A tale of two leaders

October 4th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

We’ve seen an interesting comparison of two parliamentary leaders who have both not recalled a mention of an issue in a briefing or presentation.

In July 2011, then Opposition Leader Phil Goff said that he was “not aware of the allegations” around the Israeli hitchhikers.

More recently said he was unaware of the involvement in the Kim Dotcom case until a couple of weeks ago.

It turned out in the case of he was briefed personally by the Director of the in March 2011. A contemporaneous file note states that it was on the agenda, that Goff asked a question about it, that it was “discussed at length” and notes that Goff was shown the investigation paper and that Goff read it.

In the case of John Key, the GCSB has said that the PM was not briefed on the case until September 2012, but that at a visit to the GCSB offices in Feb 2012, he was given a powerpoint presentation where the Dotcom issues was briefly mentioned, and an image of Dotcom was one of 11 in a montage. The Director says he does not recall the reference, but his staff say it was mentioned briefly.

Now I have to say I believe both Phil Goff and John Key, in that they didn’t recall their respective issues. I would point out that SIS meeting with Goff was a one on one meeting specially to brief on intelligence issues – not a general “this is what we are up to” type presentation. But regardless both men have hundreds of meetings a month.

Where there is a stark difference, is when documents came to light that highlighted there was a briefing or mention.

Even though there is no written record of the matter being mentioned to him,, and even though the GCSB Director says he doesn’t recall it, John Key has said he accepts the recollection of the other GCSB staff – and at the first opportunity has made public that fact, and has said he will correct the record.

Now compare that to what Phil Goff did.  Phil Goff accused the SIS of lying, and inventing things, and said he would refuse to meet them in the future without witnesses. Even to this day, he refuses to admit his memory may have been faulty.

I think that speaks volume about character.

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56 Responses to “A tale of two leaders”

  1. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    I think that speaks volume about character.

    What it says is that John Key had polling done on the matter, saw where public sentiment was as to whether or not he should apologise, realised that Dotcom had become a meme celebrity to be treated like a cool “fuck the police” type, calculated how many votes it would gain him versus how many it would lose, taking into account the fact that to be associated with Banks is bad and Dotcom good, then came to a decision based on a cost/benefit analysis and said sorry like a pussy begging for approval, bending over and saying to the average mum and dad voters: “Please, give it to me!”

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  2. loonybonkersmad (27 comments) says:

    They do have something in common though … they will both lose one election. The tide is turning against Key and this Dotcom business could be the last nail in the coffin for cobbling together a coalition for next term.

    He is losing face and losing the voters trust; not a good place to be.

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  3. Mighty_Kites (81 comments) says:

    Good to see the National Party is in damage control mode

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  4. flipper (3,524 comments) says:

    Well said DPF. In the GD this AM, Niggly makes excellent aligned points worthy of study.

    As for Shearer, his comments on Red Radio suggest one of two things: first, he was briefed on the PM’s briefing by the Director of the GCSB and he has now disclosed the content of that briefing, or alternatively and secondly, that Shearer has a “source” inside the GCSB that has told him that both the Director and the Prime Ministers are lying.

    Dangerous stuff Mr Shearer.

    I for one think you are too generous DPF in allowing credit for Goffie’s memory lapse. I think he deiberately forgot in the belief that he could get away for his lie.

    Sooner rather than later one hopes, Niggly’s observations on Planet Vance, will result in an editorial kick in her ass. Some chance!

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  5. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    That’s right, because this entire Dotcom scandal is REALLY about Phil Goff. Good grief. Desperate much?

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  6. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    But that’s different, Labour have a different standard (lower) to everyone else didn’t you know? They have really short memories as well. God forbid the MSM actually highlighted something like this.

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  7. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    ” Now I have to say I believe both Phil Goff and John Key, in that they didn’t recall their respective issues. I would point out that SIS meeting with Goff was a one on one meeting specially to brief on intelligence issues – not a general “this is what we are up to” type presentation. But regardless both men have hundreds of meetings a month.”

    Actually I would have left it at this point.

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  8. RRM (9,414 comments) says:

    National good, Labour bad!

    Are you sure no-one’s paying you to write this stuff, DPF…? ;-)

    (I may have asked you this in the past, but I can’t recall… )

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  9. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    fish_boy, Jimmy Smits (and all you other fuckwits harping on and on about this), what DPF is showing is that Labour are trying to be all over this yet their previous leader (whom I might add is still up there in the party) acted in a completely different manner. It is yet another example of how Labour have again and again taken a stance against something National is doing while doing the same thing in the past (e.g. approving the sale of Wellingtons electricity grid to the Chinese). Which is relevant because it is still a party containing the deadbeat people who were involved at the time.

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  10. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    I don’t recall everything I’ve done and spoken about, far from it, and I have a lot less to deal with than Key and Goff. When I check back on logs and find out I have done something I sometimes remember it happening, I sometimes don’t. It depends on how much it registered in my memory.

    I presume this is the same for many/most/all people in real life. So what Key is saying seems quite credible and how he has dealt with it seems matter of fact and good on him for sounding open and apparently honest.

    It’s possible Key has lied but there is no evidence of that, and it looks more like he has been up front to me.

    Opposition MPs like Shearer and Roberston are making accusations that questions their credibility more than Key’s with no evidence to back their claims.

    And their ‘must remember absolutely everything to be fit to rule’ is nonsense that they are likley to be reminded of at some time in their leadership careers, if voters ever think they are fit to rule. It’s the sort of thing that will bite them on the bum.

    Shearer has already provided teeth to bite his own bum, initially claiming to be a different sort of no gotcha politician and now he looks like he’s become as bad as the worst of them.

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  11. Sofia (817 comments) says:

    A point that is of considerable difference between the two cases is that Goff’s meeting was one on one and relating to a specific current issue, critical at that point, while Key’s meeting was general and the montage was just that – a montage – and the specific reference to Dotcom was apparently in passing, ‘we were connected with that too’.

    It is reasonable that Key was at that point confident his section were doing their job properly, and unless he really was expected to know all aspects of the legal detail of their work, would he pull them up in such a presentation and say “Hang on, how exactly were you involved with Dotcom, considering his residential status?”
    Especially if Roy Fergusson had also not questioned this status when he reported to Key, one assumes, as this timeline published this morning indicates –

    Jan 19: Solicitor-General David Collins, QC, tells John Key that Kim Dotcom will be raided the next day.
    Jan 20: GCSB tells Roy Ferguson, director of the intelligence co-ordination group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, of its role in monitoring Dotcom for the police.
    Feb 29: During a briefing to Key, GCSB mentions its role in assisting police by monitoring Dotcom.
    
Aug 9: The police’s Ofcanz deputy head, Grant Wormald, tells High Court of the involvement of an unnamed Government agency in the planning of the Dotcom raid.

    Aug 15-17: Acting PM Bill English learns of GCSB’s involvement and issues a Ministerial Certificate suppressing court disclosure.

    Sep 7: Affidavit filed by Dotcom lawyers prompts GCSB to conclude it acted unlawfully.

    Sep 13: GCSB tells Key’s chief of staff of a potential issue of illegality.
    
Sep 17: GCSB briefs Key on its unlawful spying.

    Sep 24: Key tells public and announces inquiry.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838272

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  12. flipper (3,524 comments) says:

    >That’s right, because this entire Dotcom scandal is REALLY about Phil Goff. Good grief. Desperate much?
    >National good, Labour bad!
    >Good to see the National Party is in damage control mode ……

    Childish comments that suggest an inability to actually look at an issue objectively and to raise legitimate questions on issues that matter.

    Personally, I think the whole Dottiecom/GCSB dung heap is just that, and at the end of the day it will take labour and the red melons no where. Pehaps that is why JK keeps feeding them burley…..

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  13. flipper (3,524 comments) says:

    Thanks Sofia

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  14. Keeping Stock (10,085 comments) says:

    @ flipper – right on the money. The chattering classes are getting sick of hearing about Kim Dot-Bloody-Com who is wealthy beyond anything that they can identify with, and has shown that he has a very nasty streak when he doesn’t get his way. This is not going to be an issue that brings down the Government, but who am I to deter the Greens and Labour from wasting time and energy on it?

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  15. Chuck Bird (4,658 comments) says:

    Time National got a new leader

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  16. Nostalgia-NZ (4,896 comments) says:

    Who cares what Goff did in 2011, this is a different issue – swept under the mat one minute and emerging from the other side the next. It surprises me that intelligent people keep underestimating this issue, because as the results show it is always at their peril. We had DPF trying to regather ground a couple of weeks ago with attacks on Dotcom’s past, overlooking of course that he was accepted by Immigration under terms of frank disclosure, and money! The people getting tarnished out of this exercise are those that aren’t being truthful, the ‘forget me nots.’ That aspect puts this affair into a different perspective, beyond Dotcom in fact, into how our Government and it’s departments work.

    Frank disclosure and appropriate action would have put this to sleep early this year, but we saw butt-covering and incompetence instead. Somebody above describes JK as feeding fish burley, problem is he looks like he’s part of the feed and doesn’t know it. If this situation is a side-show it’s because JK wasn’t decisive enough when it emerged dear Mr Banks started soiling his own nest, and when police took giving evidence as art of elusiveness rather than the truth. Leaders have to be tough, and at times ruthless, not meandering and talking about brain ‘fade.’ Never too late to excise the rot, and the longer it is left intact the more the questions are raised as to the cross contamination.

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  17. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Yes, Key came out of this one well.

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    Last I heard, he still hadn’t fixed a dozen bad laws put in place by the Labour government so overall, I’m unimpressed.

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  18. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Also, quite why a German prick who’ll do anything for money (let alone what he’s done *with* his money) is a story anyone should care about is beyond me.

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  19. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    ah, so KS is till about secrecy, abrogating and usurping peoples rights all in the name of his political party.

    Communist by nature then KS.

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  20. Nostalgia-NZ (4,896 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock.

    Think you may be mis-reading this, the emphasis seems to have shifted from Dotcom to institutionalised incompetence or worse.

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  21. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    scrubup.
    People like Dotcom have the money and the resources to defend the rights that are issue. Rights that no doubt you would be first to take advantage of if the boot was on the other foot and it was you that was being trampled on. Except you wouldn’t have the money nor the intellect to be able to do so.

    We should remember that when discussing all this. The alternative is a police state.
    which you would all enjoy I’m sure.

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  22. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    the emphasis seems to have shifted from Dotcom to institutionalised incompetence or worse.

    Yes it has, within political circles, and there are issues there that deserve more scrutiny. But from what I’ve seen outside of that is that people are sick of Dotcom coverage, he’s not an attractive or endearing celebrity and they’re sick of it.

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  23. Pongo (371 comments) says:

    I am sick to death of the medias obsession with Banks, cups of tea, dot bloody com. The medias agenda to smack Key around is tiresome, is there nothing else going on ?
    What other country in the world would you get a leader who personally apologises and publishes the result of an enquiry they instigated into their spooks over what is at the end of the day a pretty trivial matter.

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  24. Yoza (1,513 comments) says:

    This isn’t about Key, Goff or Dotcom, this is about the liberties unelected officials are taking with New Zealand’s sovereignty in the service of pursuing the commercial interests of private, foreign corporations.

    I have no doubt that if Goff, Shearer or Clark were in the Prime Minister’s shoes they would be sinking into the same pond of shit while listening to the gleeful catcalls of the opposition.

    The only thing that can save Key’s credibility is a full and independent inquiry.

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  25. Keeping Stock (10,085 comments) says:

    @ Viking2 – there have been significant mistakes made in the Dotcom investigation, and the raid on his property was OTT. But none of that will have any bearing on whether or not he gets extradited to the USA; all that matters there as Bill Hodge from Auckland University (not known as a cheerleader for the Right) said last week is whether or not the evidence in the US stacks up. I have read the 100-plus pages on the indictment returned by the Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (a great cure for insomnia BTW), and the FBI has built a very strong case against Dotcom. Have a read:

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/mega-indictment.pdf

    Dotcom claims that he wants his day in Court to prove that Megaupload and all the other Mega companies including Megavideo.com, Megaclick.com and Megaporn.com (how often do you hear the MSM mention that Dotcom is a pornographer?) are all legit and above board, and all power to him. So why then is he fighting tooth and nail against extradition to the USA to have his day in court? If he has nothing to hide, what’s the problem?

    Dotcom is not the squeaky-clean victim that sectors of the media make him out to be. He is a shrewd businessman with a ruthless streak. He obviously hasn’t got a lot of friends out there either; why else would he employ full-time bodyguards? And as I said above to flipper, I’m of the opinion that people are getting sick and tired of hearing that Kim Dotcom said this and Kim Dotcom demanded that. I for one would lose no sleep if he buggered off to somewhere else.

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  26. flipper (3,524 comments) says:

    Nostalgia…
    Yep, JK is feeding Labour and the red melons burley. Is he part of the fish feed? Unlikely, he is too agile for that as witnessed by the time lines on inquiries and the release of data. Outside of the beltway, the idiot MSM, the political activists, and a chunk of academia, the Dottiecom/Banks/GCSB sagas have been and gone.

    As Pongo infers above,one cannot imagine this in relation to the UK equivalent of GCSB, their SIS, the US NSA or CIA. More detail would be nice, but I guess real secrets are secrets – and I write as one who has been closer to such matters in real life than most who contribute here. But then I would be said by the idiot classes as being asleep at the wheel.

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  27. backster (2,067 comments) says:

    “We should remember that when discussing all this. The alternative is a police state.
    which you would all enjoy I’m sure.”

    VIKING…………Except until that prior to 2003 we didn’t have these silly obstructive processes invented by Clark/Palmer, and I for one didn’t experience a Police State,just a greater sense of security.

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  28. MH (624 comments) says:

    would it have mattered if Dotcomb’s core business was of an overseas nature or essentially his company was a foreign entity and therefore if he was still operating and relying on overseas contacts downloads to keep it running in this case illegally copyrighting material and this may somehow put our communications and those within Echelon at risk and therefore the surveillance could have been legit regardless of his citizenship status. How was he earning money or was he continuing to run a shady business from NZ. Was it a NZ company and what of his partner Klock.

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  29. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Obviously there is conspiracy in politics and far more than we could ever know

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  30. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock… it’s really about our sovereignty and keeping the US bully out of our nation. Of course if you want your family extradited at any whim of the CIA..well..what does that say about you

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  31. Michael (894 comments) says:

    I challenge anyone who thinks the Prime Minister is lying when he says he doesn’t recall Kim Dotcom being discussed briefly at the meeting to pick a random meeting they attended 6 months ago and then (without looking at the minutes) be quizzed on it by someone else who has the minutes. Even if John Key had remembered the briefing, unless he was told about the issues of spying on foreign nationals and the difficulty of doing so on immigrants because the visa status had to be ascertained then it would be an extraordinary leap for him to question the activity.

    This is a total beat up by the media and Shearer – in fact it makes Shearer look like he is desperately looking for a chink the armour and grabbing at whatever he can find.

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  32. Random Punter (65 comments) says:

    Calm down, people. There’s less to this than meets the eye. All that happened was that GCSB misinterpreted the relevant legislation, or possibly were unaware of changes to it. Culpable, no doubt, and deserving of severe reprimand, but not evidence of a deliberate intent to defy the law by conducting surveillance on someone exempt from it by virtue of their residential status. Still less is it evidence of an established pattern of such surveillance on others, or of servile obedience to the bidding of the FBI or any of the other bogeymen of the reflexively anti-American left.

    As for the Prime Minister, he was clearly not briefed specifically on the Dotcom issue at the 29 February meeting. As Niggly and Sofia have pointed out, the Dotcom issue was mentioned in passing, for no more than a few seconds, in the course of a lengthy and wide-ranging briefing on the whole of GCSB’s work.

    DPF is right to highlight the difference between the Prime Minister’s handling of the matter and Mr Goff’s reaction in a similar situation. Mr Key’s readiness to admit when mistakes have been made and issue an apology when one is warranted is a refreshing contrast to the air of smug superiority and infallibility which emanated from Clark, Goff, Cullen, and the rest of that galere, and to the sanctimonious humbuggery of Shearer, Norman, and the media, who appear to have forgotten, if they ever knew, the distinction between fact and comment.

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  33. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    @pete george
    With respect you are not the PM therefore no one gives a f*** about what you said on this blog 6 months ago.Also despite DPF’s lame comparative analysis with Goff, no one gave a f*** about that one as well.
    The issue here is Key has lied, openly and publicly, and the public know it. John Key’s trip to Hollywood is a public relations disaster, it is no more than a backslapping trip for Key.

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  34. Wayne91 (143 comments) says:

    hinamanu (1,611) Says:
    “Keeping Stock… it’s really about our sovereignty and keeping the US bully out of our nation. Of course if you want your family extradited at any whim of the CIA..well..what does that say about you”

    Wow our paranoia has progressed from “red under the bed” to good old “Red white and blue under the bed”

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  35. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock (8,168) Says:
    October 4th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @ Viking2 – there have been significant mistakes made in the Dotcom investigation, and the raid on his property was OTT. But none of that will have any bearing on whether or not he gets extradited to the USA; all that matters there as Bill Hodge from Auckland University (not known as a cheerleader for the Right) said last week is whether or not the evidence in the US stacks up. I have read the 100-plus pages on the indictment returned by the Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (a great cure for insomnia BTW), and the FBI has built a very strong case against Dotcom. Have a read:

    Very strong case? How do you know? Have you seen the evidence? :)

    Dotcom claims that he wants his day in Court to prove that Megaupload and all the other Mega companies including Megavideo.com, Megaclick.com and Megaporn.com (how often do you hear the MSM mention that Dotcom is a pornographer?) are all legit and above board, and all power to him. So why then is he fighting tooth and nail against extradition to the USA to have his day in court? If he has nothing to hide, what’s the problem?

    So if you were charged with a crime which you believed you didn’t commit you would not fight every step of the process? You’re quite happy to put your life in the hands of a jury? The extradition is a very small hurdle for the authorities in the grand scheme of things. It is the equivalent of a committal hearing. If they cannot pass this hurdle then their case is very weak indeed. And if a lawyer has a chance of getting a case kicked at this stage then it is their duty to attempt to do so.

    Essentially you seem to be inferring guilt because Dotcom attempts to defend himself. Ridiculous.

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  36. backster (2,067 comments) says:

    Why John Key couldn’t recall seeeing the big fat gorilla. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6qgoM89ekM

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  37. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Michael (591) Says:
    October 4th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I challenge anyone who thinks the Prime Minister is lying when he says he doesn’t recall Kim Dotcom being discussed briefly at the meeting to pick a random meeting they attended 6 months ago and then (without looking at the minutes) be quizzed on it by someone else who has the minutes. Even if John Key had remembered the briefing, unless he was told about the issues of spying on foreign nationals and the difficulty of doing so on immigrants because the visa status had to be ascertained then it would be an extraordinary leap for him to question the activity.

    This is a total beat up by the media and Shearer – in fact it makes Shearer look like he is desperately looking for a chink the armour and grabbing at whatever he can find.

    But it was not a “random meeting”. It was a meeting which included reference to a very prominent figure who was the subject of intense media scrutiny and a very high profile extradition case. Questions were already raised about what Key knew of the operation and when he knew of Dotcom. It does not seem credible to believe that he would not take note of his name in future especially when it is revealed to Key that the GCSB was involved in the operation.

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  38. Keeping Stock (10,085 comments) says:

    Weihana said

    Very strong case? How do you know? Have you seen the evidence? :)

    I even provided a link for you to follow Weihana :D Start reading from around Page 28, where it outlines how Megaupload paid people to upload “original content”. Clever stuff eh; you pay once for content which may well be illegal and copyrighted, then you rake in thousands of subscribers who joined Megaupload to access that free and often illegal content. If it wasn’t for the intellectual property rights of the people who created the original content being trampled all over, it might be a good business model. But it isn’t, because it based around rewarding dishonesty.

    And I’m not inferring guilt; Dotcom has said repeatedly that he has nothing to hide, and that he wants his day in court. But he seems to be doing everything he can to prove otherwise. That’s something of a paradox, don’t you think?

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  39. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Random Punter (21) Says:
    October 4th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Calm down, people. There’s less to this than meets the eye. All that happened was that GCSB misinterpreted the relevant legislation, or possibly were unaware of changes to it.

    Rubbish. The legislation is clear. Permanent residents are not to be intercepted. Permanent residents = anyone with a residence class visa. Dotcom had a residence class visa. It’s not rocket science. The question of legality was raised by the police on Feb 16. After 11 days of analysis the GSCB concludes it was legal yet it takes only 5 minutes to search legislation.govt.nz to find the bleeding obvious that it was not legal. Only when the matter starts to come up in court do they discover that after all that it was illegal. It’s bullshit to believe that the GCSB legal team could not interpret the meaning of “permanent resident” under their Act.

    Moreover, their Act did not change. Dotcom was protected from interception regardless of changes to the Immigration Act. Neither before nor after the Immigration Act 2009 was the agency permitted to spy on residents in New Zealand.

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  40. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    KevinH, you are not the PM either therefore there’s no way you can know he “lied, openly and publicly”.

    Most of what he said is quite plausible. Most of the public don’t know and don’t care.

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  41. bc (1,332 comments) says:

    Hmmm, after reading that post a certain song comes to mind:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGNiXGX2nLU

    “You spin me right round, baby right round, like a record baby”

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  42. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Viking2: Strangly, I don’t expected to get extradited to the US anytime soon as I’m not in the habit of starting multi-million dollar businesses with questionable ethics.

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  43. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock (8,169) Says:
    October 4th, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Weihana said

    Very strong case? How do you know? Have you seen the evidence? :)

    I even provided a link for you to follow Weihana :D

    Yes, the indictment. But a strong case is found in the evidence, not the allegations.

    Start reading from around Page 28, where it outlines how Megaupload paid people to upload “original content”. Clever stuff eh; you pay once for content which may well be illegal and copyrighted, then you rake in thousands of subscribers who joined Megaupload to access that free and often illegal content. If it wasn’t for the intellectual property rights of the people who created the original content being trampled all over, it might be a good business model. But it isn’t, because it based around rewarding dishonesty.

    How many Ipods do you suppose facilitate the enjoyment of illegal libraries of music? Do we really believe people are filling these devices up with tens of thousands of dollars worth of legitimate content? Or is the Ipod benefiting from a business model that, at least in part, relies on illegal downloads?

    The fact is that a service like Megaupload can be used both legally and illegally. The business model of the company, i.e. to provide incentive for uploads, is not a crime. However, if they know the material is there and conspire to breach copyright that would be a crime. But as far as I’m aware there is no onus on them to search out and filter content. Nor is it clear that the mere removal of links was insufficient under the DMCA.

    Bottom line is that the legal argument being put forth by the United States is novel. It’s untested and unexplored. In such a situation I find it difficult to conclude that they have a “very strong case”.

    And I’m not inferring guilt; Dotcom has said repeatedly that he has nothing to hide, and that he wants his day in court. But he seems to be doing everything he can to prove otherwise. That’s something of a paradox, don’t you think?

    Not at all. I would expect that “my day in court” includes every step of the process and that includes an extradition hearing following disclosure of the evidence by the American authorities.

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  44. Keeping Stock (10,085 comments) says:

    I can’t speak for your iPod Weihana, but mine only has content that I have purchased from the iTunes store. My Dear Departed Dad taught me a lot about honesty, and I hope that my kids have learned the same from me.

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  45. Random Punter (65 comments) says:

    Weihana wrote: Neither before nor after the Immigration Act 2009 was the agency permitted to spy on residents in New Zealand.

    True, but not the point. The Bureau knew it was not entitled to conduct surveillance on New Zealand residents, and I’ve heard no evidence, as opposed to speculation and unsupported assertion, that it intended to do so. Having been approached by OFCANZ, it had to determine whether Mr Dotcom was a resident, and that was where it made its mistake. As the Neazor report says (para 14, page 5): “The illegality arose because of changes in the Immigration Act wording and some confusion about which category Dotcom was in thereafter.”

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  46. MH (624 comments) says:

    But it could spy on a

    foreign organisation means—
    (a) a Government of any country other than New Zealand:
    (b) an entity controlled by the Government of any country other than New Zealand:
    (c) a company or body corporate that is incorporated outside New Zealand, or any company within the meaning of the Companies Act 1993 that is, for the purposes of the Companies Act 1993, a subsidiary of any company or body corporate incorporated outside New Zealand:
    (d) an unincorporated body of persons consisting exclusively of foreign organisations or foreign persons that carry on activities wholly outside New Zealand:
    (e) an international organisation:
    (f) a person acting in his or her capacity as an agent or a representative of any Government, body, or organisation referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (e)

    was dot’s firm/business wholly operated in NZ. Then they would have had to inform the Min of Foreign Affairs and Trade,they didn’t so that partly answers my question.

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  47. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock (8,170) Says:
    October 4th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I can’t speak for your iPod Weihana, but mine only has content that I have purchased from the iTunes store.

    Except that you are not the issue, the company is. You use the Ipod legitimately. Many others don’t. Some used Megaupload legitimately. Many others didn’t. That is the analogy.

    My Dear Departed Dad taught me a lot about honesty, and I hope that my kids have learned the same from me.

    So lets be honest: plenty of companies profit from the illegal activity of their users. Apple is one. ISPs are another. Youtube is another. And so on. When we have a law that creates a vast gray area called the “inducement rule” where subjective opinions decide whether a tech company has “induced” copyright then we create a situation where innovation is stifled and the survival of tech companies is threatened by legal action from intellectual property rights holders.

    Dotcom has arranged his business in a manner where he believes he has done the minimal amount required to comply with the law. If he stepped over that line then he is justifiably prosecuted. But does him downloading a copyrighted file from his own website demonstrate a criminal conspiracy? There are countless illegal files on Youtube. If one of their executives downloads one of them for personal use, does he and his entire website suddenly constitute a criminal conspiracy? It may be an infringement but does it prove that the business model itself is a criminal conspiracy? I do not believe so.

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  48. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Random Punter (22) Says:
    October 4th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Weihana wrote: Neither before nor after the Immigration Act 2009 was the agency permitted to spy on residents in New Zealand.

    True, but not the point. The Bureau knew it was not entitled to conduct surveillance on New Zealand residents, and I’ve heard no evidence, as opposed to speculation and unsupported assertion, that it intended to do so. Having been approached by OFCANZ, it had to determine whether Mr Dotcom was a resident, and that was where it made its mistake. As the Neazor report says (para 14, page 5): “The illegality arose because of changes in the Immigration Act wording and some confusion about which category Dotcom was in thereafter.”

    Except that the issue of legality was subsequently raised by the Police. After a review the GCSB concluded it was legal. I accept that mistakes happen. That’s reasonable even if completely inexcusable and incompetent. But not after the potential illegality is pointed out and the matter is straightforward. There was simply no justification for them concluding that the surveillance was legal when the Police questioned the legality of their involvement. It has the appearance of an attempt to cover up their mistake after the fact. A mistake that was only rectified when they believed they were going to be caught out after questions were raised in court.

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  49. seanmaitland (454 comments) says:

    @KevinH – no-one pays attention to what you write on here, because its normally some petty axe you have to grind that you don’t have an objective view point on.

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  50. chiz (1,119 comments) says:

    Weihana:However, if they know the material is there and conspire to breach copyright that would be a crime.

    This is in fact what happened. Dotcom and friends knew what was going on and even encouraged it. Read the indictment, especially the private emails where they talk about this.

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  51. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    chiz,

    I have read it. I do not agree it demonstrates a criminal conspiracy. I agree that, taking the allegations at face value, there are several instances of Dotcom and others violating copyright. But in no way do those instances of copyright violation constitute a criminal conspiracy. The prosecution is arguing a conspiracy based on the business model and the fact that a not insignificant portion of the site hosted copyrighted content. But this is true of many business models whether we are talking Youtube, or the Ipod or ISPs. All these businesses earn money indirectly from copyright violation. When is it too much? 25%? 50%? 75%? How can we have a crime defined by such arbitrary standards?

    The fact is Youtube has vast numbers of illegitimate content despite the filtering. If one of their executives goes home and shares a link to one of these infringing files with a friend does that make the entire website a conspiracy? This is essentially what is being argued against Dotcom. It is being argued because the individual instances of copyright violation are not sufficient for extradition and as long as Dotcom is outside of the United States civil action cannot be taken against him.

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  52. Keeping Stock (10,085 comments) says:

    Citing YouTube as an example is a red herring Weihana. You don’t have to pay a joining fee to download content. That’s the canny part of the Mega model; you pay one person to provide pirated content, and thousands will pay to be able to access the content. Apart from the small matter of intellectual property, how could you lose?

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  53. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock,

    How is charging users different to generating revenue through advertising? Either way revenue has been generated from illegitimate content.

    There may be a good civil case against Megaupload but a criminal conspiracy? Arguably they have set up a business knowing that it will induce pirates. I don’t think that is the same concept as criminal conspiracy which is an agreement between people to commit a crime. Exploiting human behavior which leads to illegality does not appear the same thing as conspiring to do the crime. For instance, conspiring to murder is not the same as posting an anti-Islam video knowing that murder will likely eventuate.

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  54. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Key has one of the worst memories of any Prime Minister in living memory. Of course, if his memory keeps failing, how long before the penny drops and the public realise he is simply a serial liar?

    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/dear-leader-gcsb-and-kiwis-in-wonderland-part-rua/

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  55. Francis_X (149 comments) says:

    I have to agree with Fish Boy: Good grief. Desperate much?

    C’mon, DPF, man up and take responsibility for National’s fuck ups. National is the first one to demand personal responsibility from the rest of us (and rightly so) but that extends to Key taking his fair share of responsibility.

    So, DPF, I don’t want to see rubbish like blaming something Labour did, while in opposition. They’re irrelevent to this discussion. (Until such time as they are in government and cause a major screw up like this.)

    This is weak-kneed garbage. Either National is in government and takes responsibility, or it ain’t, and they call a snap election.

    End of.

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  56. Francis_X (149 comments) says:

    @ Pete George (14,862) Says:
    October 4th, 2012 at 12:54 pm -

    Have you joined the National Party recently, Pete? You will be in such a quandry when your Leader goes into coalition with Labour, to keep his precious ‘baubles’, and you have to retract everything you’ve ever said about the Labs and Nats. Man you’re funny.

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