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Cock-up or Conspiracy? If GCSB told Government on Tuesday night Treasury hack was false, why was Makhlouf allowed to front Breakfast news on Wednesday morning?

By   /  June 11, 2019  /  12 Comments

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So the timeline over the Treasury hack/leak has been clarified. But there’s still an enormous question hanging over all this.

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So the timeline over the Treasury hack/leak has been clarified. But there’s still an enormous question hanging over all this.

According to David Parker the timeline was this

Parker, who is acting GCSB Minister while Andrew Little is overseas, said the GCSB contacted Little’s office at 8.43pm on Tuesday May 28.

That was about 40 minutes after Makhlouf publicly said that his department had been hacked, and about 30 minutes after Robertson echoed Makhlouf’s description and linked it to the Budget material the National Party had obtained.

Ardern told the House that Little did not answer the 8.43pm call because he was in a meeting, but the GCSB also contacted the head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet at about the same time, and she was notified soon afterwards.

Parker said that Little didn’t actually speak to the GCSB until 9.43pm, and he then immediately tried to call Robertson. After not receiving an answer, Little contacted Ardern’s office, and he eventually sent Robertson a text message at 10.25pm that night.

…ok, so there was some type of farcical buffoonery in getting GCSBs warning to the Government. Let’s give Andrew, Grant and Jacinda the benefit of the doubt, they didn’t know the warning before they made their public statements on Tuesday night.

Ok, we can all accept that.

But if the GCSB told the Government on Tuesday night that the Treasury hack was false, why was Makhlouf allowed to front Breakfast news on Wednesday morning with his clumsy bolt metaphor when the Government knew the night prior that the GCAB didn’t believe it was a hack?

We can accept that the Government had their wires crossed on the Tuesday night, but how come Makhlouf was allowed to speak on Wednesday morning propagating a falsehood that the Government knew was challenged by their own spy network?

It looks like the Government were so shocked by what was happening no one had any clear idea what the hell was going on.

I don’t think this is a conspiracy, I think it was jaw dropping incompetence.

I think Treasury were incompetent putting the material online in the manner they did.

I think the GCSB were incompetent in protecting that information by forgetting to unplug a google search.

I think the moment the level of grotesque incompetence was realised, Treasury panicked and looked for an excuse and jumped upon the ‘hack’ theory.

The GCSB found out that Treasury were playing this line and wanted to get their warning on the record in front of their own Minister  before the shit hit the fan and they started facing scrutiny about how lax their own cyber security was if they hadn’t seen a loophole this large.

Grant, Andrew and Jacinda get played like chumps and are left holding the can because of the incompetence of Treasury and the GCSB and they didn’t seem to know who was doing what.

It would be wrong to call this a conspiracy because it undermines the term.

John Key’s office meeting with the SIS in the lead up to the 2011 election to falsely smear Phil Goff was a conspiracy.

The move to gain mass surveillance powers for the GCSB was a conspiracy.

Setting Kim Doctom up for extradition was a conspiracy.

Working with Cameron Slater to perpetrate Dirty Politics was a conspiracy.

Getting tripped up in a departmental pissing match between the GSCB and Treasury to see who managed to screw up basic security of the Budget is not a conspiracy.

 

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12 Comments

  1. DennyPaoa DennyPaoa says:

    They can’t build houses, nor can they cost the cost of infrastructure rail costs. Can’t implement decent taxes on the wealthy (CGT). Can’t fix the health system or poverty and deal to the homeless crisis …. what the fuck are there to do again? Oh, sing kumbyah and photo op’s! ffs!

  2. Sam Sam says:

    Yeah. And all the “Russia Did it” and “Bernie stole Hillarys Presidency” whack jobs have found a new thing to nut out about.

  3. Applewood says:

    “I think it was jaw dropping incompetence.” Yep.

    And a bit of incompetence isn’t as bad as the pigs’ swill which streamed out of John Key’s office with the retards playing their Dirty Politics games.

  4. saveNZ says:

    Good article from Werewolf, including thinking that the SIS budget of $106,145,000 might be better spent on closing it down and giving it to the police!

    “According to research by former army officers Chris Rothery and Terry Johanson, both now academics at Massey University, New Zealand’s entire national security system is “reactionary”, and does not focus on anticipating and preventing terrorist activity. ….

    “The pair said New Zealand has no national security strategy, no counter-terrorism national strategy and – unlike in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom – no independent body to check threats are being prioritised properly.

    That’s a pretty astonishing situation, given the hundreds of millions of dollars that taxpayers have poured into our spy agencies in recent years. If Little and the two Massey researchers are right – ie if the spy agencies are mainly re-active, and this country has no strategy for identifying and prioritising imminent threats to public safety – then surely a solid argument exists for scrapping the SIS entirely, and handing over to the Police the job of detecting terrorist conspiracies, and catching the criminals involved. Why pay for a defensive shield, if it is unable to function as one?”

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2019/06/gordon-campbell-on-how-the-treasury-debacle-reflects-new-zealands-wider-security-problems/

    Also from Wiki some of the scandals around the SIS..

    In 1974, the NZSIS was the source of information that led to the arrest of Bill Sutch, an economist and former civil servant, on charges of spying for the Soviet Union. Sutch was acquitted, and the SIS was criticised for having accused him in the first place, although it has been alleged that the NZSIS was correct in its accusation.
    In 1981, the NZSIS was criticised for drawing up a list of 20 “subversives” who participated in protests against the 1981 Springbok Tour, a visit by South Africa’s apartheid rugby team. That singling out of individuals as “subversives” was deemed by many to be a violation of the right to protest government decisions.
    Also in 1981, an NZSIS operative inadvertently left a briefcase, containing a copy of Penthouse, three cold meat pies, and notes of a dinner party hosted by a German diplomat, on a journalist’s fence in Wellington, where it was found by the son of another journalist, Fran O’Sullivan.
    In 1985, the NZSIS failed to detect the French operation in which DGSE operatives bombed the Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior, killing a photographer.
    In 1996, two NZSIS agents broke into the home of Aziz Choudry, an organiser with GATT Watchdog, which was holding a public forum and rally against an APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Trade Ministers meeting hosted in Christchurch. After the Court of Appeal ruled that the NZSIS had exceeded their legislated powers of interception, Parliament amended the NZSIS Act to give the NZSIS powers of entry into private property.
    In 2002, the NZSIS issued a security risk certificate for Ahmed Zaoui, an Algerian asylum-seeker, and recommended his deportation. Zaoui was detained under a warrant of commitment. The then Inspector General, Laurie Greig, resigned in March 2004 after controversy over comments perceived as biased against Zaoui. The risk certificate was subsequently lifted, allowing him to remain.[21]
    In 2004, allegations surfaced that the NZSIS was spying on Māori individuals and organisations, including those associated with the new Māori Party, for political purposes under the codename “Operation Leaf.” A government inquiry led by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security later rejected these claims in April 2005. The prime minister, Helen Clark said the allegations were a hoax and asked The Sunday Star-Times newspaper that printed them to apologise to their readers. A full apology and retraction was subsequently printed on the front page of the paper.
    In July 2004, the NZSIS was criticised for not knowing that Israeli “intelligence contract assets” had been in New Zealand purchasing New Zealand passports. Apparently the NZSIS only became aware after the New Zealand Police found out, when mainstream New Zealand news publications reported. The case became world news and an embarrassment for the NZSIS and Mossad intelligence agencies. Two of the Israelis involved (Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara who had been based in Australia) were deported to Israel, while two other contractors believed to be purchasing passports (American Ze’ev Barkan and New Zealander David Reznic) left New Zealand before they were caught – and have presumably roamed free ever since.[22][23]
    In December 2008, it was revealed that a man in Christchurch, Rob Gilchrist, had been spying on peace organisations and individuals including Greenpeace, Iraq war protesters, animal rights and climate change campaigners. Rob Gilchrist confessed to the allegations after his then partner, Rochelle Rees, found emails sent between him and Special Investigation Group (SIG) officers (SIG has a connection with the SIS). Rees found the emails while fixing Gilchrist’s computer. Gilchrist was said to have passed on information via an anonymous email address to SIG officers. Gilchrist had been paid up to $600 a week by police for spying on New Zealand citizens. His SIG contacts were Detective Peter Gilroy and Detective Senior Sergeant John Sjoberg. Gilchrist was reported to have been spying for the police for at least ten years. Gilchrist also said he was offered money by Thomson Clark Investigations to spy on the Save Happy Valley Coalition, an environmental group. The incident implied members of New Zealand political parties were spied on as part of a ‘focus on terrorism threats to national security’. Rochelle Rees was a Labour party activist as well as an animal rights campaigner.[24]
    In November 2009, the SIS came under criticism for asking university staff to report their colleagues or students if they were behaving suspiciously. The SIS said it was part of an effort to prevent the spread of ‘weapons of mass destruction’.[25]
    In July 2011, the NZSIS was involved in an investigation of Israeli backpackers who were in New Zealand at the time of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, in which one of the Israelis was killed. The Israelis were alleged to have been Mossad agents attempting to infiltrate the New Zealand government’s computer databases and steal sensitive information. The investigation concluded that there was no evidence of a Mossad operation.[26]
    On March 1, 2018, the NZSIS released a memo confirming that an assassination attempt was made on Queen Elizabeth II during her 1981 visit in Dunedin despite alleged efforts by the New Zealand Police to cover up the incident. The perpetrator was 17 year-old Dunedin teenager Christopher Lewis, who later became a criminal and died in prison in 1997 while awaiting trial for murder.[27][28][29]
    Following the March 15, 2019 white supremacist terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, the failure of the NZSIS and other NZ state agencies to pay adequate attention to the ‘far right’, and to detect the terrorist came in for strong criticism. Green Party MP Marama Davidson and Tuhoe activist and artist Tame Iti, among others, suggested that the NZSIS and other state security and intelligence agencies had the wrong people under surveillance, including Muslim communities, Maori, and environmental activists. [30][31] Spokesperson for the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand, Anjum Rahman, voiced frustration at the failure of the NZSIS to take Muslim community concerns about racist violence and the rise of the alt-right in New Zealand seriously.[32] PM Jacinda Ardern announced that there would be an inquiry into the circumstances that lead to the mosque attacks and what the relevant agencies knew about the individual and the accused’s activities. It would look into the NZSIS, Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), police, Customs and Immigration.[33]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Security_Intelligence_Service

    • Keepcalmcarryon says:

      Sorry savenz for a moment I thought you said the police should be put in charge of national security- the guys that didn’t vet the chch shooter properly, gave him a gun license and managed to charge him with murdering someone he actually hadn’t killed, with 51 to choose from.
      The Police to cover their total failure who then pushed their long time agenda of civilian disarmament with outright lies on gun crime, had a police station burgled and used taxpayer money to pay criminals to get them back.(grapevine says $200 000 plus)
      Do you want the police in charge of national security?
      Fuck no.

  5. Mike the Lefty says:

    None of this actually takes away the fact that the National Party exploited a technological loophole in the Treasury website for their own political gain without considering the wider ramifications of their actions, and then urged others to do the same.
    And now they want to be hailed as heroes.
    I wonder what their attitude would have been had it happened to them in government.

    • saveNZ says:

      ….a technological loophole…. You mean put in a search into a search engine that has been configured incorrectly so that information that should have been internal were not! Pure incompetence not exploitation! I hate the Natz but they can’t be blamed in this case as the treasury were incompetent right from their IT to how they behaved and tried to divert attention from their own incompetence at the highest level, arrogantly ignoring professional advice from GCSB and police that they had not been hacked and lying to the media and god knows who else!

  6. Kerry says:

    Who cares!

  7. Mjolnir says:

    Sorry Martyn but I dont give a shit

    As you pointedly keep telling us, over and over again, at a time when the planet faces global disruption due to climate change and resource grab wars, I don’t think this rates more than a 144 characters on a tweet

    And I still don’t give a shit

  8. countryboy says:

    A word to those who ‘don’t give a shit’ etc.
    Then go and live in a country where there is no democracy. I’m thinking North Korea. Go there and not give a shit. Way you go. Off you fuck.
    Now. Where was I?
    Oh yes. “Cock-up or Conspiracy? ”
    I would argue it was both.
    Firstly, I think it was a dirty little job done by amateurs. Therefore; conspiracy.
    Once it became a possum in the head lights scenario, however, they made it look like a cock up. It looks better as a cock up if the alternative narrative is a devious double act with more agendas than a Thai bride and it all came unstuck when ‘they’ underestimated the intelligence of those whom they’re trying to fool. I.e. us.
    I think labour and national are playing a double act. I know, I know. Nuts, right? I think they’re playing us like fiddles.
    And this is very interesting. It might even be on-topic chillingly.
    George Manbiot. The Guardian.
    Anyone who wants to be prime minister should have a course of therapy first
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/12/prime-minister-therapy?CMP=share_btn_link
    Some very, very sick bastards here, in our government, deliberately construct an extremely uncomfortable environment within which we must try to exist because they’re a bit mad, frankly.

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