Dotcom has another go at Xero

August 16th, 2014 at 5:53 am by David Farrar

Chris Keall reports:

Not content with trolling over the Hager book, Kim Dotcom decided to pick another fight with business icon Rod Drury, baiting him over Xero’s share price.

Get off the grass, Kim.

The political party Dotcom founded is campaigning for cheaper and better broadband connectivity, domestically and internationally. Drury has pushed hard on both those issues. So you’d think he’d be someone Dotcom would respect. …

Dotcom is claiming credit for Xero’s share price dropping 20%, as if this is a proud achievement.

Xero has 330,000 small businesses as customers, and has created 900 jobs – mainly in New Zealand.  They are our our most successful Internet based company. Rod personally has also been a huge champion for Internet issues.

Yet the founder of the Internet Party denigrates him, for he won’t worship at the Dotcom altar. So again do we think Doctom put $4 million into the Internet Party because he is passionate about Internet issues, or because he wants utu?

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Cunliffe and Dotcom

August 11th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Andrea Vance notes:

David Cunliffe’s high point last week was stealing lines from the minor parties. He jumped on the anti-foreign investment band-wagon with NZ First and the Conservatives, promising to block the $70 million sale of Lochinver station to a Chinese firm. On the surface, the move was a headline-grabbing populist stunt but is unlikely to translate into more votes for the Left. It will, however, motivate National’s supporters. As a senior cabinet minister confided, Cunliffe is National’s second-biggest asset. After Kim Dotcom.

They are the gifts that keep on giving.

But talking of Dotcom, another Labour MP has gone against Labour head office instructions to not criticise the Dotcom’s pet parties (as they are progressive!) and 3 News reports:

“Political leaders who incite that, namely Dotcom, and political leaders who condone that, namely Laila Harre, have no place in our politics,” says Labour Party MP Clayton Cosgrove.

Good on Clayton for speaking out.

Meanwhile the hate Key campaign continues, with a video of John Key being burnt in effigy. Again, can you imagine the outcry if there was ever a video of Helen Clark being burnt in effigy? People would have demanded a Police investigation.

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Hipkins on Dotcom

August 8th, 2014 at 9:47 am by David Farrar

My respect levels for Chris Hipkins have just soared for having the balls to call it honestly, despite the fact Mana/Internet is a party of the left.

I wonder if Mr Cunliffe has a view on the video, or more importantly what it says about a party that not only encourages that behaviour, but is so proud of it, they turn it into an official party advertisement?

UPDATE:

That’s a second Labour candidate to call a spade a spade and condemn the tactics of Dotcom as thuggish and megalomaniac. My hope is Dotcom will not get to hold the balance of power. The problem for Labour is the polls shows they can not govern without him.

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Experts on Dotcom video

August 8th, 2014 at 8:03 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Auckland University political marketing specialist Jennifer Lees-Marshment said the video’s rhetoric about revolution and changing the Government looked effective, but “reminds me of propaganda, chanting-type campaigning more reminiscent of Hitler and fascism [in Nazi Germany] than New Zealand in the 21st century”.

For the record I don’t think Dotcom is a Nazi, even though he collects their memorabilia. But I do think he is a bit of a German nationalist, as see by the tapes of him in the car boasting (incorrectly) to Mona about how the Germans built the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty.

Massey University political marketing expert Claire Robinson said the video undercuts Ms Harre’s claim to integrity. “Laila Harre was expressing such indignation about John Key’s ‘sugar daddy’ comment and the need for respect in the political debate, and at the same time you have Kim Dotcom posting a video inciting hate speech, in effect.

“It is sinking to such a low, and completely at odds with what she’s trying to do, exposing yet again the enormous disconnect between Kim Dotcom’s hatred for John Key and the way that she wants to campaign.”

Laila gets offended when Dotcom tweets a silly joke about Batman killing a hooker because he used his real name, but thinks there is nothign wrong with the party she leads posting videos of people chanting “Fuck John Key”.

Imagine if a group of young activists were filmed a few years ago chanting “Fuck Helen Clark”. Laila would be demanding they be arrested for hate speech, or something.

Family First NZ yesterday laid a complaint about the video with the Advertising Standards Authority.

That could be interesting. It is worth recalling again this wasn’t a video shot by an audience member. This was an official video of the Internet Party.

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Have I got this right?

August 7th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

3 News reports:

Prime Minister John Key doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with referring to Kim Dotcom as Internet Party leader Laila Harre’s “sugar daddy”.

Mr Key made the comments on RadioLive todya and Ms Harre told the same radio station she found them deeply offensive.

Asked later if he stood by them, Mr Key said he did.

“I think it’s totally accurate,” he told reporters. “He funds her.”

Mr Key denied the comments were offensive or sexist and said he would say the same thing about Mana leader Hone Harawira.

“I think she is literally being funded by Kim Dotcom … if he wasn’t putting up the money, she wouldn’t be there,” Mr Key said.

Laila has openly said she abandoned the Greens for Dotcom, because of the resources he offered. The Greens were not paying her $150,000 a year, as Dotcom is.

But I love their thought patterns. It is outrageous for the PM to call Dotcom a Sugar Daddy, but it is fine for Dotcom to lead a crowd in chanting “Fuck John Key” and then be so proud of that, to stick it on You Tube as an official party ad.

Lying Jew

 

If you want offensive, than the above qualifies I would say. Probably inspired by the person who leads the crowd chanting “Fuck John Key” and alleges he is a stooge for Hollywood.

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Meet your future power behind the Government

August 6th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The future power behind the Government, if the left get into power with his $4 million utu campaign.

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Kelvin Davis on Dotcom and Mana

August 5th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Kelvin Davis writes on Facebook:

I was on 3 News tonight because my campaign team had a look at a proposed website designed to take down Kim Dotcom and stop him from buying the seat of Te Tai Tokerau with his $3million dollars.

We explored this concept, debated it, then along with the Labour Party hierarchy decided it wasn’t in line with our Vote Positive messages and ditched it.

It was all about Kim Dotcom.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who donated $50,000 to far-right wing disgraced politician John Banks.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who said the police turning up at his front door was as bad as the suffering Maori have endured for close to two centuries.

This is the same Kim Dotcom had nothing to do with Maori until he found a way to take advantage of some to try to keep himself out of an American jail.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who’s garage is bigger and flasher than 99% of homes in Te Tai Tokerau, and still cries ‘poor me’.

This is the same Kim Dotcom, who if he really cared about the people of Te Tai Tokerau, would have got out with all the Labour volunteers after the floods and storms and distributed food packages to those who needed them instead of staying tucked up in the mansion.

This is the same Kim Dotcom who turned up to hui up north in a limousine while kaumatua and kuia rode in a rattly bus.

This is the same Kim Dotcom whose interference in Te Tai Tokerau politics was described as a disgrace to over 300 people at the Ngati Hine hearings in Pipiwai yesterday.

I make no apologies about looking at a website that asked the public to donate $5, $10 or whatever they wish to koha, to bring down a fake.

I’m just an ordinary Maori living up north trying to stop the biggest con in New Zealand’s political history from being pulled against my whanau, my hapu, my iwi.

I make no apologies if there’s another Maori politician in the north feeling pretty sensitive about all the criticism he’s copping from hapu throughout Te Tai Tokerau because of the con job.

I’m prepared to cop the criticism from him because it’s just the price a person pays when he stands up for his people and his principles.

Great to see Kelvin call it as it is. Hone’s sell out to Dotcom is a turn off for many voters, and if Davis aggressively targets Hone, I have no doubt he can win the seat.

But Labour Head Office told Davis he can’t attack Dotcom, because they may need his pet party to form a Government.

Interesting that Kelvin’s Facebook post has been liked by Chris Hipkins,

Labour won’t allow Kelvin to run a website to fundraise for his campaign against the guy who has spent $4 million trying to get an election outcome to stop his extradition. But he has facebooked his campaign account for those who want to try and balance the fight a bit. Hone has Dotcom’s $4 million behind him. Kelvin only has his supporters. If you think Kelvin Davis will be a better MP for Te Tai Tokerau than Hone Harawira (and I do, regardless of the Dotcom issue) then you can donate to:

38-9009-0235341-01

Account name: NZLP TTT Campaign Acc.

Every $10 or $20 can help.

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The American witnesses

August 2nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

What John Banks is labelling compelling new evidence for an appeal against his criminal conviction is believed to be sworn statements from two Americans whose presence at the critical donation lunch was a key issue at his trial. …

Justice Edwin Wylie had found him guilty of filing the return without recording the origin of two $25,000 donations from entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who is facing extradition to the United States.

His judgment hinged on the credibility of witnesses’ evidence, telling the court he did not accept evidence from Banks or his wife, Amanda.

Outside the High Court at Auckland yesterday, Banks said: “Since the finding of guilt, fresh, new, unimpeachable, watertight evidence has emerged. That new evidence completely contradicts much of the evidence given in the court.

“We’re looking forward to taking that … to the Court of Appeal.”

The Weekend Herald has learned details of the evidence that will be put before the Court of Appeal in a bid to have Banks’ conviction overturned.

Evidence was given by the Dotcom camp, saying there were American guests on the grounds of the mansion on the day of the lunch but Mr Dotcom, estranged wife Mona and security chief Wayne Tempero said they were not at lunch when the donations were discussed.

The claims were contradicted by Banks in his police interview and Mrs Banks from the witness box. Both insisted there were two others at the lunch – businessmen Mrs Banks believed were Americans. Banks was unsure of their nationality.

Justice Wylie, who also took other evidence into account, said he believed the Dotcoms and did not accept the Banks’ statements.

He also said it was “largely peripheral” because “the key issue was what was said at the lunch”.

In the wake of the judgment, it is understood Banks launched a search for the American guests.

They were eventually tracked to a company in the United States which was a supplier for Mr Dotcom’s defunct website Megaupload, which was brought down in the copyright raid that led to his arrest and possible extradition.

Banks’ team was believed to have sought statements from them.

The new evidence claim was unusually raised by David Jones, QC, in his sentencing submissions to Justice Wylie yesterday. Mr Jones did not return calls but is understood to be filing the appeal papers next week.

Mr Dotcom said last night: “From my recollection, there was no one else at the lunch where the donations were discussed.”

It will be utterly fascinating to learn what these two witnesses have to say.

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Internet Party and social media

July 29th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Matthew Beveridge blogs on two social media gaffes by the Internet Party.

  1. Dotcom posting a joke about Batman killing a hooker
  2. The Internet Party a modified version of Picasso’s Guernica, which was about the bombing of the Spanish village by German and Italian planes, killing many civilians

Matthew has a collection of tweets in response, which are interesting.

This is not the first time by Dotcom. He actually tweeted some rape jokes a while back. Yet Laila Harre has no compunction about being his mouthpiece, while also condemning the “rape culture” in New Zealand.

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Dotcom attacks Drury and Xero

July 28th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

One News reports:

A war of words has erupted between Kim Dotcom and the founder of online accounting software firm Xero.

Speaking on TVNZ’s Q+A programme, Rod Drury said Internet Party leader Laila Harre knows nothing about technology and he wished Mr Dotcom would go away.

“At the beginning it was really cool to see someone like that come through but his manipulation of the media, so he’s very media savvy, understands that it’s a good story, that journalism’s cheap, I think it’s a big sideshow,” said Mr Drury.

Kim Dotcom then hit back with a string of tweets, claiming Xero was over-valued and pointing out how many more users his own company has.

“CEO of totally overvalued NZ cloud ‘accounting’ company Xero (300k users) says: ‘I represent the Internet Generation. Kim Dotcom doesn’t’,” tweeted Kim Dotcom.

One of the tweets is below:

Not such a nice guy is he when you dare to criticise him.

I would point out that Xero’s 300,000 users all pay for Xero. From $500 a year upwards. The vast vast majority of Mega users (and I am one) have a free account – because it is, well, free.  I understand well under 1% of Mega’s customers are paying customers.

I want both companies to succeed. I use both. Mega is very different company to Megaupload. But it is not a good look to have the self proclaimed mentor of the Internet Party trash talking and denigrating NZ’s most successful Internet company. But that just confirms the Internet Party is about Kim Dotcom, not about the Internet.

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Gower asks why Cunliffe is scared of Dotcom?

July 26th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Patrick Gower writes:

David Cunliffe should forget about fretting over his red scarf and start worrying about the black tracksuit.

Yes, Kim Dotcom’s black tracksuit is all over the political scene once again – and Cunliffe is running scared, refusing to rule Internet-Mana out even though voters think he should.

Internet-Mana is on the rise big-time and the Dotcom-boom is hurting Labour.

Cunliffe has left the door open to Labour working with Internet-Mana to form as Government. But the latest 3 News-Reid Research poll shows a majority of voters want Labour to rule them out.

Voters were asked:

Should Labour work with Internet Mana to form a Government?

  • NO, rule them out: 59 percent
  • YES, work with them: 29 percent
  • Don’t know: 12 percent

Even a majority of Labour voters want Cunliffe to rule out a coalition with Internet-Mana.

  • NO, rule them out: 47%
  • YES, work with them: 40%
  • Don’t know: 13%

A lot of Labour supporters would rather Labour lose, than have Dotcom having his proxies in the Government.

So the rise of Internet-Mana has created a big problem for Labour. Dotcom and Harawira are love-hate figures.

The reality is, with centre voters, they are probably more hated than loved.

There are lots of centre voters who don’t like Dotcom and lots who don’t like Harawira and a fairly decent core who don’t like both of them. The refusal to rule out Internet-Mana is hurting Labour with centre voters.

Hone Harawira, Annette Sykes, Laila Harre. Kim Dotcom and John Minto. It’s enough to send a lot of people running.

Cunliffe’s refusal to rule them out just gives them further credibility and as it rises, Internet-Mana will probably end up taking votes off Labour too.

As its own popularity falls, Labour cannot do without Internet-Mana’s numbers.

That’s why Cunliffe is scared of Internet Mana – he’s too scared to rule them out.

The rise of Internet-Mana tells us a lot about the fall of Labour.  

If the result is that Labour is in a position to form a Government with the Greens, NZ First and Internet-Mana, it will be fascinating to observe!

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IPCA on Police investigation of GCSB complaint

July 18th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The IPCA have investigated the decision by the Police not to lay charges over the GCSB illegally spying on Kim Dotcom. Their report is here. Some extracts:

As has been noted above (para 22) the Police decision was based squarely on an opinion provided by the Solicitor-General, and it was an opinion that Police Legal Services recommended ought to be followed. As also noted above (para 26), it is not within the jurisdiction of the Authority to review the validity of that opinion or to determine whether the test used by the Police to determine legal liability was legally accurate: our task is confined to determining whether Police actions were appropriate. In our view they clearly were. The Police were entitled to rely upon advice as to the law provided by the Solicitor-General. Indeed, having received the opinion it would have been surprising if they had proceeded on any other basis.

However, even if the Police had proceeded on the basis that criminal liability did not depend upon proof of an intent by GCSB officers to act outside their statutory authority, we take the view that a decision not to prosecute would nevertheless have been warranted. There are two reasons for this.

First, the one interception of Mr Dotcom that the Police found to be unlawful in fact contained only metadata (being data embedded in a communication that relates to its form and time, date and circumstances of transmission rather than its content). As noted below (para 47), the report by the IGIS in May 2013 had expressed the view that the law was uncertain as to whether metadata fell within the scope of a private communication by a person. In the light of that uncertainty, a decision not to prosecute on that ground would not have been unreasonable.

Secondly, the Solicitor-General’s Prosecution Guidelines require not only that there be evidential sufficiency for a prosecution, but also that it be in the public interest. The evidential sufficiency threshold would have been met, but arguably the public interest threshold would not have been.

This is pretty resounding. First they say that to suggest the Police should ignore the advice of the Solicitor-General is stupid, as Dr Norman said. Then they point out that the law around meta data was unclear anyway, and thirdly there would be no public interest it is likely.

Kim Dotcom did have his rights broken by an illegal act by the GCSB. But this needs to be out in context. The Police were legally entitled to put him under surveilance and intercept his communications. The GCSB just shouldn’t have assisted them with this.

On the alleged conflict of interest:

As she interpreted her terms of reference, Ms McDonald’s role was a limited one. It did not involve the provision of advice about the law that was to be applied to the facts of the case.

Even if Ms McDonald had had a more extensive role, it is hard to see how this would have created a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest cannot arise from the mere fact that she was acting for or providing advice to the Police in two respects in relation to the same set of events. The Police investigation that she was overseeing was an independent investigation into the activities of the GCSB; the fact that she was acting for the Police in proceedings in which the GCSB was  involved as a separate party cannot preclude the ability to provide impartial advice in relation to that investigation.

And the third issue:

The other four interceptions that related to content all involved assistance to the NZSIS in the execution of a lawful issue of an intelligence warrant under the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act. Section 4D of that Act allows the NZSIS to obtain assistance from another agency to effect the execution of an intelligence warrant. Although there was some doubt about whether the GCSB was allowed to provide such assistance within the ambit of their Act as it then stood, there was sufficient statutory ambiguity to raise doubts about whether any unlawfulness was involved.

The Police determined, on the basis of that report, that the additional intercepts were not unequivocally unlawful and would clearly not reach the threshold to justify prosecution.

The Authority agrees with this view. Dr Norman argues that, since it can be said that there was, in the words of the IGIS, “arguably no breach”, it could equally be said that arguably there was a breach, and New Zealanders who were spied upon deserve to know whether the actions were lawful and justified. That may be so, but a full Police investigation into the GCSB’s activities in those cases would have been unable to provide such clarification, since the Police would not have been in the position to reach a determinative view on the statutory ambiguity. Only the courts could have done that, and the criminal prosecution of individuals in an attempt to clarify an inherently uncertain law would have been unjustified.

It is worth noting that there have been consequences for the GCSB failure. The Deputy Director was let go. The Inspector-General’s role has been beefed up, and there has been wholesale change due to the Kitteridge Report. And these things should happen. But that is different to saying that a staff member should face criminal prosecution for an honest error over someone’s residency status.

 

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Dotcom’s e-bomb

July 17th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Kim Dotcom has announced he plans to drop a political bombshell five days before the general election which he says will prove the Prime Minister has been lying about when he first knew about the German internet tycoon.

Dotcom made the announcement yesterday to 3News on the first day of the internet Mana party’s road trip campaign.

“On September 15, I’m doing a Town Hall event in Auckland and I invite everyone to come there because that is going to be the day when I’m going to reveal my evidence…..my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied,” Dotcom said.

If the evidence stacked up as significant, he would not be releasing it five days before the election. He’s chosen that date in the hope media will breathlessly report it, and not have time to actually scrutinise or authenticate it. Otherwise he would release it well in advance of that. It’s basically a ploy to try and get publicity for his pet party in the last week, and damage National.

I can’t imagine it will be anything reliable. Probably some second hand report of someone saying they one mentioned his name to John Key at a social function.

If John Key had heard of Kim Dotcom prior to the raid, I can’t see why he wouldn’t have said “Yeah, I’d heard a couple of people mention him”. There is no significance in whether he had or had not heard of him earlier unless you believe the conspiracy theory that Joe Biden, Warners, Barack Obama and John Key are all part of a global conspiracy to persecute the honest businessman Kim Dotcom.

The fact that Dotcom has had to offer $5 million or so for proof of his pet conspiracy theory, suggests that he of course has no proof – otherwise why would you be offering money for it.

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The Dotcom conspiracy theory

July 16th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The head of Immigration has rejected suggestions Kim Dotcom’s residency was approved as part of a United States move to make it easier to extradite him to face charges there.

Documents published today show that the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) withdrew its objections to Dotcom’s residency as the Government negotiated a deal with Hollywood studio Warner Bros to ensure The Hobbit trilogy was filmed here.

Dotcom believes US authorities wanted to keep him here to make it easier to extradite him on internet piracy and copyright infringement charges. He has long claimed the Government was acting at the behest of the American film industry but has never offered proof.

I love this conspiracy theory. The Government let Dotcom into New Zealand just so it could extradite him years later. And it was all part of a deal with Warners to film The Hobbit here. This makes people who believe the moon landing was faked look sane.

But in an exclusive interview, Immigration chief executive Nigel Bickle said that from Immigration’s point of view he had seen no evidence of that and it was Dotcom’s advisers who had called for a fast decision in his case.

‘‘Mr Dotcom was represented by a very good immigration adviser, who was rightly asking questions … ‘why is it taking so long making a decision? Mr Dotcom’s like a lot of these individuals – many countries are courting them. Could you hurry up and make a decision’.’’

The beauty of this conspiracy theory is it casts something that was favourable to Dotcom as being sinister.

Bickle said then-immigration minister Jonathan Coleman had not been involved in the decision to grant Dotcom permanent residency, and the call was made by an official.

In 2010 the investor category Dotcom was applying under, requiring at least a $10m investment here, was a new policy. Ministers were interested in how it was going and were briefed weekly. 

But in terms of Dotcom as an individual, Coleman had no involvement in the decision.

Bickle had told Coleman, under the ‘‘no surprises’’ policy, on October 28, 2010 after he had been informed Dotcom would be granted residency.

But it was not a decision that needed to go to the minister.

A minor inconvenient fact.

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Should have listened to the SIS

July 15th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The SIS tried to block Kim Dotcom’s residency application but dropped their objection 90 minutes after being told there was “political pressure” to let the tycoon into New Zealand, secret documents from the spy agency reveal.

Last night the leader of the Dotcom-funded Internet Party, Laila Harre, said she “wouldn’t have been comfortable” granting the tycoon residency if she had been the Minister of Immigration.

But she’ll take $3 million from him to get into Parliament now he is here. Hilarious.

Documents declassified and released through the Official Information Act show the Security Intelligence Service describing Dotcom as a “bad but wealthy man” who was under criminal investigation by the FBI.

It also has agents passing on information about the FBI investigation for then Minister of Immigration Jonathan Coleman, described as an “interested party” wanting to get “high rollers” into New Zealand.

In hindsight a rather bad decision overlooking the criminal convictions because of his wealth.

One hour and 27 minutes later, another SIS agent said the agency’s block would be lifted, writing: “Since Dotcom is not of security concern, there is no reason for this application to be on hold with us. Please can you inform your INZ contacts of this, also noting Dotcom is the subject of a criminal investigation and that they need to discuss the case with NZ Police before they proceed with granting him PR [permanent residency].” …

An Immigration NZ spokesman said last night no contact had been made with police after the SIS urged Immigration to do so.

So the SIS were aware he was flagged by the FBI as a person of interest, but as it was not a security issue, said go talk to the Police. But Immigration NZ never did. Sigh.

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Laila and Kim upset with Cunliffe

July 8th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Labour leader David Cunliffe is “premature” to rule out ministerial spots for Internet Party leader Laila Harre and Mana leader Hone Harawira, Ms Harre said yesterday.

Her comments come after Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom took to Twitter to mock Mr Cunliffe over his statements at Labour’s election year Congress at the weekend.

The thought that Kim won’t want any Ministers for his pet party, in return for helping make Cunliffe Prime Minister is laughable. This is a guy who decided to destroy John Banks because Banks wouldn’t help him get a pillow in jail.

Dotcom mocked Cunliffe’s statement, because he knows there will be a price to pay for his support.

Is it any coincidence that Dotcom’s lawyers have managed to have his extradition hearing delayed again – until February 2015. So any decision, if a court finds he is eligible for extradition, would be made by a Government propped up by his pet party.

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Two new magazine covers

June 28th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

kimdc2

kimdc1

 

Circulating by e-mail.

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Donating to counter Dotcom

June 21st, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A businessman has given $175,000 to the Conservative Party, and intends to donate more – partly because he is infuriated by Kim Dotcom’s attempt to buy political influence.

Laurence Day, a former National Party supporter and donor, is the only substantial donor to the Conservatives apart from party leader Colin Craig. Craig has donated nearly $2.5m to the party since 2011.

Kim Dotcom’s political activities “really got up my nose,” Day told The Dominion Post this week.

“There’s a guy who has a single axe to grind because he tried to, I feel, bribe his way into New Zealand by buying politicians and that didn’t work, they went doggo on him.

“And now he’s all-out to get rid of [John] Banks and [John] Key and he’s prepared to throw $3 million at it . . .”

A very perceptive man.

Internet leader Laila Harre has, however, defended Dotcom’s $3.25m donation to the Internet Party, saying the German tycoon was giving a gift to progressive politics.

I can’t work out if Laila actually believes what she says. He’s a former donor to John Banks, is a convicted criminal, a multi-millionairre who faced claims from staff he didn’t even pay minimum wage – and she really thinks that the reasons he is donating so much money is because he believes in progressive politics and taxing the rich more???

No one can be that naive, can they?

No Internet Party MP would take part in a future government’s decision on Dotcom’s extradition to the United States, she said.

Yet the party disappears if he is extradited, and they’ll be propping up a Labour-led Government. Pretty obvious that the consequences of extradition will be to remove a support party for Labour, so of course that will place pressure on the Government.

Can one really imagine the Internet Party MPs sitting their in Parliament, doing nothing, as their funder is extradited?

Most of all, does anyone thing Dotcom would be donating all this money, if he wasn’t facing extradition?

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Journalist or Author?

June 20th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A High Court judge has ruled that a book written by a New Zealand Heraldjournalist about internet tycoon Kim Dotcom is not “news activity” and does not get special legal protections.

The book’s author and media commentators fear the ruling could have a “chilling effect” on New Zealand journalism if reporters were unable to protect their sources.

Click here to read the ruling by Justice Helen Winkelmann.

Justice Helen Winkelmann handed down her ruling on Monday, stating that material gathered by Herald senior journalist David Fisher to write The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom: Spies, Lies and the War for the Internet can be accessed by New Zealand Police and the GCSB in their case against Dotcom.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this ruling. Otherwise it would have given some authors a special status that other authors do not have.

Dotcom’s lawyers argued that the book was based on material gathered in the newsmaking process and was therefore an exception under the Privacy Act.

However, Justice Winkelmann found books were not within the definition of news activity by a news medium acknowledged under the Privacy Act.

“…the writing and publication of a book cannot, at least in this instance, be construed as news activity,” the ruling said.

News activity was preparing and publishing articles.

“Investigative journalism takes its form in long, detailed articles, which are covered by the Act’s definition. Books, however, are not.”

I think there is a difference between journalism and writing a book. A journalist is generally working for a news source, and they don’t get paid based on the sales of the news medium. But an author publishes a book for profit, and that is the primary motivation of books – profit, not journalism. Nothing wrong with that, I say.

Fisher said the ruling could compromise journalism in New Zealand if sources believed their interviews could be obtained through the courts.

“I think the ruling has the potential to undermine the public’s confidence in a free press,” he said. “The impact of the ruling has a potential chilling effect on anyone who wants to deal with a journalist who is writing a book.

I would never assume that telling things to someone writing a book has the same journalistic protection as talking to someone writing for a newspaper etc.

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Jones on Dotcom

June 18th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Sir Bob Jones writes:

Anyone wrongly charged with a serious crime should be ultra-eager to get into a court and argue their innocence. Instead, Dotcom has wasted millions trying to avoid doing so.

So he has resorted to a final desperation measure, namely to spend millions attempting to buy a change of government, which he hopes will override a court-backed extradition order, an inevitable outcome once he’s used up all of his legal ploys.

He’s wasting his money as no government will do that, regardless of any undertakings from the soul-selling abysmal no-hopers he has garnered together to fund as a political party. If anything, his efforts will hugely harm the Opposition cause in Balkanising and confusing its message, thus presenting an electoral option with, on one side, a rabble of dissimilar, mutually antagonistic parties, all with unpopular leaders and wildly different messages, set against a stable governing party with the most popular leader in our history.

Can anyone really think that a Government of Cunliffe, Norman, Turei, Peters, Harawira, Harre and Dotcom would be stable.

This is the fifth party Dotcom’s new leader, Laila Harre, has belonged to, which speaks volumes. Laila will always be remembered for the funniest political gaffe in our history when she explained her 2002 defeat by lamenting on television that voters had voted with their heads rather than their hearts.

I’d forgotten about that!

 

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Thinking about the $5 million bounty

June 9th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Kim Dotcom is offering $5 million to anyone who can help him with his extradition case. …

The German internet mogul and founder of the Internet Party is now offering $5 million to anyone who can prove government corruption over the handling of his case. 

“We are asking for information that proves unlawful or corrupt conduct by the US government, the New Zealand government, spy agencies, law enforcement and Hollywood”, Dotcom told website Torrentfreak.com.

Now thinking about this, doesn’t the act of offering $5 million for proof of his pet conspiracy theory, not imply that he currently has – well no proof at all.

The extradition hearing is next month. No doubt he will try and get it delayed until there is a Government he has helped fund in place. But regardless, why offer the bounty at such a late stage?

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Dotcom wants citizenship so he can then become an MP

June 8th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The German internet mogul said he would definitely considering running for Parliament if he gained citizenship, ideally before the 2017 general election.

Maybe he could stand for Mana in Epsom?

An upbeat Dotcom dismissed speculation about a backroom deal involving the Labour Party pulling out of the Te Tai Tokerau race or fielding a purposely weak candidate in an Epsom tea party-type arrangement.

Such a deal would virtually guarantee a seat in Parliament for Dotcom’s new ally, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira.

“I had no chat with David Cunliffe,” Dotcom said, referring to the Labour Party leader. ” I don’t think Hone needs that. I think he’s going to win the seat easily.”

If that is the case, why are so many on the left almost hysterically demanding Labour concede the seat to Harawira? I suspect they know that Davis is a strong popular candidate, and Hone’s deal won’t have gone down well with many voters.

Outside the theatre, protester Dave Blackmore parked his car, a Lada rebranded “Lardarse” with the number plate “DOTCON”. He said legal reasons prevented him from going into detail about his gripe with Dotcom but he’d had “dealings with him” before and was displeased.

The number of former colleagues, friends and staff who have fallen out with Dotcom is massive. It’s almost as if there is a trend, or underlying issue!

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Espiner on Dotcom

June 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Colin Espiner writes:

The media was expecting Dotcom’s Internet Party would announce a flake as its new leader. Or a complete moron. Either would have done just fine. We could have ridiculed them, and moved on to more important matters.

But Harre isn’t a flake. And she’s certainly no moron. She’s one of the most driven, persuasive and intelligent politicians I’ve met. I don’t know how Dotcom managed to put a ring on the darling of the Left but on the face of it, it’s a major coup.

The question, though, is for who?

Harre is an old-school socialist. She’s from a trades union background. She’s a former member of the Labour Party, of New Labour, and of the Alliance Party. She’s most recently worked for the Green Party. …

On the face of it, then, Harre is likely to appeal to older Lefties who admire her feminist principles and strong trade union credentials.

It’s hard to see her appeal to young, internet-savvy geeks though. Last time Harre was in Parliament the internet was barely out of short pants. And the people she’s trying to persuade to vote for her weren’t born and certainly wouldn’t know her from a 33K dial-up modem.

But does it matter? Probably not. As long as Harre gets votes, neither the Internet Party nor Mana will care where they come from. And she’s got $3 million of Dotcom’s money to spend – that’s more than any other party contesting the election, including Colin Craig’s Conservatives.

On the face of it, the Left has engineered a spectacular reverse takeover of Dotcom’s party. It’s like a reunion of every failed candidate from every disappeared political party of the past 20 years, funded by an avowed capitalist whose fundamental philosophy – the freedom of movement of capital and people – runs counter to everything his candidates stand for.

Exactly. Dotcom is just funding a party to change the Government. His personal political beliefs and Harre’s are vastly different. There nothing wrong with large political donors – but generally they donate to a party or leader whose policies they agree with.

But remember, Dotcom doesn’t really care. His political aims are pragmatic, not philosophical.

In my opinion, there are two reasons why Dotcom is manipulating the political process. First, he wants rid of Prime Minister John Key. Second, he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life in a United States penitentiary. If the Internet-Mana party is elected with more than a couple of MPs, then Dotcom is likely to achieve the first objective.

There is no possibility the party could side with National. So a vote for Internet-Mana is a vote for a Labour-Green-Internet-Mana-and-possibly-New Zealand First-Government.

Remember that. It would be the most left wing Government in our history.

The Internet-Mana party may also either confuse or scare the bejesus out voters and strengthen National’s hand. Blue-collar, socially conservative, Labour-leaning voters – who’d only just got their heads around the idea of dealing with the Greens – may not countenance their vote ushering in a potential coalition led by far-Left feminist and Maori radicals.

I think there is already a backlash, which is why several Labour MPs have spoken out against the Internet-Mana alliance.

In her acceptance speech of the Internet Party leadership last week, Harre admitted her party was gaming the MMP system in a bid to get into Parliament. But she said it was “time for New Zealanders to take back MMP”.

It was a nice line, with a ring of socialist rhetoric to it. But nothing could be farther from the truth. The Internet-Mana party may be successful or it may fall flat on its face.

But it is Dotcom who is attempting to take over MMP. And it is for no-one but himself.

On one of the weekend TV shows, Harre referred to the Internet Party having 30 to 40 staff. That is a huge amount. On top of that Harre and all the candidates will be on pro-rata $150,000 per year salaries. I suspect Dotcom will end up putting more than $4 million in. Whatever it takes to change the Government and increase his chances of not getting extradited.

And if Harre really think Dotcom won’t want any favours for his $4 million. Well think about this. Is he the type of person who would donate $50,000 to a candidate, and then ring him up when in jail wanting him to intervene with prison authorities to get him a pillow – and when no assistance is offered – vows to crush and destroy him.

If he’ll do that when someone who receives $50,000 from him won’t intervene with authorities to assist him – just imagine what his expectations are for a $4 million donation?

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Dotcom spending $4 million to try and change the Government

May 29th, 2014 at 6:44 pm by David Farrar

One News has reported that Kim Dotcom has put $4 million into the Internet Party. No wonder he has no money for creditors, nannies or staff!

I recall the CTU (Harre’s current employer) said donation limit should be $5,000. The Greens (her employer before that) say $35,000 limit. But I bet you neither condemn Dotcom donating $4 million to buy a pet party, despite it being 800 times and 110 times what they said the limit should be.

Now just imagine that say the ACT Party received a $4 million donation from a convicted criminal fighting extradition for alleged financial crimes. Could you imagine the outrage from the left who would spend months decrying it and protesting against it.

Anyone who thinks this is not about trying to prevent extradition has to be kidding themselves. Why else would he be spending $4 million? It certainly isn’t to promote Internet issues.

The new Internet Party leader admitted today she actually knows almost nothing about Internet issues such as net neutrality, the HDC Bill, filtering, software patents, copyright, cybersafety, digital divide, rural braodband, ultrafast broadband, telco competition issues, the proposed copper tax, ISP liability and the like.

Here’s what she talked about in her press conference as *Internet* Party leader:

  • Asset sales
  • Employment laws
  • Sky City
  • Women’s rights
  • Paid parental leave
  • National Standards
  • Free tertiary education
  • Welfare state
  • Spy powers
  • Banning nuclear weapons
  • Springbok Tour

Does that look like an Internet Party to you? It’s an insult to those of us who have spent 20 years actually fighting for Internet issues. Her issues are the issuees of the Alliance and Mana. She’s a great MP for the typical hard left issues. But her selection as leader shows that the $4 million is purely about trying to change the Government, and has nothing to do with promoting policies good for the Internet.

UPDATE: Matthew Beveridge points out the Internet Party Leader has sent fewer tweets in 12 months than he does in a typical day. Laila as Leader of the Internet Party is like having Colin Craig as the Leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party! Did she even join the party before she was asked to become its leader? I guarantee you the answer is no.

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Judge dismisses Dotcom conspiracy theories

May 23rd, 2014 at 5:14 pm by David Farrar

3 News reports:

Mega founder Kim Dotcom been denied access to evidence against him to be used in his upcoming extradition hearing.

Dotcom had applied for documents held by the Security Intelligence Service (SIS), Immigration New Zealand, police, Customs, Corrections and the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), but a District Court decision released today has dismissed the application. …

In declining the other documents, Judge Dawson said the evidence and submissions “fell well short” of what was needed to consider granting the applications.

He also said there was “no reasonable basis” for granting the application for the documents.

“It bears all the hallmarks of a fishing expedition that would involve an extensive amount of time and resources to satisfy with a very low likelihood of it producing evidence relevant to the extradition hearing.”

It is worth quoting the judgement:

[47] To date, there is no evidence of any nexus between the Prime Minister’s meeting with the CEO of Warner Bros with Mr Dotcom’s residency applications other than the coincidence of the times of events pointed to by him. There is also an alternate explanation that could be advanced. Mr Dotcom had become impatient over what he perceived as delays with his residency application and informed INZ that his application could be withdrawn if it was not granted by 1 November 2010. The residency application was granted on 30 October 2010. It is feasible that INZ granted the residency application of a high net-worth person who was pressuring them for a decision.

[48]The respondents need to prove some nexus between Mr Dotcom being granted residency and his claim of untoward political pressure being placed upon immigration officials to grant his residency other than hypothesised coincidence. In addition, they would need to show links between the INZ, NZSIS, the Prime Minister, the CEO of Warner Bros and the Applicant [the US government, my brackets] which showed the Applicant’s involvement in the actions of the New Zealand agencies. They would then need to show some illegal action by the Applicant indicating there was an abuse of process that would lead this court to provide some sanction against the Applicant in this case. To date they have not done so. Nor has it been shown that INZ and the NZSIS were acting as agencies for the Applicant at this time.”

[49] The Respondents’ applications are based upon Mr Dotcom’s theory which is based upon evidence which has a plausible alternative explanation. They lack any “air of reality” as they rely upon a perceived coincidence. These applications are in the nature of a fishing expedition, made in the hope of flushing out evidence which may be useful to the Respondents. Even if it was successful it is highly unlikely that it would be evidence that might assist the Respondents to counter any of the Applicants’ evidence in the ROC. If evidence of improper political involvement was found, it would not impact upon the extradition hearing. It may or may not impact upon other court proceedings, but it is not the role of this court to grant discovery orders that may or may not be relevant to other proccedings.

The Judge must have missed seeing the Campbell Live programme!

This is a major setback to Dotcom. His defence seems to be based on this conspiracy theory, and the court has said it has no air of reality. That’s strong language.

The extradition date is set for 7 July but one of the parties (I suspect Dotcom) has asked for a deferral – maybe hoping for a delay until Russel Norman is Minister of Justice!

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