. Network operators like Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees are very clearly service providers. It’s more of a grey area for the likes of Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts and now MegaChat – but I’m guessing the Crown won’t give MegaChat a free pass.   Read more »

Sony hackers threatening to hack a media organisation, please let it be the NZ Herald

Excuse me if I don’t just laugh a little bit at the latest hacker threat…to hack a media organisation.

Now we will get to see weapons grade hypocrisy exhibited as they all claim this is an outrage against their rights as journalists…never-mind they have all been feeding off of the criminal exploits of hackers for some time.

The hackers who infiltrated Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer servers have threatened to attack an American news media organization,according to an FBI bulletin obtained by The Intercept.

The threat against the unnamed news organization by the Guardians of Peace, the hacker group that has claimed credit for the Sony attack, “may extend to other such organizations in the near future,” according to a Joint Intelligence Bulletin of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security obtained by The Intercept.

Referring to Sony only as “USPER1”and the news organization as “USPER2,” the Joint Intelligence Bulletin, dated Dec. 24 and marked For Official Use Only, states that its purpose is “to provide information on the late-November 2014 cyber intrusion targeting USPER1 and related threats concerning the planned release of the movie, ‘The Interview.’ Additionally, these threats have extended to USPER2 —a news media organization—and may extend to other such organizations in the near future.”   Read more »

The problem with ‘ safe havens ‘

The Tor Project- Screen Shot

The Tor Project- Screen Shot

When Kim Dotcom provided a Cyber ‘ warehouse ‘ for people to upload stuff it was a great idea that could be used legitimately. Of course it could also be used for illegitimate purposes and the most popular downloads which made his business the most money tended to be the illegitimate ones.His argument was that he was not responsible for pedophiles sharing child porn on his site or hackers uploading hacked information or movies or books etc that they had no rights to as he just provided the ‘ warehouse ‘ to store their criminal goods. A similar problem exists at The Tor Project which on the face of it sounds like a legitimate idea.

The Tor network provides a safe haven from surveillance, censorship, and computer network exploitation for millions of people who live in repressive regimes, including human rights activists in countries such as Iran, Syria, and Russia.

People like that do need protection and so this sounds like a great idea. One slight problem though, it sounds like a great idea to hackers and other criminals as well who of course also use the network. As a result of the illegitimate use, the network are now under attack, a cyber attack. According to one of the commenters on the site is is because…

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If the Sony hack was an act of terrorism then perhaps the media might like to explain what Dirty Politics was

The media jumped right into Dirty Politics, they revelled in it, they hunted down and still hunt down people to cause them to lose their jobs. They are as complicit as the hacker was in a crime, yet they still act like they have done nothing wrong.

Meanwhile in the US we have the Sony hack where largely the media aren’t reproducing emails or attacking stars for their coarse private communications.

It is perverse.

We now also have the announcement from the FBI that the criminals behind the Sony hack are from North Korea. Worse still they have stated that North Korea’s government is actually behind the hack.

The FBI has confirmed North Korea was behind the cyber attacks on Sony Pictures.

“As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other US Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions,” a FBI statement said.

“While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is based, in part, on similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks.”

“We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there,” the FBI said in the brief statement.

“Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE (Sony Pictures Entertainment) reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States.”

The FBI said that it had “determined that the intrusion into SPE’s network consisted of the deployment of destructive malware and the theft of proprietary information as well as employees’ personally identifiable information and confidential communications.”    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: Jim MacCammon, courtesy Howard Upchurch. Lee Harvey Oswald is dragged from the Texas Theatre by Patrolman C.T. Walker and, still chewing his cigar, Detective Paul Bentley, on Nov. 22, 1963. On the right is Sgt. Gerald Hill.

Photo: Jim MacCammon, courtesy Howard Upchurch.
Lee Harvey Oswald is dragged from the Texas Theatre by Patrolman C.T. Walker and, still chewing his cigar, Detective Paul Bentley, on Nov. 22, 1963. On the right is Sgt. Gerald Hill.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Arrest

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Photo Of The Day

Before it was synonymous with hippies, peace and love, one infamous VW Combi van was riding across America to brazenly spread a message of hate. Pictured at a gas station in 1961 by LIFE photographer Joe Scherschelthe iconic vintage vehicle suddenly loses its charm 
 Lincoln Rockwell is pictured above, third from the left, amongst this sad group of men.

Before it was synonymous with hippies, peace and love, one infamous VW Combi van was riding across America to brazenly spread a message of hate. Pictured at a gas station in 1961 by LIFE photographer Joe Scherschelthe iconic vintage vehicle suddenly loses its charm 

Lincoln Rockwell is pictured above, third from the left, amongst this sad group of men.

Riding the Hate Bus, 1961

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Photo Of The Day

Ma Barker and her Thompson gun in an undated picture of the legendary matriarch. Ma Barker had four sons: Herman, Lloyd, Arthur and Fred, who, with Alvin Karpis, formed the Barker-Karpis Gang in 1931. That year, Fred and Alvin shot a sheriff to death. The murder started a pattern of thoughtless killing by the gang. Ma Barker became a wanted woman.

Ma Barker and her Thompson gun in an undated picture of the legendary matriarch. Ma Barker had four sons: Herman, Lloyd, Arthur and Fred, who, with Alvin Karpis, formed the Barker-Karpis Gang in 1931. That year, Fred and Alvin shot a sheriff to death. The murder started a pattern of thoughtless killing by the gang. Ma Barker became a wanted woman.

Ma Barker

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Herald and tainted Journo continue to run lines for Kim Dotcom

The Herald and David “tainted” Fisher continue to shill lines on behalf of Kim Dotcom.

They have run a story today about some supposed new “evidence”.

Government minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested in Kim Dotcom before his officials granted the tycoon residency – a revelation which has led to accusations he misled the public.

The accusation comes after Immigration NZ released a statement making it clear they told Dr Coleman about the FBI the day before the criticial residency decision was made.

Dr Coleman – now Defence Minister – is now facing calls to come clean on exactly what he was told the day before Dotcom was granted residency by Immigration NZ officials.

It emerged last week Dotcom was given residency in 2010 despite the SIS urging Immigration NZ to tell their minister the FBI was carrying out a criminal investigation into him and wanted the help of NZ Police.

Dr Coleman was briefed by Immigration NZ chief executive Nigel Bickle on October 28, the day before Dotcom was granted residency.

Dr Coleman distanced himself from the decision, saying it was made by officials. He said: “Ministers had absolutely no knowledge of any pending FBI-NZ Police investigation.”   Read more »

Roughan on Dotcom’s conspiracy theory

John Roughan damns David “tainted” Fisher with faint praise, this morning, for his big reveal that wasn’t.

Conspiracy theories may be mad but they are fun. When my colleague David Fisher unearthed documents this week showing how the Security Intelligence Service had cleared Kim Dotcom’s application for residency in New Zealand, only Dotcom could imagine that it did him much good.

The SIS had described him as a “bad but wealthy man” who was under investigation by the FBI, but let the application go through after a call from the head of Immigration New Zealand asking why they had it on hold. “Apparently there is some political pressure to process this case,” one SIS officer told another.

The director of the SIS was briefed at that point and it was decided Dotcom could not be blocked on security grounds. But they advised Immigration to talk to the police about the FBI investigation. The agency repeated that advice a few days later and went so far as to have one of its staff brief Immigration’s intelligence man before a meeting with his minister at the time, Jonathan Coleman. After that meeting, the immigration official could only remind his SIS contact that the residence category for “high rollers” was a Government priority.

So it would seem fairly clear how Dotcom got in. Immigration admits it did not talk to the police. Coleman is a nice man, a doctor, who would give anyone the benefit of a doubt. Dotcom’s wealth explains the “political pressure”.

If this week’s disclosure reflected badly on Dotcom, his own take on the events was even worse. His theory is that the SIS dropped its opposition to his entry at the request of the FBI who believed that once he was in New Zealand he would be within their clutches.   Read more »

Press Editorial on the farce that is Kim Dotcom

Memo to the Herald and TV3 there is a reason your audience alongside your credibility is shrinking…your audience are not as stupid as you think they are.

David “tainted” Fisher’s story proved there was no conspiracy despite him stretching credibility to breaking point. It also, if anything, undermines Dotcom’s claims that Key had heard of him prior to the raids, not that anyone really cares when he heard of him.

As the editorial points out if Key did a deal with Hollywood it would be much easier to extradite him if he hadn’t been granted residency.

Good to see the useless Grant Robertson on the news defying his leaders edict for a positive campaign and calling for John Key to come clean on what he knows. SInce he wants John Key to come clean, how about his boss tells us who his secret donors. It looks Labour want to continue to play gotcha politics, and the recent polls show Labour precisely how that is working out.

The Press editorial outlines the farce that is Kim Dotcom.

As if the saga of Kim Dotcom were not already absurd enough, this week it descended into a swirl of conspiracy theories that made it look like downright farce.

The theories are not necessarily compatible with each other or even internally consistent. Their main purpose is likely to turn out to be simply that they keep Dotcom’s name in the public eye.

Following them and attempting to disentangle them certainly adds to the stock of harmless public entertainment.

The theories have been fed by the release of email exchanges from Immigration New Zealand and the Security Intelligence Service about Dotcom’s application for permanent residency in New Zealand.

The application had been sent by INZ to the SIS for routine security and criminal checks. Dotcom was apparently anxious that permanent residency be granted so when he had not heard from INZ his agent had asked about it, prompting INZ to urge the SIS to hurry up with its report.

Many have leapt on an SIS officer’s off-hand suggestion in an email that “political pressure” was behind INZ’s interest in getting the SIS report.    Read more »