A bit of rewriting history

August 1st, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

The Prime Minister sounds genuinely surprised that somebody in a company operating Parliament’s telephone system would give the records of a journalist’s calls to an inquiry the Prime Minister had commissioned. must not know his own power. …

The Prime Minister ought to have been alert to the risk that something like this would happen when he started a witch-hunt over the early release of the Kitteridge report into the GCSB. When he reflects on the continuing saga of embarrassments he might come to the conclusion that the root of it all is his own impulse to launch inquiries into things that do not warrant them.

This is a significant rewriting of history. In fact the Greens, and other opposition parties, were demanding there be an inquiry into the leak of the Kitteridge Report. This is Russel Norman on 9 April 2013:

Dr Russel Norman: In light of the fact that the cover note on the report says that the appendices are legally privileged and highly classified, does he believe that the leaking of the full Kitteridge report is a serious offence?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: That may be possible, but we have yet to see what aspects of the report have been leaked.

Dr Russel Norman: If it does turn out that the full report has been leaked by someone in his Government, what consequences should face the person who leaked this information, which the Government Communications Security Bureau describes as legally privileged and highly classified? What consequences should that person face?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: If appendices that have been given a security classification have been leaked, then there would be significant consequences for the person who leaked them.

Dr Russel Norman: Why does the Prime Minister seem confident that the appendices have not been leaked?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: It is a matter of whether they appear in the public arena. The Prime Minister does not have the capacity to guess whether someone has them sitting in a shoebox under their bed, but I assume that if they think there is some political effect from leaking those appendices that is worth the risk, then we will eventually see them. They are not in the newspaper today.

Dr Russel Norman: Given that so far the only member of his Government who, he has told us, has had access to this report is the office of the Prime Minister, did he or a member of his staff leak the report?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: That is not what I said, actually. What I said to the member was that the report has been circulated fairly broadly across Government agencies in the last couple of weeks.

Dr Russel Norman: If he does not know who leaked the report, will he launch an inquiry to get to the bottom of it, given his previous support for an inquiry into a leak at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade over documents that were probably quite considerably less sensitive?

The opposition were demanding an inquiry into the leak. They thought (wrongly) that the PMs Office had leaked it as a distraction (a moronic thing to think, but they thought it). If the Government had not held an inquiry into the leak, it would have been pilloried by the opposition with accusations of a cover up.

For the Herald to suggest that there was no need for an inquiry, and it was some impulse from the PM, is simply wrong. This is an inquiry that the opposition demanded.

Here’s Russel again suggesting the PM or his office leaked it:

Dr Russel Norman: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Was the timing of the leak part of a communication strategy to divert attention from his inappropriate involvement in the appointment of Ian Fletcher, and to have other Ministers front questions in Parliament?

So the Herald editorial is rather silly. I think they are still sulking over the teapot saga.

writes of her anger on having her phone records released:

 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.

My visit to Speaker David Carter’s office on Tuesday left me reeling. My jaw gaped open when he sheepishly confessed that a log of all calls I placed to people around Parliament over three months was released to an inquiry focused on the leak of the Kitteridge report on the GCSB.

On Tuesday, an IT staffer showed me pages of “metadata” – a record of hundreds of calls I made between February and May.

The conversations, of course, aren’t disclosed. But you can glean a lot from matching numbers, time and the dates of published stories.

After the news broke, I fully expected my line to fall silent as sources shied away from being burned. Thankfully, it hasn’t.

That is the very chilling impact from having those records released. If those phone records showed (for example) which Labour MPs had been called the day before a story regarding rumblings about Shearer – then those MPs would effectively be outed.  Journalists work very hard to protect their sources, and they don’t expect their phone records to be handed over to anyone – unless there is a court order or a warrant for them.

 

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123 Responses to “A bit of rewriting history”

  1. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    This is a significant rewriting of history. In fact the Greens, and other opposition parties, were demanding there be an inquiry into the leak of the Kitteridge Report.

    This is a major U-turn by you, David.

    In the past you’ve criticised the Greens for demanding inquiries into just about everything. Now you agree with them…at least until their next request for an inquiry. :)

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  2. burt (8,238 comments) says:

    Socialists always re-write history – they do it every single time they tell their supporters that their policies will have good outcomes.

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  3. RightNow (6,986 comments) says:

    The main issue here DPF is that you read the Herald.

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  4. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Spin, handwave, distract and divert all you like DPF but the thing is, Key needs to be made solely accountable for this debacle.

    He authorised Eagleson to seek Vance phone records for Henry and no amount of mealy mouthing, word twisting, semantic quibbling can disguise that fact !!!

    Key should grow a pair and own this shit.

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  5. flipper (3,985 comments) says:

    Agree DPF.
    The Herald editorial is crap. Moreover, the issue does nothing to improve labour/red melon electoral fortunes. As I said earlier this morning on the Morgan poll :

    *** “The only other issue that gets significant media time is the GCSB game and associated matters. But that is really a game played only by political activists, cracademics, bloggers, and the media.

    For the great unwashed the whole thing is simply burble that has not/will not affect them. ” ***

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  6. Ed Snack (1,849 comments) says:

    Vance, methinks she doth protest too much. But once a drama queen, always etc…

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  7. flipper (3,985 comments) says:

    ross69 (2,684) Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 10:03 am

    This is a significant rewriting of history. In fact the Greens, and other opposition parties, were demanding there be an inquiry into the leak of the Kitteridge Report.

    This is a major U-turn by you, David.

    In the past you’ve criticised the Greens for demanding inquiries into just about everything. Now you agree with them…at least until their next request for an inquiry
    <>>
    Everyone (well, almost) knows that Ross69 is silly. I wish he would not inflict his stupidity on others at KB.

    Go back and read what DPF said. Dipshit.

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  8. dubya (229 comments) says:

    Can we just deport Andrea Vance? She just seems to cause trouble, and isn’t even pretty to make up for being such a pain in the ass.

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  9. PaulL (5,971 comments) says:

    Two things that are amusing here:
    1. Does Vance know what hacking means? I’m pretty sure nobody hacked the records. But then again, apparantly the phone hacking at News of the World involved the fact that all the voicemail passwords were by default set to 1234 or something like that – so hacking involved calling voicemail and trying the default password. So perhaps her definition of hacking has been warped a bit by that experience.

    2. So Vance, whose stock in trade is writing stories using people or organisation’s private information that has been leaked to her, is up in arms because her “private” information was provided to someone. Even though that information was actually owned by the entity that provided it, and not by her. Double standard anyone?

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  10. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    He authorised Eagleson to seek Vance phone records for Henry and no amount of mealy mouthing, word twisting, semantic quibbling can disguise that fact !!!

    While the whole affair is bizarre and sort of amusing to watch – I think the PM’s tabled email actually provides a very credible explanation for the event. Eagleson requested (possibly a little ambiguously) data about Ministers’ calls to or from any of three of Vance’s phone lines. None were found.

    An eager-to-please contractor noticing that one of the numbers was a Parliamentary line provided all the details on that line as well.

    There’s no request for that data in the emails released and no suggestion that other requests were made parallel to it.

    I believe it was a genuine (and highly unfortunate, politically) error. I think it also highlights the dangers in the casual way we seem to view “metadata” and if nothing else at least it will hopefully wake the media up to that.

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  11. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    Something else amusing, from Claire Trevett:

    Once upon a time there was an inquiry into the spy agency the Government Communications Security Bureau. Then there was an inquiry into the inquiry after the first inquiry was leaked to Vance in advance. Now there is yet another inquiry, by Parliament’s privileges committee, into the issues thrown up by the second inquiry, which was the inquiry into the inquiry.

    It is the Green Party’s version of utopia. But it is rapidly becoming the Government’s version of hell.

    With a warning twist at the end of the tale.

    That bill is completely unrelated to the issue of Vance’s phone records. In fact, even under its new, extended mandate, the GCSB itself could not have obtained the information the Parliamentary Service released so blithely on Vance.

    Nonetheless, the GCSB bill’s critics have used the Vance case to highlight their claims that the Government cannot be trusted with the personal details of New Zealanders. It couldn’t have been worse timing for the Government, which has been on the charm offensive trying to persuade voters that it could indeed be trusted.

    And a lot more explaining about what’s been happening on this, Claire has written some good coverage.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10906252

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  12. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    I believe it was a genuine (and highly unfortunate, politically) error. I think it also highlights the dangers in the casual way we seem to view “metadata” and if nothing else at least it will hopefully wake the media up to that.

    I agree that it seems to be far more cockup than conspiracy, but it’s been allowed to happen by ill defined and sloppy practices.

    The media certainly seem to be wide awake now. It needs to be made clear that in Parliamentary Services a key word is “services” and is not prefixed by “spy”.

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  13. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    Most of this mornings DomPost seems to be about this nonsense. On the Opinion page we have Vance, MacLeod and Small all ‘opining’ on this matter of grave import. The front page as well.

    I really must decide if it is time to stop reading this rag.

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  14. Paulus (2,607 comments) says:

    The media are still obsessed by the “Ambrose UTU” effect by the so called media.
    How dare Key take legal action against a wonderful member of the media when Ambrose “accidentally” taped Key and Banks, and sold the recording and hard copy to the other media, and a freebee copy to Winston Peters.
    Ambrose apologised in the end in writing to Key and this was accepted.
    BUT the media will not forget that a precious one was subject to legal intervention by Key.

    I see that Winston Peters says has a copy of the phone records of Dunne and Vance – how ?
    Should he be asked at the Privileges’ Committee, on which he sits, to say where he got this from ?

    Like wise it is reported that Vance will not appear.
    She is sounding off in the Dom, like the corrupt NOW that she worked for in UK, having a grand bitch against Key, along side Fatcom recently.
    When the media get a Green/Labour/Winston/Mana Government next year what will they do, having achieved their aim.

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  15. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    it’s been allowed to happen by ill defined and sloppy practices.

    Well yes and no… I think Ben Gracewood’s post on the issue is pretty useful on this. Basically people who work with that data a lot stop seeing it as private or personal data. It’s just numbers. Metadata is treated casually. This is wrong. And it needs to be changed. But not just for Parliamentary Services – for everyone.

    Above all else this works to shoot down claims by the PM and others that “it’s just metadata” when it comes to privacy of that data and whether it should be subject to the same protections as definitively personal data like email contents etc… It absolutely should. The Police and others should unequivocally be required to seek a warrant for any metadata they wish to gather.

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  16. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,888 comments) says:

    Roy Morgan shows you all how terribly upset the electorate is over this issue.

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  17. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Eagleson requested (possibly a little ambiguously)…

    Possibly???

    Dont you mean…(in no uncertain terms but worded to cover his, and his Master’s, arse should their communiques see the public light of day.)

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  18. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    “…and they don’t expect their phone records to be handed over to anyone – unless there is a court order or a warrant for them.”

    Which would completely negate the ability of anyone to conduct any sort of enquiry. The leak was, supposedly, from a minister to Vance. Of course her calls were relevant. If they are untouchable then flag the inquiry. It is a waste of time.

    There was not, as I understand it, a request for disclosure of all Vance calls. There was a request for disclosure of any ministerial calls involving Vance during the period when the leak took place. If the leak had been to a person in any other occupation this would have been a non-issue. It is only an issue because Vance is a journalist.

    As Whale highlights (See his Janus depiction of Hager), there is a very arrogant belief by journalists that they are entitled to receive all manner of information, stolen or otherwise, with complete impunity. Some people may subscribe to that view. My problem with it is that there is an element of dishonesty about receiving leaked material and no law, no matter how well-intentioned, should protect dishonesty.

    How can someone who encourages breaches of confidence, receives illicit information (most favourable view) or knowingly receives stolen information be said to be upholding the standards of a free and democratic society?

    There are too many journalists with agendas for such a proposition to have such validity nowadays. I have no sympathy for her or her squeals of outrage.

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  19. cubit (356 comments) says:

    Didn’t all of this have its origins in the unauthorised leaking of a report that was not intended at the time of the leak to be public. It is a moot point if it ever would have been public, however the issue is who was the person who leaked it?

    Whale is right, the impunity to be able to do anything is a fanciful expectation by the media

    Now Vance is concerned that the Mediaisbeing treated with contempt. Like respect, contempt is earned not automatically expected. You just can’t have it both ways. By the way is there any real respect for the media?

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  20. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Eagleson requested (possibly a little ambiguously)…

    Possibly???

    Dont you mean…(in no uncertain terms but worded to cover his, and his Master’s, arse should their communiques see the public light of day.)

    Nope I definitely do no. If I received that email I would completely understand the request and certainly don’t see anything close to “no uncertain terms” that suggests Vance’s records ought to be returned.

    I’m no fan of the PM or the government, but I try to look at things as objectively as I can – and this specific issue seems like a genuine screw up to me. Although I like the discussion it’s managed to create.

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  21. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    There was a request for disclosure of any ministerial calls involving Vance during the period when the leak took place.

    So some hump data jockey has to sort through Vance shit, cross referencing numbers with MP’s phone numbers for Henry and Eagleson/Key…Bit beyond their pay grade don’t ya think ?

    Key knew exactly what he was “inadvertantly” requesting…Vance phone records.

    End of story. Own that shit Key!!!

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  22. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    Key on More FM this morning – PM justifies spy bill: Kiwis trained by al-Qaeda

    Prime Minister John Key has justified the changes to the country's spying laws by saying some people in New Zealand have been trained by al-Qaeda in places such as Yemen.

    Mr Key said in "the real world" powers to spy on civilians was necessary.

    "In New Zealand there are people who've been trained for al-Qaeda camps who operate out of New Zealand, who are in contact with people overseas, who have gone off to Yemen and other countries to train.

    "I'm sorry, but that's the real world."

    He said it was a "robust regime" before a signature was placed on a warrant to spy on someone.

    "I wish those things didn't happen in New Zealand," Mr Key said.

    "But if people don't believe there's the odd person in New Zealand who presents a potential threat, either on the international stage or in New Zealand, unfortunately they're wrong."

    I think most people recognise the need for some level of security. The key is having robust procedures and sufficient oversight – for the current and any future governments.

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  23. Ryan Sproull (7,101 comments) says:

    Oh, fuck off, Key.

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  24. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    BWAV

    Was that the request or was the request for all ministerial calls to Vance’s number?

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  25. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Whale is right, the impunity to be able to do anything is a fanciful expectation by the media

    The media should be able to do anything that any individual would be allowed to. Freedom of expression and all that.

    However government Ministers on the other hand have the own rules to abide. The inquiry was focussed on them. That Vance received the report and published information from it wasn’t in question, nor was she on trial. She should have had no expectation that her privacy would be invaded. The inquiry was investigating Ministers, so details of their activities or whatever else should have been all the information they needed.

    I believe the release of her phone records were a mistake. Clearly the release of her access card details were not and I think that was wrong. Unless she’d be informed that her use of the card could be reviewed in this way it was an invasion of her reasonable expectation to be able to do her job without political interference.

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  26. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    “But if people don’t believe there’s the odd person in New Zealand who presents a potential threat, either on the international stage or in New Zealand, unfortunately they’re wrong.”

    Great. And in the case he is mentioning they clearly have specific intelligence on those individuals so they can seek proper warrants and they can be monitored by the proper agency (SIS or GCSB). Brilliant.

    None of this justifies the wholesale collection of data (or metadata) with the intention of fishing. In exactly the same way as the Police shouldn’t just be allowed to enter any home they want to see if there just might happen to be evidence of some crime there.

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  27. Alan Wilkinson (1,871 comments) says:

    An ex-head of IRD is accustomed to being empowered to demand everything from everyone in pursuit of loot for the State.

    No surprise that journalistic privilege got stomped on here. Freedom of the press is essential for the restraint of Government power and corruption.

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  28. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Was that the request or was the request for all ministerial calls to Vance’s number?

    Exactly…let’s leave it for some low level staffer to conveniently misinterpret. Who then gives over all the records, of which Henry then cross references them himself.

    I believe the release of her phone records were a mistake.

    A deliberate mistake!…and the “ambiguous” request for them was wholly intentional.

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  29. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    So some hump data jockey has to sort through Vance shit, cross referencing numbers with MP’s phone numbers for Henry and Eagleson/Key…Bit beyond their pay grade don’t ya think ?

    You’ve used a search engine right? Or searched your emails, right?

    The hump data jockey simply copy-pastes the phone numbers in the email, put’s them in the “search” field, selects “source number” and “destination number” as the data to search and selects the relevant extensions to search (namely those of the listed Ministers). It’s a one minute job. In fact the most difficult part is probably opening up the remote access window to the phone system.

    Same helpful hump data jockey notices one of the numbers is a Parliamentary line and replies back – “I didn’t find any hits for those numbers of the lines you mentioned, but here’s the whole log for that other number you mentioned”

    The hump data jockey here was being too helpful and had too little respect for the privacy of that data. As does the government and Prime Minister for our metadata with respect to Police/SIS/GCSB access to it. It’s that respect for the privacy of the data that needs to change.

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  30. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    I think most people recognise the need for some level of security. The key is having robust procedures and sufficient oversight – for the current and any future governments.

    They key is most people recognizing the robust procedures and others having sufficient oversight to see the spying is warranted and not left at the discretion of Key himself to determine.

    Dude thinks he’s the lone ranger or some shit!

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  31. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Prime Minister John Key has justified the changes to the country’s spying laws by saying some people in New Zealand have been trained by al-Qaeda in places such as Yemen.

    Horseshit. The superficial utterance of a interested party justifies nothing.

    Al-Qaeda grew out of a US operation which began even before the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. Key is peddling the same old protection propaganda of the evil empire, and anyone who thinks that he is more than a political puppet of the US in this is living in fantasyland.

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  32. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Same helpful hump data jockey notices one of the numbers is a Parliamentary line and replies back – “I didn’t find any hits for those numbers of the lines you mentioned, but here’s the whole log for that other number you mentioned”

    Link or it didn’t happen!

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  33. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    I love the reference to the witch hunt. What else have the MSM been doing on this and other issues over the last few weeks.

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  34. flipper (3,985 comments) says:

    ****”Al-Qaeda grew out of a US operation which began even before the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. Key is peddling the same old protection propaganda of the evil empire, and anyone who thinks that he is more than a political puppet of the US in this is living in fantasyland. ….. ” ****

    That, ugly one, is irrelevant to what J Key is reported as saying. Moreover, it does not in anyway diminish his assertion.

    If you really want the “truth ugly one”, seek it with an open mind. Then have some actual experie4nce in the matters on which you opine.

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  35. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    A deliberate mistake!…and the “ambiguous” request for them was wholly intentional.

    If they were relying on the ambiguity of that request to get them the data they actually secretly wanted but couldn’t say they wanted then they were really lucky they got it. Because it’s really not very ambiguous.

    And if that was their plan all along and they had this convenient email chain for all that time then why let it come out they way it did? They had the evidence to support their mistake claim from day 0. Why let the first “requested but denied” claim be made? Why let Peters’ accusations stand unanswered? Why not just dump this email straight away seeing as it was apparently all an elaborate set up to cover up their real intentions anyway?

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  36. thedavincimode (6,710 comments) says:

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………..urhh urhh …zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  37. lastmanstanding (1,281 comments) says:

    Some random observations

    1. Since 9/11 most Western governments including ours have used that as an excuse to expand their spying activities on the basis of ‘Nothing to hide nothing to fear’

    2. Spooks IMHO fall into 2 categories. The incompetents like the guy with the briefcase Penthouse pie and papers and the nasty bastards who will do anything anywhere anytime.

    3. I want the Government to deliver the mail defend the shores and get the F…. out of my life. I want minimalist government.

    4. Governments are moving towards more spying on more citizens for no real or proper reason except they can.

    5. The internet mobile phones etc has made it so much easier for the spooks.

    6. I don’t trust politicans or civil servants as far as I can kick their sorry arses to kingdom come.

    7. They are all self serving egotisical arseholes of the first order.

    8. Time the good citizens pushed back on these cretins and if necessary fought back and I do mean fought back as in taking direct action against them if they don’t start pulling their heads in and start to get the message that they serve us NOT the other way round.

    9. As a long time Key and Nat supporter they are starting to lose my support.

    10. At the risk of the Godwins Law usual bullshit that’s pulled out I would remind readers that in the past good citizens trusted their politicans and civil servants and realized when it was too late that the trust was misplaced.

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  38. rouppe (967 comments) says:

    If those phone records showed (for example) which Labour MPs had been called the day before a story regarding rumblings about Shearer – then those MPs would effectively be outed. Journalists work very hard to protect their sources, and they don’t expect their phone records to be handed over to anyone – unless there is a court order or a warrant for them.

    I seem to remember that releasing of Ministers phone records was deemed OK. What’s the difference between releasing that Andrea Vance called Peter Dunne, and Peter Dunne receiving a call from Andrea Vance?

    All her huffing and puffing is misplaced. Parliament is not her place of work. She has been granted privileged access to a secure workplace. Her movements within that building should – in my opinion – be wide open to scrutiny by Parliamentary Services.

    There is a very thin line between protecting sources and protecting corruption. If she has a source inside Parliament then that source ought to be using untraceable communication methods. Her own phone – presumably personally owned or provided by Fairfax – should not be tracked but any call she makes to a Parliamentary phone should be open to scrutiny by virtue of the fact that calls made from a Parliamentary phone are open to scrutiny

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  39. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    It’s worth remembering that all this metadata gathering was futile – it didn’t prove a thing.

    And worse than that, it assisated an inquiry to significantly affect a democratically elected MP based on a false premise that led to a false accusation.

    Metada was just about the only thing that was used to investigate when usually (at best) only support solid evidence, of which there was none.

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  40. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    This is the future

    THE GOVERNMENT WILL CONTROL WHAT YOU EAT
    September 7, 2011 at 7:47pm

    WAKE UP CALL FOR ALL MY FRIENDS…THIS IS A MUST READ

    In regards to where Food Bill 160-2 is right now:

    ‘It has finished its select committee hearings and waiting for its second reading. No sign of it on order paper so hopefully won’t get its second reading before elexction’

    (source: Sue Kedgley, Green Party)

    Main problems with the Food Bill

    – It turns a human right (to grow food and share it) into a government-authorised privilege that can be revoked by the Governor-General.

    – It makes it illegal to distribute “food” without authorisation, and it defines “food” in such a way that it includes nutrients, seeds, natural medicines, essential minerals and drinks (including water).

    – It will push up mainstream food prices by subjecting producers to red tape and registration costs. Food prices are already rising due to increased energy costs and commodity speculation, while effective disposable incomes are falling.

    – Growing food for distribution must be authorised, even for “cottage industries”, and such authorisation can be denied.

    – Under the Food Bill, Food Safety Officers can enter premises without a warrant using all equipment they deem necessary, including guns (Clause 265 – 1). Police can be Food Safety Officers, and so can members of the private sector, as at Clause 243. So Monsanto employees can raid premises like houses or marae without a warrant, backed up by armed police.

    – The Government has created this bill to keep in line with its World Trade Organisation obligations under an international scheme called Codex Alimentarius (“Food Book”). So it has to pass this bill in one form or another.

    – There are problems with Codex also. Codex will place severe restrictions on the content of vitamins, minerals and therapeutic compounds in food, drinks and supplements etc. The Food Bill means that non-complying producers can be shut down easily – thus it paves the way for the legal enforcement of Codex food regulations.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/frankie-lingham/the-government-will-control-what-you-eat/10150789831735254

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  41. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    If they were relying on the ambiguity of that request to get them the data they actually secretly wanted but couldn’t say they wanted then they were really lucky they got it. Because it’s really not very ambiguous.

    I think they were relying on the fearfulness of the data jockey to not hand the data over on a request from essentially Key himself.

    The rest is Key not being absolutely sure his arse was covered so playing the ‘need to know’ card and keeping it tight in his immediate circle.

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  42. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    And worse than that, it assisated an inquiry to significantly affect a democratically elected MP based on a false premise that led to a false accusation.

    Is that a fair assumption? Let’s see:

    – Peter Dunne had sent 80+ emails to Andrea Vance over a very short period;
    – Peter Dunne admitted canvassing the possibility of leaking the report to Andrea Vance;
    – Peter Dunne admitted he was meeting with Andrea Vance at a cafe on the day of the leak, but got sidetracked;
    – Peter Dunne would only provide 40 redacted emails out of the 80 emails in total to David Henry, despite the fact they would not be made public;
    – Peter Dunne took the above actions, knowing full well it would end his political career, and offered no credible reason for doing so (in fact no reason).

    Hi, no, nothing to see here, please carry on. Conspiracy!! Government corruption! Character assassination! Underhand dealings! Cynical and secret motives!

    So Pete I think you should aim your fire more at the Great Centrist Messiah rather than innocent public servants.

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  43. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    You’re wrong Nick. I won’t go through all your bull, but on your first claim, Dunne had only sent 44 emails to Vance, over two weeks – that’s an average of about three a day.

    This is what Dunne thinks:

    For what it is worth, here is what I think. Members of Parliament and journalists should not be tracked around the Parliamentary complex, nor should their metadata, phone or photocopying logs be accessed without their prior approval.

    Even then, it should be for only the most specific of purposes and periods of time, relating to physical security or criminal investigations.

    And any such authority should approved by the Speaker before any data is released. Using such data for joining the dots inquiries that may or may not lead anywhere should not be permitted.

    While all this has nothing to do with the GCSB Bill, the attention it is attracting might just be the thing to jolt the Parliament into becoming far more circumspect about the need to protecting the legitimate privacy of MPs and journalists.

    http://honpfd.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/1-august-2013.html

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  44. Prince (105 comments) says:

    How did Parliamentary Services have a record of Vance’s cellphone calls ? Surely her phone is paid for by her employer.

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  45. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Her movements within that building should – in my opinion – be wide open to scrutiny by Parliamentary Services.

    And they are. Similarly her use of the phone provided by Parliamentary Services.

    But, and this is the important part, Parliamentary Service is NOT the Government.

    They are not answerable to the Government and neither is Vance. He use of the services they provide her is between her an Parliamentary service. Just as her user of her mobile is between her and (possibly) Vodafone. Just as the Henry had no authority to request her records from Vodafone, they similarly have no authority over her records with Parliamentary Services.

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  46. lastmanstanding (1,281 comments) says:

    Prince. I think you will find PS asked Vances employers Telco for the data and they very kindly provided it just like they and all the other telcos have been doing for god knows how long. Conspriacy theory. NO. More like the telcos know which side their bread is buttered on and better to hand over the data than piss off the government of the day and have stifling regulation visited upon them.

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  47. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    Prince – it may have been the same as with the landline records. Henry didn’t need Vance’s whole records, he already effectively had all her records in relation to all those ministers and staff who had a copy of the Kitteridge report because he had a copy of their phone records.

    If Henry had obtained and used Vance’s records he would have filtered out all those not relating to the inquiry and effectively ended up with much the same thing. But he already had what he wanted so didn’t need her’s separately, it would just have duplicated what he had.

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  48. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    I think they were relying on the fearfulness of the data jockey to not hand the data over on a request from essentially Key himself.

    Fine maybe – but that request isn’t in the email. If you can show me the part that says “oh, and give us all the records from Vance’s phone” then go ahead.

    The ambiguity – and I was being charitable in calling it that – is minimal. It is only in the fact they didn’t explicitly say “we only want data specifically from the Ministers’ lines. Nothing else” but they didn’t really need to, the request was clear enough and no one would have thought to make that clarification.

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  49. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Prince. I think you will find PS asked Vances employers Telco for the data and they very kindly provided it just like they and all the other telcos have been doing for god knows how long. Conspriacy theory. NO. More like the telcos know which side their bread is buttered on and better to hand over the data than piss off the government of the day and have stifling regulation visited upon them.

    The only data provided was from the Vance’s phone in the Parliamentary press gallery. It is a phone line installed and managed by Parliamentary Services and effectively subleased to Fairfax for her use. PS had the data because they manage that phone.

    There is absolutely no suggestion that they ever had any access to any records from her mobile or home phones. Nor would any NZ telco provide that to Parliamentary Services or any other agency without appropriate legal orders.

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  50. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    The Datacom employee may have been doing a wee extraction job for Winston Peters and sent it to David Henry by mistake, easy to confuse people with first names as last names.

    Then when he realised his mistake he thought it would be too risky to send to Peters. So after promising Parliament all the evidence was in the phone records Peters get left with egg on his face and no evidence.

    I’m only half joking. Someone fed Peters enough information for him to attack and smear.

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  51. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    I find it strange that a reporter would rely on using phones and email in the Parliamentary complex rather than very discreet meetings outside the precinct and immediate vicinity. I would not wish to be a source given the degree of naivety which appears to be present in this instance.

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  52. Prince (105 comments) says:

    Thanks DylanReeve, that makes sense. I’m not sure I’m that concerned then that the phone records were surrendered.

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  53. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    I don’t see the issue. If someone leaked Vance’s (and Dunne’s) e-mail contents, e-mail logs, and card access logs to (say) Whaleoil then I’d presume that Vance would support this as essential democratic oversight of the media and government. She would presumably also argue in favour of secrecy for the leak source. So why is there an issue if the same information is released via another method?

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  54. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Al-Qaeda grew out of a US operation which began even before the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. Key is peddling the same old protection propaganda of the evil empire, and anyone who thinks that he is more than a political puppet of the US in this is living in fantasyland.

    That, ugly one, is irrelevant to what J Key is reported as saying.

    Seriously flipper, that is a great example of faith-based argument.

    What Key reportedly said was “some people in New Zealand have been trained by al-Qaeda in places such as Yemen.”

    The relevance is a) al-Qaeda and b) training (i.e the US helped to create the problem and Key is simply peddling their politics).

    “Because plainly, the current political masters of the security services cannot be trusted not to use private information for their own political ends” ~ Gordon Campbell on the Vance phone scandal

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  55. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    adamsmith1922 – it is most likely that the person who did leak the Kitteridge report to Vance did so with very discreet meetings outside the precinct. That’s why they haven’t been caught.

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  56. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Thanks DylanReeve, that makes sense. I’m not sure I’m that concerned then that the phone records were surrendered.

    The concern is that Parliamentary Services don’t work for Government. And neither does Vance.

    Government had no authority to access her data. Just as they have no authority to access the security card records and phone logs of a member of the opposition, for example, whose phone and email services are also managed by Parliamentary Services

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  57. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    DavidP
    “I don’t see the issue. If someone leaked Vance’s (and Dunne’s) e-mail contents, e-mail logs, and card access logs to (say) Whaleoil then I’d presume that Vance would support this as essential democratic oversight of the media and government. She would presumably also argue in favour of secrecy for the leak source. So why is there an issue if the same information is released via another method?”

    There is the answer then. From now on every time Norman wants an inquiry, Key appoints a journalist to undertake it. Obviously the journalist cannot hack records. That’s naughty. The journalist can, however, solicit all manner of information however extracted and regardless of niceties such as ethics, honesty and privacy. After all, the journalist is the saviour of the free world!

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  58. thedavincimode (6,710 comments) says:

    The good news for those of you who can’t wait for the PC inquiry is that Pete will very generously continue to conduct his own inquiry on these pages as he has done from the outset and throughout the course of the Henry inquiry, right up to and during the course of the PC inquiry and the release of the findings of that inquiry and for several decades after that. Pete’s inquiry will only be briefly interrupted when the men in white coats take him away in the padded wagon, but only until such time as his adopted father and mentor is able to smuggle a computer and wireless broadband into the nuthouse, thereby enabling Pete to continue his inquiry.

    Pete’s only witness, his adopted father, will continue to give evidence throughout Pete’s inquiry and it is anticipated that his adopted father will be completely exonerated from any accusations of naughtiness and it will all be somebody else’s fault.

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

    Can we just deport Andrea Vance? She just seems to cause trouble, and isn’t even pretty to make up for being such a pain in the ass.

    So you think that journalists who annoy the government should be deported?

    Key may lose the press over this. They like their jobs and the rights that come with them. Good luck running an election campaign when NZ’s journalists and major media institutions see you as a direct threat to their work.

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  60. RichardX (325 comments) says:

    BAV states his opinion on what has transpired as fact but if someone offers an alternative possible scenario comes back with;

    Link or it didn’t happen!

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  61. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “Key may lose the press over this. They like their jobs and the rights that come with them. Good luck running an election campaign when NZ’s journalists and major media institutions see you as a direct threat to their work.”

    That’s my quote for the week

    brill;iant

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  62. thedavincimode (6,710 comments) says:

    So you think that journalists who annoy the government should be deported?

    I don’t. I think that any journalists who annoy me should be deported. Along with the crooked fat kraut.

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  63. Prince (105 comments) says:

    DylanReeve:The concern is that Parliamentary Services don’t work for Government. And neither does Vance.
    Government had no authority to access her data.

    But the records were not given to the Government were they ? I understood they were given to the independent inquiry.
    Or are you saying that was akin to giving them to the Government ?
    Given that the Opposition parties were screaming for an inquiry in the first place to identify the leak, why should we be concerned about material being supplied to the inquiry ?

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  64. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    But the records were not given to the Government were they ? I understood they were given to the independent inquiry.

    It was an inquiry ordered by the Prime Minister, acting on instructions from the Prime Minister, into the possible leaking of documents by Government Ministers. It was an investigation of Government for Government.

    It may have been run independently but it’s scope and authority was only Government.

    They had no legal grounds to receive that information.

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  65. Nostalgia-NZ (5,119 comments) says:

    Who Vance use to work for is highly ‘relevant.’ Surely she could be charged with something, maybe if not directly do with misgivings about Fairfax -then just being a reporter. Come to think of it I don’t know why reporters are even allowed in Parliament because this is a prime example of what can happen – their meta data can get leaked, it’s really their own fault and the public don’t really need to be informed about the political situation because we are all safe except for a few al-Quada operatives under a bed some where – but laws are being changed to fix that right now. I hope there is no general concern that the media are finally getting what they deserve, Robert Mugabe certainly approves. Folks don’t need privacy only politicians need privacy – about what they’re leaking.

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  66. Prince (105 comments) says:

    It may have been run independently but it’s scope and authority was only Government.

    Hm. I guess that’s what they mean by a ‘Beltway’ issue. Have to say I don’t really appreciate the distinctions.

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  67. Alan Wilkinson (1,871 comments) says:

    @davidp, oversight of the media is not essential. Oversight and constraint of Government power is.

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  68. graham (2,333 comments) says:

    Pete George (18,636) Says:
    August 1st, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    adamsmith1922 – it is most likely that the person who did leak the Kitteridge report to Vance did so with very discreet meetings outside the precinct. That’s why they haven’t been caught.

    Well I would hope so. It would be a bit disappointing if, after 30 years as an MP, Peter Dunne hadn’t learnt something about not getting caught.

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  69. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Alan, constraint of government power is achieved through the application of the rule of law. The problem is that the state misrepresents the nature of the rule of law at a fundamental level, most visibly through the idea that statute law overrides common law, which is true only in a limited context.

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  70. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Hm. I guess that’s what they mean by a ‘Beltway’ issue. Have to say I don’t really appreciate the distinctions.

    Think of Government as a business. The Prime Minister is its CEO and Ministers are its employees.

    If this business, we’ll call it Government Limited, had confidential documents leaked and published they’d obviously want to find out how. They could hire in an outside consultant to run an inquiry or audit perhaps.

    That inquiry would obviously be operating with Government Limited’s authority. They could presumably request access to all the company’s records.

    Now imagine, awkwardly, that the company was based in a managed office complex and that the news organisation also had offices in that building. While the inquiry could request that the office complex administrators provide it with data relating to it’s employees (such as access card records, email and phone data) it would have no right to ask the same office complex administrators for access to data of other tenants.

    That’s all there is to this.

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  71. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    Dylan

    “It may have been run independently but it’s scope and authority was only Government.

    They had no legal grounds to receive that information.”

    Just in case I am swinging the wrong end of the stick, would you mind please clarifying something for me.

    Parliamentary services accessed telephone records of telephone calls to Andrea Vance. Those calls were made by people (in this case ministers) entitled to use telecommunication equipment at Parliament. Parliamentary Services were able to do so because calls were made to her telephone number on telecommunication equipment owned and operated by Parliamentary Services for use by ministers.

    Parliamentary services receives invoices for the calls made and also, presumably, receives a detailed reports of all calls made. As a result, it is able to trace calls to specific numbers between specific periods and is presumably able to trace calls all to a specifically identified telephone number.

    If government (Parliamentary services) owns the telecommunication equipment, receives all of the invoices, pays all of the invoices how can you say that it was not entitled to access information sent to it by Telecom or whoever else may be the telecommunication provider?

    You have broken down the Chinese wall between Parliamentary services and the enquiry and treated all components of government as one. That being the case, is not your argument destroyed altogether? They are the government’s records. The government pays for them.

    I agree that if Parliamentary services knocked on Telecom’s door and asked for Andrea Vance’s telephone records, it would be going too far. That would definitely be illegal without warrant. However, as far as I am aware, that situation did not exist.

    Assume for a moment that you were in business and had a suspicion that your competitor (whose telephone number you knew) was beating you on every tender. You had suspicions of five staff members and so you decided to check all of the email and telephone records made from work in order to see whether there was any communication between any of those staff members and your competitor.

    Why is it improper for you to check all of your telephone records to find out if any staff member had been telephoning your competitor’s telephone number and giving a heads up on the tender details that you intended to submit?

    What is the difference between that situation and the one that we are dealing with in the case of Parliamentary services? The only difference between the two scenarios is that in the case of the current issue, the information was not being provided to a competitor (say Goff) but was being given to a journalist. All of a sudden, tracing the phone calls is unlawful? How do you justify that incongruity?

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  72. Alan Wilkinson (1,871 comments) says:

    @UglyTruth, you overlook the prerequisite necessity to uncover what the Government is doing in order to apply the rule of law.

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  73. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Just in case I am swinging the wrong end of the stick, would you mind please clarifying something for me.

    I’ve sort of been over this but…

    Parliamentary Services operates all the phones and IT infrastructure for all of Parliament. That is Government, opposition parties, their staff, journalists, support staff etc etc…

    Parliamentary Services are effectively the ISP and telco for Parliament. All of it.

    Government (that is the Prime Minister and his Ministers) are effectively a client of Parliamentary Services. It is independent of Government.

    It is absolutely within the Government’s right to review all the call records to and from the phones of its Ministers. It is not, however, acceptable for the Government to review the data help by PS about other parties such as journalists or members of the opposition.

    The issue here is not that Parliamentary Services searched Ministers’ phone records for calls to or from Vance’s numbers, that was okay and was the specific request that was made. The issue is that they went beyond that and returned data from Vance’s line in the Parliamentary press gallery. The Government has no legitimate ownership claim to that data.

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  74. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    What makes you think that I have overlooked something, Alan?

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  75. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    So you are saying that there was a line dedicated to A Vance, paid for by A Vance (or Fairfax), to which PS had no right of access but which it improperly accessed in much the same manner as if it had been her personal line?

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  76. Nostalgia-NZ (5,119 comments) says:

    You’re off the ball with that ‘competitor’ scenario I think Nookin. You seem to be making the same mistake that PS may have made, that there is no connection that can’t be followed when looking at what a ‘competitor’ might have done. Also the word ‘competitor’ suggests an ‘independent’ referee is entering the fray at the behest of a political party keen to be absolved of blame, rather than establishing a set of facts. The latter being the ‘stepping over the line’ into investigating beyond what ever the brief will finally be established to have been.

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  77. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    So you are saying that there was a line dedicated to A Vance, paid for by A Vance (or Fairfax), to which PS had no right of access but which it improperly accessed in much the same manner as if it had been her personal line?

    Sort of. Paid for by Fairfax. Operated by Parliamentary Services.

    PS had right of access in as much as they operate and maintain it. But Parliamentary Services is not Government. That is the distinction. They are effectively Telecom in this scenario. Imagine Government asked Telecom for details on it’s Ministers and they also provided info on another customer (Vance). That’s what’s at issue.

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  78. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    Thanks, Dylan. That clarifies a few things for me.

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  79. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    NNZ

    Not sure I am off the ball with the competitor bit although Dylan has given info that changes my position about the propriety of the release. If PS had checked Goff’s line there would be no issue whatsoever. The issue is that there is a journalist involved.

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  80. Nostalgia-NZ (5,119 comments) says:

    I agree Nookin.

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  81. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    It would be a bit disappointing if, after 30 years as an MP, Peter Dunne hadn’t learnt something about not getting caught.

    Why would he learn about something he didn’t get involved in?

    When the Henry report was releasd there was a noticeable from some journalists – they were shockd that Dunne would have been the leaker, because he had a nearly 30 year reputation for not leaking. More than one reaction was “not goody two shoes!”

    So either he hadn’t been a leaker or he was so good that he had always been undetected (except that journalists would know that).

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  82. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    If PS had checked Goff’s line there would be no issue whatsoever. The issue is that there is a journalist involved.

    Oh no no… If PS had check Goff’s line this would be even worse! The inquiry was instigated on behalf of the Government – if they just went and grabbed data from the phone line of an opposition member that would be even worse!

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  83. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    So either he hadn’t been a leaker or he was so good that he had always been undetected (except that journalists would know that).

    So if he’s never been a leaker, he could never be a leaker? Strange logic, Pete.

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

    There’s a horrible smell starting to emanate from this parliament. The dotcom thing has started to stink big time; the sacking of Dunne stinks; the GCSB bill stinks; the government hounding of journalists stinks.

    WTF is going on? How can all this just happen to be happening at the same time? I’m sure it will be clear in five years time, but I’d like to know now.

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  85. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Key insists that he “values the role of the fourth estate”.

    He might well cherish the opportunities it gives him to beam into our living rooms at teatime, but it has become rather obvious that this government has a casual disregard for media’s true role as an independent watchdog.

    Journalists were dismissed in a tantrum as “knuckleheads”.

    The teapot tapes fiasco – when Key laid a complaint about eavesdropping on a personal conversation – led to police raids on newsrooms.

    This week, the Defence Force stood accused of monitoring the phone calls of war correspondent Jon Stephenson, a man whose credibility Key has previously impugned.

    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.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8987970/Spy-scandal-journalist-speaks-out#Scene_1

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  86. graham (2,333 comments) says:

    Why would he learn about something he didn’t get involved in?

    Correction – something that there is no absolute proof he got involved in.

    Which, given the terrible short-comings of the Henry report (according to you), is hardly surprising that no absolute proof was discovered.

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  87. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    WTF is going on? How can all this just happen to be happening at the same time? I’m sure it will be clear in five years time, but I’d like to know now.

    It’s pretty straight-forward. We have a rogue government. If this government were a dog, it would have been shot by now.

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

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10906677

    Now hated by almost every NZ journo in the business. Good work, John.

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  89. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    Oh no no… If PS had check Goff’s line this would be even worse! The inquiry was instigated on behalf of the Government – if they just went and grabbed data from the phone line of an opposition member that would be even worse!

    What difference then if it’s an “independent” member of parliament? Vernon Small makes a point on this:

    But equally outrageous and of greater constitutional moment, as Green co- leader Russel Norman has pointed out, is the treatment of Peter Dunne’s records.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/8989867/Parliamentary-Service-in-need-of-shakeup

    Forced release of any other party’s communication data is a fairly serious issue. It could easily be abused and used to effectively blackmail MPs (I don’t think that’s happened in this case).

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  90. rangitoto (239 comments) says:

    “There’s a horrible smell starting to emanate from this parliament”

    Shearer starting to go off? Or maybe it’s time for the Green’s annual bath

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  91. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    It’s not strange logic ross69 – if he hasn’t leaked for 28 and a half years then it would be completely out of chatcater and a huge and probably carefuly considered step to start leaking.

    It doesn’t rule it out, but probablu a 1 in 100 chance, compared to 99/100 for eters.

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  92. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    An interesting point made by John Key.

    “Every media outlet except for Fairfax asked for either the phone records or her emails. So if members of the media wanted to know her emails and on the odd occasion her phone records then I was the one who actually defended that position and said that’s inappropriate.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8990498/PM-won-t-front-to-Privileges-Committee-probe

    There’s little that’s straight forward in this case.

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  93. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    WTF is going on? How can all this just happen to be happening at the same time?

    Because consciousness isn’t a product of the world of matter, the world is a product of consciousness.
    That bad smell has been around for over sixty years. If you go back to when it started (NSA & the UKUSA agreement) then you’re at the right place to find out what caused it. What were the secrets of the Truman era?

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  94. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    WOW.

    Claire Trevett ‏@CTrevettNZH
    Geoff Thorn, Head of Parliamentary Service, resigns after Henry inquiry and Vance releases

    @VernonSmall
    Parliamentary Services boss Geoff Thorn has quit effective Friday, with three month payout, after phone and access records blunders..

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  95. rangitoto (239 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8990498/Parliamentary-Service-boss-quits-over-phone-records

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  96. Nostalgia-NZ (5,119 comments) says:

    So it wasn’t a contractor after all. Any new stories about?

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

    Because consciousness isn’t a product of the world of matter, the world is a product of consciousness.

    I refute it thus! (kicks rock)

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  98. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    I’m picking Key is sitting on more incriminating emails that detail his specific request in no uncertain terms!

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

    But equally outrageous and of greater constitutional moment, as Green co- leader Russel Norman has pointed out, is the treatment of Peter Dunne’s records.

    I’m starting to feel sorry for Dunne. Yeah, it was funny to imagine superhairman being undone by the meagre charms of Ms Vance, but he seems the victim of someone else’s machinations here.

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  100. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    I’m picking Key is sitting on more incriminating emails that detail his specific request in no uncertain terms!

    That’s reaching.

    If that were the case, why were Vance’s record included in the reply to an entirely different request?

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  101. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Why were Vance’s record included in the reply to an entirely different request?

    Maybe because Henry’s request was denied but Eagleson’s weren’t when Key found out ?

    but yeah, if there was anything incriminating i reckon Key would have said it in person to Eagleson and not left a trail.

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  102. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    The easiest explanation for what we’ve seen is that it was an accidental over-disclosure.

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  103. graham (2,333 comments) says:

    The head of the Parliamentary Service Geoff Thorn resigns.

    As always, the people with integrity who are needed in a place like Parliament do the honourable thing, accept responsibility, and leave. The people without integrity remain. Sad.

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  104. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Key claimed responsibility, under privilege, but not accountability to the public.

    “I wasn’t actively involved in it along the way so there would be very little point in me doing that,” Key said, adding he had taken responsibility in Parliament because by definition the Henry inquiry was in his name.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8990498/Parliamentary-Service-boss-resigns

    Talk about whiteman speak with forked tongue!

    By definition, he was actively involved if Eagleson was.

    Something in the timeline doesn’t measure up. I sense a disturbance in the force!

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  105. Prince (105 comments) says:

    Dylan, thanks for your patient (and polite) explanations – I get it now.

    But it seems to be an error by PS. I don’t see how this expands to a corrupt Government as some commenters like Tom Jackson indicate.

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  106. marcw (243 comments) says:

    Are you happy now Ms Vance? See what happens when you stir up shit, and all for what – your precious paper gets a news story, and in the aftermath, hard-working people with integrity lose their jobs after making what appears to be an unwise error. You lot really are comtemptable. Don’t bother crying your crocodile tears in any paper I buy.

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  107. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    So why did Eagleson get involved on Key’s behalf then DylanReeve ?

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  108. graham (2,333 comments) says:

    Not surprisingly, the majority of comments on Andrea Vance’s “poor me” article are of the opinion that this particular journalist needs to get over herself.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/8987091/I-m-angry-at-my-records-being-released

    With a CV including a stint at that fine paper The News of the World, with it’s reputation for respecting other people’s privacy, Vance appears more than a little precious in her demands for respect and privacy.

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  109. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    But it seems to be an error by PS. I don’t see how this expands to a corrupt Government as some commenters like Tom Jackson indicate.

    Well this doesn’t necessarily. Although if you have that opinion anyway then it isn’t hard to fit it in.

    That said the Key government has been mighty deaf to a lot of concerns, especially around some issues of privacy, oversight and accountability (Dotcom case, more GCSB impropriety and the new GCSB and TICS bills) so there certainly are some things that could lead people to that conclusion.

    Personally “corrupt” is a little hyperbolic for my tastes, but I find Key’s personal smugness to be incredibly distasteful and the Government as a whole seems to follow his lead on that.

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  110. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    So why did Eagleson get involved on Key’s behalf then DylanReeve ?

    If I understand it correctly the Henry Inquiry was initially denied access to the records of the Ministers. Eagleson’s involvement was to tell Parliamentary Services that the Ministers’ involved had agreed to allow the inquiry to search those records.

    And by “agreed” in that circumstance I believe they were told that they had to co-operate.

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  111. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    So Key tells Eagleson to make Parliamentary Services an offer they can’t refuse in requesting Vance phone records for Henry.

    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.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8987970/Spy-scandal-journalist-speaks-out

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  112. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    So Key tells Eagleson to make Parliamentary Services an offer they can’t refuse in requesting Vance phone records for Henry.

    No. Eagleson tells Parliamentary Services that the Ministers have given permission for their records to be searched.

    That’s not the same as release Vance’s records.

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  113. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    So in essence you’re saying…

    Eagleson, on Key’s behalf, tells Parliamentary services to comply with Henry’s demands in requesting phone records which show what calls Vance placed to Ministers and their staff ?

    A fresh turd by any other name still stinks, no matter how you polish it.

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  114. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    Are Vance’s calls to Ministers, as recorded in the call data for those Ministers’ phones, Vance’s private information? I don’t think so.

    A employer could similarly look at their phone system logs in a similar situation to see if the number of a reporter appears anywhere.

    None of Vance’s private records were requested or needed to be accessed to carry out the request that was made in the email.

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  115. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Thats not what she said though is it Dylan ?

    She says they asked what calls SHE placed to ministers and their staff.

    …meaning a request for her records.

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  116. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    She says they asked what calls SHE placed to ministers and their staff.

    A phone call exists between at least two parties. The information about that call then is in two places.

    Any call made by Vance to any of the Ministers in question would show up as an incoming call on their phone logs. No need to look at her records, you just need to know her number(s).

    For me to know if John Key had emailed you I wouldn’t need John Key’s email records, just yours – I can search the “From:” field in your inbox. This is exactly the same.

    The request to Parliamentary Services was for just that – records from the listed Ministers’ lines related to calls to or from any of Vance’s three numbers (Home, Mobile and Office).

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  117. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    The request to Parliamentary Services was for just that – records from the listed Ministers’ lines

    Yes. Not including Peter Dunne. I don’t think it has been revealed yet how his data was requested – and that was the data that most attention was given to.

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  118. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    So Dylan, if there is no corroborating email, then you’re saying Vance is lying by saying “he CERTAINLY asked what calls I placed to ministers and their staff.”

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  119. RightNow (6,986 comments) says:

    BWAV:

    So Dylan, if there is no corroborating email, then you’re saying Vance is lying by saying “he CERTAINLY asked what calls I placed to ministers and their staff.”

    Fuck you’re stupid.

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  120. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    So Ms Vance is happy to receive illicit material, but gets upset when boot is on the other foot. What I still find strange is that based on her article she seems to use the phone for discussion with her sources. That seems to smack of considerable naively at best.

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  121. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Go play on the motorway RightNow, there’s a good lad!

    I’m still picking there’s a specific email request for Dunne’s records that include Vance ones as well, and probably from Eagleson on Key’s behalf, cos it’s fairly obvious Henry didn’t have the clout to sway Thorn into handing them over.

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  122. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    So Dylan, if there is no corroborating email, then you’re saying Vance is lying by saying “he CERTAINLY asked what calls I placed to ministers and their staff.”

    I’m not sure how much clearer I can make this. Of course Vance isn’t lying. He asked for the Ministers’ records to be checked for those calls. That seems entirely proper to me.

    The records of those calls would be contained in the Ministers’ phone records. The did not require access to Vance’s phone records. This is demonstrated by the fact they were also looking for her home number and mobile number – Parliamentary Services certainly didn’t have any access to those records.

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  123. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    I’m still picking there’s a specific email request for Dunne’s records that include Vance ones as well, and probably from Eagleson on Key’s behalf, cos it’s fairly obvious Henry didn’t have the clout to sway Thorn into handing them over.

    For Dunne’s records there was probably a different record indeed. As he wasn’t a member of the National Caucus the Prime Minister (or Eagleson) didn’t have any grounds to approve the release on his behalf. His request would clearly have been handled separately.

    But to suggest that there was a specific request for Vance’s records separate from the emails we’ve seen is pretty fanciful given that they were returned in the response to that series of emails and within the context of that exchange. No “oh, and I’ve attached that other set of records you asked for” or anything.

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