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Whaledump signs off

Rawshark, the individual claiming to be the Dirty Politics hacker, has signed off.

On Twitter, @Whaledump2 (a new account after the original was suspended by the social network yesterday), the hacker tweeted at midday, "To targeted ratf****rs: Good luck lying. Remaining dumps are with journos. You feeling lucky, punk?"

That was shortly followed by "To all other ratf****rs, present and future: Don't make me come out of retirement." (Language warning: there are no asterisk in the original tweets.)

The hacker also tweeted, "This was never about party politics for me. I have done what I set out to do. It is time to go."

And, "Don't try this at home.. unless you think it's important enough to risk 7 years in jail. Think it through" before a final tweet:

"By the time you read this, every device used in this operation will have been destroyed and disposed of along with all the decryption keys ... So long, Aotearoa!"

Hours before High Court date
The hacker's announcement came just just a couple of hours before Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater is due in the High Court at Auckland, applying for an injunction to stop Fairfax (Stuff), APN (Herald) and MediaWorks (TV3) from publishing his emails (some from Whaledump, some supplied directly by the hacker known as Rawshawk — presumably also the person behind the material released on @Whaledump [UPDATE: Slater lost].

There is a degree of tension for National. 

Some in the party will be anxiously waiting to see if any of Whaledump's final material includes message between Mr Slater and (then) senior communications aide Jason Ede discussing the release of SIS documents under OIA to the Whale Oil blogger — and particularly whether such a conversation references what the PM knew, or not. However, if something that hot had landed in the laps of Fairfax or APN this morning, it's likely they would have rushed it online ahead of today's 2.15pm High Court hearing.

Ridden out the Whale scare?
If there is no major dirt in the final dump and Whaledump stays in retirement, then it looks like National has managed to ride out the hacker scare.

There has been a major casualty, the already-teetering Judith Collins, but a clutch of polls over the past two days show National steady or rising.

Several figures in the saga have seen their reputations take a battering. But the juiciest allegations have been against those in the right wing blogsphere, PR and (the already unloved) finance company sector. Like other commentators, I'm itching to say the PM's nice guy/everyman image has taken a hit. But the preferred PM polls are simply not showing it.

Whaledump might be scratching his (or her) blowhole, wondering exactly what kind of allegations of shabby behaviour it would take to actually move public opinion.

And arguably the departure of one-time future leadership candidate Ms Collins has been a setback for the opposition. A more centralist successor to Mr Key, when he eventually retires, will have a better shot of beating Labour and the Greens.

With investigations now underway by the  Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and others, there is still potential for the PM and other Dirty Politics actors to come a cropper. But none of the inquiries will report back until long after the election. The various investigations could well weigh on John Key's enthusiasm to stay on for the 2017 race, but they won't impact September 20.

Dotcom's "Moment of Truth" still to come
National is not totally in the clear.

It still faces Kim Dotcom's September 15 rally at the Auckland Town hall, at which the Internet Party founder promises to drop a "bombshell" on John Key.

The question now: will Dotcom's bombshell prove concussive, or seem a fizzer next to the Whaledump's meaty revelations?

What do you think? Are you being more careful with your email post Dirty Politics? Click here to vote in our subscriber-only business pulse poll.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions
25

Thank you whale dump for putting up the final final straw to finally getting the long overdue resignation of Judith Collins. You did National a big favour.

It's not a case of "exactly what kind of allegations of shabby behaviour it would take to actually move public opinion" - it's a case of the public simply being unimpressed with or fearful of, the alternative.

Whaledump signs off?

Coward.

Slater can diss whaledump all he likes but the fact is the hacker was motivated by his principles to act against people he sees as corrupt and evil and extremely bad for NZ. And he put himself at risk of a seven-year jail stretch to do so. On the other hand, what motivates Slater? Apparently, money.

So when did principles over-ride the law?

Actually there have been instances where it has, e.g. the Waihopai Spy base attack.

Brilliant campaign Mr Whaledump.

Did not achieve much except bury opposition party policy announcements to "back page". He/she also just provided the lawyers a heap of work for after the election.

Judith Collins will be back --will not hard to clear her name.

One can only presume Labour asked the hacker to stop as Labour has been damaged not National. Who is behind the hacking and publication though? Time will tell.

Rubbish. The entire exercise was an orchestrated inside job by a small group of National Party insiders using the same modus operandi they used against Don Brash. This will be the post-Election story, once Key succumbs and steps down after Christmas.

The scariest thing if National get in is just that - who will be PM in 12-18 months. You can see John's thinking of his next job already, and Judith's entreaties to Winston were most likely for when Key takes off...

At least it won't be Cunliffe, so the ultimate in scary looks unlikely with the latest poll.

Hopefully the grubby little thief will get the karma and justice he deserves. Obviously he destroyed the complete set of files he stole in order to protect those on his own side of politics they would have damaged.

His highly selective releases together with a few added fakes show his principles are as corrupt as his morals.

Did you ever pause to consider that the motive behind the exposure of certain facts may not have been of an entirely political nature.

Selective or not, the exposure revealed - on the part of certain high-ranking Ministers of the Crown - an aberrant approach to the system of governance widely known as democracy.

My own feeling is that we New Zealand citizens as a whole owe a measure of gratitude to the so-called hacker - whoever he or she or it may have been.

Of course. Dotcom's interests come immediately to mind. Simple hatred is another.

I don't think anything useful has resulted to benefit NZ. I am pretty sure the inquiries will clear all the MPs involved. Bloggers and activists will continue to scheme and lobby. Little if anything exposed would have been news to the media who no doubt could tell a million similar stories if they wished.

Labour has been punished in the polls while the media has focused on speculative trivia and ignored the substantive issues the election needs to resolve. What is there to be grateful for?

Yes Alan, if he was truly apolitical he would have leaked all the email between Labour and Whaleoil as well!

Exactly. His selectivity destroys any claim to virtue. Faking some texts proves mere criminality.

The outcomes thus far suggest the release of this information is more than justified, for the same reasons most OECD countries offer legal protection for whistleblowers who "expose misconduct, alleged dishonest or illegal activity". One Ministerial departure and two govt enquiries later, I think we can say 'check' against all these criteria.

So let's apply Ethics 101 to you Mr Wilkinson -- if you're totally happy having senior publicly elected persons mis-use the sensitive information, and all the internal government resources available to them to attack innocent members of the public, then I assume you're saying you wouldn't mind it if they used the same tactic on you in the future? Cos if this behaviour goes unchallenged, this is the kind of New Zealand we'll all be living in.

Whaledump is a true New Zealand hero.

so are mongrel mob members, rapists, murderers, etc. a crime is a crime.

I bet you wouldn't be saying that if Helen's emails were hacked and exposed to world Peter!

If he/she was a true New Zealand hero, they would stand up, come out, and let us all know who they are and what they stand for. Then we could judge for ourselves what their true intentions were and are.

But I guess they won't do that least it exposes any links to the top of the Labour Party and/or the Internet Party. As for any criminal charges they may face, this is New Zealand remember, all they'll get from our Courts is a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket and a warm hug from the Judge.

Bet you wouldn't say that if you were the "real Peter Davis" and your emails were hacked. Especially ones from America.

Just like the phone hacking scandal in the UK, Whaledump needs to be arrested and put in jail for hacking and stealing private information. We should be worried if people are hacking and stealing private information in NZ no matter who the target is, this is illegal!

Absolutely right. And what I can't understand, and this is no reflection on what I think about Slater, is how a judge will allow the media to publish materials handed to them via a criminal, who hacked/stole the content. That's just not right and makes a mockery of our judicial system.