Journalist swipe cards

June 28th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Tracy Watkins at Stuff reports:

The journalist who was leaked a sensitive report on the nation’s foreign spy network had her movements tracked by a government inquiry.

The MP forced to resign over the leak, Peter Dunne, said inquiry head David Henry detailed to him the movements of Fairfax journalist in and out of the parliamentary precinct.

The conversation related to Vance’s movements the day before the leaked report was published and appeared to be based on Henry having access to records of when she entered and left the building using her security swipe card.

confirmed last night it released ”metadata” and other security records to Henry for his inquiry but said only after it was satisfied ”that ministers had agreed to cooperate with the investigation”.

It said it would be expected that all swipe cards were reviewed ”if there is a security incident”.

Fairfax can confirm that Vance did not give her permission to hand over her records to the inquiry.

Group executive editor Paul Thompson said last night it would be worrying if the movements of journalists and MPs were being tracked through a security system that was supposed to protect people working within the building, not be used to watch over them.

I think this was the wrong decision by The Parliamentary Service.

Actual employees of a parliamentary agency have no expectation of privacy in their swipe card use. But MPs and journalists are not employees. They are part of the democratic process, and their swipe card data should not be released externally, unless it is under warrant or judicial demand.

Parliamentary Service has said it is expected to review swipe cards if there is a security incident. To look at this claim, we need to differentiate between two types of security incidents.

If the security incident is related to Parliament itself in a physical way, then yes Parliamentary Service should look at swipe cards records. Examples might be if something is stolen from an office, or if there is vandalism to a painting.

But this was about the leaking of government information. It was just an inquiry under the authority of the SSC and DPMC – not a fully empowered ministerial inquiry or commission of inquiry which has the powers to demand evidence.

The Henry inquiry had no power to get that data. It was entirely appropriate for David Henry to ask for it, as it would help his investgation. Parliamentary Service asked Peter Dunne if they could release his swipe card details. He agreed, so they did. They should have also asked Andrea Vance, and only done so if she agreed.

If that wasn’t acceptable to the Henry inquiry, then they would have the option of seeking more powers to demand the data. but Parliamentary Service should not have just handed it over without the permission of the journalist.

Tags: ,

82 Responses to “Journalist swipe cards”

  1. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    to be fair Henry was investigating a leak he didn’t know at that start that it was electronic. It could have been someone entering an office and taking a hard copy so it would seem par for the course that you would check physical access in a security breach.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Dunne says he was pressured to allow them to access to his metadata:

    Dunne confirmed last night he gave permission for his own records to be accessed, but only after coming under significant pressure and because he did not have anything to hide.

    Parliamentary Services said they only accessed data after “ministers had agreed to co-operate with the investigation”.

    Parliamentary Service confirmed last night it released “metadata” and other security records to Henry for his inquiry.

    It said it had done so only after it was satisfied “that ministers had agreed to co-operate with the investigation”.

    But Vance had not agreed – did they just go ahead and access her metadata? Journalists should be alarmed about that, and they are.

    And Henry withheld details of this happening.

    What metadata was requested by Henry? What was given by Parliamentary Services?

    That it seems to have been just done – without Key knowing anything about it – is a major concern. Had it never been done before and they didn’t think to check if it was legal?

    Or do they just give out metadata to people who ask for it? To whom? When? How much? Why?

    There are a lot of questions that need answering. There must be clarity and transparency on this whole issue of metadata, in parliament and for the whole country.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    MPs and journalists are not employees. They are part of the democratic process, and their swipe card data should not be released externally, unless it is under warrant or judicial demand.

    Bullshit, I know you are close to al these troughers DPF but FFS, MP’s and journalists are among the most untrustworthy people paid in this country. Both outfits lie barefaced and by ommssion daily. There is absolutely nothing noble about a politician, nothing. You talk of warrants etc please take note that a warrant will only be issued for an offence punishable by imprisonment .

    In fact I would have thought that your close association with politicians would be a hand brake to your business ventures, guilt by association etc.

    If you have done nothing, you have nothing to fear applies here.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    This journalist was poking around on the most innermost secret areas of the State. She can expect the full resources of the State to be used against her. If she does not like this heat she can write stories on women’s clothing.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Hmm. I follow your reasoning, David, but I don’t agree with your differentiating between physical security incidents and the leaking of government information. Depending on the nature of that information, leaking it is potentially far more serious and possibly dangerous than an act of vandalism.

    I agree that it was appropriate for David Henry to seek this information, in attempting to work out what happened. The inquiry needed to gather as much data as it could, and data showing people’s movements through the buildings are entirely relevant. If the information gathered from various sources, including swipe card records, appears to imply that a certain person’s actions are suspicious, then the inquiry needs to take the next steps as appropriate.

    In saying that it is appropriate for an inquiry to gather swipe card records, let’s remember that all we are talking about is data showing where somebody was at a certain time. Nothing more. Somebody may enter offices and rooms for any number of reasons, which may be entirely valid or could be for surreptitious purposes. But merely tracking somebody’s movements through the building is not going to tell you their reasons or motives for making those movements, unless interpreted in conjunction with other data.

    If the inquiry did not have the right to seek that information, then it should have had that right. This is not saying that the inquiry should have open full access to absolutely everything, but I cannot see a good reason for denying them access to somebody’s movements through the building.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Have to agree with PEB. The records of her use of the swipe card are not her property and should not be considered to be so. If she did not have the privilege of swift access, presumably she would have had to sign in with details of who she was going to see etc. Those written records would not be private either.

    I don’t know if Parliament buildings are partitioned and cards required to pass from one partition to another but in the event that anyone official (think police for example) was investigating a crime such as theft or murder, then I would expect that investigation to include establishing who had the opportunity. Motive and Opportunity are the two key things to establish in an investigation so good on Henry for using one of the few records of movement within the precinct that exist. If CCTV records are kept, I would also expect that he would have reviewed that.

    If that pisses off Paddy Gower, Barry Soper, Andrea Vance or one of the other precious pups that wander our corridors of power, I for one, won’t be losing sleep.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    “If you have done nothing, you have nothing to fear applies here.”

    Principles of rights to privacy and rights of the media to have accesss to our MPs without being spied on are more important.

    And if we don’t know what they are doing with metadata – whether it’s of MPs, journalists or the public – we don’t know whetehr have anything to fear or not.

    This is appropriate too:

    The Government says: If you’re not doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t have anything to hide.
    If that is true shouldn’t the Government declassify everything?

    They should at least not be spying on us in secret.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Good grief, what a hysterical beatup from a bunch of sooks at Fairfax!

    Fairfax can confirm that Vance did not give her permission to hand over her records to the inquiry.

    If I understand the article correctly, these are not Ms Vance’s records, they belong to Parliamentary Services. Nothing to do with Ms Vance at all, she doesn’t own them and therefore she has zero say on the issue.

    Secondly, we’re talking here about a leak involving sensitive documents. Parliamentary Services have every right to scrutinise swipe card records. Every other employer has that same right.

    Who the heck does Fairfax / Paul Thompson /Tracy Watkins (for writing such dribble) think they are? Above everybody else? Better than everyone else? Nope they are just the same as anyone else, whom would be scrutinised in the same way if they too were the recipients of confidential “stolen” information that did belong to them.

    As PEB says, survey’s after survey’s always have journalists as the most untrustworthy people in the country, it’s not hard to see why when they dredge up this stuff.

    Looks like Fairfax, receipients of “stolen” confidential information, are trying to throw muck at the PM in the hope of making something stick.

    I feel sorry for Radio NZ if their soon-to-be new News Chief Paul Thompson starts taking Radio NZ News down the same path of gutter-journalism ….

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. mudrunner (91 comments) says:

    David you are sliding into a softer view of life.
    So she was using her swipe card, not one provided by Parliamentary Security? Of course it was provided. Did she have to sign for it and acknowledge…etc? Of course she did.
    Anyone who has an electronic device should expect to leave a trail and accept that tracking may be used.
    This not spying on us in secret, it is using electronic information to aid entry and exit and security.
    Stop the beat up.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    According to journalists leaking is rife, and nearly everyone does it. Even Peter Dunne nearly did it.

    If leaks should be able to be investigated by using any metadata available, how far should this go? Should all communications in parliament be scrutinised? What about outside parliament? The GCSB could apparently russle up a bit of metadata.

    How far should leak detection powers go?

    I doubt that the Prime Minister would accept these powers being used, so should they just apply to opposition parties? And perhaps coalition partners who need a bit of a ruffle up?

    I’m astounded that people here are considering any of this.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    I’m astounded that you would consider that because journalists say that leaking is commonplace (and said journalists of course have an extremely vested interest in people feeling able to leak to them), and nearly everyone does it, this somehow makes it okay, and makes the people investigating the leak the baddies.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    Quite so niggly; coming and going from security controlled areas of Parliament is a privilege, and not an absolute right. After all, just think about Edward Snowden before anyone gets to precious.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. flipper (4,083 comments) says:

    Paul E Bay and tvb…..

    You say:

    1. “If you have done nothing, you have nothing to fear applies here.”
    and
    2. “this … was poking around on the most innermost secret areas of the State. .

    Bullshit to both statements.

    PEB Please may I have, via DPF, copies of your entire email files, and copies of your last seven income tax returns?

    and

    tvb Absolute bullshit. The report was NOT classified (classification except on foreign intelligence grounds is bullshit anyway because it is bureaucrat self aggrandizement driven) and was according to John Key to be published minus an Appendix within a few days.

    This episode was a distinct over-reach by the ex IRD boss, perhaps an indication of the sort of arrogance that has roots in the US IRS.

    Score 10 each for Watkins, Vance and Key, Zip for Henry and the idiots at Parliamentary Services.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    flipper, how is requesting “copies of your entire email files, and copies of your last seven income tax returns” for no good reason, in any way comparable to reviewing the general movements of a person of interest in an ongoing inquiry through a secure area?

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. anonymouse (717 comments) says:

    I am not sure it is correct to say she “had her movements tracked” at best there would have been some data on her using lifts and entering the complex or going through a few key doors,

    last time I looked you could exit the press gallery and many doors in Parliament by simply pushing a button, you only have to swipe out at Bowen house,

    @DPF David can you provide us an update on whether you actually have to swipe out to leave the complex, and what doors you need to swipe to go through???

    If they had pulled security footage and watched her movements she would have reason to get really upset, But I would actually be interested to know how much info this actually provided.

    [DPF: No you do not need to use your swipe card to exit areas, only to enter them]

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Parliamentary Service confirmed last night it released “metadata”

    Lol, the use of this term “Metadata” by journos by dropping the phrase into their articles (to imply some linkage with big bad nasties at NSA etc). Do these journos actually understand what metadata actually is and how it works?

    Sheesh is it not better that “metadata” is analysed by computers for patterns (like subject headings “bomb” or dates/times/sent/received by recipients) than actually have real people open up and read the actual email CONTENT of people “of interest”.

    I’m sorry I’m getting rather tired of activists, guillable media and people rabbitting on about these so-called lack of privacy and monitoring issues (and the NSA/GCSB/metadata yada yada) when in fact the real issue is, the internet & its systems are purposely DESIGNED to be like this in the first place.

    Why not have a go at the idealistic muppets who designed said systems which has always collected data (by ISP’s and the like, thus also NSA/GCSB/Russians/China etc), allowed it to be used as vehicle for marketers and scammers to clog up 90% of the net/bandwidth with junk mail, spam, porn, via unsecure systems etc.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. flipper (4,083 comments) says:

    graham…..

    PEB says, forgetting about personal privacy….no matter the circumstances, and unless pursuant to a Court Order….
    “If you have done nothing, you have nothing to fear applies here.”

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    If Parliamentary Services could readily access all metadata – even on a specific inquiry, it opens things up to all sorts of possible abuses.

    For example a Parliamentary employee could notice some information of interest to a party leader they are sympathetic to and slip them a hint (not through parliamenatry coms of course).

    That could result in an MP resigning from parliament, as demanded by opposing parties.
    That could result in a by election.
    That could result in a loss of a vital seat.
    That could bring down a government.

    But of course there is no way anything like that could happen, is there.

    Because that leak of information would be investigated and the offending employee and recipient party leader would be dealt with appropriately, wouldn’t they.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Anonymouse “But I would actually be interested to know how much info this actually provided.”

    That highlights one of the problems. It’s done in secret.

    We don’t know what data was provided. We don’t know if they make a habit of supplying any data. It’s all been done in secret and undisclosed.

    But they will comply with the law, won’t they. Just like the GCSB did.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    I don’t see anybody arguing that Parliamentary Services should be allowed to access ALL data freely. But there is a huge difference between accessing information that merely says “person A went through this door at 18:39 on Monday”, and accessing specific detailed data such as someone’s emails, financial records, computer documents and the like.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. flipper (4,083 comments) says:

    Said above…
    ” I’m astounded that you would consider that because journalists say that leaking is commonplace >>>>”

    Crap.

    When I once shifted houses I threw out two full apple boxes of old Cabinet papers and minutes (never keep them in the office) given (leaked) to me by Ministers.
    I’ll bet that Ian Templeton in his really active days, disposed of more.
    Leaking is a time honoured pursuit. So are “inquiries” into leaks.

    I have previously posted this on Kiwiblog

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    tvb: “This journalist was poking around on the most innermost secret areas of the State. She can expect the full resources of the State to be used against her. ”

    She saw a report that was due to be made public in a week’s time. Taht’s not exactly an innermost secret of the State.

    What seems to be a far more critical innermost secret is how much we are spied on. And if spying us ever used for political gain – by politicians, and also by servants of the state who abuse their power.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. peterwn (3,275 comments) says:

    If this discourages Press Gallery journos being party to leaks, then perhaps so be it. Presumably Mr Speaker or Parliament will clarify the matter (via appropriate committee) but if it does not, then the status quo has arguably been established.

    Incidentally there is precedent for Parliamentary Services to refuse to release a MP’s swipe card details even if the MP concerned agrees to it. Some years back a demand was made by an opposition MP for video footage of the Bowen House – Beehive passage to be releaed to see if a certain MP passed through at a certain time. Even though MP agreed, Mr Speaker refused the request.

    This raises an interesting issue whether in any building it is appropriate for some swipe cards not to leave an ‘audit trail’. If I was a CEO then I would want a ‘trail-less’ swipe card.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    “Leaking is a time honoured pursuit. So are “inquiries” into leaks.”

    So why the secretive severely flawed witch hunt in this case where maximum damage has been attempted?

    There must be something out of the ordinary going on here – all supposedly for the release of a report a week early that was a minor embarassment to Key when he was in China.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Bullshit.

    Movements within a secured complex are relevant when examining a matter relating to confidential information.

    When we moved into our building we were provided with a TV on every floor. A couple of weeks after we moved in the TV’s were stolen. It turns out that temp cards that were issued to fitout contractors were used to access the building to steal the TV’s.

    Are you saying that because the cards were temp cards (i.e. not permanent staff) they shouldn’t be subject to scrutiny?

    Sometimes I do wonder about your common sense David

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    Since when have journalists given a damn about anyone else’s privacy?

    Since when have they ever objected to the growth of the state security apparatus.

    Fuck ‘em.

    Progressive’s hoisted by their own petard.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Pete @ 5.04 … If Parliamentary Services could readily access all metadata – even on a specific inquiry – they would be “better off” reading the actual content of the messages etc. All they will see if they rely on meta data are details of what was sent when and to whom. That in itself is meaningless (without any further context/content) so the “resignation” scenario wouldn’t really apply.

    On the other hand certain systems staff working at Parliamentary IT (or any corporate/Fairfax IT system/ISP provider etc) can read/copy the email content of anyone using the system without anyone knowing (forget the metadata hysteria being whipped up by a dumb MSM etc). Now THAT is a lot more scary and I am more concerned about that in terms of privacy breeches – that’s real.

    Hmm, what’s this, Don Brash’s emails anyone? ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Leaking may be a “time honoured pursuit”, but it is not honourable.

    Do our politicians and journalists need refresher courses in what is right and wrong?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Akaroa (558 comments) says:

    Without getting too bogged down in the principles of the journalistic profession – (Principles!! Ha! That’s a laugh for a start!!) – I note that we’re talking here about the privacy(?) or maybe confidentiality (?) of a journalist’s professional activity.

    In my book I believe that journalists/newspaper reporters look on everyone’s business as fair game publication-wise.

    Ergo – journalists/newspaper reporters themselves and their business are fair game.

    And I won’t cheapen this comment any further (!) by quoting that old saying about people living by the sword dying by it.

    (Figuratively speaking of course!)

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    I’m going to join with those who disagree with you, DPF. Given the ever widening scope of the government’s powers with regards surveillance, search, and seizure, when it comes to criminal matters, I don’t see why a journalist should not have their movements within the Parliamentary grounds monitored/recorded, and any records made available to pretty much any government officer so long as it is for government purposes.

    I would not personally propose such a thing, but what is sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander, surely?

    After all, if they have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear!!!

    EDIT: graham, I remember having several arguments here on KB a while ago with some fool commenter whose basic premise was ‘it is only wrong if you get caught and convicted”. Perhaps that is the standard that those in power expect us to apply?

    [DPF: You miss a key difference. Most of the powers of the state you cite require a warrant. This info was provided just upon request]

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Some have suggested that emails should be made available, phone records should be made available, and swipe card data should be made available, from MPs, public servants and journalists.

    Visitors too? A leak may not be directly between MP and journalist.

    If that was all readily available in a leak inquiry, for the inquiry to be thorough (Henry’s investigation was far from thorough) that would mean getting all that data from everyone who had access to the leaked information.

    In this case this would have included the PM, the DPM and senior ministers. And anyone who visited them.

    Is this where we should be going?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    John key seems to understand.

    PM disappointed info about journalist handed on

    Updated 21 minutes ago

    Prime Minister John Key says it is disappointing that the Parliamentary Service passed over information about a journalist’s movements around the parliamentary precinct.

    The service has confirmed it handed over information relating to where the journalist’s swipe card was used to an inquiry into a leak of a report into the Government’s spy agency.

    The report’s release prompted the resignation of Peter Dunne as a minister for corresponding with the reporter, Fairfax’s Andrea Vance, and canvassing the possibility of leaking the report.

    Mr Dunne maintains that he was not the source.

    John Key says it’s not appropriate for politicians to look into reporters’ activities, even if it is in line with a government inquiry.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/138820/pm-disappointed-info-about-journalist-handed-on

    But he should be more than “disappointed”. He should make it clear that to won’t happen again.

    And there should be clear rules regarding who can release data, to whom and in what situations.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. questions (208 comments) says:

    niggly Says:
    “Parliamentary Service confirmed last night it released “metadata”
    Lol, the use of this term “Metadata” by journos by dropping the phrase into their articles (to imply some linkage with big bad nasties at NSA etc). Do these journos actually understand what metadata actually is and how it works?”

    I think the use of the term metadata is arse covering from Parliamentary Services to be honest.

    For swipe card access there is no metadata, the only items being recorded are person, location and time/date. There is no “content” to using a swipe card.

    I think they are using the word metadata to try and pretend they didn’t release data, this sets a dangerous precedent, and we shouldn’t be letting them play semantics to get out of following the law.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    DPF you take the position it was “her data” but it is not clear why: it is data owned by Parliamentary security. Further, it is not clear to me why the journalist would have an expectation that the data would only be released subject to her permission. I am not sure where an expectation of privacy comes from given the data relates to movements in a public space. Ok there is inconsistency in how Dunne and the journalist were treated but that doesn’t seem to be your main objection.

    [DPF: Journalists are given access to Parliament because it serves the public interest for them to be able to interview MPs, report on Parliament etc. Having where they go monitored has a chilling effect on them doing their job.

    Remember than Vance did nothing wrong in having a report leaked to her. The leaker did wrong. The focus should be on the leakers, not on Vance]

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Leaking is a time honoured pursuit

    As is being a wanker flipper, but putting that aside.

    You are welcome to all my emails and tax records. You will be deluged with a huge quantity of links to porn sites from friends. My tax records are boring and immaculate. You will find no trace of my aging self trying to impress and hopefully shag any journalists in the emails either.

    Regarding my email address that belongs to my employer you would find that all correspondence is of a professional nature relating to the consultancy only so again there would be nothing that would be embarassing to myself personally if they should ever have to be made public i.e I wouldn’t have to tell jouralists that things are ” now all sweet at home”

    Leaking may be a time honoured pursuit amongst those that frequent Parliament but in the real world I would expect our politicians to act with some dignity and not like half pissed undergraduates.

    As Red says ‘ Fuck em”

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. doggone7 (808 comments) says:

    Privacy is gone, journalists can’t be trusted, we’re all being spied on, leaks are continuing, ” the most innermost secret areas of the State” are under threat, everyone’s got their knickers in a twist and civilisation as we know it has ended.

    And the weirdest thing about it all? After this catastrophic event the fancy report with its fancy access DID NOT IDENTIFY WHO MADE THE LEAKS!

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    “Leaking is a time honoured pursuit”

    “As is being a wanker flipper, but putting that aside.”

    LOL!!! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    The whore Dunne deserves every obloquy to come his way.
    It’s curtains for the Ohariu-Belmont trougher.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    As usual Manolo you put personal animosity before principle.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    P.G., do you need to be reminded Dunne never had any principles other than his own personal interests? Or if he had some, he changed them like used underwear?

    Get the blinkers off.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. flipper (4,083 comments) says:

    Paul E B and Graham….

    Simply confirmation that you do not have the intellect to engage in discussion on serious matters without ad hominem comment ….. and also, that neither of you have a clue about the real world of politics inside and around the beltway. If you had ever operated in that environment you would not now present as stupid.

    So, and in kind ..

    you have both now confirmed that you are as thick as pig shit.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Tsk tsk Flip

    You get a bit shirty when the majority here have disagreed with your

    Score 10 each for Watkins, Vance and Key, Zip for Henry and the idiots at Parliamentary Services

    I may be thick as pig shit but even the most immature undergraduate most often has a sense of humour but you appear to have worked with politicians so you will have no sense of humour if directed at you and will probably be self important to the nth degree.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    A non issue. One of my clients gives me a swipe card. I take it as a given that records of my access to their premises can be monitored. Sometimes this will be for their security/protection, and sometimes for mine.

    If you don’t want your access monitored, meet somewhere else.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. PaulL (5,987 comments) says:

    I’m lost. This just once again shows that Dunne is the world’s most incompetent leaker.

    If you’re going to leak things you don’t do it to a journalist who’s come and gone through the security doors of the building using her own security pass. FFS, if you really are that bad at sculduggery, you shouldn’t be in politics.

    In my company when I signed for my security pass I signed that they could look at my comings and goings whenever they wanted for whatever they wanted. When I got an e-mail account from my company, I signed that they can look at any of my e-mail for whatever they want. When I got my company laptop I agreed they can monitor all my internet usage. If I don’t want any of those things tracked I don’t use company resources. Surely Dunne could have worked out a way to do this without being so obviously easy to catch?

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I take it as a given that records of my access to their premises can be monitored.

    But Orewa1 journalists and politicians are special don’t you see, not mere mortals or anything tacky like that, look at the calibre of our Parliamentarians , Mallard, Dunne, Horan Peters, Gilmore, mate these are a special lot and need to be treated special.

    Special needs springs to mind

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    PaulL – Dunne is still adamant that he didn’t leak, and there has been no evidence made public that comes close to proving that he did.

    Most leaks are to journalists who “come and gone through the security doors of the building” using their own security passes. Or to politicians who then communicate with those journalists.

    David Henry didn’t investigate any possibility that the leaker avoided parliamentary communication and he made a very limited investigation that the report might have been leaked outside Parliament.

    One of the three people investigated more than scantily admitted having the report at home on the weekend it was presumed to have been leaked. He simply said he didn’t leak it and was taken at his word.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Thick as pig shit, flipper, and yet I get more positive votes for my comment at 4:36 than you get … well, mainly negative votes, in your case.

    Sucks, eh? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    PaulL, Pete has a point. Dunne didn’t resign because he leaked, he resigned because … well, in fact, I don’t think anybody has managed to work out quite why he resigned.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Concerned (41 comments) says:

    David…I usually track along pretty much in sync with your logic. But I think you should pause and think this one through a bit further. Exactly whose “metadata” is this? If someone has the privilege of a swipe card that allows them to come and go why should it be assumed that those comings and goings are the private property of the card-holder?

    Many of us assume the opposite.

    Hopefully this will spur some, perhaps legal, clarification.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Yes, it’s hard to work that out graham. This was his statement:

    “I am extremely concerned and upset by the Henry Report’s findings regarding the unauthorised release of the Kitteridge Report in so far as they relate to me.

    “While I did not leak the report, and challenge Fairfax to confirm that, some of my actions after I received an advance copy of the report were extremely unwise and lacked the judgement reasonably expected of a Minister in such circumstances.

    “I accept full responsibility for that.

    “The sole reason why I did not disclose the full content of my emails was because of my strong belief that citizens, be they constituents, members of the public or journalists, ought to be able to communicate with their elected representatives in confidence if they wish, and we tamper with that right at our collective peril.

    “However, be all that as it may, I acknowledge that I have not lived up to the high professional standards I have always set myself as a Minister.

    He (and everyone who had copies of the report) had been requested by Key to comply with requests to provide information, but he refused to provide emails Vance had sent to him, and he edited some of his emails. My presumption is that some of the contents of his emails was parts of Vance emails – it’s common to reply quoting what you have been sent.

    Curiously then Key said today:

    “I’ve made it quite clear what my views are when it comes to journalists being required to release their emails and I take the same view when it comes to any information about the movements of journalists around the parliamentary precinct.”

    So Key doesn’t think Vance’s emails should be revealed but Dunne has resigned because he didn’t comply with requests to release her emails that Key thinks should remain private.

    And also because Dunne didn’t reveal Vance’s email David Henry strongly implicated Dunne as being guilty of leaking – without revealing any incriminating evidence, and admitting he didn’t bother investigating – or even considering – people who might leak outside Parliament to avoid detection.

    So it’s not just why Dunne resigned that’s vague. The whole thing is vague and full of contradictions and shoddy practices.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    @Concerned

    Graeme Edgeler: “Parliamentary Service is subject to the Privacy Act so @avancenz can complain under that”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Concerned – you’re correct.

    If you’re issued a swipe card it is to allow you access to SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY. I posted on GD I work for a large company where entry to every office and building is controlled by swipe card. I’ve received phone calls from the security operations centre when they’ve noticed a “door open” alarm that hasn’t cleared and I’ve been through that door. Some years ago I was asked to account for my presence at a site early in the morning around the same time some equipment went missing from that site (no it wasn’t me!)

    This is pretty standard nowadays.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    The sole reason why I did not disclose the full content of my emails was because of my strong belief that citizens, be they constituents, members of the public or journalists, ought to be able to communicate with their elected representatives in confidence if they wish, and we tamper with that right at our collective peril.

    Pete

    That.s nothing but a massive cop out. The only emails that had any bearing on this matter were the ones concerning Vance and the report. Dunne is trying to sound all noble suggesting that Aunty Ethels email concerning the dirty footpath would be published if he released the emails, utter rot, all he has done has got away so far with is covering up his embarassing behaviour. And you don’t resign over the fact that Aunty Ethel is complaining about the foot path. he’s resigned because its easier than explaining to mum that he’s been a fuck wit

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    You miss a key difference. Most of the powers of the state you cite require a warrant. This info was provided just upon request]

    I’m not sure I do, DPF.  The Police don’t need a warrant to search your house with your consent.  Indeed, most searches and seizures for which warrants can be obtained are possible with the consent of the party requested, and you would be surprised how often personal data is provided to the Police by various agencies and businesses simply upon request.  

    In this case the swipe card does not belong to the journalist but to Parliamentary Services, plus the building themselves are not the private property of the journalist or of any MP, but are owned by the NZ Government.  If the Government agency responsible for those buildings wishes to provide data on who has gained access to the buildings, and when, to anyone at all then surely it is the agency’s right to do that, in the absence of any actual prohibitions on doing so?  

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Parliamentary Services is subject to the Privacy Act, but can I just point out a part of Privacy Principle 11:

    Personal information must not be disclosed unless the agency reasonably believes that:

    It is necessary for a public sector agency to disclose the information to uphold or enforce the law, protect the tax base, or assist court or tribunal proceedings

    Now, I am no expert in Privacy Law, but I think it could be argued that the disclosure could be made under the first of those reasons, upholding or enforcing the law, given the nature of the inquiry.

    However, I would also be interested what, if anything, the journalist has to sign when they recieve the swipe card, and what that has to say about disclosure of such information.  And if there is nothing authorising disclosure of such information at the discretion of Parliamentary Services, why is that so?

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Reid (16,509 comments) says:

    I think it could be argued that the disclosure could be made under the first of those reasons, upholding or enforcing the law, given the nature of the inquiry

    Not sure you could FES. Some leaks you might be able to make that case but which law protected the Kitteridge report from being leaked?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Some leaks you might be able to make that case but which law protected the Kitteridge report from being leaked?

    That is a good question, and one that I am not in a position to answer.  Someone with more knowledge of the area (probably Graeme E or David G) would be able to give an accurate answer.

    That said, if there was nothing wrong (as in prohibited) with it being leaked, why the inquiry? (A genuine question that, as I can’t work it out!)

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. Wayne Mapp (67 comments) says:

    I agree with DPF (and the PM). For instance there are cameras that monitor the departure of taxis and various doorways. You would not expect Parliamentary Services to hand over that information, except on a judicial warrant. If you know for instance when a journalist comes and goes you could start to build a picture of who they might be visiting.

    But a free society requires that journalists and others can go about their business anticipating that it will be private. Otherwise you really do have the “surveillance state”, against the very people who protect its freedoms.

    The Press are not called the fourth estate for nothing. Have a read of the Law Commission Report on New Media on the role and privileges of the Press.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    The report was classified as “Sensitive” without endorsements under “Policy and privacy”, which is equivalent to the lowest classification “Restricted” under the separate category “National security”.

    Knowingly passing such a document on to someone who does not hold a “Sensitive” clearance would violate security practice. It would also, in many cases, violate a government agency’s code of conduct in relation to it’s employees.

    That’s from the David Henry report.

    I think the inquiry was mostly political. The opposition pushed for an inquiry and after a while Key agreed. About two weeks before the inquiry Key said that usually inquiries did not find out who leaked.

    Someone seems to have been intent on pushing for a result when it wasn’t expected to get one.

    Henry excluded many possible ways of leaking from his inquiry and seems to have pretty much targeted Dunne. One of two others he investigated had the report at home but he just took their word they hadn’t leaked.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    From what I can see if Dunne was found to have leaked the report or admitted leaking the report then the outcome would have been no different to what it is now – he would only have violated a security practice, for which he would have resigned as minister.

    Many journalists presumed he had leaked and thought his resigning was adequate and have commented that Peters and Mallard have been way over the top since.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    @PG,

    There is a possibility that he could have been charged if he had been shown to have leaked (including by admission.)

    There are some caveats to that. It might even have some semantics to it – being the role under which he leaked it (leaking it as a member of the Committee might have different implications to leaking it as the leader of a party – albeit the fact that he was both could be interesting.)

    A friend sent me a specific Act and clause he could potentially be charged under, but I deleted it as I didn’t think it at all likely to get that far at the time.

    This is simply to comment that the implications could potentially have been criminal charges.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    Wayne Mapp- “The Press are not called the fourth estate for nothing. Have a read of the Law Commission Report on New Media on the role and privileges of the Press.”

    How utterly pathetic. What kind of out of touch loon holds the press in any kind of regard today? They are disgusting left wing liars and propaganda peddlers. Been near or at the bottom of the public trust ladder for decades. To actually advance the argument that we need the press because they protect us from the excesses of politicians would be a sign of someone who lives in some kind of bubble.

    Example 1- Global warming. For decades it was impossible to get any journalist to utter a word against the socialist consensus. GW has never been anything but a device for the left to gain even more control over our industries. Its fascism, but you friends in the press portray it as essential to the existence of the human race and call anyone who challenges their view by the disgusting epithet of “denier”.

    Example 2- Barack Obama, a foreign born communist and hater of the US actually elected to the Presidency largely as a result of a completely politically corrupt media in the US. They subjected this fraud to not one thousandth of the degree of scrutiny they applied to Sarah Palin or George Bush. Anyone criticising Obama is deemed a racist.

    Journalism as a trade has been corrupted by universities and tutors who are themselves politically corrupt and therefore we have the perverted mission their graduates are sent on to advocate for (Progressive) change rather than report objectively.

    Working hand in hand with corrupt left wing politicians these deceitful cowardly scum are not journalists and never will be. Thanks to their control of the public narrative the dialogue has slipped far leftward, we are now concerned with Marxist concepts like racism and sexism and multiculturalism and other such divisive measures. Words like freedom and liberty and individualism have gone, never to be seen in any newspaper or heard in any broadcast or viewed on any television.

    This has all come about from the corruption of the journalist’s trade by the left. Its so bad that many of them are so deeply immersed in their leftist reverie they do not even know themselves what they are, and believe they are being objective.

    Giving these people any kind of regard is not only a sign of an inexplicable detachment from reality, it points to a malleability of nature not much better than that of a fawning dog. Wake up to yourself for fuck’s sake. They are scum and they have destroyed our democracy.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Wayne Mapp

    The crux of this is who owns the swipe cards.

    I wouldn’t think the media outlets supply their own and have them encoded so I presume the situation is like any number of persons have mentioned here, You sign for one or are given access codes particular to you by the person responsible for the building or business-the cards are theirs , the codes are theirs and the data relayed to a computer is theirs. If you think that because of your job as a journalist you have some “ownership” over that card you are deluded .

    And in reality the only persons interested in who gets into what taxis ,with whom and in what condition would be spouses so again to try to make this a matter of a “free society’ smacks of self interest which is something of course no one could ever accuse politicians of.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Stephen Franks has an interesting take on this (link at bottom of this post).

    In the meantime, Pete George, you are just going to have to accept reality. Possum Pete’s political career is dead. No bullshit to divert attention into a debate as to whom leaked data will divert attention away from this.

    Perhaps to make something out of this sad tale, you might institute research, on behalf of NZ nature conservation, into what are these sensational new pheremones that lure even the most astute of possums into politically lethal traps. In fact, if you identify and patent the pheremones, you might hit it rich, and save hundreds of thousands of hectares of native bush.

    Link to Stephen Franks’s column:
    http://www.stephenfranks.co.nz/investigating-leaks-privacy-of-movements-in-common-or-public-spaces/

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Example 2- Barack Obama, a foreign born communist and hater of the US actually elected to the Presidency largely as a result of a completely politically corrupt media in the US.

    Because, of course, this is undeniable and irrefutable fact.

    I’m sorry but I prefer craft beer to Tui.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    “Because, of course, this is undeniable and irrefutable fact.”

    The point is the left wing media have suppressed any discussion on the issue when we have official investigations by US justice employees finding that the BC the President presented is a forgery.

    These are the same people who tracked down George Bush’s dental records to try and prove he dodged the draft. They sent hordes of reporters to Alaska to dive in dumpsters looking for dirt on Sarah Palin, when nobody even knows if Obama went to Columbia University as he claims.

    The “political class” refers to an anti-democratic partnership between left wing politicians and left wing propaganda agents pretending to be journalists. Don’t support that partnership, for if you do, you’re enabling a gang of criminals in their destruction of our democracy.

    (If you doubt this look up the latest news on “Journolist.”)

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. Wayne Mapp (67 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    The issue is not about who owns the cards, it is the legitimate expectation of privacy in a free society, especially on an issue as important as a free press.

    As for Redbaiter, where do I start, well actually I won’t. Readers can judge for themselves.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Franks makes reasonable points, in general I don’t disagree. But I don’t think it’s as clear cut as he suggests.

    It is not unlawful to record comings and goings, or to photograph them (absent harassment). Nor should it be unlawful, lest the power to suppress such attention be used by the powerful to punish and block legitimate private investigation of their actions.

    That might be fine in a legal and normal public sense. But politics has quite different dynamics, where people continually actively seek information that might embarrass their opponents, often with a few to ruining their careers.

    The power to use (and deliberately misuse) information – what an MP has communicated, who they have communicated with – with the intent to destroy democratically elected people’s careers and in some cases to destroy the government of the day is significant.

    Just imagine what Winston Peters might do if he actually had evidence to harass anyone he chose to pursue and destroy.

    And MPs are already targets of extensive and often extreme abuse, iof everything about what they did was made public that would provide more ammunition for attackers with no intent to be fair or reasonable.

    Perhaps this can be solved by making everything absolutely public, but that should be done evenly so it applies to everyone at the same time. At the moment one leaker out of a hundred is pursued, for purely political reasons.

    And it could hinder ruling significantly.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    Yes well Wayne, ever asked yourself why journalists and politicians both enjoy being bottom of the public trust ladder? I think the public have already made their decision on that issue.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Otherwise you really do have the “surveillance state”, against the very people who protect its freedoms.

    Hmm, I personally think that criminal defence lawyers and administrative review lawyers do a lot more to protect the freedoms of NZers than any journalist. 

    Of course, I suspect that I will be in a minority on that one.

    But I agree with Redbaiter that journalists are very selective about what ‘freedoms’ they support and how they go about it.  I think that the time has come where they are treated the same as any other citizen, rather than feeding the attention-whoring, egotistical, biased, self-appointed repeaters who claim to be something more than they actually are.

    As PEB pointed out, Parliament is public and there can be no expectation of privacy outside of the individual offices and meeting rooms (and the loos!).  If they want privacy, then meet elsewhere.  The video footage belongs to Parliamentary Services and if they want to give footage to a government inquiry then they don’t need a warrant to authorise them to do so.  A warrant is only needed if they don’t want to give the footage to the inquiry.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    That might be fine in a legal and normal public sense. But politics has quite different dynamics, where people continually actively seek information that might embarrass their opponents, often with a few to ruining their careers.

    It is a fundamental tenet of our constitution that the laws also apply to Parliament and parliamentarians. So what is fine in a legal sense is for them too.

    [Notwithstanding that Parliament can always pass new laws, amend laws, make laws retrospective, and there may even be certain laws that exempt MPs while in the House]

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. Cactus Kate (551 comments) says:

    Bottom line is Fairfax and Vance herself if leaked information from other people’s swipe cards in a private business or even within the state sector that could help them with an exclusive, they’d be the first to bloody well use it. All fair in love and war.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    it is the legitimate expectation of privacy in a free society

    No Wayne, your ex-colleagues have got used to living in a bubble and this has shown that you can be exposed, that there are gaps. Local councils get caught out all the time by presuming things. Presumption will get you hurt lots of times. What you thought was a given perhaps is not.

    I will wait ,unfortunately, for Parliament or at least the head of Parliamentary Services to make rule changes to increase the size of the “bubble” so this sort of release does not occur again . This is where we see a free society suffer. I’ll be very disappointed if the Prime Minister leads this, pissed off big time in fact.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Wayne, it’s the old story. YES to the expectation of privacy in a free society, YES to freedom of the press. However, everything in society comes with conditions and expectations. Very simply, the expectations of people, whoever they be, can be summed up as: play by the rules. Simple.

    Don’t play by the rules, don’t expect to get away with it. Simple.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. projectman (224 comments) says:

    Yet more self-serving bullshit from media and some politicians. Vance was clearly involved in distributing the report’s information, and there is every justification in checking her movements in an attempt to find the source of the leak. As a journalist, I’m sure she could understand that.

    When are we going to get media in this country that are diligent, can dispassionatly analyse and report events, and which demonstrate integrity.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Parliamentary Service confirmed last night it released “metadata” and other security records to Henry for his inquiry.

    It said it had done so only after it was satisfied “that ministers had agreed to co-operate with the investigation”.

    It said it would be expected that all swipe cards were reviewed “if there is a security incident”.

    Ignoring Ms Watkins misleading use of the term “metadata” (presumably to lead the reader to think Parliamentary Services’ swipe card review of Ms Vance was part of this so-called “wider sinister Govt plot to spy on people’s privacy”), at least the three sentences that she wrote quoted above about Parliamentary Services is factually accurate.

    And that’s the crux of the issue, there was a “security incident” and it is normal practice for any organisation to review access to its buildings and where people of interest went. To not do so would mean incompetence. And if this particluar issue was about someone else other than a Fairfax journalist (Vance), then the likes of Fairfax and the MSM would be asking “why didn’t Parliamentary Services check the swipe card records of person X seeing Minister Z who was involved in a leak” etc.

    Sorry Fairfax / Paul Thompson et al, you cannot have it both ways!

    And this has nothing to do with freedom of the press or as Wayne Mapp puts it “the legitimate expectation of privacy in a free society”. BS.

    Now what else is “revealing” about Tracy Watkin’s article?

    Firstly it is Peter Dunne that squarked to fairfax about Ms Vance’s swipe card records being released to Parliamentary Services. Certainly P/Services or David Henry didn’t squark about it to the media.

    When Dunne resigned I actually had respect for the man for his integrity in doing so (and do believe him when he said he didn’t leak the K report to Vance) but as transpired, and in a similar manner in the way he morphs from supporting one Party to another depending on the outcome of changes in Govt at election times, he appears to be doing the same morphing by painting himself now as a defender of privacy and anti-GCSB etc. And now he is blubbing on to Fairfax about these swipe card records. He just can’t help himself when it comes to defending Ms Vance – he just cannot stop it seems, even now!

    Whilst I admire John Key’s defence of Peter Dunne (for he has been a reliable Coalition partner and has done some stirling work), I think the PM ought realise that Dunne cannot be trusted anymore and has become as slippery as Winston Peters.

    The other interesting aspect of Tracy Watkins’ article is that it shows Fairfax throwing mud at the PM (but fortunately the PM has handled this well and the mud won’t stick). The other interesting aspect is again Fairfax’s Paul Thompson’s self-serving spin as quoted in the article. I expect such self-serving spin from the MSM, and whilst people knock Radio NZ (myself included occassionally), I am happy to stand-up and say Radio NZ News’ spin pales into insignificance when compared to the Print MSM or TV News, but I really do worry about the change in culture Mr Thompson will bring into RNZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Pete George: “But politics has quite different dynamics, where people continually actively seek information that might embarrass their opponents, often with a few to ruining their careers.”

    Really? Haven’t you ever been an upwardly mobile career-builder in a large corporation or government agency? Back stabbing happens all the time.

    Lets get over this “parliament is different” assumption. Apart from excesses of bitchiness, self-adulation and remuneration its dynamics are not greatly different to any other workplace. Certainly not to the point that alters the right of the administrators to access swipe card records.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Remember than Vance did nothing wrong in having a report leaked to her. The leaker did wrong. The focus should be on the leakers, not on Vance

    Again I disagree. Two contexts:

    1) Someone who knowingly receives stolen goods is still guilty of a crime
    2) There have been plenty of examples of a govt department mistakenly sending confidential information to a third party. A good example is Bronwyn Pullar. The general feedback from that situation was that she should not use it for her own advantage.

    Yet here we have Vance knowingly receiving something she knows was removed from Parliament improperly, and uses it to her own advantage.

    This wasn’t exposing corruption. This wasn’t demonstrating someone abusing their power. This was publishing information about a government department going about their business. Unpleasant for those on the receiving end of the restructuring, sure, but restructuring happens all the time in businesses everywhere.

    Vance should absolutely be tainted by this

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  79. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    rouppe – Vance revealed that the GCSB had illegally spied on over 80 New Zealanders. The GCSB is not supposed to spy on New Zealanders at all. They thought, incorrectly, that they could spy on behalf of other agencies.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  80. Nookin (3,354 comments) says:

    Pete
    When and by whom has it been established that the view of GCSB is incorrect? I understand that the most that has been said is that it is open to conjecture. The legality of providing assistance to other agencies is eminently arguable.

    Did Vance reveal the fact that there were 80 subjects of so called spying or did Kitteridge reveal that in a report that was going to be released but which was publicised early by Vance?

    I share Rouppe’s view. If there weren’t receivers there would not be thieves.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  81. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    this information should have been obtained with a warrant issued by a district or high court judge. the courts are there to interpret the law and it would have been much wiser and simpler for all involved for the head of the inquiry to seen a search warrant to have parliamentary services provide this data, then I an sure all involved would have had some comfort that proper process was followed and the appropriate disclosures were made and permissions sought.

    this whole issue around the GCSB spying internally, the reports, leaks and the sideline scullduggery has been unsatisfactory from the prime minister down and I’m still and sceptical that the truth has been told by quite a number of the participants.

    Dunne is possibly the sucker who got caught with his pants down (metaphorically of course) but his actions are not the only malodorous ones.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  82. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Pete

    Your perception is that the GCSB illegally spied on 80 New Zealanders. An equally valid point of view is that the GCSB provided technical assistance to the SIS to facilitate its (the SIS) spying on 80 New Zealanders. Everyone involved – since the inception of the GCSB – thought that was allowed. The GCSB did not initiate the spying.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote