Member log in

Nicky Hager says source will release raw data, denies it's Dotcom

Dirty Politics” author Nicky Hager told TV1”s Q+A programme that he believes his source will release the raw data that he based his book on.

“I think if it comes out, which I have a feeling it is going to come out, I think that if people read it, it'll actually be worse than the book, because while I had to make it a readable book and take things out, when you just go page after page of this cynicism and the nastiness it's quite an experience," Mr Hager said.

Mr Hager also "absolutely categorically" denied Mega and Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom was the source for his book.

While Mr Hager would not reveal his source he said if Mr Dotcom had come to him with the stolen documents he "would have said go to someone else".

Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater has alleged that Mr Dotcom was the "paymaster" of the the person who attacked his site in January this year. He has posted a series of txt messages between Mr Dotcom and his (then) bodyguard Wayne Tempero. However, the exchange, which has yet to be authenticated, does not specifically mention a hack attack.

Through an Internet Party spokesman, Mr Dotcom released as statement this afternoon saying, "“I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again to be perfectly clear – I had nothing to do with any alleged hacking. And while we’re on the subject, I had nothing to do with Nicky Hager’s book, either.”

On Twitter, Mr Dotcom attacked Mr Slater, saying his analysis showed traffic to his blogsite was "Shrimpoil not whaleoil."

Dirty Politics is is based on thousands of emails between Mr Slater and various National Party figures. The emails were hacked, or stolen, on or around a DDOS attack on Mr Slater's Whaleoil blog, then recevied by Mr Hager shortly after.

Prime Minister John Key, Justice Minister Judith Collins and Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater, have denied the allegations against them in the book.

Mr Hager responded earlier this week saying he was considering releasing the original documents the book is based on, as it would provide "reassurance" to doubters and disprove the denials.

However, this morning on Q+A, he said he was unable to do that.

He said when he finished Dirty Politics, his lawyer advised him to "return all the materials" to his source as a court judgement could force him to turn over the material and reveal his source.

"I've since gone back to the source and said, 'Can I please start to release the information?' and the source told me, 'No,'" Mr Hager told Q+A.

"I think the source has decided that he is going to release the information, but not let me do it."

Mr Hager says he believes if the public does get the chance to read the original material it will be "worse than the book".

"While I had to make it a readable book and take things out, when you just go page after page of this cynicysm and the nastiness it's quite an experience."

Comments and questions

A pig just flew by Cunliffe's house?

Hager actually wants us to believe that his source, having committed a criminal offence in hacking into another person's computer, will release the raw data?

It would depend on whether the source believes the issue is important enough for she or he to come forward. One wonders if they do?

Sorry I'm a little confused. Hager initially said he would release some of the raw data then said he can't because BEFORE the book was published the material had been returned to the source to prevent a court forcing him to release it. So he'd totally forgotten what his lawyer advised him, and that he'd followed that advice, when he first responded to requests to release the material.

Raw Data is impossible unless he gets it from Cameron Slater. Files are just numbers and characters, bits and bytes. Anything short of a evidence trail of showing how it was hacked, and trace logs of it being hacked makes it a work of fiction. Anything could have been omitted, deleted, altered or fabricated.

And there is no way Hager is going to reveal how it was hacked or who was responsible. It would be political suicide for those that stand to gain by Hager's work of fiction.

In any event, with the quantity of emails involved, it would not be on paper. Having returned the RAW data makes no sense. He is either lying or actually meant to say "deleted his copy". Saying the RAW data was returned is smoke screen to avoid a court order. Or perhaps it means he has to rely on the interpreted word of someone who never handed over the source in the first place in order to avoid criminal prosecution.

One of the reasons why information obtained illegally is never permitted in court is because the information may have been edited, taken out of context, or far worse, fabricated. Acting on information obtained illegally, is a crime under NZ criminal law.

Police evidence not obtained without a search warrant, no matter how conclusive in confirming guilt of the accused, cannot be used in a court of law. By all accounts this happened during the Urewera raids, where damming evidence was found without a search warrant, after some police, frustrated by the inaction of those at the top, took matters into their own hands. It explains the reason for the roadblocks and raids, but excluded from evidence, does make the police action look inappropriate. The evidence never saw the light of day, and neither should it have. That is the legal system at work, preventing a possible miscarriage of justice through illegally obtained evidence.

Even if Hager was to reveal the source it still means nothing. I have been involved in several cases of people acting on information and emails wrongly obtained, only for those people to find they got it all or mostly wrong. Often it is the information that is not obtained, including associated phone calls, that often puts things in perspective or provides the reasoning for the actions.

I am sure if you were to illegally trawl through the email of the entire adult population, you will find something juicy in over 30% of email accounts.

All that Hager has done in publishing so called stolen evidence is:
1. That he is a despicable criminal, with ethics far worse than the people he accuses.
2. Releasing the source, identifies the source also as a criminal and confirms Hager's compliance in the crime.
3. Hager has appointed himself judge and jury, and believes his passion for exposing "truth" places him above the law. i.e. the ends justify the means.

And so what if someone did actually feed information to Cameron Slater? If some of what Hager says is true, so what? It is human nature to gossip. There wouldn't be a politician on the face of the planet that didn't gossip, including those who would gain politically if the public opinion reacted adversely to the contents of Hager’s book. As the saying goes, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”.

The book has to be read for what it is. A work of fiction.
Hager's act of publishing so called emails stolen illegally is no different to greedy Billy Bunter accusing the baker of using imitation cream in his cream buns; Billy Bunter having come to this conclusion after breaking into the bakery at 3am and chomping his way through 3 dozen cream buns. The only difference between Billy Bunter and Hager, is that Bunter is fat and Hager is thin. Both are greedy, one for cream buns and one for media attention, and both have committed crimes, and then retrospectively find reasons to justify the earlier law breaking.

It only suits Hager, to publish juicy gossip because that way it justifies his earlier involvement in a crime. If Hager had found nothing newsworthy, he would never have revealed in his book that he had been involved (as a receiver) in hacking Cameron Slater's email account.

The only thing that is newsworthy here, is that a receiver of stolen (hacked) information has come forward and identified himself as a criminal, and is about to turn in the hacker behind it all. Every day we hear of hackers causing trouble and costing the country millions of dollars. How good of one of them to come forward and own up. Perhaps The Sensible Sentencing Trust could add Hager to one of its lists of deviants to avoid contact with.

With an attitude like yours, Nixon would have got away with the Watergate scandal. I'm not sure what world you live in (probably planet Key) but in my world people like Hager perform a valuable public service. OK he makes some money out of the book sale and yes, the information he received was from dubious sources. But having read the book, I believe that there is enough there for most NZers to be concerned about the ethics and tactics of our current PM and his cohorts. Sadly many prefer to be ignorant and remain in denial or practice the art of distraction - like you Samuel a true Nat blue, I suspect.

Before you write me off as a looney leftie, I can assure you that I voted National (in fact for Key, my constituency MP) at the last election. The last three years have showed me how wrong I was and rest assured I will not vote National again whilst Key, Collins and Joyce are around.

Yes, I agree people like Hager can perform a valuable public service. However as Hager has pointed out and protested about on many occasions that he does not condone spying or eavesdropping or hacking of private electronic data. Neither do I condone it.

It suits Hager however to engage in the very thing that he despises when it is to his advantage. Since he is prepared to condone what he doesn't agree with, it sends out a message that he has no principles in the matter, and cannot be trusted. And unless the book is fiction, any claims have to verified. And therein lies Hager's problem. It is impossible to verify, substantiate or get the proper context of stolen information.

The world I live in is where decent people believe that in the idea that people are innocent until proven guilty; a world where self appointed vigilantes cannot take the law into their own hands just because they think they can. There is a vast difference between acting out of a solid principles, instead of an attempt to get political mileage. If Hager were principled, he would not be doing what he morally disagrees with.

By hacking into or condoning the hacking into another persons email, is 180° from the position Hager takes in relation to opposing spying and electronic eavesdropping.

Sarki, I'm not interested in party politics, and I am not a National voter. Politics has become a very dirty game, and anyone who believes otherwise has their head in the sand. However resorting to the sloppy ethics and dirty tactics you allege others have, worsens the problem, instead of helping it.

Hager resorting to spying (or be in receipt of information gained through spying), is something he claims he is philosophically against. Clearly his moral compass is broken. The condoning of such actions can and will only lead to a worse situation.