Bennett’s office in the clear

Keith Ng, The Greens, Labour and assorted proxies all accused Paula Bennett’s office of “leaking” the name of Ira Bailey to the media. Documents obtained under the Official Information Act show that simply isn’t true.

They also show why the initial search for possible breaches failed to detect the vulnerability and it relates to the details publicly available about Ira Bailey.

Once the Chief Executive of the ministry notified the minister of the details on 10 October a staff member did a search and came across his LinkedIn profile. The organisation Ira Bailey works for is apparently an accredited training provider and so the Ministry checked which systems they had access to.

They did this based on the scant knowledge that had been provided in his initial phone call to the Ministry. The emails also reveal that his initial phone call was not recorded.

A subsequent contact was made with Ira Bailey on 10 October. No further information was garnered from that phone conversation.

The ministry remained in the dark, and as one of our largest would have had no idea where to even start looking. Ira Bailey simply didn;t provide enough information or was unwilling to once he found out he couldn’t shake them down for cash.

He instead decided to go to the media and his left wing pal and former Clark office staffer Keith Ng. Far from being the honourable whistle blower it is clear that he gave them next to nothing other than his name and a claim that he had penetrated the systems and that he had spoken to media.

This paints a somewhat different picture than that which Keith Ng would have us believe.

The minster’s office then has to deal with allegations that they “leaked” his details to the media, the emails show that these allegations are untrue. They were more concerned with ascertaining precisely the details of the systems breach.

It would appear that Keith Ng ratted out his source on a paranoid assumption based on a phone call from a proper journalist. Keith Ng named his source, and yesterday he named his hacker pal as well. People will start to wonder whether or not it is worth the risk of ever speaking with him again if he continually rats out his sources.

I must also point out how quickly the request was turned around. I asked this request on Thursday and received the results at 6pm yesterday. Normally government departments and politicians use 20 days as a target timeframe despite information being to hand. In this case it is apparent that the information was to hand, and because I confined the request to a small timeframe and specific details was able to be provided in a timely manner. I think Paula Bennett’s office ar to be commended for that.

The full copy of documents released are below.

Ministry of Social Development – OIA 18 October 2012


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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