Kim Dotcom’s hired political party failed to deliver

Ian Apperly writes

Following Greenwald the (unsurprising) start of the show Edward Snowden beamed in from Russia to tell us what he thought. There were really only two statements that came out of that. Firstly, the cable had been tapped and secondly, that the NSA had a presence in Auckland and “further North”. He also said that he had regularly come across New Zealand data as part of his job as an analyst. No evidence of any of this was provided, we assume that Snowden, a traitor to his own country and a hero of the far right and far left, is telling us the truth.

New Zealand has had foreign spies here as long as I can remember. Every now and then they really screw it up. And we see it. Americans, Russians, Israelis, and other nation states have all been caught out here. So the NSA having a presence is zero surprise. The cable tapping was a given, as we’ve seen. It doesn’t matter HOW it is tapped by the way. Pacific Fibre have said they have no knowledge of it, yet there are soft ways to do it, it could be done at the far ends, their are a myriad of ways. We know they are.

I had a friend in the eighties who’s father was in the SIS and spied on the Russian spies in and around Karori. They would park in one particular elderly woman’s driveway to keep an eye on the Russians, so the story goes, because she would creep out with cups of tea, biscuits, and scones to feed the boys who were “keeping an eye on the naughty Russians.”

As to regularly reading New Zealand data, we can’t assume that was collected by the GCSB. The Prime Minister can confidently say that the GCSB and SIS are not conducting mass surveillance in New Zealand, and we’ll never prove otherwise. One, we couldn’t afford it, and two, why would we need to when the Brits and Americans are doing it for them?

Kim Dotcom got up at some point and pushed his product set MEGA. This completely detracted from the actual issues that were on the table and commentators are having a field day with it, suggesting that Kim Dotcom set the entire thing up as a massive advert for MEGA. Now, while we are on MEGA, before you are tempted to use it, consider a couple of things:

There are far more mature and strongly private services out there in my opinion.
Read the small print in the user agreement: “You must maintain copies of all data stored by you on our service. We do not make any guarantees that there will be no loss of data or the services will be bug free.” In other words, like the old MEGA, there are no service levels.
We then had Assange waffle on in his usual way, with no evidence and much rhetoric.

Finally, one of Kim Dotcom’s (many) lawyers got up and had a personal go at the Prime Minister over several minutes and then spouted on about the TPAA in a language that no one could understand.

If not for Greenwald and Snowden the event would have been farcical. Much more time should have been given to them to explore the issues that we face. They both were interesting and clearly had more to impart. It was meant to be a panel, but no questions were fielded, and as I’ve said, in the press conference afterwards Kim Dotcom lost his rag when he was pressed on “where was the evidence?”, “how has the Prime Minister lied?”, and “was the email released about the music execs fake?”

You see, Internet Mana doesn’t have much. A treasure chest of three million dollars, a bought and paid for staff including a hired leader (not democratically elected), not much of a policy, and a penchant for personally attacking anyone who disagrees with them. Democracy at it’s core is about debating issues (not attacking people) and reaching compromise in order to move a country forward, it’s not easy.

Thankfully this sideshow is at an end.

The Dotcom sideshow may have waned a little, but the security sideshow is only just winding up.

I’m gobsmacked at the media right now.  It’s like they found a new toy, not realising it is exactly like the old toy.  We’ve been here before.  Many times.

What’s new?

If you’re generous, the revelation that the NSA have “a facility” north of Auckland (“facility” could be anything, including a house someone lives in),  and “the cable” is tapped.

The latter isn’t even news.  It is already well known that there are a number of very important routers on the “edge” of New Zealand’s Internet as well as in the larger ISPs that have existing connections (for a want of a better word) for security and law and order reasons.

It does need a warrant to be able to use it though.

Finally, where is the evidence?

Just to have a bunch of ratbags making claims isn’t enough.  3 highly redacted slides of unknown origin and some hearsay.

…oh yeah, I forgot.  Hearsay is all it takes.

Damn.  That Dotcom email is real too eh?   I mean, he says so…



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