A Parliamentary Service stuff-up

July 31st, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Today Mr Carter apologised to Miss Vance and Fairfax group executive editor Paul Thompson in a statement.

He said the release of the phone records was “completely unacceptable”.

“This private information should not have been released and could be seen to attack the freedom of the press which is critical to informing the public about what Parliament is doing and ensuring public confidence in Parliament. I view any actions that may put at risk journalists’ ability to report very seriously,” Mr Carter said.

His statement today was in contradiction to answers to written questions provided to the Green Party last week, saying Mr Henry had requested the records and they had been declined.

In his statement today, Mr Carter said they were not requested by Mr Henry, but he had received them by accident.

He said Mr Henry immediately returned the records without viewing them and made it clear he had neither sought, nor wanted them.

Mr Key said he was disappointed in .

“Quite frankly in releasing that information to the Henry inquiry they got it wrong, they made a mistake and they should have never released that information.”

Even if the information had been requested, it should have never been supplied – except under a statutory legal authority.

Parliamentary Service run the parliamentary complex on behalf of several organisations and users – Ministers, MPs, Office of the Clerk, press gallery etc. Their mistake seems to be in not distinguishing between them. As a priority they need to have a clear information policy that does distinguish.

If the PM orders an inquiry into a leak, it is very appropriate that (for example) details of communications by Ministerial staff are made available. But not opposition MPs, and not journalists.

This is major breach of trust, and they will have to work hard to recover that. Also as bad is giving the Speaker incorrect information.

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99 Responses to “A Parliamentary Service stuff-up”

  1. Manolo (14,086 comments) says:

    Is Carter out of his depth as Speaker?

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  2. WineOh (633 comments) says:

    Comment from the Greens this morning that the whole affair is a coordinated and cynical attack on the fourth estate. What utter bullcrap.

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  3. Black with a Vengeance (1,867 comments) says:

    So is it illegal to access, collate and distribute private phone records/communications?

    Heads gotta roll!!!

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  4. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    I think Carter has been landed in the middle of this, I don’t think it is his doing – but it’s his mess to clean up – although ultimately the bucjk stops with Key, and he has the most to lose if this festers on.

    There are still unanswered questions and contradictory answers.

    David Henry’s report says he sought phone data, Parliamentary Services and Peter Dunne say he asked for phone data, but he now says he didn’t ask for it – Peter Dunne versus David Henry on Vance’s phone records.

    And it is defying credibility to believe that a private contractor just thought to search forand hand on data without being instructed.

    And if that is what happened it asks further questions about who has accessed how much data for how long and handed it over to whom.

    This is alarming, and Key needs to take ownership and get it dealt with properly. This is one issue the media won’t ignore or let go of until it is adequately resolved.

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  5. Nostalgia-NZ (5,283 comments) says:

    ‘This is major breach of trust, and they will have to work hard to recover that. Also as bad is giving the Speaker incorrect information.’

    Can’t see any reason to make any assumptions as to who is at fault at this point, or why it is assumed the speaker is anyway above where the blame may finally fall. Past experience shows that it’s everybody’s fault except a sitting MP at the outset.

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  6. Nostalgia-NZ (5,283 comments) says:

    Oh dear I got a thumbs down for not worshipping the ‘Throne’ of the speaker.

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  7. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    David Henry’s report says he sought phone data, Parliamentary Services and Peter Dunne say he asked for phone data, but he now says he didn’t ask for it

    David Henry sought the phone data of people in the government who had access to the leaked report. He did not ask for the phone data of Ms Vance. I would have thought that was obvious.

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  8. lazza (387 comments) says:

    Just another (daily/weekly?) example of the sloppy, careless and often witless behavour of our public servants.

    I see it everyday! in my work with (most) Councils.

    Where is the spirit of public service for modest reward of high quality?

    After all, they are “our” employees … with none of the accountabilities.

    Ahhh .. “Accountability” … now maybe thats! the point.

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  9. Akaroa (591 comments) says:

    With all due respect to the authors of the opinions posted above, this matter is, nevertheless, a storm in a teacup of no relevance or bearing on anything of any note or significance.

    You get this sort of groundswell of pointless noise out of pollies from time to time. Its the price of freedom and democracy!!

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  10. smttc (763 comments) says:

    A shining example of a beltway issue. Yawn.

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  11. flipper (4,241 comments) says:

    PG says,
    among other useful and pertinent comments:

    *** “This is alarming, and Key needs to take ownership and get it dealt with properly. This is one issue the media won’t ignore or let go of until it is adequately resolved. ” ***

    Perhaps there will be some good come from this affair. John Armstrong does not always get things right, and his knowledge or experience is not as great as some imagine, but this morning he has it nailed (in the Herald), in spades!

    The fact is that, dating back to Neil Dollimore there has always been an unhealthy tension between the Gallery and the Clerk’s staff, Internal Affairs, Ministry of Works, the PM’s office under Clark, and Parliamentary Services under O’Sullivan. Clearly Peter Tapsell allowed himself to be tricked (he subsequently told me so) into removing the Gallery from the Second Floor, but things have gone from bad go worse. Put aside the risible security dances that started under Kelvin Nolly, the metadata and phone info are clearly an outcome of technology reach, which has been improperly employed.

    DPF also nails it, to some extent, with his comment on Statutory Legal Authority, but even that presents problems since the House is the preserve of Mr Speaker, and NOT the Prime Minister, nor the Police/Courts.

    If the Privileges Committee does its job without Executive manipulation, matters will be put right. But the Gallery has been charged, albeit by default, with ensuring that the Privileges Committee does is job, and maintains the public’s right to access to The House (NOTE: Access to the US Senate and the HoR is far, far easier) is protected, and preserved.

    And on the way to that, private contractors (irrespective of ranking) should go – before lunchtime.

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  12. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    He did not ask for the phone data of Ms Vance. I would have thought that was obvious.

    No, that wasn’t obvious from his report. Dunne said otherwise. Last week Parliamentary Services said otherwise.

    But he issued a statement last night that claims he did not ask for it.

    It is an unresolved difference of opinions.

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  13. anonymouse (722 comments) says:

    He said the release of the phone records was “completely unacceptable”.

    Yeah but Paddy Gower was seriously over egging it last night as he burst a vein in his forehead with his statements of

    “They’ve been essentially hacking in and grabbing her phone records without authorisation”

    “I swiped in with my card this morning, have they been tracking me? Have they been tracking me for the last five years – have they been hacking into my phone records? ”

    Err no Paddy they didn’t hack in and get her phone records, As the owner of the phone system ( and the office access system) they used their legitimate right to get those details of calls from ms Vance’s phone from the system,

    Now it is totally unacceptable to give this to anyone, but they have a right to collect that data,

    When Vodafone or Telecom provide phone records to the police for a court case, they are not “hacking in” to get phone records,

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  14. peterwn (3,314 comments) says:

    Seems a few heads in Parliamentary Services should roll over this. The Chief Officer and his key staff should have set proper internal guidelines on these sorts of matters. Moreover it was allegedly a contractor who released the records. Why is a Parliamentary Services contractor dealing with those outside the service on any but the most mundane matters (eg dealing with phone, computer, etc maintenance).

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  15. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    PG:

    Perhaps you could try reading Henry’s statement:

    The Inquiry I led never requested the phone records of journalist Ms Andrea Vance. The Inquiry recorded this fact immediately the information was received.

    “Quite simply, we did not request this information; we did not access this information; and consequently we did not use it in any way”, Mr Henry said.

    I welcome the confirmation by the Speaker that the Inquiry had not requested Ms Vance’s telephone records.

    With regard to the media reports of Mr Dunne’s comments today, I believe that Mr Dunne is mistaken, as I did not request nor was I seeking the phone log records of Ms Vance

    As for Peter Dunne, given that he was wilfully deceptive about his conduct in the leaking of the report, he’s hardly the most credible source at the moment.

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  16. flipper (4,241 comments) says:

    Anon says…
    ** “system) they used their legitimate right to get those details of calls from ms Vance’s phone from the system,

    Now it is totally unacceptable to give this to anyone, but they have a right to collect that data,…”**

    I have no time for Fairfax, but it is their telephone line. They pay for it Anon…, it’s THEIRS!

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  17. backster (2,185 comments) says:

    A confidential cabinet paper is leaked to the embarrassment of the Government in what amounted to at least a severe betrayal of trust. The Prime Minister orders an enquiry and employs the best man for the job at considerable cost. He does a good job commensurate with his fee. So he knocks over a legal obstacle on the way. Good, lets employ him again next time a similar situation arises.In the pursuit of truth what’s sacrosanct about a few phone records or who a honeypot uses her privilege swipecard to visit .

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  18. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    A must read on this to understand the situation and implications – from Alastair Thompson:

    The Privileges Of Parliament & Peter Dunne

    It is hard not to conclude – in the wake of more than a year of half answers, miss-truths and outright lies around key aspects of the GCSB debacle – that we are now dealing with a rogue Government.

    Now the latest monumental balls-up/gross abuse of power (you pick your description) has dragged the Speaker into the net and that has really opened pandora’s box.

    On Dunne:

    On the face of it Peter Dunne faced a trial by meta-data.

    And he was convicted on that meta-data alone when he refused to give up what remained of his rights to privacy.

    This of course puts the GCSB Bill which seeks to legalise the wholesale gathering, warehousing and mining of meta-data (which is not defined in the Bill) by the Government without warrant.

    What happened to both Peter Dunne and Andrea Vance is deeply disturbing in a way that is not that easy to convey to the public.

    And his summary:

    Now the “Powerful” Parliament Privileges Committee will consider all of this and my guess is that it will come down very strongly on the side of Parliament.

    This will hopefully restore the balance.

    But the amount of damage that has been done here should not be underestimated and it will not go away quickly. The Press Gallery will remember this.

    Coming on top of the months of obfuscation and outright lying and evasiveness over every aspect of this story from the Kim Dotcom raids and who knew about them when, to the illegal GCSB spying, to the appointment of a child-hood friend of the PM’s as GCSB Director and now the Andrea Vance and Peter Dunne affair – we will remember.

    The damage will continue until this is dealt with properly, until the whole truth comes out, and until proper controls and protocols are put in place.

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  19. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance (1,259) Says: So is it illegal to access, collate and distribute private phone records/communications?

    The collating was probably happening (legally) anyway from the PBX for billing purposes. It would be the distributing it that is at issue.

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  20. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    As for Peter Dunne, given that he was wilfully deceptive about his conduct in the leaking of the report, he’s hardly the most credible source at the moment.

    I don’t see where he has been wilfully deceptive. He has been set up, and he has been condemned by a shddy inquiry on no evidence.

    With what is emerging Dunne is the only credible source. He has been open, truthful and consistent as far as I’ve seen, and I’ve seen more than most.

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  21. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    As for Pete George claiming it wasn’t clear what information Henry sought, paragraphs 57 and 58 spell out what was obtained. Email reports and telephone logs of “eleven cabinet ministers and their staff, and two support ministers and their staff”. He describes what information was obtained from each.

    In paragraph 59, he states that he did not seek access to private email providers or private telephones.

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  22. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    I don’t see where he has been wilfully deceptive.

    Little wonder seeing that you continue to support him. Other people with a modicum of sense have long since recognized him as the jumped-up weasel that he is.

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  23. flipper (4,241 comments) says:

    BACKSTER…
    Stop it.
    You are elevating a draft internal report to the PM, to Cabinet paper status. Moreover, Cabinet papers have been leaked…… well, since they came into being. The only thing that made this report “sensitive” is the political imbroglio that still threatens to enmesh JK.

    However, it does have one benefit: It distracts the media from the crap housing policy produced by Shearer and Commissar red-melon Norman. :)

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  24. anonymouse (722 comments) says:

    @Flipper, they pay money to Parliamentary services for the phone line, (the phone number will begin with 817 and be on the Parl services PABX)

    Just like you pay money to Telecom/Vodafone or 2 Degrees this does not give you exclusive ownership of your phone records, they are property of the system operator, while the operator has a duty to keep this info private and not divulge it, its not your property…

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  25. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Metcalph – the Henry inquiry report does not give any details of what phone data was used and none was given in evidence.

    Despite Winston Peters claiming “all the evidence is in the phone records” none was given in the report. Henry focussed solely on the emails – and there was no evidence there either.

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  26. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    In paragraph 59, he states that he did not seek access to private email providers or private telephones.

    Yes, that highlights one of the major flaws in Henry’s inquiry. He excluded the possibility that the person who leaked the Kitteridge report might have communicated with Vance outside the parliamentary comms system. Most leakers would avoid using phones and emails that they knew were being recorded, but Henry took no account of that possibility.

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  27. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    With what is emerging Dunne is the only credible source. He has been open, truthful and consistent as far as I’ve seen, and I’ve seen more than most.

    Dunne has not been completely open. We still do not know why he resigned, when he claims to have done nothing wrong. He has not shared a high proportion of the emails he was requested to.

    He may have valid reasons for this, but by refusing to disclose them he will inevitably fall under suspicion.

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  28. flipper (4,241 comments) says:

    anonymouse (535) Says:

    July 31st, 2013 at 11:24 am
    @Flipper, they pay money to Parliamentary services for the phone line, (the phone number will begin with 817 and be on the Parl services PABX)
    <<>>
    I bow to you updated knowledge. But, in effect then, they rent the line. In this context, the same thing as “ownership”, is it not?. Vodafone /Telecom is another issue.

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  29. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    Metcalph – the Henry inquiry report does not give any details of what phone data was used and none was given in evidence.

    Lie. Paragraph 58 describes the type of information that was available to the inquiry.

    Henry focussed solely on the emails – and there was no evidence there either.

    No, he didn’t focus solely on the emails. He questioned people on the basis of their dealings with Vance both on email and phone records. That is what he said he did in the report. As for “no evidence”, that was only because Dunne wilfully concealed emails from the report and offered only edited versions of the others.

    He excluded the possibility that the person who leaked the Kitteridge report might have communicated with Vance outside the parliamentary comms system.

    Given that Dunne was fool enough to discuss leaking the report in his communications with Vance in the emails that he did provide, then chances of anybody else practicing serious tradecraft to avoid detection (at the very least Vance might have insisted on it) is vanishingly small.

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  30. UglyTruth (4,552 comments) says:

    The damage will continue until this is dealt with properly, until the whole truth comes out, and until proper controls and protocols are put in place.

    The truth involves knowing what really happened at the end of WW2 which led to the UKUSA agreement and the formation of the NSA.

    “Foo fighters”

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  31. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    metcalph – it is not a lie, but perhaps not clear enough.

    No phone data was used to make a case against Dunne in the report, only email data – which proved nothing.

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  32. mikenmild (11,798 comments) says:

    ‘Foo fighters’

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Serious question though: do Foo fighters leave chemtrails?

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  33. cha (4,085 comments) says:

    But were the “Foo fighters” Juice?.

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  34. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    metcalph – it is not a lie, but perhaps not clear enough.

    I’m sorry but claiming that the Henry report does not describe what phone data was used in the report is a lie whether you like it or not.

    No phone data was used to make a case against Dunne in the report

    *Yawn*. What did you expect from the type of data that was available to him. Dunne had a ready defence – he could point to Twitter as support. He used the email evidence because Dunne was fool enough to damn himself on them. Whining that no phone evidence was used in the report is like whining that no fingerprint evidence was used in the Weatherstone trial.

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  35. Manolo (14,086 comments) says:

    With what is emerging Dunne is the only credible source. He has been open, truthful and consistent as far as I’ve seen, and I’ve seen more than most.

    All these inanities from the person who says he doesn’t defend the shameless whore.

    Dunne should be canonised, beatified, made a saint, reinstated as Minister of Revenue and the baubles of power.

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  36. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    “We still do not know why he resigned, when he claims to have done nothing wrong.”

    As quoted above, Alastair Thompson:

    On the face of it Peter Dunne faced a trial by meta-data.

    And he was convicted on that meta-data alone when he refused to give up what remained of his rights to privacy.

    What happened to both Peter Dunne and Andrea Vance is deeply disturbing in a way that is not that easy to convey to the public.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1307/S00196/the-privileges-of-parliament-peter-dunne-500-words.htm

    And Peter Dunne:

    Indeed, it was on the principle of the protection of the privacy of communications that I resigned as a Minister.

    http://honpfd.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/25-july-2013-agreement-i-reached-with.html

    And he has told me that the Henry accusations put his job as Minister in an untenable situation.

    Henry, and whoever else was involved in this – for example whoever leaked to Winston Peters – are responsible for interfering with the process of government and with the position of a democratically elected Member of Parliament.

    With no evidence and with an alarmingly narrow inquiry.

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  37. projectman (229 comments) says:

    Dunne says he didn’t leak the report. Henry says he didn’t seek the phone data, and didn’t use it when it was supplied unrequested.

    If Dunne wants to establish in the public’s eyes that he didn’t leak the report, he should welcome a comparison of his phone data with that of Andrea Vance. The solution? Get both Dunne’s and Vance’s approval now for such a comparison, have it appropriately overseen so that the comparison is made only between these two parties and see what the outcome is.

    Dunne, having not leaked the report, has nothing to fear. Neither, consequently, does Vance.

    Approval would of course be given. Yeah right.

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  38. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Dunne told Henry he didn’t care if he accessed his phone data – and anyway Dunne was away overseas for all but one day of the period the inquiry targeted, so getting two weeks phone data of off him was of very limited possible benefit to the inquiry.

    All phone data would show is that Dunne talked to a journalist – in fact a number of journalists. That’s what politicians do. It would prove nothing.

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  39. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    And he was convicted on that meta-data alone when he refused to give up what remained of his rights to privacy.

    I never heard of a government minister claiming a legitimate right of privacy when discussing how to leak a document using government provided communications before. I wonder how far this right goes. If he was plotting to murder somebody could there still be a legitimate right to privacy?

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  40. thedavincimode (6,880 comments) says:

    Oh dear I got a thumbs down for not worshipping the ‘Throne’ of the speaker.

    I share your pain but look on the bright side. Worse things have happened to innocent bystanders.

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  41. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    Henry, and whoever else was involved in this – for example whoever leaked to Winston Peters – are responsible for interfering with the process of government and with the position of a democratically elected Member of Parliament

    Whoever leaked to Winston Peters should be given a medal for enabling that SOB to make a truthful accusation for once. And as for interfering with the process of government, I wasn’t aware that extended to actively plotting to leak a document which had some classified appendices. Nor was I aware that Dunne’s repeated election in the place of ineffectual opposition (Charlie Chauvel? Gimme a break) entitled him to a ministerial portfolio with no restrictions on his conduct.

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  42. Nookin (3,473 comments) says:

    I wonder if Dr Norman will apologise for saying that Henry DID request them, that Henry is Key’s right hand man, that Key is the one setting up the inquiry and that there is something smelly about the whole thing?

    I wonder if the media will point out his inaccuracies?

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  43. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    metcalph – I hope that a police investigation would obtained the appropriate authority before searching for evidence.

    And I hope that a phone company contractor wouldn’t just decide to extract some data and hand it over to the investigating team on the off chance they might find it handy.

    Incidentally, if no one asked the data contractor for any data how did he know what to supply? A wild guess? Or were they playing detective themselves?

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  44. doggone7 (833 comments) says:

    So there is a dust storm and enquiries over who gave someone what, in an inquiry about someone leaking something they should not have.

    is there going to be another storm about who did the actual leaking of the GCSB stuff? Or an inquiry which actually finds out who did it?

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  45. Morgy (172 comments) says:

    Christ people make a meal of things! A cock up yes, but not a normal practice. Yet again the media creating the story. They talk about being ‘our’ eyes and ears into the goings on in parliament but for too long these people have been creating the news, talking in half truths and innuendo for their own careers and now we have a cock up like this. No matter how anyone (right or left) try to spin this, I would bet my house on it that the majority of Kiwi’s DONT CARE!!

    When did New Zealanders forget to harden the fuck up?

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  46. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    Peter Dunne claims it was on the “principle of the protection of the privacy of communications that I resigned as a Minister”?

    Rubbish. That is plainly at odds with his statement when he resigned, when he stated “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”.

    When asked what the lapse in judgement was, Mr Dunne said he had canvassed the possibility of leaking the report with Fairfax reporter Andrea Vance but maintained he had not gone through with it. He said the fact he even considered it showed a lapse of judgement.

    “I have acted extraordinarily unwisely, even stupidly, and I am now resigned to paying the price for that.”

    Now, he did indeed feed John Key this line prior to the media conference. John Key stated “I have met with Mr Dunne to discuss the matter. He has advised me that he remains unable to fully meet the inquiry’s requests and accordingly, he offered and I have accepted, his resignation as a Minister.”

    Yet at the media conference Dunne made it plain that he was resigning entirely because of his actions after he received an advance copy of the report.

    Did Dunne deliberately mislead or outright lie to the Prime Minister?

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  47. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Whoever leaked to Winston Peters should be given a medal for enabling that SOB to make a truthful accusation for once.

    Except that it wasn’t correct. Peters said in Parliament “all the evidence is in those phone records, and your minister is gone”. There was no evidence in those phone records.

    And Peters wasn’t truthful about having evidence, he eventually conceded he didn’t have enough – which means he probably had none.

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  48. thedavincimode (6,880 comments) says:

    You are such a tease Nookin. I know that you aren’t wondering that at all and you know that I know that you aren’t.

    I genuinely wonder if MSM will ever remember why this is happening at all and that Dunne’s full court press to divert attention to the investigation and away from the reasons it was held and his statement that he only considered leaking the report will ever be proven to be a lie; and why, even if no such evidence emerges, he might have considered it acceptable for a cabinet minister to leak confidential information.

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  49. Manolo (14,086 comments) says:

    Did Dunne deliberately mislead or outright lie to the Prime Minister public?

    Many times before …. and many times more to come.

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  50. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    The duffing of Pete George in this thread is reminiscent of Don Brash after the Hollow Men leak. Outraged at the leak itself to try and divert attention away from the naughtiness.

    Except, in this case, Peter Dunne actually has committed naughtiness.

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  51. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    graham – no, I think that also contributed to his decision to resign. He had put himself in a difficult position, and David Henry put him in a difficult position.

    On Sunday John Key on Q&A said: “we actually have a good working relationship with Peter Dunne, and, bluntly, we trust him, and we can work with him.”.

    So Key seems to be fine with what happened and what was said to him.

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  52. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    I see the divert and discredit team has arrived. Same old futility.

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  53. peterwn (3,314 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance – the Parliamentary PABX is a special case – it serves diverse groups with differing sets of obligations, so release of phone records in some sets of circumstances may well be illegal. For an ordinary business PABX, management can do what it likes with calling records apart from breaching person privacy buy publicising records or using them beyond ordinary management or HR functions.

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  54. thedavincimode (6,880 comments) says:

    Not really Pete. There are two distinct issues here that both require answers. One party is trying to provide answers to one set of questions; the other is refusing to.

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  55. Ross12 (1,456 comments) says:

    Nookin @ 12.24

    Hell if we go down that track we might end up with a situation like Greenpeace’s accusations against Simon Bridges !!

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  56. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    thedavincimode – well, I haven’t refused to provide answers, I get most criticism for saying too much too often.

    The original question was who leaked the Kitteridge report? No one has come close to answering that one yet.

    Two people have been investigated slightly and their denials were accepted without question. One person has been targeted with a very narrow but intense investigation and his denials and the lack of evidence were ignored.

    So the primary issue will remain unresolved unless different questions are asked of different people.

    But as is often the case this has been overwhelmed by the poor process involved – the old “it’s not the issue but how the issue is dealt with” trick. And that may blow up in Key’s face unless it is addressed quickly and comprehensively.

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  57. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    I see the divert and discredit team has arrived. Same old futility.

    Well Pete, you have yourself called Henry into question consistently since Dunne resigned. Just sayin’…

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  58. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    Two people have been investigated slightly and their denials were accepted without question.

    Actually I believe they were questioned.

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  59. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    bhudson, Pete has not only called Henry into question, but also Winston Peters, John Key, David Shearer, Andrea Vance, Deborah Hill-Cone, Fairfax, the media in general, Colin Espiner, the Greens, Labour, Parliamentary Services, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Prime Minister’s Office, the GCSB, and probably others that I’ve missed.

    He has also attempted to minimise the seriousness of leaking.

    While PG delights in accusing people of being Dunne-haters, in fact I suspect many are in the same situation as me – I get annoyed when someone slanders and slams anybody they can in an attempt to paint their hero as innocent.

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  60. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    They were questioned as were others, but then they denied and it seems to hav eben left at that.

    An officer in the PMO

    67.The officer had a numbered copy of the report from 27 March onwards. The officer was heavily involved in preparation for the official release of the report.

    68.As part of that preparation the officer had the report at home over the weekend of 6 and 7 April. The report was not kept in a safe or locked cabinet at the home but the officer states that it remained in the officer’s possession at all times.

    69.The officer’s contacts with the reporter were examined, including the content of emails. There was only one email prior to publication of the leak.

    For some reason pointing out email quantity. I wonder how many emails it takes to leak a report.

    The officer had the report at home, so there is an opportunity to copy it undetected – I’m not suggesting it was copied but would have been easy.

    45. It is possible that one of the hard copies or the master copy was illicitly copied or scanned. Records from government photocopy machines were extensively examined.

    It most likely was copied – but everyone will have known that office copiers can keep records – that is what has incriminated the MFAT leaker.

    46. My review was necessarily limited to the use of government facilities, such as photocopy machines, so copying done elsewhere cannot be reviewed. In that context there are rarely any inward and outward bag checks done which might deter someone from improperly removing a document from the relevant government facilities.

    Two of the three people investigated had taken a copy home. What are the chances some of the other 70 or so who had access to the report did likewise?

    Not investigated.

    And anyone with a modern mobile phone can take copies at work anyway.

    So there are many uninvestigated possibilities.

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  61. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    graham -yes, I have discussed many possibilities in an unsolved case. Most could be discounted as information became known.

    And you have been fixated on one person, similar to David Henry. Including making a number of accusations. Why is that?

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  62. thedavincimode (6,880 comments) says:

    Pete

    Try as hard as you like, but this isn’t about you except to the extent that your continuation of Dunne’s PR campaign only serves to reduce any residual tolerance for Dunne that may have existed on this blog. That is not to say however, that any damage you have caused was significant in this respect.

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  63. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    audrey young ‏@audreyNZH
    Privileges committee to hold inquiry into what records Henry inquiry got from MPs/ journos. First public hearing on August 21.

    No quick fix unless someone else steps up or something else comes up in the meantime.

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  64. thedavincimode (6,880 comments) says:

    Pete has not only called Henry into question, but also Winston Peters, John Key, David Shearer, Andrea Vance, Deborah Hill-Cone, Fairfax, the media in general, Colin Espiner, the Greens, Labour, Parliamentary Services, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Prime Minister’s Office, the GCSB, and probably others that I’ve missed.

    Gosh graham, there’s at least one notable name missing from that list; who could it be?? :roll:

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  65. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    who could it be??

    Could it be someone who also admitted to having taken their copy home? (According to Pete, once off the precinct it would be a cinch for a person in physical possession of the report to have it copied without detection.)

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  66. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Yes bhudson, like everyone else with it. On that basis the Prime Minister could have done it, a setup to use Dunne as a fall guy to discredit Peters who was fed enough information to make a dick of himself. That’s all unlikley, but many things are slightly possible.

    There’s a major difference with Dunne though – he has been investigated far more than anyone else, there’s still no evidence he did it, and he has strenuously denied doing it.

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  67. mikenmild (11,798 comments) says:

    Nice to know there is still one person who believes in Dunne’s innocence. I’m not sure that Dunne himself believes it, but PG is the true apostle.

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  68. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Doesn’t look good that Key’s chief of staff told Parliamentary Service staff to supply records to a ministerial inquiry.

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  69. Manolo (14,086 comments) says:

    …but PG is the true apostle.

    Far more than that. He is the eleven disciples combined, rolled into one (Judas excluded, on purpose).

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  70. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Gosh graham, there’s at least one notable name missing from that list; who could it be??

    That omission must be a mistake by graham, I have openly suggested the possibility of who you are obviously referring to – and unlike all the others I have put it directly to him, and have discussed it with both him and his wife.

    mikenmild – Dunne definitely believes it, and so do a growing number of others. But the permanently pissy will never admit they were wrong, will they.

    Manolo – no, he has quite strong and growing support.

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  71. flipper (4,241 comments) says:

    Heh folks…

    With Finlayson’s announcement of a public hearing by the PC, this dog is done for now.

    Let us adjourn until we hear things on August 21.

    In the meantime, it would be helpful if it were known whether the PC will require ALL evidence (not bull shit “submissions”) will be required to be given under oath. The PC certainly has the power to demand and enforce that.

    So, let’s wrap it up, until we know what is bullshit and what is clay.

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  72. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Once an industrial reporter for an NZ newspaper, I was asked to appear as a witness in a civil matter after a strike. I refused, telling the lawyer I would only give evidence under a subpoena, as to appear willingly would damage my impartiality.

    The case never took place, but I was amazed that the only journo who didn’t get my point was the friggin editor! Geoff Baylis would have to be the most over rated Pom to come to NZ since Edward Gibbon Wakefield.

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  73. flipper (4,241 comments) says:

    The case never took place, but I was amazed that the only journo who didn’t get my point was the friggin editor! Geoff Baylis would have to be the most over rated Pom to come to NZ since Edward Gibbon Wakefield.

    <<<>>
    Dom Post, after Richard Long was he not?
    Bayliss axed Michael Basset because he dared to critique Helengrad et al.
    An arsehole.

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  74. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    “I’m not a crook” – John Key

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  75. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    Pete George at 3:10 pm:

    The omission of Peter Dunne from that list is because it is almost impossible to find any posts by you where you call Dunne into question. Even on the very occasional post where you conceded the possibility that Dunne was at fault, you were making excuses for him – explaining that even if he did leak, there “seems little stigma in being a labelled leaker”.

    Certainly you have not lambasted him in the same way you have lambasted the other people I listed –
    – Winston Peters “can’t be trusted”, “false and flimsy accusations”, “Peters is lying”
    – Fairfax “are not doing anything to help him” (Dunne); “Peter Dunne has been cold shouldered by Fairfax”
    – Labour and the Greens “are proposing a police inquiry into a political leak with a compulsion to give evidence. Chilling indeed.”

    And so on.

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  76. Mark (1,493 comments) says:

    Don’t understand all the fuss. Once the GCSB bill is passed they wont need to ask for Andrea Vance’s phone records they can simply phone the GCSB and get them to troll through their Meta Data uploads :)

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  77. Reid (16,638 comments) says:

    Don’t understand all the fuss.

    It’s a media-driven beat up over nothing, Mark. Nothing more and nothing less.

    The media you will note have been virtually silent over the critical fact that the Henry Enquiry did not use the released data nor are they covering the critical fact that it was a Parliamentary Services who mistakenly released the data.

    But the media are all hysterical over the fact it was a journalist’s data plus it coincides with the equally hysterical discussion over the GCSB bill plus it coincides with their coordinated-with-Liarbore takedown of Key’s halo which has been in progress for around 18 months now and this is the only issue which, despite their best efforts, has got any traction whatsoever. And so it’s their reporting which is deliberately spinning the whole affair as “sinister” thus giving the lie to any pretense the media is “The Fourth Estate” as opposed to PR slime because The Fourth Estate reports the facts without the spin whereas PR slime report spin with a few facts interlaced to make their bullshit appear credible to the useful idiots.

    So that’s what all the fuss is about. Disgusting isn’t it. I’m not sure which is more disgusting: that the NZ media in 2013 has descended into PR, or whether there are so many useful idiots who lap it up without critical thinking but at least I think there is one thing we can all agree: it’s disgusting.

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  78. Viking2 (11,579 comments) says:

    Now for the good news.

    Key’s office ordered records released
    Prime Minister John Key has confirmed his chief of staff Wayne Eagleson told Parliamentary Service staff to supply records to a ministerial inquiry after the department initially refused to co-operate.

    The revelation turns the spotlight on the prime minister’s office after it was revealed yesterday a contractor for Parliamentary Service handed over the phone records of Fairfax Media journalist Andrea Vance to the inquiry.

    Former top civil servant David Henry was asked by the prime minister to track down who leaked a copy of a report on the Government Communications Security Bureau to Vance.

    Parliament’s privileges committee today launched an inquiry into how Vance’s phone records came to be handed over after Speaker David Carter yesterday apologised for the breach.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8986200/Keys-office-ordered-records-released

    Popcorn time at alst.
    But watch how it gets slurped and fuzzed and sucked up the vacum cleaner pipe.

    HO Ho Ho. :Lol:

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  79. Mark (1,493 comments) says:

    Reid

    Of course the media will make a meal of this as it affects one of their own. Really a storm in a teacup. A civil servant has got a tad over eager

    The frustration for national is that the GCSB issue continues to fester and bubble away when Key is keen to see it, Dotcom et al crawl under a rock somewhere

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  80. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    I think it’s really bizarre that Radio NZ has run with the passive aggressive headline “PM refuses to take responsibility over phone records”. Why would he? Would they have asked Helen Clark under the same circumstances?

    “John Key refuses to take responsibility over Spanish train crash” *rolls eyes*

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  81. Viking2 (11,579 comments) says:

    So not a Parliamentary Service stuff up but the stuff up was oked from the office of the PM.

    Now I don’t blame Key or even wayne Eggleston. Its more about being clear about the rules. (for everyone).

    Lets sort out the rules before we have others like the GSCB rules imposed upon us from the same group of people who simply made their own..

    What fucking show has Joe Public got when even the chief of the chief rulemaker can’t get it right.???

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  82. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    All this fuss from an inquiry that failed.

    But justified or not it has dominated news this week, it will probably dominate in three weeks time, and it will fester away in between.

    And yes V2 – one of the most damaging aspects is that it is a bloody mismanaged mess. Won’t help give people confidence in them managing the GCSB.

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  83. Wally.Anchor (21 comments) says:

    Let’s have a bit of perspective here.

    Nobody asked Datacom for Vance’s call logs.
    When they were returned, the inquiry team rejected them because they “neither sought them nor wanted them”, and they weren’t used.

    But these call logs were supplied…
    Is the enquiry team responsible for that? No.
    Is John Key responsible for that? No.
    Is David Carter responsible for that? No, but he brought it into the open and apologised for it. Does that sound like a cover up? No.

    The only person responsible is the person who actually supplied the information. They absolutely shouldn’t have done it, and it reeks of an inexperienced employee eager to be helpful (as in “no there was no data for what you requested, but here’s some related data that might be useful”). He/she has probably been crapping themselves non stop for the last couple of days.

    Maybe it was Datacom’s responsibility and they don’t have appropriate processes/procedures/policies in place to deal with appropriate responses to information requests. Maybe they do – you’re only as vulnerable as your weakest staff member makes you.

    It was a mistake. The information wasn’t used and the affected parties were notified immediately. As long as this is a one off, and the whoever is responsible has learnt their lesson – what actual harm has been done?

    While this information should never have been released in the context of this enquiry/request, it is incredibly short-sighted to say that this information should even be available to Datacom, as some have said. It is their system, therefore it is their data. And this data is required for many reasons other than to outrage journalists and attackers of the government. To name just a few – billing (you need to know the from/to details to work out cost), fault finding and troubleshooting, and probably even required by law (although I’m unsure of this). Just think – if the tables were turned and there were death threats being made (for example) the same people baying for blood that this information is actually availabile would be complaining if it wasn’t available.

    So it absolutely needs to be available to (some) in Datacom. Maybe not to such a naive or inexperienced employee (if that was actually the case). This data should never have been released as it has been, but the responsiblity for this information being released sits entirely with Datacom and their processes/procedures/policies – not the government or anybody else.

    I may be wrong here in stating that these are Datacom’s systems. If Datacom don’t provide the phone systems, then my comments may not be as accurate as I think. But the general gist remains the same.

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  84. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Wally – I agree, from what I’ve heard (in Parliament) and seen (in emails) it does look like a contractor cockup.

    There’s still some unanswered questions but this one has the most likely of answers.

    And it still looks like better systems of managing data use are badly needed.

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  85. KevinH (1,236 comments) says:

    The first point of inquiry in investigating a leak would be to examine correspondence from the related parties to determine the point of origin and destination, the content would be confidential, initially. A small team would collate the information as a matter of process and pass that information onto the investigating team or officer who will consider the relevance of the information i.e. it’s admissibility and any other mitigating factors that may relate to the investigation.
    Datacom would have been formally asked to provide the information, the request would have been authorised. Datacom would of ensured from their end that the integrity of the information was kept confidential.
    Therefore this discussion is a diversion, the original question of who leaked the report remains unanswered.

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  86. UglyTruth (4,552 comments) says:

    Let’s have a bit of perspective here.

    O.K.

    From Anne@thestandard:

    15 July 2011- Finlayson meets US Attorney General, Eric Holder.

    22 July 2011 – Key meets Obama.

    Maarten Wevers (former chief of the Prime Minister’s department) heads off to Washington with Key.

    Sometime in July 2011 Key rings Fletcher about GCSB job.

    Maarten Wevers returns from Washington July 2011 and interviews Fletcher the following day.

    Grant Wormald is contacted by FBI and starts working on Dotcom case around August 2011.

    Williamson grants Kim Dotcom consent to purchase Chrischo mansion in April 2011.

    Simon Power overturns consent 3 mths later around July/August 2011.

    …….

    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/kim-dotcom-megaupload-new-zealand-timeline/

    June 28 2012: Justice Helen Winkelmann finds no warrant for the Dotcom raid

    September 27 2012: Key apologises to Dotcom for illegal surveillence

    April 9 2013 The Kitteridge report, 88 unlawfully surveilled.

    May 8 2013 Dotcom’s leagal counsel says the crimes he’s accused of do not exist under US law

    ….

    2013: Snowden & Tice talk about NSA espionage

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  87. thedavincimode (6,880 comments) says:

    Not a pretty picture UT. Two years of conniving and they still haven’t been able to get rid of the crooked fat kraut.

    Thanks Banksie.

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  88. Nostalgia-NZ (5,283 comments) says:

    I can’t see a ‘contractor’ mistake, because of the specific time mentioned – 3 months. An off the cuff ‘mistake,’ with a deliberation of time is going too far as a mistake. Why 3 months and who said so? The mistaken ‘contractor’ not only accidentally released something – the essence of the suggestion of the ‘mistake,’ but he or she also was specific about time duration. Looking at that as one thing – is difficult to reconcile – but the need to add in that despatches to the inquiry were not made without checking for compliance with instructions is asking a lot.

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  89. UglyTruth (4,552 comments) says:

    Two years of conniving and they still haven’t been able to get rid of the crooked fat kraut.

    No reason for them to feel bad about it, the Yanks couldn’t do that either back in 1946. (Not that Hitler was fat, mind you).
    Around the same time the ground was being laid for the formation of the NSA

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  90. Drone (20 comments) says:

    This is the second failure by the Parliamentary Service in as many weeks, Datacom provide a service to the parliamentary complex and are managed by the Parliamentary Service, they would have been under no illusion about what needed to be done, who requested and who needed to authorize the release of the information. Once again the ex military plod in charge of the PS has released information that should have been kept confidential.

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  91. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Andrea Vance spits tacks over the data debacle.

    Spy scandal journalist speaks out

    In other circumstances, I could probably find something to laugh about in revelations that the journalist who broke a story about illegal spying was snooped on by Parliament’s bureaucrats.

    Let alone, the irony that the reporter in question previously worked for the News of the World, the tabloid at a centre of a privacy violation scandal.

    But I am that journalist and I’m mad as hell. Anyone who has had their confidential details hacked and shared around has the right to be angry.

    And she expresses her anger very well. And justifiably.

    That contempt for the press continued yesterday with the obfuscation around what Henry had actually requested. He might not have asked for details of all the phone calls I made – but he certainly asked what calls I placed to ministers and their staff. It amounts to the same thing.

    Crucially, Key ordered that inquiry and he can no more shrug off responsibility for how it was conducted than Henry can.

    I don’t want an apology. But I wish both men would do New Zealand’s media the courtesy of taking responsibility for the unreasonable activities undertaken by that inquiry, which undermined the freedoms I and my colleagues hold so dear.

    There will be a Privileges Committee inquiry in three weeks but the media seem intent on making a big issue of it this week.

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  92. Viking2 (11,579 comments) says:

    Now, now Pete, stamping her tiny tootsies at this point doesn’t cut the mustard.
    While I agree with her about secrecy and access it would be naive to assume that given her past associations, that she wasn’t aware that it could happen. After all her previous boss and his company were at the forefront of this behavoir.

    She used the honey pot knowing full well that it would advantage her career and her papers readership. (A Natural consequence of her employment and justifiable.) That she and others are now caught up in this conspiracy of both silence, investigation and accusation comes right back to her door.
    If she hadn’t of played the game she would not have got her fingers burnt.

    In saying that I’m pleased she did for many Kiwi’s haven’t trusted politicians nor our security apparatus for a long time. That the Yanks used it to progress an illegal attack on a business person whose enemies had a commercial argument but managed to twist it to a conspiracy to defraud and that our hopeless govt. employed legal bods and the police who got sucked in just shows really high little regard these same people have for Kiwi sovereignty. (and I might add how appalling corrupt the american Justice system actually is. Might never makes right, it just creates bullies.)

    Vance would have more credibility if she actually argued for more transparency among our elected, for more open govt. and much more community input in top legislation and the requirement for any Govt. to actually take note and act on that input.
    Oh they listen all the time to a small group called maori and fall all over themselves to give to that group (the latest being the fishing boat bullshit from the iwi.), BUT they fail to act on public input that says we don’t want, don’t like various other issues, a prime example being the GSCB bill and we can add things like smacking etc. Key has consistently thumbed his nose at voters and unfortunately people like KS and many others are sucked into this.

    That’s not to say key hasn’t done lots of good stuff but when it comes to listening to Kiwi’s he doesn’t and will blatantly ignore what the public are saying hoping that the good overrides the bad and we won’t remember.

    That’s why he needs your man and the Maori’s for despite great favourites in the poles the Nats will struggle to return to Govt.
    It’s not all about feel good but it’s also about peoples saftey, security, place to live and food in their bellies.

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  93. Viking2 (11,579 comments) says:

    Here’s how key must feel some days.
    .
    http://screencast.com/t/jbgZeO1g

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  94. Keeping Stock (10,443 comments) says:

    Viking2 said

    Now for the good news.

    Key’s office ordered records released
    Prime Minister John Key has confirmed his chief of staff Wayne Eagleson told Parliamentary Service staff to supply records to a ministerial inquiry after the department initially refused to co-operate.

    The revelation turns the spotlight on the prime minister’s office after it was revealed yesterday a contractor for Parliamentary Service handed over the phone records of Fairfax Media journalist Andrea Vance to the inquiry.

    Former top civil servant David Henry was asked by the prime minister to track down who leaked a copy of a report on the Government Communications Security Bureau to Vance.

    Parliament’s privileges committee today launched an inquiry into how Vance’s phone records came to be handed over after Speaker David Carter yesterday apologised for the breach.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8986200/Keys-office-ordered-records-released

    Popcorn time at alst.

    Have you actually read the e-mail for yourself Viking? It’s here – http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/201331/Henry%20Inquiry%20email.pdf

    What was requested was for information on calls by Ministers and their staff TO Ms Vance’s landline, extension and cellphone. There was no request for information on calls FROM those numbers.

    Don’t overdo the popcorn; it might be premature.

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  95. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Although Vance made a reasonable point:

    He might not have asked for details of all the phone calls I made – but he certainly asked what calls I placed to ministers and their staff. It amounts to the same thing.

    It’s an issue that the media will ensure gets plenty of scrutiny.

    The was some fairly sloppy practices, they should get tidied up by the Privileges Committee.

    But the popcorn could be handy for the Winston show. He said this morning Peters says PM not to be trusted

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  96. Nostalgia-NZ (5,283 comments) says:

    Pete, you may know about this – what is the situation in Parliament re the interception or distribution of phone calls? A few people, myself included, are surprised that phone tapping seems to be the norm for all calls, Ministers to reporters – in most jurisdictions that would be illegal without a warrant. I know about the ‘self serving’ control Parliament takes over its self, but privacy BORA etc?

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  97. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Flipper, Baylis preceded Richard Long. His attitude in this case was inexplicable, I can only assume that he was impressed that the lawyer was Des Dalgety.

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  98. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ – it’s not phone tapping, it’s data logging. Parliamentary Services logs all phone calls – who they are from, to, duration. This is common to pretty much any company or organisation.

    The issue is what is done with that information once it’s been gathered and stored. And the dangers of using metadata.

    In this case David Henry saw that Peter Dunne had emailed Andrea Vance 40 odd times in two weeks and had a similar number of emails from her. He then checked to see if they had talked by phone. And he checked to see if they had met on Parliamentary premises.

    He guessed from this that it must be more than just MP-journalist contact and implied that as a motive for leaking the report.

    Thus he caused the resignation of a Minister – and some were presuring for the resignation of an MP as well.

    All based on metadata, assumptions and trying to prove a theory that he didn’t come close to proving (and has been strongly denied by both parties).

    And further to this – there are obvious dangers if communications metadata is available to be used by a Government so they can play dirty with their opponents.

    And there are dangers when one maverick MP has an inside source and he uses information to attempt a hit job on a rival MP.

    Plus, journalists are concerned that if it’s known their communications with MPs can be used to guess involvement of MPs in leaks then they won’t have anywhere near as much access to openness from MPs.

    The problem is not that the data is generated in the first place, it is the potential misuse of that data in a democracy that’s at stake. And we have already seen how it can be misused.

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  99. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    David Henry did not cause the resignation of Peter Dunne. Peter Dunne caused the resignation of Peter Dunne.

    I know you have previously claimed that the Henry inquiry placed too much of a burden on Dunne for him to continue, but I simply don’t buy that. If a politician with 30 years of experience as an MP cannot cope with some pressure, then what has he been doing for those 30 years to have not experienced any pressure until now?

    Dunne has had a fair amount of involvement in inquiries in the past, heading them and (in the case of The Trusts Charitable Foundation (TTCF) and the DIA inquiry) getting involved in some – interesting – ways. It seems a bit rich for him to now start crying about being on the receiving end of one.

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