Blogger Cameron Slater says he will complain to police
about the hacking of his Whaleoil website and will name
entrepreneur Kim Dotcom as someone detectives should speak to.
He said he would also complain to the Privacy Commission,
relying on a recent High Court ruling to force from author
Nicky Hager his source material for the book.
The Green Party has also said this morning it intends to lay
complaints with police, Parliamentary Service, the
Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the
Privacy Commissioner following revelations made the book.
Slater has come out swinging this morning after publication
of the book Dirty Politicswhich aimed to paint a picture
of a National Party obsessed with dirty tricks.
Drawing on emails obtained by a hacker, the book claims
Slater is the lead "attack blog" driving negative coverage of
political opponents using information from a staff member of
the Prime Minister and a senior Cabinet minister.
Slater said it was a clear criminal offence to hack his
computer and take his emails.
"There was an illegal obtaining of my emails. There was no
legitimate way they could access it. It had to be a hack. I
believe it's a criminal offence and there will be a complaint
He said he had an "implied admission from Kim Dotcom to one
of my sources that he was behind it" so would name him when
speaking to police. He said the case would be clear for
police to prosecute.
Slater said a recent decision by the High Court which
stripped Privacy Act protection from book authors meant he
would be able to force Hager to divulge source information.
Slater said the book was a selective use of emails which were
taken from his website during the Denial of Service attack in
The "selective" nature of the communications used showed
"he's playing judge and jury with other people's
Slater said the information was taken during a 15-minute
window during the attack, which was designed to take over his
Slater said there was another 10-minute window beyond that
during which his social media accounts were exposed.
Slater said suspected information had been taken from him
during the Denial of Service attack.
"I kept that quiet to see where it turned up. I had no idea
what they had got. I knew an attempt to get in had occurred
but not that they had taken anything although one must assume
He said he did not warn anyone their communications had been
taken because he had "no idea as to the extent of it".
Slater said he had 80GB of email data which meant the 8GB
that Hager claimed to have was only a fraction of the content
It's still a massive breach of privacy. Nicky has clearly
breached my privacy."
Slater said it contrasted with Hager's revelations about
surveillance systems. "The guy is a sanctimonious hypocrite."
He questioned the authenticity of emails communications
between himself and Justice minister Judith Collins. The book
claims there were hundreds of emails exchanged but Slater
said Mrs Collins rarely emailed him.
"I would think there would be very few emails from her. It's
certainly not embarrassing for me and I don't think it's
embarrassing from her perspective."
Slater also rejected claims he was paid to place articles on
his website for the alcohol and tobacco lobby.
"I run a business and I offer PR and social media advice and
I charge for that privilege."
He said he was not paid to post material. "I get paid for
Asked if the "advice" resulted in posts on the blog, he said:
"It may have."
He said mainstream media companies were also forming
commercial relationships which influenced their editorial
content. When compared to what he did, he said there was no
Green Party to lay complaints
The Green Party plans to lodge a series of complaints after
revelations in Nicky Hager's new book alleges corruption and
abuse of power.
The complaints may have the effect of closing down any
further debate by politicians before the election.
Complaints by the Greens are expected to be made with the
Police, Parliamentary Service, the Inspector-General of
Intelligence and Security and the Privacy Commissioner,
paving the way for named politicians, including Prime
Minister John Key, to use the investigation process to avoid
answering questions about the allegations.
Green co-leader Metiria Turei said Mr Key had degraded New
"The Green Party is today promising to hold a Royal
Commission of Inquiry when in Government to get to the bottom
of what has gone on and to seek recommendations on how to
rebuild a clean and fair political system in New Zealand, she
Among the issues the Greens will raise in the complaints are
the alleged involvement of Mr Key's adviser Jason Ede in
supplying confidential information to a blogger and officials
working for Me Key using or diclsoing any inormation obtained
to gain advantage.
PM, Collins react to Hager's claims
The book was dismissed by the Prime Minister last night. A
spokeswoman said: "This is a cynically timed attack book from
a well-known left-wing conspiracy theorist. It makes all
sorts of unfounded allegations and voters will see it for
what it is."
Ms Collins, whose emails to Slater are claimed to be quoted
throughout the book, said: "I don't care what he's alleging.
Quite frankly, I can't be bothered with the man. I agree with
[Mr Key] - he's a left-wing conspiracy theorist."
Slater, who was on a pre-arranged visit to Israel last night,
also dismissed the book as a "conspiracy story". On his blog,
he wrote: "It is of course likely to be a very single-sided
affair, and a direct attack on the Government to hurt it at
election time. What is being framed here is only one side of
politics in New Zealand."
A hacker was said to have taken the information from Slater
after the blogger in January described the victim of a West
Coast car crash as "feral". The material was then sent to
Hager said he believed the emails he had obtained showed how
Slater was supplied information from contacts deep in Mr
Key's administration, including Ms Collins and Mr Key's press
secretary Jason Ede.
It charts Slater's growing links with the National Party from
the 2008 election through to last month.
The National Party had previously denied having any knowledge
or involvement in scandals driven by the Whale Oil blog.
Allegation Labour Party website accessed
But in at least one case, Hager aimed to show the Beehive was
directly linked to blog attacks where it had previously
In 2011, Slater was alerted to a hole in the Labour Party
website which allowed him to access huge amounts of personal
information about members.
Hager believed that Slater and Mr Ede worked on the issue
together, with the Beehive staffer later discussing how he
obscured his identity through email accounts that could not
be traced to him, and Facebook accounts in false names.
The book also claimed Slater had been fed inside information
from the Beehive allowing him to ask precise questions
through the Official Information Act. An example saw former
Opposition Leader Phil Goff contradicted over public comments
after Slater was specifically directed to data he could
obtain from the SIS.
The trove of emails included hundreds between Slater and Ms
Collins, including one in which she told the blogger: "If you
can't be loved, then best to be feared."
She urged him to pay back "double" any injury suffered, to
which he replied: "I learned the rule from you."
The book also claimed an email directly from Ms Collins was
used almost word-for-word on the website, claiming it came
from "the tipline".
According to Hager, Ms Collins provided increasing amounts of
material for the Whale Oil blog, including an attack on a
ministerial staff member that prompted death threats against
Mr Ede declined to be interviewed by the Herald.
- additional reporting Dene Mackenize