A rare treat: David Fisher interviews Cameron Slater (EXCLUSIVE!)

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The New Zealand Herald’s David Fisher invited me to an interview about the Ben Rachinger The Standard Hack story.  My first inclination was to do what I always do with David’s emails:  chuckle and delete.   However, I have subsequently invited people to ask for interviews so I thought, “why not?”.

David and I have a tumultuous history, and it is no secret that I consider him to be hostile to me.  I don’t believe he can be trusted to take my words and represent them honestly.  I also have good reason to believe that he was complicit in the Whaledump saga, and directly connected to Hager and Rawshark regarding my hacked emails and data.

So I will do David’s interview, but I’ll answer the questions on my blog.  That way I can be assured that the answers won’t get re-engineered.  That said, I have no doubt David will subsequently quote from this and manage to make black look like white anyway.  Such is the game.  

From: David Fisher <[email protected] co nz>
Date: Mon, May 9, 2016 at 2:10 PM
Subject: NZ Herald – questions
To: “[email protected] com” <[email protected] com>

Hi Cameron,

Hope you are well. I was hoping you might speak to me about the charge you face in relation to attempting to access The Standard website through Ben Rachinger. As you will be aware, Judge McIlraith’s decision did not support your desire for permanent name suppression. I understand, too, that the charge will be resolved by way of diversion.

With the lifting of suppression, I will be writing about the case and your admission you attempted to illegally gain access to The Standard’s computer system. The matters on which I was hoping to speak to you follow.

  • Why did you want to get into The Standard’s computers?
  • Are you sorry you did so?
  • Will you ever try to do so again?
  • Would you like to offer a personal apology to Lyn Prentice?
  • Did you ask Rachinger to access the computers of others, such as Matt Nippert or Keith Ng, as is alleged in Ng’s Public Address post?
  • The information Rachinger passed you about Dirty Politics – as it appeared on Public Address – appears to match up with your theories of a conspiracy around Dirty Politics. Do you still believe there was a conspiracy, and if so, why?
  • At what stage did you realise it was wrong to attempt to illegally access someone else’s computer or computer system?
  • Did Ben Rachinger pass you images of [journalist – WO]? Did you send those to someone which then resulted in them appearing on the [suppressed by court order – WO] website?
  • Why did you try so hard to get name suppression given your strong public opposition to it in the past, including this post immediately after you appeared in Manukau District Court?
  • The court judgment says you have changed your view on the importance of name suppression – could you please explain why and what your current view is?

Should you not wish to take part in an interview, you might like to send written answers. As an alternative, you might like to answer the questions in the blog post you likely have planned around this issue and I can source information from and attribute it to there.

Thanks,

 

 

David Fisher
Senior writer
P: 09 373 6400 xt 98214  M: 021 347 154
E: [email protected]  SM: https://www.facebook.com/David.Fisher.Journalist

______________________________________________________________________

NOTICE
This email and any attachments are strictly confidential and subject to copyright. They may contain privileged information.

 

So, Hi David, I hope you’re not well. (See, at least I’m honest).

Before we start David, let’s get something in the right context.

  • It was the police that originally sought suppression to stop grandstanding by Ben Rachinger.
  • Diversion has been completed, I was acquitted and no conviction entered.

 

Ok then.  Here we go, one by one.

NZH:  Why did you want to get into The Standard’s computers?

I wanted to know who is writing for The Standard under pseudonyms and how it is connected to the Labour Party.  I never wanted to “get into” The Standard.  The idea I “ordered it” or “asked for it” is one floated by Ben Rachinger and not backed by the facts presented to court.  It’s something I have not spoken up against because there was a court case involved.  Now that suppression is over,  I can explain that Ben Rachinger convinced me he had access to non-public information he obtained himself.  I never offered to pay him money if he would hack for me.  That never happened.  We did negotiate over the data he made me believe he already had access to.

NZH: Are you sorry you did so?

I’m sorry I ever met Ben Rachinger.  I’m sorry I allowed him to lead me by the nose.  I’m not sorry for wanting to know who hacked my emails, who they were distributed to, who was running Whaledump and how the Labour Party, bloggers and other people had an active hand in all of it.  I am sorry my need to want to know what happened caused me to cross the line of asking Ben to show me what he got from The Standard for a fee.

NZH Will you ever try to do so again?

Seriously?  You’re asking me to admit to planning a crime?  What sort of a question is that?  I do want to make a point about the “again” part of the question.  A hack did not take place.  I did not order it.  I was discussing payment with Ben to get access to the material he already said he had access to.   That’s what I am guilty of.   That’s what I regret.  And no, I won’t ever pay for evidence again.  That’s the life lesson out of all of this.

NZH Would you like to offer a personal apology to Lyn Prentice? [The Standard ‘owner/operator]

I doubt it would be accepted, be believed or make any difference.   I have not changed my mind over The Standard’s involvement in the hack of my data, broadly speaking, so I will reserve any apologies until it is clear they really had nothing to do with it.

NZH Did you ask Rachinger to access the computers of others, such as Matt Nippert or Keith Ng, as is alleged in Ng’s Public Address post?

No.  I haven’t asked Ben to access any computer on my behalf.   Nippert did come up in conversation many times.  Here’s a choice quote from Ben

Conclusive Proof of WD [Whaledump] = Ng and Nippert

1.  IP leakage
2.  Semantic analysis of the two blended has a 92% probability of a match
3.  In emails, Ng alludes to having inside knowledge of hack and RS [Rawshark]
4. Ng is, ofc [of course], very close to Kim [Dotcom].  Who’s a prick.

Low on net [data allowance]. When I get going today, will dump the Ng and Nippert files to you.

Ben made me believe he already had information.  It didn’t need to be hacked, just dumped.  It didn’t need to be asked to be hacked.  I simply had to pay money to get it.   But more about that another day.

NZH The information Rachinger passed you about Dirty Politics – as it appeared on Public Address – appears to match up with your theories of a conspiracy around Dirty Politics. Do you still believe there was a conspiracy, and if so, why?

Yes.  I’m going to let the police continue to work on the why.  This interview is about the Ben Rachinger hack of The Standard, that never happened, and that I never asked for.

NZH At what stage did you realise it was wrong to attempt to illegally access someone else’s computer or computer system?

I have always known it is illegal to do anything illegal.  You really need to ask Ben this question, as I never attempted to access The Standard illegally.  For one, I clearly don’t have the skills.  Two, I didn’t ask Ben to do it on my behalf.

NZH Did Ben Rachinger pass you images of [journalist – WO]? Did you send those to someone which then resulted in them appearing on the [suppressed by court order – WO] website?

Yes.  The photos were widely distributed by Ben himself to other journalists as well.  You would need to ask the website about the eventual source.

It is worth noting that it was you, David, that ran the only story about this in the media.  How did you get these photos?  I didn’t send them to you.  And why was that article deleted by your editors?  Was it because of the outrage of your colleagues from across the industry?  Or the legal threat from Mediaworks?

Why did you try so hard to get name suppression given your strong public opposition to it in the past, including this post immediately after you appeared in Manukau District Court?

I didn’t.  I never asked for name suppression.  It was the police that did because of Ben Rachinger’s close working relationship with Mediaworks, including Jessica Williams, Lisa Owen and Tim Watkin.   Both Ben and I had no choice when suppression was ordered over the case.

NZH The court judgment says you have changed your view on the importance of name suppression – could you please explain why and what your current view is?

The question should be:  why did you try so hard to KEEP name suppression in this case considering your public views?  Two reasons.  One, my family are punch drunk when it comes to all the media attention.  My children remember the threats that came with the last lot of attention.  One person is currently locked up because of it.  We had to move house to feel safer.  But I knew suppression wouldn’t be granted.  Politics is a grown-up sport, I am a public figure, and the last thing that would happen would be for me to get name suppression over something so trivial it was addressed through Diversion.  I in fact agree that in situations like mine, it would be inappropriate.  But it presented an opportunity to generate substantial cost to Mediaworks who hired legal counsel to try and overturn it.  I was being deliberately obstructive to make life difficult for Watkins and Owen and their bottom line.  There is a reason for this beyond mere petulance.

I used the appearance to introduce new evidence.  This evidence is now public, sans a small court ordered suppression.  This too was part of strategy, as you will come to see over the next days and weeks.  Evidence of substantial suppression breaches by Mediaworks producer Tim Watkin, Law professor Andrew Geddis, Martyn Bradbury, Lynn Prentice and Peter George, all of whom are now under police investigation for not respecting court orders. You know this David, but I doubt you will choose to publish that.

The Police complaint was part of the documents that the Media lawyers sought and were granted access to.   Lets see which of them is honest enough to publish that several bloggers, a TV producer and a Law professor are now under investigation for suppression breaches of their own?

 

 

Thanks for caring about my well being and wanting to catch up.  Always good to hear from you David.  It puts a smile on my face every time I click Delete.

 


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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.

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