Labour = spammers

June 21st, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

NZPA report:

Thousands of people who signed an early childhood education petition have had their email addresses added to a Party database, with leader Phil Goff saying it was solely to let people know the outcome of the campaign.

The email addresses, taken from a New Zealand Educational Institute () postcard campaign against cuts to early childhood education, were added to a database of about 18,000 people that could be freely downloaded from Labour’s website until the problem was fixed last weekend.

Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater, who obtained a copy of the database, said on his website that NZEI national secretary Paul Goulter had written to petition signatories to explain why their addresses had been added to the database.

The letter said the postcards were given last year to Labour early childhood education spokeswoman Sue Moroney, who had agreed to present them to Prime Minister John Key because no Government MPs would do so.

Mr Key has not yet accepted the postcards.

Mr Goff today said people who signed the postcards wanted to know outcome of the petition and Ms Moroney had written back to a number of people.

It’s purely about early childhood education, there’s a letter that’s gone out to some of those people,” he said.

The NZEI in its letter said only some campaign signatories had received Ms Moroney’s letter.

NZEI had made it clear to the Labour Party that it was “very concerned” about the database breach and had asked for the addresses to be deleted.

This is blatant . If the petition was a Labour Party petition then you could argue there is inferred consent. But it was an NZEI petition and no reasonable person could infer that signing an NZEI petition would land you on the Labour Party e-mail database.

Sadly Labour can not be prosecuted for spamming, as only commercial spam is an offence under the law. The Privacy Commissioner should be concerned though about Labour’s attitude towards privacy.

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24 Responses to “Labour = spammers”

  1. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “no reasonable person could infer that signing an NZEI petition would land you on the Labour Party ”

    Really? I’ve always regarded NZEI as essentially a Labour party front.

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  2. lastmanstanding (1,296 comments) says:

    Why am I not surprised. The LEFT not only have no respect for individuals privacy they activiely seek to gather information so they can further interfer in citizens lives.

    And why cant they be prosecuted. This is an artifical construct to not allow non commercial organisation off the hook. Typical of pollies and civil sevants. Always protecting their own arses.

    One rule of us Another rule for them.

    Two faced bastards!!!!!!!

    Will now take the meds and have a lie down

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  3. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg
    Yeah, if Federated Farmers are the ‘National Party in gumboots’ then I guess the NZEI/PPTA would have to be the Labour Party in [insert appropriate metaphor].

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  4. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Media = Labours PR machine.

    Why are they not all over labbour for spamming instead of just parroting their spin for them?

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  5. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    Murray 12:43 pm. For the same reason sharks don’t eat lawyers. Professional courtesy.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  6. SHG (316 comments) says:

    If this had happened in Australia Labour would be in a world of hurt. The AU antispam laws are much more strict and whether or not a message is technically spam depends on only three things:

    – the message must be sent to you with your consent
    – the message must contain accurate information about the person or organisation that authorised the sending of the message
    – the message must contain a functional ‘unsubscribe’ facility to allow you to opt out of receiving messages from that source

    If ANY ONE of those conditions is not met, the sender is liable for big fines.

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  7. Hagues (703 comments) says:

    “Mr Goff today said people who signed the postcards wanted to know outcome of the petition and Ms Moroney had written back to a number of people.
    It’s purely about early childhood education, there’s a letter that’s gone out to some of those people,” he said.

    Except it wasn’t just to inform people of the result of the petition, it was to try and gain support for Labour initiatives. In fact they weren’t even going to advise anything about the petition, just try and get people to sign up to their new website. We know this because the idiots had the email they were going to send sitting on an unsecure website just waiting to be found by Whale… http://whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/index.php/2011/06/whaleleaks-goff-lies/

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  8. Mike Johnson (44 comments) says:

    Sadly Labour can not be prosecuted for spamming, as only commercial spam is an offence under the law. The Privacy Commissioner should be concerned though about Labour’s attitude towards privacy.

    And it was David Cunliffe’s legislation. I remember you applauding him for it, David.

    Tut tut.

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  9. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “Yeah, if Federated Farmers are the ‘National Party in gumboots’ ”

    Why did you say “if”?

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  10. jaba (2,141 comments) says:

    it is amazing how over the years, the labour party and indeed individual mp’s constantly get away with dodgy dealings/actions. Big Phil Field seems to be the only one to really suffer .. daffy and dyson got a small slap and that’s it

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  11. Johnboy (16,529 comments) says:

    Surely spamming is a fairly minor crime compared to art fraud and misappropriation of parliamentary funds? :)

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  12. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Time for a broken windows policy for our politicians.

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  13. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    @ jaba 2 51, Field was safe until he flung the dung and threatened to stand as an independent, now that really was sinful, and the cloak of protection was ripped from his back.

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  14. Inventory2 (10,339 comments) says:

    Quite so Gravedodger; Field’s crime was not to act corruptly, and to prey on his constituents. His crime was to upstage the then-PM on the day of her State of the Nation speech; an unpardonable sin.

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  15. robcarr (84 comments) says:

    As the article itself states several times and indeed as reading Whales blogs makes clear the people who signed the petition did not go onto the Labour email database. Their data was compiled into a contact list from which to inform them about the result of the campaign which is an entirely different thing.

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  16. Hagues (703 comments) says:

    Rob, the Labour party had no right to compile a list to contact them for any reason what so ever. The fact that they kept the list separate from their main email database (so as to target their spam better) does not change the fact they illegally harvested the email addresses and sent unsolicited email aka spam to them. You could almost make an arguement for implied consent for NZEI to contact them regarding the results of the campaign, but this was not a Labour campaign and people did not give any consent for Labour to be given or hold onto their information.

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  17. questions (207 comments) says:

    Murray
    Time for a broken windows policy for our politicians.

    Does Murray understand what a broken windows policy is? (From his comment, I somehow doubt it)

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  18. questlove (242 comments) says:

    does not change the fact they illegally harvested the email addresses and sent unsolicited email aka spam to them.

    Learn to read. It wasn’t illegal. When someone signs a petition with no privacy statement then in certain circumstances (ie, the prime minister refuses the petition) then you could end up being contacted by the people who were forwarding the petition on behalf of NZEI.

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  19. dog_eat_dog (780 comments) says:

    No, not it doesn’t. Agencies have an obligation to protect data, the NZEI had one to the people who signed their petition.

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  20. Hagues (703 comments) says:

    questlove When someone signs a petition with no privacy statement then in certain circumstances (ie, the prime minister refuses the petition) then you could end up being contacted by the people who were forwarding the petition on behalf of NZEI.

    The absense of a privacy statement does not mean a third party has the right to collect the data and use it. An explicit privacy statement (with opt in) is needed to allow this.

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  21. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Why the hell didn’t NZEI give it to the Greens? They agree with the petitioners, would have readily presented the petition, don’t engage in privacy abuses, and actually want to tighten information privacy law.

    @dog_eat_dog 5:31 pm

    Agencies have an obligation to protect data, the NZEI had one to the people who signed their petition.

    Yes, I agree they do. But the fuck-up here is with Labour, not NZEI. NZEI just asked a Labour MP to present their petition, which necessarily involves handing the petition over to that MP (see suggestion above for next time, NZEI).

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  22. dog_eat_dog (780 comments) says:

    Yep toad, and that’s why the NZEI has complained. They’re doing everything right.

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  23. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Broken windows policy….”where one grabs a politician and throws him/her through a window inevitably resulting in the breakage of said window and ideally some breakage of said politician.”.

    Sounds like a winner to me! ;-)

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  24. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    James,

    Sounds like a good policy but it might be difficult to implement in the case of Gerry Brownlee…unless you have access to a forklift.

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