Search Results for: GCSB

How To ACTUALLY Stop The #GCSB Bill (psst it’s not what you’re being told)

We openly bantered with the public about what would be the issue to finally knock #GCSB off the radar. Never did we expect it to come from the very same Left who claim to revile it.

We are left wondering; when will we be free of the dinosaurs of the old paradigm who are now being presented to us as a solution to it? Why are we not scouring the post-Occupy socio-political landscape for Norman Kirk 2.0 while there is still enough time to find a newblood who genuinely carries the interest of the people, rather than the baggage of a previous administration?

After weathering so many blatant narrative-changing distractions such as Snapper, Al-Qaeda & 11th round beneficiary-bashing, the #GCSB tag which was clocking thousands of tweets per day at its crescendo, seemed to be going the distance.

Yet it has now been eclipsed by Robertson vs Jones vs Cunliffe; a who-will-be-the-next-Labour-leader stoush that is bleeding weeks worth of valuable public consciousness. Organisations who embedded themselves in the anti-GCSB actions, now having picked a single candidate to back are throwing the full weight of their media enterprise into declaring the imminent victory of “the People’s candidate” (an ex Minister of a previous Labour government) since virtually prior to the leadership having ever officially been in contention.

The Radiohead song “Electioneering” springs to mind and maybe I’m just naieve but I really didn’t expect to be risking my rear end as a top influencer on #GCSB so that x Labour candidate could be elected next year.

I get the distinct impression that I have just eye-witnessed in practice, what I’d read about in theory.

In my Occupy Media experience, when Occupy media resources connected to a certain location started declaring support for a specific political candidate, that Occupy was considered to have been “co-opted” and were discredited across the rest of the movement from that point. There are countless instances of this internationally.

I never expected to witness that happen here in New Zealand and it may have been unwitting by those ensconced in the centre of it. But it is hard for me to believe it is unwitting, having overheard Chris Trotter and David Cunliffe after Cunliffe’s successful hijacking of David Shearers leaders speech at the first anti-GCSB meeting, in a suburban community hall. (Not the larger Town Hall event that followed).

Cunliffe was enthused that he had pulled off the assumption well; then they mused as to why Shearer hadn’t leapt up after Cunliffe and spoken for Labour regardless.

Trotter and Cunliffe had no idea who I was so were speaking freely mere meters from me, in the foyeur. Which made the combined arrogance all the worse. When Cunliffe said something to the effect of “I just can’t believe (Shearer) didn’t jump up and say something”, I actually could bite my tongue no longer and said “Perhaps because he doesn’t have Chris Trotter for a political advisor.”

Both men laughed, interpreting my comment as a compliment. In reality, all I could think is “what the hell are these guys up to, this is supposed to be about the GCSB not David Shearer…”

The naked display of alternate agenda shocked me. Even moreso when I read congratulatory media write-ups which made much of Cunliffe’s interjection but somehow failed to mention the spirit it was performed in.

Oh yes, I am naive.

At the time it happened it seemed almost a side issue. However, once the side issue overtook to distract from the main issue, I began to speak up.

When a platform that has the opportunity to be broad-based enough to literally unite the country throws it’s lot into one very specific bucket instead, hell yes I’m going to speak up.

I’ve now been overtly threatened to be relegated to “protesting from the sidelines” for speaking up. But that’s where we belong. We won’t be sitting in a studio when the shit goes down, we’ll be in the fray making sure the world knows what ACTUALLY happened, not what it is convenient for some politicians or state officials to say happened.

We don’t risk our asses so that someone can beat a political opponent, we do it for the betterment of the people and the pursuit of justice; neither of which are served by tossing away a chance to TRULY get the GCSB bill revoked IMMEDIATELY rather than betting all our chooks on a General Election a year away.

Today I was censored from posting a comment on a publication that for the better part of a year I have implored hundreds of big and small reach accounts to support.

I am going to end this blog-post with the comment I unsuccessfully posted as I stand by every word of it. It sums up exactly what the problem is, and the fact the comment was suppressed instead of openly addressed, is self-evident.

“What happens in Parliament shouldn’t dictate what happens on the Streets. Even when they pass these Bills, we can force them to revoke them. We don’t need an action: we need a series of them. And the powerbase of the popular support must NOT be divided to suit individual agendas.

We have been clearly taught how to achieve socio-political change via People Power. We need only look to Iceland to see the steps we must take.

We don’t need to announce & confirm action dates & try to re-spread the word everytime if everyone knows it’ll be every Saturday until they reverse the Bill.

Persistent, constant, unrelenting and preferably decentralised action such as occurred during the Springbok Tour are the pathway forward to TRULY defeating these Bills and beginning to create a new legal framework forward for our country – one that protects our rights instead of robbing us of them without our consent.

Those of us pissed off enough about this to put our lives on the line have a far greater vested input than whoever is next Labour leader.

Those who have turned out so far represent a broad based coalition of the willing.

If any one political faction is placed above the others that will become the unwilling and the resentful.

A fact our espionage-obsessed overlords are no doubt fully aware of and already using to their advantage.

Let all the banners meld to become one. Left, right, young, old, rich, poor, all demographics contain members of the Awakened and there are more of us with every passing day.

Let’s make Stop the GCSB Bill more than a name.

Let’s actually stop it.”


It’s been years since I heard this. I didn’t listen to it again until after writing this article. It couldn’t be any more poignant!

This entry was posted on September 7, 2013. 1 Comment

Redaction Theory

 

In light of what Assange and WikiLeaks staff are facing it feels really trite to be arguing the finer points of redaction theory.

Yet even at this late stage it is a constant feature of ongoing debate between organisations and journalists and activists who are and/or were allies of WikiLeaks.

Having worked my way through several hundred Snowden documents hosted by The Intercept recently, there are what appears to me to be inconsistencies in the redactions applied. Except there probably aren’t. Because I haven’t got a clue what the caveats are of The Intercept’s redaction practices and therefore what seems to me to be anomalies on the surface may not be at all. So I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

I don’t think anyone really has a clue what the finer points of WikiLeaks redaction practices are other than WikiLeaks, either. In fact, the more I look at the redaction agendas of various publications, the less consistency there seems to be across the board.

Usually redaction is talked about as preventing loss of life, limb or liberty. WikiLeaks gets a lot of flack for supposed lack of redaction yet the only people losing life, limb or liberty seem to be WikiLeaks staff and/or affiliates and/or supporters and/or sources. Suggesting that the war on journalism presents a far more grave and present danger than redaction standards for leaked documents.

In Glenn Greenwald’s recent interview with author Naomi Klein about this very topic of redaction, The Intercept’s standards were described as including prevention of embarrassment or career impact for private citizens, specifically, targets of the NSA whose private communications form part of the Snowden archive.

There is a very strong chance given what has recently come to light in my own situation, that I am one of the very targets whose personal communications were being harvested by the NSA in Hawaii in 2012.

This gives me a unique perspective on the whole drama: not the perspective of a publisher, or even of a journalist, or of a WikiLeaks supporter or detractor: but that of a victim of the intelligence agencies.

If this is in fact the case, there is no doubt that the contents of the documents pertaining to me would be humiliating or damaging. They would presumably include me discussing extremely personal facets of the struggles I was going through at that time and in the preceding years.

Just as one hideous example, they would detail how a direct conflict with estranged members of my extended family due to malicious, untrue rumours that were being spread about me caused me to lose my breast milk when I was nursing my then-infant son.

(Yup, I just said it. Breast milk. Welcome to real life. It’s ugly, it’s complex, it’s painful and it’s a whole lot better to talk about it yourself than live in fear that someday someone else will.)

And that is probably the least of it.

In principle, the idea that The Intercept would want to protect me by not releasing such intimate details of my life that they righteously see as not being in the public interest to do so, is noble and I should feel grateful to them for that consideration. I do feel grateful that they want to protect innocent people. I do think their intentions are good. But in practice, the withholding of any knowledge of me having been a victim of the agency has not protected me and the idea that the NSA have been targeting the private communications of young middle class white mothers from the suburbs rather than actual terrorists absolutely is in the public interest.

In fact, until the white, middle class public of the West begins to realise that their intelligence agencies have been inappropriately collecting such emotionally-charged, highly invasive materials, that should be completely irrelevant to the government, let alone the military, and doing it to people just like themselves, rather than to people with Arabic-sounding names, or those of minority groups, then the full impact of the Snowden archives will never really hit home for them. They will remain cloaked in their biases and empowered by their otherisation of the problem, until the day they realise it literally is their communications in play and those of their loved ones.

Therefore some of the redactions being made, some of the documents being withheld, may actually be preventing the change that would naturally occur were the public able to understand that the vast majority of the archives likely contain material that should never have been held by the NSA, on targets that they had no real right to ever be violating the privacy of in the first place.

More, there is a lack of understanding among publishers of the holistic nature of the targeting. If the NSA is collecting your personal information, that isn’t all that’s happening to you. Such targets are attacked in tandem by various agencies from the top all the way down to the local level. Who by and by what methods, has been documented in my film ‘Diary of a Person of Interest.

Therefore the idea that our reputations or feelings remain in tact because information about us has been redacted, is fantasy. Targets like me have already been humiliated, violated, attacked, vilified, sabotaged, isolated, harassed and endangered in so many ways that we get to a point were we are almost beyond embarassment. Where we self-expose as a mechanism of self-protection, just as I did above, because we expect to be attacked by every possible vector anyway.

To finally see what it is these agencies have collected about us is in fact the only hope for closure, the only way to begin to obtain any justice and the most meaningful way for people in our lives to really begin to understand the gravity of what has been done to us.

The data is ours. It belongs to us.

It matters little to me whether it is the NSA or the GCSB or Snowden or The Intercept or whoever else, that obtains and pours over it if they continue to withhold my own data from me. What is the difference? It is the same violation regardless of the varying motives of the parties involved. To merely refrain from publishing it is not enough. In my opinion, any data that has been deemed not in the public interest and not fair game for publishing, should be returned to its rightful owner, who should get to call the shots on what happens to it from that point on. But that’s just my two cents worth.

As Julian famously said “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way we can get anywhere.”

The legal considerations are another kettle of fish. More than once, I engaged in debate with Stanley Cohen, about the establishment and conduct of The Intercept. I took a position in its defence. Stanley wanted the Snowden archives to be open for potential use in lawsuits by clients who were potentially affected, and took umbrage at various aspects of the way the archives were handled along with the establishment and financial backing of The Intercept itself.

I had assessed the position Greenwald and co would likely have been in, in possession of the archives and trying to balance how to get the best exposure for the content against the clear and present danger of being associated with the most wanted man in the world at that time.

The truth is, there are pluses and minuses to both The Intercept and WikiLeaks’ redaction practices.

The strength of WikiLeaks is that the document dumps allow affected parties including lawyers to trawl through relevant information and act on it immediately. As both Julian Assange and Sarah Harrison have repeatedly pointed out, there are countless instances of case law, successful prosecutions and even exonerations that have arisen directly from information published by WikiLeaks. The drawback is that the minimalist redaction practices draw criticism of callousness, whether real or imagined. Also, the dumps can be too soon forgotten. Such as the GIFiles, from which the TrapWire revelations came. That release alone is a treasure trove that is yet to ever be fully explored or appreciated. Hot on the heels of Barrett Brown’s incarceration, the files became all but… I want to say, documenta non grata to invent yet another new term. It was like TrapWire burned so many of us so badly that it was simply set aside. I remain convinced that we have barely scratched the surface of what lies within the Stratfor files. If the dumps are too frequent or if there are not enough hands on deck there is a real risk that too much goes unnoticed. But that is where we need to train journalists to better use the archives and encourage them to do so, and where we can hope that in the future decades if not centuries, this monolithic library that WikiLeaks has created will remain accessible and valuable to generations yet to come.

The strength of The Intercept’s approach is that they have prolonged the interest and relevance of the Snowden archive and thus increased its impact. The drip-drip-drip approach is the stuff of nightmares for the US administration. In fact, the dripfeed approach was practised by WikiLeaks to amazing effect during the recent U.S. election. The downside to The Intercept’s approach is that the information simply isn’t available to those who are personally impacted by it. The Intercept have become the gatekeepers of the data, for better or worse.

I still stand by the arguments I made in defence of The Intercept in 2013/2014 and I still respect Stanley’s as well. It is doubly interesting to me to re-read the points I made and realise that back then, I felt that the release of any targeting information on me could have become a mortal danger to me at that time, when I was still in New Zealand and being actively targeted daily. I trust my then-self to have made that call accurately. I was pretty far up shit creek myself and given that I’ve recently become the first New Zealand journalist to seek temporary asylum in Russia, still am. Now, with nearly another three year’s water under the bridge, I’m so sick of the whole thing I just want to know once and for all what happened to me so I can have peace of mind and move on.

For those who are familiar with my work and have seen my documentary it must seem that the things I do know are pretty horrific. But actually it’s the things I still don’t know for sure that really hurt.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. Suzie certainly has. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Diary Of A Person Of Interest – Transcript

As they say, all good things take time.

A year after my 2015 Chaos Communications Camp lecture ‘Diary of a Person of Interest’ in Germany, I’ve released a new documentary based on the talk. Impressively, considering its only promotion has been a few tweets, it’s already received a couple thousand hits on the Pastebin I posted about it, a thousand plus views on Vimeo, and it can also be viewed on YouTube and on my official website Suzi3D.com.

However, some of us find words have an even greater impact than pictures and my very Kiwi accent might be strange to some also, so I’m posting the full transcript of the documentary below, for those who are interested. 🙂

DIARY OF A PERSON OF INTEREST – TRANSCRIPT

Introduction:

Hi guys. My name is Suzie Dawson. I’m a journalist and an activist from Auckland, New Zealand. I’m a member of the Occupy Auckland and Occupy New Zealand media teams, and I am possibly one of the 88 New Zealanders that was targeted by our domestic and international spy agencies and passed on to the NSA for further targeting.”

[Title Screen & Music]

“I’m going to give a little talk now, it’s called ‘Diary of a Person of Interest’. It’s based on a talk that I gave last year in Germany at the Chaos Communications Camp.”

Part One: OCCUPY

“In 2011 I barely knew what an activist was, but when the Occupy movement started, I couldn’t help but get on board. I could see that people around the world had actually found a way to take a stand for themselves and for their communities and I got on board. My understanding of activism in New Zealand was based on what we were told by human rights lawyers at the very first march on October 15th, 2011. We were told that New Zealanders have the right to dissent, that we have the right to freedom of assembly, to freedom of association, the right to seek redress from out government and that we could not be discriminated against on the basis of political opinion. I naively took all of that at face value. I thought that would protect me and I thought that would protect the other members of my media team. We believed and had been told our whole lives – we had been propagandised – that New Zealand was the safest, most peaceful country in the world. Never in a million years did it occur to us that what would happen to us, would happen. We found out the hard way that everything I just told you about New Zealand is not true. Our entire media team and then later an ever-broadening section of society became aggressively targeted by domestic and international intelligence agencies.”

Our Purpose

“When we started the media team, we had a primary goal of amplifying the voices of everybody in our movement; to cover all of the issues related to Occupy, not just to cherry-pick which ones we personally supported, but to support all of the issues in a non-biased fashion, no matter what they were. All of the issues that were named and discussed, actually, in the first declaration, the founding declaration of Occupy Wall Street.”

[CLIP: KEITH OLBERMANN READING THE FOUNDING DECLARATION OF OCCUPY WALL STREET.]

“Our secondary aim was to bear witness to events that were happening on the ground in Auckland and to share news of that as far and wide as we could with the rest of the movement and the rest of the world. Additionally we contributed our own voices, based on our own experiences of what was going on. We really were eye-witnesses on the ground. For my personal safety I and many other members of my media team remained anonymous to the outside world. Our occupation knew who we were, our fellow media team members and occupiers knew who we were, unfortunately the police agencies and security agencies knew who we were, but we operated under pseudonyms online. That served us well to a certain extent but as the targeting of us became more and more pervasive it became dangerous to remain masked to the world and ultimately in late 2014 I came forward and told everybody ‘hey, this is who I am and this is what is happening to me.’ What drove us, other than commitment to the movement and to representing people on the ground who really needed advocacy and really needed our voices was – our motto was, ‘if not us, then who?’ If we aren’t going to tell the truth, who is going to do it? If we aren’t going to make change, who is going to do it? If we aren’t going to push back against our corrupt media and our corrupt government, who is going to do it? If not us, then who?

Part Two: WHY YOU?

“So, when I’ve had to tell people – hey look, I’m being targeted by these security agencies – the first thing that they ask me is ‘Why? Why you? Why would they care about you?’ Unfortunately I can’t give one easy answer to that because I didn’t just do one thing. There are a lot of reasons ‘why’. There is… Occupy.

Occupy

“Everyone knows now, finally, that the FBI, the DHS were involved in the suppression of Occupy. That through the PERF committee, the mayors across the entire United States were colluding for the destruction of the Occupy movement. What few people realise is that the fusion centres that were bringing all those agencies together were also operating with international agencies and in countries outside of America and unfortunately that’s precisely what happened to us.”

Anonymous

“Another reason I’ve been targeted is because during the Occupy movement we were supported by the Anonymous movement. They did a lot to try to help us and to try to protect us.”

[CLIP: CABINCREW/ANONYMOUS VIDEO FROM YOUTUBE ABOUT ASSAULTS ON AND HOSPITALISATIONS OF OCCUPIERS]

Kim Dotcom

“Additionally, us Occupiers, because of the close proximity in time between the FBI raid of Kim Dotcom’s mansion, which I believe was January 20th 2012, and the raids on Occupy Auckland of January 23rd and January 26th, which was just the other end of the weekend after the Kim Dotcom raid, we realised that some really fishy stuff was going on. That we weren’t just facing local police in Auckland, that the FBI were actually operating on the ground in New Zealand which they had no right to do whatsoever.”

[CLIP: OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM FOOTAGE OF MULTIPLE POLICE WEARING COUNTERFEIT BADGES PRESENT AT THE RAIDS ON OCCUPY AUCKLAND.]

So we supported Kim Dotcom and we support justice for him and we are very much against FBI overreach into our country and we are very much against our government’s collusion with the FBI in targeting and suppressing dissent in New Zealand.”

Internet Party

“When Kim Dotcom started The Internet Party we threw our full weight behind that as well, for the same reason. We need alternative political voices in our country. Both the two conventional, so-called, you know, the New Zealand versions of the Republicans and the Democrats, drastically let us down and we needed change. Internet Party was our best shot at that so we did everything we could to promote it. Unfortunately, as with every other movement, many of those people involved with Internet Party also were targeted.”

GCSB

“The GCSB movement is the movement that we started in 2012-2013 to try to combat the GCSB – they were supposed to target foreign countries but instead they had targeted New Zealand citizens. This led to huge protests all over the country in New Zealand, absolutely massive protests and widespread public support for our movement. Unfortunately the government just passed legislation – retroactive legislation – to make what they had done to us illegally, legal. They just legalised it after the fact.”

FVEY

“I, in the course of my journalism, have written about not just FBI and CIA and agencies like this, and DHS and whatnot, I’ve written pretty extensively too about the ‘Five Eyes’.”

[CLIP: PROTEST FOOTAGE OF A SIGN CALLING FOR NEW ZEALAND TO WITHDRAW FROM THE FIVE EYES INTELLIGENCE NETWORK.]

“I shared some information about the Waihopai spy base with one of my friends who happens to be the drummer of the best rock band in the history of my country. Next thing we know they released a #1 album called ‘FVEY’ which had young people all over New Zealand walking around singing lyrics about Waihopai spy base.”

[CLIP: LIVE FOOTAGE OF SHIHAD CONCERT – THE BAND SINGS THE ACRONYM “G-C-S-B”.]

Moment Of Truth

“Also I was a very early supporter of Edward Snowden and also my favourite journalist in the world is Glenn Greenwald. I’ve written about both of them pretty extensively as well. Yet another reason that I was targeted. Of course in 2014 we had Glenn Greenwald come to New Zealand for an event with Kim Dotcom and Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. The event was called ‘Moment of Truth’ – #MoT. Yet another reason that I was targeted – I was voraciously targeted in the lead-up to that event and also in the election that followed.”

[CLIP: EXCERPT OF 9PR AUSTRALIA RADIO INTERVIEW OF SUZIE PROMOTING THE EVENT]

[CLIP: SUZIE’S FOOTAGE FROM THE MOMENT OF TRUTH PRESS CONFERENCE WHERE KIM DOTCOM RIPS INTO NEW ZEALAND MEDIA FOR THEIR BIASED COVERAGE, THEN SUZIE INTERVIEWING HON. LAILA HARRE, INTERNET PARTY LEADER]

NSA

“We know thanks to The Intercept and Nicky Hager – a WikiLeaks correspondent and an amazing, awesome investigative journalist in New Zealand – that the 88 people targeted by the GCSB were referred by the GCSB to the NSA. What this means is that New Zealand citizens have had their own spy agency not only spy on them, but outsource the spying on them to a foreign government. Not only were they never supposed to spy on us in the first place but they have passed information on their own citizens to a foreign power. That should be treason.”

#TPPANOWAY

“I was also instrumental along with my media team in creating the hashtag #TPPANoWay. This is the New Zealand movement against the TPP. Dr. Jane Kelsey is the spearhead of that movement – she worked on it for years and years and years and years and together a whole bunch of us turned it into something really amazing.

[CLIP: OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM LIVE FOOTAGE OF MASS #TPPANOWAY ACTION]

“If you get on You Tube and look up ‘OccupyNZMedia’ you can watch many videos of the movements that I’m talking about, you can see live footage and action coverage from my media team of these events.”

#NZ4GAZA

“I was, along with some of my other media team members, really instrumental in trying to stop the war in Palestine. We started the hashtag #NZ4Gaza – which became #US4Gaza, #NY4Gaza, #DC4Gaza – all around the world that spread and we got some pretty amazing footage.”

[CLIP: FOOTAGE OF SUZIE ANNOUNCING THAT PALESTINIAN FLAG HAS BEEN RAISED ABOVE U.S. EMBASSY]

#SAVEGI

“SaveGI was the Glen Innes Housing moving where amazing everyday members of the public, ordinary citizens, were trying to prevent the closure of state houses and were getting beaten by police on the street. Covering that – along with other members of my media team – yet another reason why I was targeted. I could sit here and go on all day.”

Exile

“The targeting of me led me to have to leave my country after there was attempts on my life in 2014. It went from me being spied on, to me being entrapped, to them actually trying to physically harm me. In January 2015 I relocated to Berlin in Germany.”

[CLIP: SUZIE’S FOOTAGE OF 250,000 PEOPLE MARCHING AGAINST THE TTIP, IN BERLIN]

WikiLeaks

So the elephant in the room, which I have not named, in my very long list of reasons why I have been targeted, is WikiLeaks. Even before I went to Occupy and before I knew what an activist was, I supported WikiLeaks ideologically. I shared their work, I told people how awesome I thought they were. All of the supporters of WikiLeaks are surveilled or monitored in some way, shape or form. Those who are actually active in advocating for the organisation, obviously more so than just viewers and really at this point don’t get scared about viewing their website either because the ‘Collect It All’ of these governments means that they are spying on you one way or another, whether or not you go look at WikiLeaks! WikiLeaks is an unbelievably valuable resource. It is a historic resource. WikiLeaks is our information vanguard and we must protect it.”

Part Three: WHO DOES IT?

“That’s always the next question. First is, ‘Why? Why are they targeting you?’ The next question is ‘Who exactly is targeting you?’ There is the state agencies and there is the private agencies. So, the state agencies – we’ve got the police, the New Zealand police, the local community police. Within the police there is the ‘Threat Assessment Unit’, there is the ‘Special Investigations Group’. These are specific teams that are set up. They’re supposed to target violent offenders. They’re supposed to target people who are a real, demonstrable risk to society. They’re not actually supposed to target – white chick from the suburbs who becomes an activist! But unfortunately that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. Then we have the spies which is the Security Intelligence Services, known as the SIS. This is like New Zealand’s FBI. Then we have the GCSB which is the Government Communications Security Bureau. They’re supposed to be spying on foreign diplomats, not like, me and my kids going to a General Assembly. Then you have the Americans, right. One of the first times that I really realised I might be in some pretty serious trouble was when an outfit called the NCTC (National Center for Terrorism Control) followed my Twitter account from their official Twitter account. They’re a counterterrorism agency based in America and they were following me on Twitter. I blocked them. Because what do you do when a terrorism agency follows your Twitter account? There’s not much you can do so really out of spite I just blocked them. Not that obviously it would do me any good in terms of preventing them from accessing my information but I just figured if they’re going to outright try to intimidate me by following me from their main account – I’d block them. Then there is the good old Department of Homeland Security and they’re all involved in the fusion centres. Fusion centres are these places that are putting all of these agencies in contact with each other and allowing them to share information in ways that historically they were never meant to be able to do. They’re supposed to perform individual functions – very specific functions – but all their data is being merged and all of their operational purposes are being merged and the end result is that you have this grand mass-scale tyranny across all of the agencies and they can actually set the whole of government against you if they decide that you’re on their target list. And of course you have the CIA – who are really awesome people who drone people with flying killer robots in half a dozen countries around the world. Then you have the private agencies.

Spying = $$$

At the very low level we have private investigators. Like, in New Zealand we have Thompson Clark Investigations Limited. This is a notorious company that has done all kinds of things like GPS tagging activist’s cars and even being caught sleeping with and having relationships with activists in New Zealand over protracted periods of time, which is about as sleazy as you can get to be honest. We have SSI Pacific which is a ‘lawful intercept’ company which basically means they can do everything, well a lot, of what the GCSB or the NSA can do. They can intercept all of your digital communications, they can bug you in a hundred different ways and they consider it to be lawful because they do it to people who are already being targeted by these other agencies and of course because they are a private company they are doing it for money. They are billing, they’re invoicing, they are having shareholders and boards and generating profit. Then we have Cubic Defence, which does asset tracking. If you follow Barrett Brown’s work, or anybody like that, or ProjectPM then you’ll know quite a bit about these companies. Asset tracking should be like ‘There’s a million dollar necklace going to this fashion show and we want to make sure that it gets back on time, or in one piece’. Unfortunately asset tracking has become putting a GPS tracker on an activist’s car and then watching the little blip on the screen as they drop their kid at school in the morning. Their assets are not just material anymore, they have made people the assets that they track and there is a lot of people so if they want to make a lot profit they just have to track more people and of course bill it back to the state so all of this is happening on public money. Then there’s Palantir – Peter Thiel’s Palantir. Palantir are involved in financial systems in the banks. They are involved in creating predictive software but also in flagging financial transactions.. it’s all embedded in the so-called money laundering legislation that has been instituted around the world but which is also being used against activists and against journalists, who are on the target lists.

Part Four: THE TARGETS

“Who do they target? Well, back in the good old days they just targeted radicals. So-called radicals. If you want the world to be a better place and you realise that you have to do something about that in order for it to happen, congratulations you’re a radical. If you think that corporations should not dominate all of the markets and resources on the planet, congratulations you’re a radical. If you think that governments should not bomb civilians in multiple countries for money, congratulations you’re a radical. You’ll probably be targeted if you try to do anything whatsoever about organising to make change for the sake of our planet. They also of course target hacktivists, anybody who supports any kind of hacktivists in any way, you get targeted. They also target NGO’s and the people who work for them. So these are the people who are in legitimate organisations, some of them quite historic organisations, just by working for those organisations can be targeted. There are so many examples of this that I’m not even going to get into it. Obviously Greenpeace, obviously many of the NGO’s operating in… even the children’s funds! The Christian children’s funds… all targeted. Then there’s the issue-based dissenters. People who are climate change activists, or people who are anti-GMO’s. Because the thing about the privatisation of spying is that profit requires growth and growth in this industry means more targets. So it was never going to be a finite thing. It was never going to be ‘we will just target the activists’. Because if you just target the activists – first of all, they try to diminish the total number of activists and that would mean less profit. So in order to have more profit they have to constantly expand the sectors of society that they spy on. So we’ve seen this in New Zealand. Surveillance cameras used to be for safety in a dark, dingy area – now they are absolutely everywhere at all times. They have to have ever-increasing saturation of spying in order to make money from it.”

Part Five: HOW?

“How? How do they target us? What do they do to us? Obviously there’s surveillance. The surveillance leads to harassment. State-sanctioned, state-funded harassment. That leads to isolation of the targets as they’re more and more harassed. That includes sabotage. Sabotage of our personal effects and of our lives – of the paths of our lives, our relationships and our careers. Then it becomes entrapment – because if we’re not doing something illegal then that’s a big problem for them because they want us to be doing something illegal so that they can justify what they are doing to us. So if we’re not doing something illegal they invent illegal things for us to do and try to suck us into them. Eventually, it leads to some form of institutionalisation and if they cannot be successful at any of the aforementioned, if they cannot institutionalise you, in select cases there are assassination attempts. So, let’s break that down a bit.”

Surveillance

There’s physical surveillance. There is the blacked-out white van parked outside your house 24 hours a day. There is the dodgy guys in the baseball caps and the hoodies who follow you absolutely everywhere you go at all times – I call them the ‘shadows’. There is your mail that looks like rats have been biting the corner of it when it arrives in your letterbox, it’s so blatantly obvious that it has been tampered with. In New Zealand, it is now legal for a whole slew of state agencies to covertly place cameras inside your domestic dwelling without a warrant.. for is it 24 or 48 hours? I think it was initially supposed to be 48 hours but they cut it down to 24. They can watch you without a warrant inside your own house. This is Orwell. This isn’t Orwell is coming, Orwell might happen. This is Orwell.  They have cameras in your house. It’s legal. They have legalised Orwell in New Zealand. They impersonate power companies. Power company staff members specifically. They tamper with your smart meter and use it for surveillance. They work in conjunction with the phone companies, with all of the utilities. They will supply you with pre-installed hardware if you order a new cellphone from your phone company it will arrive with remote access technology already installed on the device. This has been proved by WikiLeaks’ Hacking Team releases and many other places. They use GPS trackers on your car to have you tracked by someone like Cubic Defence and they even use infrared on your houses to see who is in your house, where they are, what you’re doing at any given time. They also used this on the occupations to see how many people were in the tents at the Occupys.”

Signals Surveillance

“Signals surveillance is them surveilling your web services, your applications. All of your devices. It is them compromising your router. Your Internet Service Provider. Under the TICS legislation in New Zealand they have actually deputised the workers at Internet Service Providers and involved them in the process of spying on their consumers. They can surveill en masse through a Stingray device and collect all mobile phone information, SSN’s, for any given area.

Private Surveillance

Then there’s private surveillance. This is them targeting your social media accounts. This is them targeting your financial data and your banking. This is your medical data. This is what a really cool, awesome friend of mine from Berlin calls ‘glass masks’, which are your Big Data data profiles. So, what you bought, where you bought it from, how often you bought it, where you went, everywhere that you are tagged online, all of the information that your insurance company or that any other online company that you use collects about you and then shares with Big Data companies because they have some fine print in their Terms of Service which they think allows them to do that. All of that data is used to form a picture of you and of your spending habits and of your life. Of where you go and who you know and what you do and what you buy.”

Public Surveillance

Then there is public surveillance. This is surveillance by the local authorities, by the Councils. This is your rubbish being separated because you’re on the target list, by the rubbish company, so that someone can trawl through and see whether or not you did your recycling. This is public surveillance at events, this is facial recognition software being used at a sports stadium to collect facial profiles of people who go to watch a football game. This is public safety. In New Zealand, specifically at Occupy Auckland, we had the head of the Public Safety Board, who is also a City Councillor, a guy called George Wood, relentlessly trolling our Facebook page, telling us that we should have Alsatians set on us and water cannons – that they should bring out the water cannons to use against us. He’s Chairman of the Public Safety Board! The Public Safety Board are the people who have access to and control and say over a lot of these surveillance systems. They are also the people who are voraciously targeting activists and they are also the point of contact between a lot of the security agencies and the civic infrastructure, as are also the transport agencies. Because the transport systems are where the biggest flow of people are moving through. It’s usually where the surveillance enters the civic infrastructure first. For example in Berlin there is a big pushback against surveillance and there are not pervasive security cameras everywhere like there are in New Zealand and like there are in many other countries – most other countries. But where you do see them in Berlin is in the train stations, in the metro, in the subway system, in the transport systems and so the spy agencies tend to integrate with the transport systems and then to integrate with the Public Safety Boards. Which would be great if they were using it for rapists and murderers but unfortunately they’re using it to see where Joe Bloggs activist goes, before or after writing a blogpost that the government does not like. Then there’s TrapWire. So, TrapWire… TrapWire isn’t just facial recognition. TrapWire is networked surveillance. So, it’s where the security cameras are not just, like, owned by the shop that they’re mounted in, where the shop owner can look if there’s a robbery… they’re networked across countries. So now when there’s an action at Auckland University in Auckland and there’s 2,000 university students protesting, they can sit in Washington D.C. at a data center and watch that event live through the security cameras so these networked surveillance systems like TrapWire are bridging borders. It’s like a borderless world, a borderless surveillance world… and this is where the law is not really caught up with the Orwellian, dystopian infrastructure that has been built, because we’re not supposed to be surveilled – legally surveilled – by foreign countries. That is completely a no-no. Yet that is precisely what is happening. You’ll find that dozens if not the majority of countries on this earth can be surveilled by a data center in Washington D.C. and that is not by the consent of those citizens of those countries, at all.”

Harassment

Now that we’ve dealt with how they surveill you, how do they harass you? What do they actually do to journalists and activists to try and stop them from being activists, and journalists to try to stop them from writing things that they don’t like? They do what I call surprise visits. Surprise visits are the ones you either know about or the ones you don’t know about. There is the obvious – there is the break-ins. In December 2011, early December, for the first time ever my house was broken into. The bathroom window was smashed from the inside of the house. So nobody broke in noticeably from the outside. But they broke a window from the inside to make it look as if they had broken in from the outside. That break-in was the first in a long series of disturbances inside my home. It was the most overt and it was the first, that I’m aware of, but there were many, many others that followed. Then there is the private investigators. These wonderful private investigators would show up at my house and be like ‘oh, we’ve heard that you have had some harassment as a result of your journalism and we’re investigating those people. We’re not investigating you but we happen to be investigating the people who you are at odds with so please give us all of this information about these totally unrelated things that we’d like to know about’. They covertly film you. You’ll notice they will hold folders and inside those folders they have little cameras that are actually filming you as you talk to them on your doorstep. So definitely don’t talk to them if you’re an activist or a journalist and strange ‘investigators’ show up wanting to talk to you. Then there is what’s known online as gang stalking. I personally don’t see it as gang stalking. I see it as people who are involved with these agencies who work in a coordinated fashion to harass you. They harass you in and with vehicles, they harass you in teams on the street, they will just do whatever they can to get in your face and to push you off balance and to make you have a really shitty day. Then there is the random photographers – you get these photographers with these great big telephoto lens taking photos of you when you walk out of your driveway, taking photos of you when you go to a concert at your kids school, taking photos of you in a parking lot in the middle of the city when you’re minding your own business. They seem to do it for harassment, I guess they also do it for, so that they’ve got something to put in their little files about you but most of all, I think the reason that they actually visibly do it to you is just to try to do it is just to keep you on guard and keep you off-balance and never knowing what is going to happen next. Then there’s actual interference in your life. It’s harassment around you, in your social groups that is to harm you but not directly – you don’t necessarily always know that it’s happening. So they’ll go to every neighbour in your street and they’ll say ‘your neighbour is under investigation. If you see anything strange you call us. You tell us what you know about them and they’ll try and pump the neighbours for information. You tend to have some – if you’re lucky, like me, you’ll have some really good neighbours that say ‘Who are you? What grounds do you have for this? Get out’ and send them packing. Then you will probably have some really gullible neighbours who will go ‘oh my God! Oh my God, they’re under investigation? Of course I will help you!’ Even though there’s no grounds for that investigation whatsoever and those are the people that these guys really rely on. There are other cases – and I can’t prove this in mine – but there are many other cases where people, neighbours, friends have been told that the person is under investigation for child molestation, for drug trafficking… and these are activists and journalists! It’s got nothing to do with child molestation or drug trafficking, but these investigators and even the police agencies have to find some way to scare the people in your social circle into a) silence, so that they don’t tell you that they’ve had this interaction and b) submission – so that they will participate, so they will do what these agencies want, specifically so that the agency can put the pressure on you in a way that is palatable to that member of the public. Because I mean, who likes child molesters, right? Of course you would want to help catch child molesters but unfortunately that’s not what its actually about, its just being used as an excuse. They will interfere in your romantic relationships. They will literally hit on you in bars. I cannot even count how many guys in polo neck t-shirts, just absolutely screaming off-duty cop I had hitting on me in bars and it’s not just because they think I’m pretty. It’s because of my work and it’s because of my activism. They will do this to your partners. They will sow disinformation with your partners, they will set up entrapment efforts with your partners. If they do not like your relationship they will do whatever they can to destroy it. If they can, they will institute undercover investigators if its a private agency or even police – look at the cases in the U.K. where women – activists – have ended up having children with undercover agents who were sleeping with them to get information from them about their movements. So I promise you I’m not making this up. This is well documented. They will interfere in your romantic relationships and if they decide that they want to have one with you they will try very hard to do that as well. They will harass you at events. So they would know that I was going to cover some really big action, I would be on the ground doing my job and they would just come and push me over. Even one time I even had, on camera, on film you can actually see me flying sideways through a crowd because a cop has come and just shoved me as hard as he can, when I’m filming, to try to stop me filming. But they’ll do this through the investigative agencies, they use their agents as well to try to disrupt your footage, to try to throw you off balance at critical moments. Or they’ll go to a major event that you’re at covering and they will run around telling everyone that will listen that you, you are the police, that you are the undercover agent, that you are there to sabotage the event when you are there just trying to tell the truth and to spread the truth to the public of what is really going on. Then there is digital harassment. Harassment on social media can be death threats, it can be rape threats. But it can also be targeted messages. Targeted messages that are based off intimate knowledge about your life that has been gained through surveillance. So if they know who was in your bedroom last night, or that they know that someone was in your bedroom last night, or if they know that you popped a pimple in the bathroom mirror this morning, because they have covert cameras in your bathroom, they will actually send you messages from sock puppet accounts to let you know that they know these silly little things about your life, which no one should care about because its not their business, but they do it so that you are aware that you’re being watched because they want you off-balance, they want you to make mistakes, they want you to act out and this is how they do it, this is how they put that pressure on you. By letting you know that they know everything, even what you did in the bathroom mirror. They will harass you through other forms of communication. They will make crank calls to your house over and over again, or at different times, or asking for different people, or just hang up on you and not actually talk at all. They will harass you via email. If you’re really in a bad position in terms of how far up the list you are, they will harass you electronically. We have seen in many instances at activism events things like the LRAD. The sound cannons. There is versions of those weapons that they use in residential settings. Especially the audio weapons. So they will do that, just to harm and to scare you in your own space. Even though it is completely and utterly immoral.”

Isolation

Then there is the things that they do to isolate you. They will intercept your communications especially if they’re not encrypted specifically, or most easily, so that things you send, you never know if they actually make it to the person that you’re sending it to. Then you think that you’ve had conversations that you haven’t actually had and you end up never really knowing where you stand with people or what has or hasn’t been said or what has or hasn’t been received. There is gaslighting. Gaslighting is the best way to isolate someone. It’s really horrible and brutal and it is something that happened to me a lot when I was in New Zealand. So, I would get home and I would walk into my lounge and sitting open on my coffee table would be a newspaper that I did not buy and that no one else bought because there was no one else to buy it at that time – and it would be open to a specific article that I would understand the significance of. So it would relate to something I’d been writing about or something that had happened in my life. They would do this expressly to let me know two things. One: they had been inside my home, in my personal space. So, if they’d left that newspaper on the table, what else had they done? It would be up to my imagination to work out what else they had done in that time. But also because it’s something that I could not prove. It’s something that I could not explain to people, that this is happening. I could not go to a police station and say ‘somebody left a newspaper on my coffee table. I want you to do something about that.’ There’s absolutely no way that I could prove that. I had another incident where I had bought a 3-pack of brand new white sport socks and I left them on top of my dresser in my bedroom. As you do. You buy some new socks, you stick them on your dresser. You go out of your house. You come home and, not only are they gone, this isn’t just a case of missing socks, but a dirty filthy sweaty pair of men’s socks – and there was no man in my house at this time – men’s socks, is sitting on my dresser in the exact position where the unopened package of brand new white sport’s socks was. So someone has been in my house, they have stolen my socks, my unused sport socks and they have left a disgusting dirty pair of men’s socks in its place. Purely to let me know, they have been there. They have been in my house, they have been in my bedroom. They’ve been in my dresser. They have stolen $5 worth of socks from me. What can I do about it? Can I go to the cops and say ‘hey – $5 worth of socks has been stolen from me and somebody’s left some dirty socks on my dresser’, no I can’t. So these are the ways that they terrorise you. Ways that you can’t do anything about. There’s no redress for them and this is precisely why they do it and this is why they get away with it as well. They do things to you that you would sound completely nuts trying to tell anyone about and they know that when they do it. It’s deliberate. Then there’s misinformation. This happened to my media team over and over again. We would be sent like, Nazi propaganda that would be dressed up as left-wing rhetoric of social movements. You see it in what happened with the WikiLeaks Party actually, same thing. You see it with the Anonymous movement being told that they’re a Neo-Nazi movement when they have been doing anti-KKK actions for years. This accusation of Neo-Nazism is a common thread across all of the activist movements that have been targeted. They try to associate us with Neo-Nazis even though its completely baseless and there is no founding for it.”

Sabotage

“Sabotage is really horrible. You really can’t get around this. So, either you own your own home like I did, or you rent a home. If you rent a home they will come at you through your landlords. It’s back to the telling people you’re a child molester thing. They will go to your landlords and they will say ‘this person is under investigation. You need to cooperate with us. You need to let us put cameras in their home. You need to tell us everything about them. You need to do whatever we say. Because they’re terrible child molesters or drug traffickers or something. Please cooperate.’ But if you own your own home and it makes it a little bit more difficult for them, not much, but a little bit more difficult for them to surveill you, they will actively destroy your home piece by piece. They will destroy your belongings as well. It is repetitive damage that they do. So they’ll do it over and over and over again. They will steal things and they will break things. So a really good example of this is, in my home, I would have a leak spring out of nowhere in my roof. I would get someone in to patch my roof and it would cost me a couple of hundred bucks or whatever, and they would patch the roof and then two weeks later the roof would leak again. I would call the roof guy back and he would get up on the roof and he would say ‘why did you remove the patch?’ and I’d say ‘of course I didn’t remove the patch. I haven’t been on my roof. Why would I remove the patch?’ and he’d put another patch on and I’d pay another couple of hundred dollars. Then two weeks later the roof would leak again and he’d come back and say ‘why is the patch removed again?’ This is the perfect example of what they do. They will smash water pipes. They will put holes in your roof. They will just do things that, again, you can’t prove it. You can’t go to the cops and say ‘my patch came off my roof.’ But when your patch comes off your roof three or four times back to back and its not you who’s doing it, somebody is and that somebody is probably associated with all the other weird things that have been happening to you that I’ve just been discussing. Especially in the context of you being an activist or you being a journalist and covering controversial topics that the governments don’t like you doing. They will take things that they know are precious to you and destroy them, just to do the emotional damage. Like a precious antique watch that my grandmother got me, that I used to wear. I left it inside my jewelery box, I come home, I open my jewelery box, everything is still there, everything is fine, except the precise item has had its face smashed with a hammer. They will sabotage your employment. They will do the same thing with your boss or with your co-workers that they will do with your landlord. They will sabotage your relationships and your opportunities. So, it’s really like The Matrix. In The Matrix they think there’s a window and they try to go out it and they open the curtains and there’s a brick wall. That is exactly what these guys do with the information that they gather from the surveillance. They create a brick wall wherever there is an opportunity.”

Entrapment

“Moving along, there is entrapment. They will try to entrap you, especially if you’re an activist, at public events through trying to coerce you into doing illegal acts. They will entrap you by speech. They will get you to have conversations, they will record those conversations, then they will go and play them to affected parties to try to turn those parties against you. There is digital entrapment which is one I experienced early on when – I’m not a hacker, at all – but someone tried to convince me to hack something. Then there’s the most horrible of the horrible types of entrapment. This happened to me in 2013 in the wake of the Snowden disclosures, between June, July and end of August I was entrapped into having an online relationship with Hector (Sabu) Monsegur. Mario Fernandes, he called himself. He pretended to be a friend that I had had online for about seven years or eight years. I’ve actually published the full story of everything that happened, back in 2015. You can go and read the whole story if you’re really that interested, but he actually committed identity fraud so that he could convince me that he was someone that I’d always known so that he could convince me to get into a relationship with him so that he could pump me for information about my writing, what blogposts I had done… its this really insipid flavour of social engineering. Again, it comes back to these police informants that have relationships with activists and even have children with activists. This is like a digital version of the same thing. It’s these disgusting creeps that will use sex to try and get information out of you about your activism and your journalism. It’s the JTRIG program, right? They call it honeypots. They set up honeypots. What they’re actually doing is committing identity fraud to coerce unsuspecting people into having completely false relationships with them – relationships based on false premises. It is a form of rape because it is sexual activity procured or obtained by deception. The deception of you is how they obtain the sexual activity and they do this for a whole variety of reasons, primarily for information gathering, also for control, also so that they can handle you and get you to do things that they want you to do and also so that they can collect this material and so that they can have it to use against you, or to wield against you. In which case I highly recommend just telling the truth like I did, that this has happened to you, because it’s the only way that you can combat it. Don’t sit around feeling bad about what they’ve done – it’s on them. They are the disgusting people doing this, they are the ones who should feel the shame. Not the people who have been good-hearted enough to believe them. So if this has happened to you, speak out and tell people about it. The shame is on the perpetrator not on you.”

Institutionalisation

“What’s the end game? The end game is to institutionalise you one way or another. It can take many forms. It can just be reformist instituionalisation which means they push you into the conventional political process because they know that that’s a have – they know that game is rigged and they’re gonna win, whether the red candidate or the blue candidate gets in they’re gonna get their way. So they’ll try and push you into the political system, they’ll try and play on your ego, they want you to speak at events and get a profile so that you start worrying about your image and your reputation more than you do about, actually, the message that you’re putting out there and the action that you’re taking on behalf of people. They want you to feel that you have something to lose and they’ll play on that. If you have something to lose in your reputation, so they’ll use that to tailor your behaviour and your decision-making. They will try to reform you via institutionalisation with some complicit NGO’s. They would rather have you working for an NGO where they’re surveilling that whole NGO anyway and where you’re working on set projects and where its budgeted and where there’s a structure where you receive promotions or demotions and again… they’re trying to attack your ideology and your motivation. They can control your motivation through employment. They would rather have you working at a call centre for $10 an hour, than changing the world. They would much rather have that. So if they can get you to do that, they will get you to do that. In the most severe cases where none of their efforts have paid off, they haven’t been able to stop you doing what you’re doing, especially if you’re sufficiently isolated and you don’t have good support, they can actually attack you to the point where you start to lose the plot. Not of your own volition, or not of natural causes, but purely because of what they’re doing to you. There have been cases where activists are in fact sectioned under the Mental Health Act and are forced into mental hospitals and they’re drugged – once they’re in the mental hospitals they are drugged against their will and they are discredited by those means. They are prevented from continuing their activism or their journalism and they are discredited by their mental health record. Not to mention the horrendous effects on their bodies of the drugs that they’re given and the experiences that they undergo. The other form of institutionalisation is imprisonment. So you see that with Barrett Brown, you see that with Jeremy Hammond, you see that with Chelsea Manning, you see that with many of our most beautiful and amazing whistle-blowers and journalists and activists. They will find a way to put you in prison. Look at the guy that – was it the guy that filmed Eric Garner’s death? Many of those guys actually, the citizen journalists who filmed various people being hurt by the police – they’re targeted and they’re put in jail. Purely because they recorded the truth of what was happening.”

Assassination Attempts

“Big deep sigh because now we come to the most depressing part of all ad that is the assassination attempts. So, if you’re an exceptional circumstance where they cannot institutionalise you, where they’ve tried every other thing on you and none of it has worked, then it is possible that they will actually try to just kill you or to really hurt you or injure you. In my case, on Mother’s Day no less, they tried to drive me off a cliff. They had a car pull out in front of me, at a township in a rural area, and a car pull out behind me, and then those two cars were used to box us in and to control our speed so that we couldn’t drop back and we couldn’t go forward and we couldn’t get around, because we were in this windy clifftop area in this rural part of Northland in New Zealand. Then once they controlled our movement and our speed they started using what I later found out are called ‘Dazzlers’. They’re these really high-powered lights, coloured lights, and they shine them into the rear-view mirrors – from the vehicle behind – to dazzle the driver, so that the driver loses their vision. In a situation when you’re on a one-lane-each-way windy cliff-top road at night, losing your vision is really not a good thing. There were other incidents where the oil cap on our car was removed, again in a rural area, where it’s a high-speed zone and as soon as the vehicle is traveling at speed when the oil cap has been removed the oil splashes all over the engine and then catches on fire. So next thing you know you’re driving at speed in a car that is on fire. It’s a particularly awesome experience. Then there’s medical assassination attempts as well. So there’s situations where they can give you the wrong drugs, or an overdose of drugs, or… I received  a really horrible, nasty message in 2011… it was a threat. It said, ‘if you mess with us, we will kill you and no one will know that it was murder/nobody will know that we have done this to you’. So they’re basically bragging that they have methods of getting rid of people that are untraceable.”

Part Six: WHAT DO THEY WANT?

“They want you to give up. They want you to run. They want you to run because if you run from them… for example, one guy, who was really severely targeted, his house was repeatedly broken into, his pets were stolen, his belongings were destroyed, he was prevented from getting a job, they just ruined his life. He ran out of the city, just took off, because what else do you do when you’re being stalked 24 hours a day? He thought that was a good idea, to try to get out of town. They picked him up, booked him into a mental hospital, incarcerated him, drugged him and the works. So they want you to run, because if you run they can pass it off as unstable behaviour. They want you to lash out, they want you to freak out, they want you to hurt people. As sick as it sounds, that’s what they want you to do because that gives them the perfect excuse to pick you up and the perfect excuse to put you away. So do not hurt people. Do not run, do not lash out. Hold your ground. They want you to break down. They want you to fall to pieces. They want you to not be able to cope with what is happening to you, in a way that is visible to others that you can’t cope. For exactly that same reason. Do not do that. Find some community. There are people out there who can help you but step one is getting in touch with people who understand that this is happening to you, because it’s happening to thousands of people all over the world.”

What You Learn To Do

“What you learn to do is to use their surveillance systems against them. Get in public if they’re hurting you. Go on their surveillance systems, their public surveillance systems. At least then there is a record of what is happening to you. You’re better getting in amongst a lot of people than you are going into an isolated situation. Be visible. Do what you do visibly. Let people know – ‘Hey. This is me, this is my name, this is what I do, check out what I do, see that I’m legit and please keep an eye on me because this is risky. Document what you do. Make sure that you have documentation to show ‘this is what I do and this is what has been happening to me.’ Document that responsibly; don’t go running off after the attackers trying to track them down and end up in more trouble. Just document what they’re doing to you, hold onto those records, keep them in a safe place and distribute them amongst people that you trust.”

Conclusion

“There is a lot more to my story than what I’ve just been able to tell you about in this video. But for now, this is a really good start on what it means to be a Person of Interest – what you face, who does it to you and how they do it – and how you should respond. I hope that this is helpful to you and if I do get confirmation that I am one of the 88 New Zealanders that was targeted by the NSA on behalf of the New Zealand government – you can be sure that you’ll be hearing more from me.”

WATCH THE FULL DOCUMENTARY: vimeo.com/181517859

*** Please note: there is a number of screenshots, photographs and other supporting evidence shown in the documentary that is not referenced in this transcript.

Fame or Flame

“No one likes a show-off”, as they say. Or in New Zealand, we’d say “No one likes a skite.”

When I first arrived in Berlin and began to meet the activist crowd, I’d say “Hi, I’m Suzie from New Zealand” and people’s eyes would not reflect any recognition.

“You might know me as @endarken online…” I’d then say, and often their eyes would light up – many of them knew of my online handle.

This is because for more than 3 years I had stuck to that moniker on Twitter, avoiding ever posting photos of myself or tying myself to my “real person” identity. Few people even realised I was female, let alone knew my real name.

My critics would frequently deride me for being ‘anonymous’ and tell me I was hiding behind an icon, a fake persona. My supporters knew I was just trying to protect myself and others, and my media team knew it was out of respect for them, and for the founding understanding (in New Zealand Maori – the kaupapa) of our occupation.

In 2011, I was repeatedly asked to accept interviews, or speak for the occupation. I constantly deferred to our media team co-ordinator, as we had all agreed upon, and he would then delegate speaking opportunities amongst the team. When he would urge me to be interviewed, I would also decline. It was important to me to respect the horizontal nature of the movement and I did not want to be seen to be taking on any form of leadership role, or to be promoting myself as an individual.

When a newspaper picked up a piece I’d written on Facebook and wanted me to write a version for them, I said no. When a local radio station wanted to interview me, I said no. When one of my friends did a series of video interviews to commemorate the founding of our 4th physical occupation, Occupy Albert Park, and wanted to interview me, I said no. I had zero desire to appear on camera (as it turns out I adore that particular video, which features three of my fellow media team members speaking from their hearts about the occupation, and I periodically view it just for the pleasure and enjoyment of reminiscing about that day, which was a very special day for all involved.)

A good friend and fellow Occupier lectured me repeatedly about my refusal to speak up outside of the sanctuary of the occupation. “People need to hear what you have to say. We need your voice!” he told me. I demurred, repeatedly. I had zero interest in joining the lists of speakers at actions and events. Zero political aspirations whatsoever. No desire to see myself on camera or hear the sound of my own voice.

Occupy was never a career opportunity for me. I was there only because I wanted to give, to share, to amplify the voices of others and to protect them. But my compulsion for telling the truth about what was happening to us and to others around the world, kept me vocal online, as an “anonymous” voice.

In 2012, in what I was yet to realise was the lead-up to the evictions, I relented and agreed to be interviewed by Kiwi truther Vinny Eastwood.

At the end of the segment, I was quietly mortified when he said:

Host: “By the way, we have just received word from [person] who runs this monthly broadcast on UnitedWeStrike.com that goes out internationally, that they’d like you to be popping in on a monthly basis just to give a quick little report and updates as you’ve done here if you’re willing.

Me: “Oh, excellent, thank you. Someone from the media team certainly will. We run a non-hierarchical structure and we rotate through the positions. But there are plenty of awesome people that have awesome things to say on our media team, and definitely one of us would love to speak to you when you are able.”

I was pleased at having successfully avoided any commitment to personally undertake future interviews. But a week after it took place, private security and police would physically dismantle our occupations, arrest nearly our entire media team (and dozens of other protesters), and begin to dramatically accelerate our persecution.

Enraged at seeing what was happening to selfless, conscientious people whose hearts were in the right place, and with the backing of our media team co-ordinator, I agreed to do my second ever interview, on the same show, some ten weeks later.

The host wanted a picture of me to use in the video. I insisted he use an image of thousands of protesters filling a motorway overpass on their way to the November 2011 Port of Oakland shutdown/General Strike.

We discussed the persecution of Occupy at length, and other related issues. Towards the end of the video, we had the following exchange.

Host: “We all self-censor a little bit. So if you think there’s anything that’s a little bit risqué, or that you try to steer clear of or anything of that nature, because of its very scary implications or because of what people might think of you if you said it, this is the place to say it.”

Me: “To be honest, I’m not scared. I just tell the truth. And that for me has been my mantra right through Occupy because I just say what I saw and what I know to be true and if people don’t like that, I can’t really do anything about their reactions, but I do feel that it is really important that there is a testament to the truth that remains on record because the MSM version of the truth is inherently flawed…”

On July 14th, 2012, the same filmmaker behind the Occupy Albert Park video, who had been repeatedly asking to interview me, literally ambushed me on live video at an “Aotearoa Is Not For Sale” anti-asset sales protest. Hair in a bun with zero makeup, I was not even vaguely expecting to find myself put on the spot like that. But I cared deeply about the issues and when he asked me what I wanted to see happen as a result of the march, I gave my two cents.

Me: “I want people to feel empowered. I want people to not feel scared to talk out, to speak out about these issues. I want, really, Aotearoa to know that they can’t sell us what we already own. We already own these assets so I don’t believe the line that it will be sold to New Zealanders – we already own it.”

Interviewer: “So are we heading up to the Town Hall, is it, then we’re going to have an event there?”

Me: “Yeah. Well Aotea Square is pretty much shut down – the Council has paid another $18,000 of ratepayers money to fence it off from us. If the public don’t have access to public space then that just leaves us the streets. I think you’re going to see a lot of people on the streets this afternoon!

Interviewer: “The beautiful thing is, is also that this is synchronistic around the whole nation.”

Me: “And around the whole world. 380 cities protested, it’s huge, May Day, #M12, #M15 in Europe – they’re just massive. Austerity doesn’t really exist, it’s something that is just imposed upon us by people – politicians – who don’t want to make the effort to find real alternatives and in many cases, who have a vested interest in pursuing the policies of privatisation and colonisation of New Zealand and more and more now we’re going to see public assets and public infrastructure being passed into corporate hands. It’s already happened with our Council, that’s probably why our Council has reacted the way they have. They’ve already partially-privatised many of their assets. That’s why they’re now pushing that onto the rest of our country. We don’t want to see that. We want to keep our education, we want to keep our infrastructure, we want to keep our public assets.”

It was the last interview I would agree to do for more than another two years. It is fitting that in the wake of my words, New Zealand music artist King Kapisi is shown singing “Stand on your own two feet – stand, don’t be afraid to speak. Stand for what you believe…”

In the meantime, I was authoring hundreds of blogposts without ever putting my name in the by-line, and supporting the actions and events of a slew of movements; Aotearoa Is Not For Sale, Idle No More, anti-rape actions, anti-GCSB actions, It’s Our Future NZ (against the TPPA), Internet Party events, Greenpeace events, the list goes on and on. Whoever was taking action for humanitarian reasons, we supported unconditionally. I had also accidentally become an interviewer myself… both in print, with our first ever web series “Women Warriors of the Global Revolution” for Occupy Savvy, and in video – sheerly because I was increasingly finding I had access and serendipitous opportunities to ask questions of amazing people and felt obliged not to squander those opportunities, but still kept myself out of the frame in a semi-cinéma vérité style, and credited everything to our media team.

This had an upside and a downside. The upside was that I felt I was staying true to the original commitments made by our media team, even though the occupations themselves were long gone and the working groups dissolved (with the exception of ours, which in an incredible display of extra-human commitment and loyalty stayed together to this day, regardless of whatever was thrown at us. The more we were attacked, the more staunch, determined and closer we became.)

The downside was that while it wasn’t apparent to our friends and supporters exactly what I was doing or involved in, our lack of encrypted communications and the pervasive surveillance of us meant that the government and security agencies knew full well the gravity and significance of my involvement, my level of productivity and what I was responsible for.

This led to ever-increasing pressure being applied to me by them, and intrusions inflicted upon every single area of my life imaginable. They were out to get me with a vengeance, and my lack of visibility as a “real person” began to protect them, and endanger me.

This accelerated as I began to campaign directly against the state intelligence agencies later on in 2012 & 2013, and as I was imploring major media and political personalities behind the scenes to build and co-ordinate a national movement against them.

In the wake of the June 2013 Snowden revelations, my unconditional support of him and constant circulation of related information and advocacy for whistle-blowers, exacerbated that.

Likewise with the Kim Dotcom situation. I don’t need to go into the ways in which I supported the formation of the Internet Party and its various members here, but the state is well aware of every single thing I did, as in my ignorance of ‘opsec‘ none of those communications were protected.

By 2014, in the months leading up to the ‘Moment of Truth‘ Snowden/Greenwald/Dotcom/Assange event, as Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics‘ revelations were shocking the nation, and as I and other media team members were throwing our efforts into developing #NZ4Gaza in protest of Israel’s war on Gaza, the constant state sabotage of, intrusions upon and wanton destruction of every aspect of my being, snowballed into several direct and undeniable attempts upon my life.

Particularly in the week leading up to the MoT event, it got so bad that I honestly didn’t expect I would live through it. The attacks on me were physical, 24/7 and relentless and it seemed clear that I was toast – it was just a matter of time before I would be taken out of the equation.

I was told outright by more seasoned activists than me that if I didn’t make myself more visible, I was as good as dead. So the day before the event I went on Aussie radio with an old friend, who interviewed me about it.

The mainstream media did a humongous snow-job on the Moment of Truth event, which culminated in a tumultuous press conference where I filmed Kim Dotcom rightly telling the media (politely) where to shove it, and then scored another interview with legendary Kiwi politician and then-Internet Party Leader Laila Harré.

No one’s fool, she understood exactly what our significance had been and stated so eloquently, when for the first time ever, I asked a question about the role of citizen media in what had been going on in New Zealand.

Me: “What could you tell me about the role of citizen media in exposing the GCSB [NZ equivalent of the CIA] activities over the last few years?”

Laila: “Well, without citizen media, and without the humble investigative reporting of citizen journalists and supportive academics and senior journalists around the world, we would not even begin to understand what it is that’s being presented to us today by Glenn Greenwald. What you people do is provide the base of understanding that then allows this level of information to penetrate and be shared.”

Less than two months later, I was sitting having lunch with another media team member with whom I had co-created #TPPANoWay, and with Dr. Jane Kelsey, the University of Auckland Law professor who spearheads the movement against the TPPA in New Zealand, explaining to her that our hashtag had just trended number 2 worldwide at the most recent action and discussing the ramifications.

We were jubilant, and I told Dr. Kelsey how throwing ourselves into circulating the information online was our way of both circumventing and getting back at the mainstream media who frequently blacked out or subverted activism messages.

Jane intimated that the agencies who oppose us would be looking to find a way of dealing to that. She was right. The death threats had been coming in thick and fast in the wake of the re-election of the sitting pro-US government. My social media platform logins were being piggy-backed by accounts featuring serial killers for profile pictures, sending me sickening messages and images suggesting my impending demise.

They would alternately suggest I should flee the country, and then send me photos and videos of plane crashes in an attempt to further terrify me.

On the night they had won re-election, I unmasked myself online. It was raining, and rather than sit at home and feel sorry for myself, I’d been walking around the central city, filming video interviews with homeless people to see how they felt about the election. I got a menacing Twitter message from a fake account that said “just you wait until tomorrow. Then the real fun will begin.” In defiance, and inspired by a friend, I took a photo of myself, and for the first time ever, posted it to my Twitter. It was September 20, 2014. Three years after I started tweeting.

At that time, I was being tailed and harassed 24/7. My house was being constantly broken into… the perpetrators would leave unpleasant little surprises around my home to ensure I knew they had visited. Some kind of LRAD-style aural weapon that made me feel like my eardrums were bursting was being used against me in the late nights as I would attempt to work in my lounge.

It became impossible to live with. Other more high-profile international activists who had experienced the same things told me to sell up, pack my bags and move to Berlin, where there was more support for people like me.

When I would try to explain what was happening to regular people, their reaction was “but why would they be doing that to you?” It became abundantly clear that my commitment to anonymity had been aiding my persecutors, and hurting me. So I built the website Suzi3d.com, and started the Twitter account @Suzi3d. I started to by-line my articles, using my real name. Up to that point my by-lines had all been assigned as either Occupy NZ, Occupy Auckland or endarken.

My media team members supported me outing myself unconditionally. While I wasn’t comfortable with it at first, and in some ways still am not, I understand why it was a necessity.

I have also begun to accept that what I have to say is an important contribution to the debate. Arriving in Berlin, I felt a genuine responsibility to warn everyone what was happening to dissidents in New Zealand. I became hyper-aware of the fact that while I had ostensibly got out in one piece, others were still back there facing all the same problems, being subjected to the same criminal behaviour by agents of their own government, and of the Five Eyes at large.

To someone who doesn’t know me, and doesn’t know better, my portfolio and solidarity pages on Suzi3d.com appear to contain exhaustive lists of me taking credit for magnanimous things. To them, the sheer quantity is overwhelming and therefore they assume it must be fantasy. But in reality, it isn’t the half of it. Those who know me and have worked with me behind the scenes know my true significance, and how much I have done that I still take no credit for.

A particularly toxic pastebin was brought to my attention recently, that a) accuses me of being a fantasist, based on what work I have alluded to on my website; b) quotes slander about me by a relentless persecutor of our media team, who has a 20-year history of fracturing and subverting New Zealand activist groups and attacking and endangering key protesters; c) claims that I have questions to answer about my “sources of income” and how I’ve financed my activism; d) attempts to smear me by association because someone who hasn’t been in my life for years was once in the army reserves five years before I ever met them and e) claims it is suspicious that I have ‘computer skills’, despite the fact that nearly the entire millennial generation does too.

I can find no trace of the pastebin having been circulated on social media or on the web. Yet it has 100 hits. Which suggests that it has been supplied to individuals privately, on a targeted basis, in order to damage specific relationships.

While asserting that I have “questions to answer”, the unnamed author has never directed me to the pastebin, nor even alluded to its existence at all. Which suggests that they knew I could easily debunk it, but that it could have impact with others more removed from my personal situation.

My response when shown the pastebin was “pffft.” While in the beginning of my activism I would have been shocked and mortified that lies were being circulated about me, after so many years of being targeted, such attempts to smear me hold little weight now, and bother me less than ever.

But I am a truth-teller, and have staked my life in order to do so. And the truth is, in 2013-2014 while campaigning against the GCSB, the TPPA, Israel and other facets of the military-industrial complex, I was working a day job as a Software Development Manager, eventually earning up to NZD$120 per hour building print portals for New Zealand universities.

As it became clear to me that there was likely political interference in my career by the very same players exposed in Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics“, I turned down an offer to extend my employment contract, resigning against the wishes of my employer when my contract expired and walking away from a massive paycheck to become an unemployed full-time writer. I then sold my house and everything I owned, and moved to Berlin.

In the 15 months since, we have had to live off those funds as I have continued to write, speak out and advocate for multiple movements and issues, unpaid. My net worth has plunged to nearly zero and I have absolutely no regrets. Despite the stress, danger and degradation, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

I may not have money or assets or safety or an untarnished reputation, but I am at peace with my own conscience and decisions.

I have never earned a single dollar for any of the activism work I have done. Since quitting I.T., my only source of income, if it can even be called that considering how paltry it is, has been child support payments. The last payment I received was NZD$5.45c. I have never even heard of someone receiving such a pathetic amount of child support as I do, but it is not even worth my time to pursue as the government agencies and banks are so obstructive towards me that there is clearly an agenda by them to limit my access to resources and income in every way possible.

This is not a new phenomenon – over the last two years, my cash cards have been repeatedly frozen without notice, my internet banking access revoked for months on end, and all manner of other injustices inflicted upon me. At one point my bank tried to close my cash-positive accounts entirely with the bizarre excuse that I wouldn’t be able to secure debt services. Debt services that I had neither requested or needed. When I involved lawyers and pushed back, they backed down, as they later did with the revocation of my internet banking, and they even had to refund me ATM fees that had resulted from their undue restrictions on my accounts, but the message was clear. I was on their shit-list and they were going to make life as hard for me as possible.

When I tried to move money from New Zealand to Europe to pay my landlord in Berlin, the transiting authority, the American bank Citibank, froze the funds and refused to complete the transfer, holding the money for two weeks then shipping it back to New Zealand.

When I tried to transfer funds between European banks, an anomalous “administrative error” resulted in those funds also being frozen, leaving me without access to finances.

The role of police agencies in working with the banks behind the scenes was outed by David Fisher in the New Zealand Herald. It turns out that police made thousands of warrant-less requests for information from banks, utilities and other services, without any legal basis, and without any push-back from those institutions. Under the same ‘Fraud and Money-laundering” anti-terrorism legislation that is being used to persecute Kim Dotcom (and likely anyone within two degrees of separation from him is also a target) the accounts of persons of interest are handled in a completely different way to those of the general public. The banks have their own corresponding ‘Fraud and Money-laundering teams’ responsible for administrating those accounts, who according to their own assertions to me, run Palantir risk-management software and liaise with the police teams.

At no point in the last four years has it ever been admitted to me that I am under any type of investigation. Yet having had my house first broken into in December 2011, experiencing years worth of harassment and attacks since, including being directly targeted by the FBI-informant ‘Sabu’ in 2013, and the attempts on my life in 2014, it would be extremely naive of me to think that I have not been caught up in the net of myriad investigations – whether it be the sealed indictment into WikiLeaks in some way, shape or form (I have been a WikiLeaks supporter since 2010), the investigation into Snowden, the investigation into Kim Dotcom by the FBI (which would go some way to explaining why I was targeted by Sabu), the investigation into Kiwi journalist Nicky Hager, and/or other investigations into the activist group Occupy or Anonymous, or my involvement in the movement against the TPPA, which has just been deemed a ‘threat to national security’ by the New Zealand government.

So why the hell did I do it?

This is the question asked me by an NGO employee not two weeks ago. “You have children!” she said. “Why did you do it?

Her question sparked a flame in my very soul. I answered vehemently “because I am just one person. They can kill me, and I am just one life. But the issues I have been working on effect everyone. There are 4.5 million people in my country, and the GCSB spying on New Zealanders affected them all. How can I weigh the importance of my one life against the importance of everyone in my country? I cannot. The issues are far more important than me.” I also told her that my children would not have been able to escape the ramifications regardless. They would grow up in a country whose sovereignty had been forfeited to the United States with less resistance, whose resources were mercilessly plundered and whose citizenry was subjugated by the surveillance systems of the Five Eyes.

I remember, and will never forget, the first of thousands of tweets I sent and amplified on the hashtag #GCSB. Yes, I did momentarily hesitate before making a conscious decision. Me, or everyone? And I chose everyone. That was precisely the decision I made. Do I act to try to preserve myself? Or do I act to try to preserve my country?

I chose the latter. And I know that if I don’t survive this, others have been and will be inspired by the choice that I, and countless other people around the world, have made and make every day, and speak and act in my stead.

Every day I have, I am conscious that I am a dead woman walking. Because it is only by chance that they weren’t able to kill me in 2014. It is only by chance that I am alive to write this now. To that end, I have and will continue to commit my life to shining light on injustice, no matter what they do to me. Every day for me is borrowed time, and I am determined to make full use of it.

I remember every ‘Thank You’

This entire post has come about because an amazing person who I have a great deal of respect for, simply said “Thank you, Suzie” to me. It made me remember each and every time someone had said thank you to me, and why.

Family friends who sent me private messages, gushing over how my posts had inspired them. Movement organisers, who did the on-the-ground work and saw the benefit of our online efforts, who took the time to make contact and personally thank us for what we were doing and had done. In some cases, thanking us on behalf of people who had bombs dropping on their heads, whose babies were being killed, whose countries were being devastated. People who had no voice other than the voices others raised in empathy, in solidarity.

Followers and supporters online, who have sent me wonderful messages sharing how they’d been inspired to speak up in unison with us.

Their acknowledgments mean the world to me. I remember every thank you. Those simple words mean more than any payment. That is the real profit of our efforts.

And to them I say back now – thank you. Thank you for caring, thank you for following, thank you for sharing, thank you for supporting, thank you for acknowledging, thank you for reaching out, thank you for your love and your authenticity and your integrity. We are all we really have and that is as it should be.

In respect of you all, I will continue to speak out. I will step into the role I was so uncomfortable in and that I resisted for so long. I will be seen, I will be vocal, and I will remain committed to truth and social justice.

I hope you will continue to support me in this journey. I have your backs, all of you, and I appreciate every one of you that has mine.

Love,

Suzie


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Malaysia

Last night I was telling my kids a bedtime story – about how, as an 8-10 year old fledgling horse-rider, I was so proud that I had never fallen off a horse. I was convinced not doing so made me great. Imagine my bruised ego when, from the age of 11 onwards, I began show-jumping and cross-country and soon suffered constant falls and minor injuries! Surely I was no longer the exemplary rider I thought I was! To the contrary – I soon realised that each fall taught me a valuable lesson and made me a much stronger, more seasoned, experienced and confident rider.

As a self-publisher, I never had to suffer a literary rejection. Imagine my dejection then, when I eventually became a contributor to the extremely excellent Public Address who then resoundingly rejected the second piece I ever submitted to them for publishing. Once I got over the initial shock I realised that rejection as a writer is less about the efficacy of what you have written, of your personal testimony, and is much more about the suitability of the work for the audience of the publisher involved. Now, many months later, I re-read the rejected piece and still love and cherish it, and stand by every word. There is no less value in it for having been rejected; and I feel I am a stronger, more seasoned, experienced and confident writer for the experience.

I am now publishing the piece for posterity, as a keepsake; for its grains of wisdom that some others may find their own truth in; and most of all, because all writing that comes from the heart is taonga – a beautiful, sacred gift.

Malaysia

Venturing into the Muslim world for the first time opened my eyes not only to the differences but also to the similarities between our nations.

Similarities that it seems are inconvenient to the Western subtext of Muslim societies as being largely comprised of backwards-looking stuck-in-the-mud civilisations desperately in need of our modernising influence.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Aside from the obvious – that many women in Malaysia wear headscarves, some a full hijab, and just as many women don’t wear either and no one bats an eyelid – I struggled to ascertain exactly where the differences that Western society stresses exist were.

Most profound to me as a woman was that men averted their eyes as I passed, didn’t once ogle me, catcall me or make inappropriate comments about me within earshot, as so often happens in New Zealand and other countries. It was a welcome relief from a common pressure of daily life that many women experience.

In truth all societies have strengths and weaknesses and the more mature and enlightened among us are able to recognise this.

Searching the architectural landscape with my eyes – the modern city sky-rises, the sweeping valleys filled with all of the trappings of modern commerce and civic facilities on a scale not found on Kiwi shores – the most immediately noticable difference was actually the banks and petrol stations.

The brand names were different. The logos were different. I can only assume that the shareholders are different. And it seems that difference in brands and shareholders, may be a big part of why our own governments, despite their facade of diplomacy, are so quick to divorce our peoples politically and culturally.

As with every Western nation, the tallest and most ostentatious buildings still housed the headquarters of banks and oil companies – but these had different brands and logos too. It seems the war on the wider Muslim world (both metaphorical and physical) is one of political pretexts masking the true struggle; that between the financiers and energy profiteers that hand in fist rule this planet.

However, Malaysia isn’t some sordid slum-laden backwards pit from which its citizens should be grateful to one day escape via emigration to Western shores. The city centres are well developed metropolitan zones with modern amenities catering to a melting pot of races, cultures, religions and lifestyles.

Many of the activities are very child-centric and “family-friendly” as big-name travel apps would describe it. The shopping malls have to be seen to believed. One has a roller-coaster inside it (literally). An ice skating rink inside another. While they still have the ubiquitous McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, they have entire floors of proper restaurants, with real tables, wait staff, cuisine, rather than merely featuring cardboard-cutout food courts where every single mall patron is restricted to choosing from one of the same six prefab meal outlets.

It is difficult to imagine the bastardisation that is Western commerce until you witness the overseas alternatives. As one Malaysian friend put it, “in New Zealand if you park for two minutes too long, they’ll punish you with fines or tow your car and charge you hundreds of dollars. Overseas they hire parking attendants to pop extra coins into your meter in case you accidentally run overtime, and help carry your shopping bags to your car for you.”

Why? Because they want to encourage commerce not discourage it. The relaxed attitude of the civic structure towards its locals was evident everywhere. Outside of the spotless commercial zones, there was a huge variation in standard of renovation and upkeep from building to building.

Why? Because there was no one slapping residents with ten thousand regulations and penalties, probing their lives, assets and resources with fervour, wielding compliance documents and imposing ridiculous costs. There was simply no tolerance for such civic micro-management, and no apparent dire consequences resulting from its absence that bureaucrats often warn of to conveniently justify their own existence.

Did the relaxed attitude always extend to English-speaking foreigners? Understandably, no. We had a running joke with our friends that “you need your passport to buy an ice-cream“. While this was a clear exaggeration, life for tourists is a vast departure from that of residents. The upsides? Getting to stay in amazing condominium towers with every mod-con known to mankind. NZD$100 per night bought us the lap of luxury, 120m2 two bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom apartment with full kitchen and laundry, marble floors, balcony and big-screen TV, on a secure site with triple-tiered, tropical swimming facilities replete with mini-KL Tower-shaped fountains, that are the stuff dreams are made of.

Yet with low wage earners on less than NZD$3 an hour this was a housing option largely restricted to foreigners. Some locals opportunistically partially subsidised their income with their own well-honed forms of corruption. At Zoo Negara for example, staff generously tried to sell us our 20MYR (Malaysian Ringgit) tour for 30MYR. Fifty metres into the tour, the driver told us to get out and take photos, then drove off into the sunshine.

Several sweaty hours of walking later, we found him at the back of the park, smoking a pipe behind the Panda enclosure, socialising with other tour drivers who had presumably pulled the same stunt on their unsuspecting passengers.

Taxis, which were plentiful and a very cheap and reliable form of transport, featured drivers who were evenly split between dutifully accepting their metered fare, or demanding upfront that tourists agree to pay two or three times what the metered fare would be worth. With children in tow and sometimes caught in the warm tropical rainstorms of monsoon season, I often couldn’t afford to be picky, so instituted my own merit system for dealing with these drivers. If they demanded up front that I pay them 20MYR for a 7MYR fare, I paid it. If they didn’t, and just charged the metered fare, I gave them 30-40MYR. This resulted in many surprised and delighted faces of drivers who couldn’t believe their good fortune – their honesty was being rewarded.

We caught countless taxis during our six weeks in Malaysia but there is one trip that I will never forget. While most drivers treated us like minor celebrities just for our heritage, leaping from their cars to help with our bags and hold doors open for us, one driver was very toxic and I was initially confused as to why he sat in his car unmoving, leaving me alone to load numerous heavy shopping bags and two children, in the pouring rain. He was the embodiment of stone cold silence all the way to our apartment building, then accepted payment with no acknowledgement of us and again no assistance. I was really surprised by his malevolence and complained aloud to our building security, who had treated the children and I like royalty throughout our visit. I was shocked when they later explained to me that they had spoken to the driver and found out why he was so terse. “He is Iraqi, Miss, and he thinks you are American.”

I was dumbfounded. Having advocated for victims of war, covered anti-war actions, and gone out on a limb to make my opposition to the deaths of innocents around the world known, many times, it had not once occurred to me that all this man saw was a middle class white woman shopping with her family in safety while his countrymen had died (and still do) on the streets of their own shopping districts while their homes were mortared, raided and ravaged around them.

By-in-large by white people.

To him, -I- was the war profiteer by racial association and thus he would be damned if he would open a door for me or carry my shopping bags.

This realisation was extremely humbling to me.

It taught me to think extra hard when attempting to view something through the eyes of another because you never know what it is they are seeing. But it also taught me that even we, the peoples of war-mongering Western governments, are victims too. For in their thirst for oil, power and blood, our own reputations die alongside the indigenous peoples who fall victim to colonial conquest and “democracy”, regardless of our individual dissent against the antagonistic political policies that manifest the devastation.

There is so much I will never forget about Malaysia. The cute little chameleon-like house lizards that scramble across the walls and take refuge behind the drapes. The mosquitoes which if you have repellant with at least 40% Deet content aren’t an issue, but if you don’t, are hell on earth. The bright red sun that hangs serenely amongst the fading sky of the late afternoons. The calls to prayer, echoing out across the valleys.

The New York Steakhouse opposite the traditional Malaysian bakery. The popcorn shop that has 50 different flavours. The intimidating chaos of the Batu Caves at Chinese New Year, which we had been warned against visiting at that time due to the throngs of stunningly traditionally-dressed Hindu pilgrims in such a tightly packed and purposeful press that meandering little Kiwis like ourselves who didn’t heed the good advice promptly forgot we were flightless birds and flew straight out of there before we got crushed underfoot. The extravagance of the malls and the humble neighbourhood seafood restaurants. The KL Tower, and the Petronas Towers – magnificent, regal structures that dramatically outshine Auckland’s Sky Tower. The Sunway Lagoon which was a personal favourite – an incredible place featuring theme park rides, water slides and a full-size wildlife park sprawled around a sculptured lagoon packed full of fish, where you are given endless punnets of food to feed to them for free. You can pet giant turtles and stand one pane of glass away from white lions and walk through lush bush packed full of seemingly every exotic bird known to mankind; open air aviaries.

But what I miss the most is Thean Hou Temple – described by a family member as a “kind of Chinese Buddhist Disneyland“, where larger than life sculptures of all the animals of the Chinese zodiac tower above plaques proclaiming their associated characteristics.

The basement level of the temple features a selection of tasty vegetarian restaurants that provide cheap, yummy and hot food and little shops and stalls offer ceramic and jade sculptures of various deities and other ornaments. My favourite shop sold black sesame and honey treats that I am dizzy with delight just thinking about.

On the top level of the temple itself, we had our first experience of a traditional Chinese dragon dance, and while the children were momentarily taken aback by the loud, rhythmic drumming, once it dawned on them that those who poked their heads into the dragon’s mouths got showered in candy, they were grateful participants.

I’d like to close with an amusing anecdote of my own ignorance that also serves as a brilliant example of the perils of assumption when traveling, why my articles only speak to my own direct experiences and interpretations, and should not be taken as gospel or infallible.

With temperatures regularly hovering over 40 degrees celsius, I wasn’t as surprised as I should have been when I discovered the showers in our luxury apartment all ran cold. I continued to shower (and bath!) in cold water for the duration of our trip, often musing to friends and family about the apparent Malaysian preference for bathing in cold water. On check-out, I finally mentioned to the hotel staff that the cold baths and showers had been a bit of a surprise but that I had gotten used to it. They looked at me quizzically and then in horror as the awareness that I had just taken cold showers and baths for six weeks dawned on them, and they stuttered:

“Oh no Miss! We are so sorry you didn’t know! There is a separate switch for the water heater and if you want hot water you have to turn it on.”

Since joining the Occupy Auckland media team in 2011, Suzie Dawson has been a driving force behind many social justice and political movement media campaigns and events, including #GCSB, #NZ4Gaza and #TPPANoWay. Her work has been shared internationally including by RT.com, WikiLeaks and Business Insider. She is currently traveling the world and writing about her experiences. Previous post: ‘Hong Kong and The Matrix

 


 

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

 


 

The Truth Is ‘Terrifying’

[UPDATE: September 2016: roughly a year after the below post, the presentation I gave has become a documentary of the same name: “Diary of a Person of Interest” which is available for free on Vimeo.com and also on You Tube. Please watch it and share it! Documentary release notes are here at this pastebin link. Thank you!]

Today I gave a 75 minute workshop on what it’s like to be a Person of Interest in a FVEY country (specifically, New Zealand).

The feedback was that the talk was brilliant; amazing; terrifying.

I must admit that I hadn’t anticipated that people would feel sheer terror when having the experiences of our media team (and countless other PoI’s) recounted to them in a matter-of-fact fashion, within an analytical framework. Having been immersed in these issues in the first person for so long I didn’t realise how outright scary what we have been through really is.

I am really pleased with how it went though. Everyone sat in rapt attention for the duration of the talk and a nice group stayed behind to chat afterwards.

However the impromptu storm warning that caused our tent flaps to be locked down at the beginning of my talk, leaving us with insufficient lighting to stream or film (!!) means unfortunately that only those who were present were able to get the full benefit of all the information that was imparted.

To ensure that information remains in the public realm, I am publishing my presentation notes below and will re-film another delivery of the full speech upon my return to Berlin.

Much love to everyone who has looked after us through this time, your solidarity is GREATLY appreciated.

<3 <3 <3 @endarken

DIARY OF A PERSON OF INTEREST: What/Who/How/When

The Kaupapa (Understanding)

* New Zealand is supposedly the “safest”, “most peaceful” country in the world

* Day 1 at Occupy Auckland human rights lawyers told us that we have the right to dissent; to freedom of expression; to freedom of association; the right to seek redress and to not be discriminated against on the basis of political opinion

* Soon found out the hard way that: ALL OF THE ABOVE IS NOT TRUE

* Entire media team (& later ever-broadening sectors of society) were/are aggressively targeted by domestic & international agencies
My Motivations:  Amplification > All

Primary Aims
– to amplify the voices of others
– to cover all issues related to Occupy
– to share access to the platforms

Secondary Aim:
– to bear witness
– to contribute own voice

* Masked for 3 years
* Unmasked by necessity when personal safety at risk

* If not us then who?

Part 1. “Why”

Occupy
Anonymous
Kim Dotcom
Internet Party
Shihad (FVEY)
Palestine
Snowden/Greenwald

Movements/Tags
#SaveGI
#ANFS
#TPPANoWay
#GCSB / #TCIL
#NZ4Gaza
#MoT

The Elephant In The Room

Wikileaks:
– support for WL predated my activism/journalism
– all supporters of WL surveilled/monitored
– active/advocates more so then viewers

Solution:
– Like Tor: more nodes = greater protection
– Valuable search engine/resource
– Use like Wikipedia

Part 2. Who does this to us?

State Agencies: (domestic)
Police (TAU/SIG)
SIS
GCSB

International:
NCTC / DHS
FBI / CIA?

Private Agencies:
(govt contractors)
TCIL (Private Investigators)
SSI Pacific (Lawful Interception)
Cubic Defense (Asset Tracking)
Palantir (Software & Financial Systems/Social)
Hardware Corps

Who do they target?

Privatisation changes everything
For-profit = requires perpetual growth
Growth requires more targets
– Radicals
– Hacktivists
– NGOs
– Other dissenters (issue-based dissenters)
– Disobedient academics / media
– Eventually everyone, incl their own pillars of support

Part 3: How
Methods of Targeted Oppression

Surveillance
Harrassment
Isolation
Sabotage
Entrapment
Institutionalisation
Assassination Attempts

3A: Surveillance

Physical

– Shadows/Vans
– Mail
– Hardware
– Cams
– Power Company
– Smart Meter
– Phone Company
– Pre-installs
– GPS Trackers
– Infra-Red

Signals

– Services/Apps
– Devices (Remote)
– Router
– ISP (TICS)
– Stingray

Private
– Social Media
– Financial Data
– Medical
– Glass Masks
– Big Data
– Digital Profiles

Public
– Council
– Refuse
– Events
– “Public Safety”

– Transit Systems
– TrapWire

3B: Harassment

Physical:
* Surprise Visits
– Break-ins
– Police
– Private Investigators
– “Gang Stalking”
* Photographers
* Interference
– Neighbours
– Acquaintances
– Romantic
– Key Relationships
– Events

Digital:
* Social Media
– Death Threats
– Targeted Msgs

* Communications

– Crank Calls
– Emails
– Personal
* Electronic
– Audio

3C: Isolation

* Interception

* Gas-lighting

* Misinformation

* The Absurd
(Unexplainable & Ridiculous)

3D: Sabotage

Physical
– Destruction (if own home)
– Repetitive
– Personal Belongings
– Theft
Employment
Relationships & Opportunities

3E: Entrapment

Public:
– Events
– Illegal Acts
– Speech
Digital
– Hacks/DDOS
Targeted:
– Barrett Brown
– “Leaks”
– Personalised Incitement
– Sabu
– Social Engineering

3F: Institutionalisation

Can take many forms
– Reformist Institutionalisation
– Political System
– Complicit NGO’s
– Conventional Employment
In severe cases:
– Hospitalisation
– Imprisonment

3G: Assassination Attempts

Dog Whistles: Dates/Numbers of significance
‘Highway Games’ – Mother’s Day
– Boxing in
– Dazzlers
– Hone Harawira
‘Accidents’
– Oil cap / vehicle fire
– Medical

What They Want You To Do

Run
– Don’t!
Lash out
– Don’t!
Breakdown
– Don’t!

What You Learn To Do

Use their surveillance systems against them
Plan!
Get in public
– TrapWire
Be visible
– MoT
Document
– Responsibly

 

 

 

 

New Media, Ethics and How To Stop Journalists Being Killed

The term of phrase ‘New Media’ either has a thousand meanings, else is extremely misunderstood, or is grossly abused. It is one of those emergent linguistic anomalies that everyone has heard of but no one seems to really understand. Apparently because, being new – and thus perceived as trendy, edgy, disruptive – everyone wants to be a part of it.

Except of course, those for whom antiquity is revered.

What New Media Means To Me

Conventional media looks down their nose at new media, just as ‘old money’ scorns ‘new money’, or as conventional wisdom scolds the daring of innovation. But their distaste belies their fear. For ‘old media’, ‘new media’ doesn’t just make them feel their age – it represents an existential threat.

No one likes to feel behind the curve – least of all the well-heeled and comfortable. What they cannot undermine they appropriate, and sometimes they do both. For what is more coveted than an undervalued asset?

To the disinformation dinosaurs, ‘New Media’ is anyone or thing that sprouts up to compete with them.

Many digital platforms consider themselves ‘New Media’, as by one definition they need only have an on-line presence and the internet as their primary method of transmitting information in order to qualify by default.

Yet very smart people have debated the term at length and asserted many different meanings. Quoting more than a dozen books and invoking stylish terms like “remediation”, “digitisation” and even “Millenial Media”, the academics use of the term is equally broad as that of the public.

However to me, a citizen journalist, the high-stakes dice game of truth-telling makes it far more emotive, subjective: new media is a promise; a hope; a covenant. Salvation.

The promise that anyone can partake in journalism; not just those who are classically trained or commercially endorsed by their behemoth corporate benefactors.

The hope that the voice of eye-witnesses on the ground can penetrate the haze of public relations spin and paid agenda, propagating truth.

A covenant; that the voices of the people are more sacred than money.

Salvation: as we stated in the Occupied NZ Herald nearly 1000 on-line editions ago (automated news aggregation for the win); “The mainstream media has let us down & it is now up to us, the public, to provide for ourselves services for which we have so long relied upon inherently corrupt corporates to provide.” We don’t have to bitch and moan, scream and curse at their shortcomings anymore. We simply replace them. In doing so, we are our own salvation.

Ethics

To me, new media is about people of conscience taking up the reins of the profession, regardless of whether they are paid to do so.  It is also about ethics – real journalistic ethics. Not just the ones you hear about but the ones you don’t, and not just paid lip service by conventional media but as reflected in the heroic deeds of everyday citizen journalists.

In journalism school, budding reporters are taught; to verify information; be accurate and provide context; cite source; update information; all the good common sense stuff that appears at the top of the Society for Professional Journalists Code of Ethics and which every media outlet will tell you they adhere to.

But what appears at the bottom? What are the less well-heeled ethical principles, dusty, inconvenient and long-forgotten?

Quoting from the aforementioned Code of Ethics:

coea

 

 

So, no accepting funds from political factions to co-opt activism movements or in order to push paid agendas in the guise of news or traveling to cover a commercially-sponsored I.T. conference, tweeting photos of the breakfast spread and then quoting the Cloud Solutions Sales Manager word-for-word.

But wait, there’s more:

coe

 

As someone special put it – who can afford to do that in this day and age of capitalism? Only those journalists already spurned and on their way out tend to whistle-blow against their own organisations.

Thus the industry tendency is to See No Evil/Hear No Evil and just shut up entirely. None of which serves the public – which according to the Code of Ethics is the primary responsibility of ethical journalists. Nor does it reform their organisations, who are seldom held to account other than by public opinion as the result of the occasional media scandal.

Journalistic Apathy: S.N.A.F.U.

Journalists own apathy actually endangers other journalists who do whistle-blow on major issues only to be met by the resounding silence of their peers. That silence enables vested interests, in some cases, to eliminate those whistle-blowers from future discourse. This is precisely what appears to have happened to US-born PressTV journalist Serena Shim.

The total absence of mainstream outrage at the circumstances of her passing equate to a green light to malevolent forces to continue to physically endanger and/or outright kill journalists as acts of political expediency.

It’s almost as if the industry thinks that their silence will save them, when history so clearly demonstrates that it will not. For as they black out their own vanguards and watch on as they are defenestrated, the net pulls tighter, and those who thought their silence bought them protection soon find that they are next in line for targeting and suppression.

For injustice knows no bounds and is only shamed into inaction when it is brought into the light.

As the famous quote goes – ‘if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have taken the side of the oppressor‘ and the oppressor will not be loyal to you for it; he will instead laugh in your face at your stupidity as he turns his forces upon you.

Psychopathic control and its mechanisms are now entrenched in for-profit structures that mean every target they successfully take down empowers them to identify and attack another.

Those who fail to rise in defense of the victims may count the days until they are next on the list. Consoling themselves by saying “but my dissent is not radical, I work for change within the system” is a short-sighted folly, for as each radical falls, the target market constricts and soon enough it is the reformists, and then ultimately everyday civilians, who find themselves on the wrong side of the profit margins of the private investigation and security industries.

How To Prevent Journalists Being Killed

In the movie ‘American Gangster’ the mother of Denzel Washington’s character tells him everyone knows ‘you don’t shoot cops’ inferring that in doing so you will bring 1000 more cops down on your head. Thus to violate that rule is the ultimate act of stupidity for any criminal.

So why doesn’t everyone know that you do not kill or stalk a journalist? Doing so should logically bring 1000 more journalists down on your head!

If there was an addition to the Code of Ethics that states journalists are obliged to rigorously investigate physical harm caused to other journalists – or a pledge that journalists took, to show solidarity to other journalists who have been killed, by vigorously investigating their murders en masse – how long would it take malicious actors to realise that the cost of harming reporters outweighed the benefit?

But to my knowledge no such ethic or pledge exists, and thus Michael Hastings‘ death goes uninvestigated, Serena Shim’s death goes uninvestigated, although it is widely accepted that both were killed for political reasons, and mainstream journalists continue to intellectually castrate themselves out of fear, ignorance, lack of international organisation or all of the aforementioned.

Murderers and their state sponsors feel their tactics are rewarded with results and the ultimate ‘chilling effect’ ensues and is exacerbated.

At what point do journalists organise and fight back? What good are adhering to any journalistic ethics if they will turn blind eyes to such pronounced injustice?

When will journalists realise that their ability to protect themselves can only be measured in their willingness to protect others?

Throughout history silence has never prevented atrocities, and many who themselves fell victim asked ‘why us? We didn’t do anything wrong!’

The truth is, you don’t have to do anything wrong. You just have to be next in line and the greater your proclivity for sitting silently as others fall before you; the sooner your number will come up.

Trying to justify the suffering of your compatriots as being a natural result of their political views rather than a deliberate crime by their persecutors is victim-blaming and does firmly place one on the side of injustice.

The NZ Media Apocalypse

In New Zealand, leftist media tycoons blacked out radical left voices (quite openly – with threats to do so, ultimately followed through on) and blatantly co-opted their platforms. This occurred while the radical left was mercilessly hunted by state agencies and their private sub-contractors, and media did not cover it. The public were largely unaware of the extent to which we were being targeted but the media knew, and they said nothing. Until Nicky Hager‘s Dirty Politics, our dismemberment was a taboo topic, and even then Hager’s book mostly names, out of respect, perpetrators rather than victims. One line makes note of the ‘dozens of journalists‘ whose lives and employment were interfered with in order to exert political pressure and interfere with their work – with horrific yet passing mentions of child service agencies amongst other government departments, being actively engaged in the oppression.

That again and again, other so-called journalists tacitly accepted the repression by failing to rise in support of their peers, is a timeless shame upon them.

As the radical left broke down and became even more disparate and decentralised under years of sustained state abuse, sure enough, the mainstream left media became the new targets. So blatantly so that even successful shows with huge viewing audiences and pulling power were outright canned and other much-loved hosts desecrated. Large media outlets now finally openly decry this forced attrition of their ranks without ever once stopping to acknowledge that they had every reason to see this coming. Now that they feel the heat themselves, they are outraged. When it was the new media vanguard taking the heat, they were flippant, even pompous in their privilege.

Many are taking refuge in the largest-remaining state-owned radio station, a platform already known to be under threat. As the media spectrum is forcefully reshaped around them, the luxury of disdain has turned into exasperation. They now look to the same ragged activist communities to support a counter-offensive, that they spectated the governmental undermining of all these years.

They look to the traditional infrastructure of the left – Labour – ignoring the fact that the executive of this infrastructure has always fiddled while Rome burns. Thus Labour will not save them. Just as it did not and could not prevent the passage of the GCSB bill. Just as it will not prevent the passage of the TPPA. The system is designed that way; for both wings to serve the same masters. Precisely the reality that drives people towards ‘radicalism’ in the first place.

Until the inherent insanity of the current regime, operating under a one-vote-every-three-years-while-we-destroy-the-country-daily electoral system, is fundamentally addressed, these conflicts will remain. After all; the entire First World can allow millions of people to text vote on American Idol every Sunday night but God forbid they be politically engaged in domestic affairs on a weekly basis. That would be unthinkable to the power elite and dramatically undermine its choke-hold.

Imagine if we could vote on a per Bill basis? How much money could we save by putting Parliament out of a job entirely? Unthinkable, radical concepts, and it appears the new target pool of the New Zealand media would rather fall on their collective swords than address them.

To them I say: Have the guts to share your platforms with those more ‘radical’ than you and act in their defense – or else don’t be surprised when you find that they are gone and you are next on the chopping block!

As for gutless journalists who shy away from covering the misfortunes and deaths of other journalists, I say:


 

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Suits, Spooks and Sexual Predators; What Sabu Really Got Up To With The FBI

[Trigger Warning] Thousands of articles have been written about notorious FBI snitch ‘Sabu’. Universally it is accepted that his deceptions led to the downfall of the hacker group Lulzsec, that he was the protagonist in a host of resulting arrests and a primary reason Jeremy Hammond is now serving a decade in prison after accepting a non-cooperating plea deal to one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

As revealed by Hammond himself, Sabu was much more than a witness. He was an instigator. A recruiter. Mastermind. And, according to the official story, a turncoat.

According to Sabu’s sentencing document, he was a prize asset that worked long nights in pursuit of Anonymous members. Went above and beyond the call of duty in his perseverance.

His long and late hours are something I can personally attest to. More, I can tell you that the activities he undertook in his deceptions went way beyond the bounds of the traditional mandates of law enforcement.

I’ve often wondered if Sabu’s sentencing judge knows what he and his FBI handlers really got up to. I can only assume that the FBI failed to mention it in their letter of recommendation of leniency. Certainly nowhere in the judge’s sentencing notes does it mention that Sabu is more than just a liar. More than a vile betrayer of trust. Like many other independently documented cases involving undercover operatives in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and elsewhere, Sabu is not only a snitch. He is a sexual predator.

Obtaining sex by deception and recording the acts is apparently, one of his personal specialties.

How I first came to the attention of the FBI is a matter of speculation. It could have been for the heinous non-crime of retweeting Tango Down announcements in 2011 and beyond. Perhaps it was purely by being a member of Occupy Auckland – whose two evictions, featuring ‘cops’ with fake badge numbers (perfect replicas no less – as seen from 8:00 onward in this video and in MSM reports) conveniently occurred in the days between the FBI raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion and the day the FBI were reported to have left the country. As my house was on the flight path from Whenuapai airbase, I actually witnessed their helicopters flying out. They were unmissable. Huge black monstrosities flying in formation, that crossed the sky faster than any airplane could.

Whenuapai airbase was of course, where Auckland Council sent all our siezed belongings from the four simultaneous 24/7 occupations of Auckland City. They claimed they were stored in an empty hangar. One can only but wonder whether the hangar was empty prior to the FBI’s departure.

Perhaps it wasn’t until 2012 that I came to their attention – when I began to piece together the timeline of the FBI raid of the Dotcom mansion and the injustice and civil violations endured by Occupy, documenting it and placing the FBI in the centre of that picture. To understand why that was of particular importance to us – imagine if the domestic investigation agency of a foreign country flew helicopters and armed personnel onto United States soil and exectued an armed raid on a U.S. resident on the grounds of……copyright infringement. Would never happen, right? Well it happened to New Zealand, and to Kim Dotcom. The entire picture stank like rotten fish.

Whatever the reason (and there are dozens if not hundreds of others that could be imagined from my citizen journalism activities over the last few years) I, completely unwittingly, found myself spending up to 12 hours a day with Sabu online, for a two-month period in 2013.

There had been countless real-world attempts to insinuate agents close to me. I was hit on in bars by undercovers in polo shirts, cargo shorts and loafers. Had agents spend months getting close to my friends and fellow activists, only to get an introduction to me and be promptly smacked down. I had done too much reading; I knew full well who to trust and who not to and was able to determine quickly who not to trust.

But what I had never imagined was how Sabu got to me. He came at me from a world away from activism. Somewhere I had felt safe, years and years before ever becoming an activist.

He came at me through World of Warcraft.

Like Matt DeHart, I had been a guild leader, albeit on a different server. Matt’s main was reportedly a mage, mine was a holy priest. Running PvE t4-t11 and PvP s1-s13, my WoW playing had naturally diminished to nothingness with the advent of Occupy and my venturing into citizen journalism. But by mid-2013 I was playing again. Welcomed back into my group of old online friends, they were like a warm, soft blanket after nearly two years of the unending chaos of activism.

By that point I had the dubious accomplishment of having spear-headed the #GCSB tag against New Zealand’s NSA. Compounded with Edward Snowden’s ongoing revelations, months of daily campaigning on my part led to the involvement of major media figures, prolonged mainstream coverage, and eventually a series of protests and events that generated a nationwide movement against the spy agency, its illegal spying and cover-up legislation. The tag was one of our most successful undertakings, and now has over 50k tweets.

Having been fundamental to the creation of The Daily Blog, a publication which mirrored the Occupy NZ model of bringing together over 30 key New Zealand activism and political figures into one digital space to produce high-profile content for the people, I finally felt like I could have a break from the Occupy Savvy platform our media team had pioneered, eventually returning to WoW.

In restrospect, I should have known I would be vulnerable in that space. But at the time, all I saw was a bunch of old friends I had known for years and years and years. Never did it occur to me that someone like Sabu could be amongst them. Nor did I realise that he would engage in outright identity fraud to do so, or that the platform itself would become complicit to his immorality.

See – when most people look at a picture of Sabu, they see Hector Monsegur. Scumbag. When I look at Sabu I see ‘Mario Fernandes’ – combat rogue.

There really could be no more fitting class for Sabu. Rogues are backstabbers. They move in stealth. They ambush their victims. But once they are brought out into the light, they fold really quickly. Even a little night elf healing priest like me can solo them.

Soon after my return to the game, a lot of old friends started showing up. One was an old guildmate, one of the best PvE rogues on the server. He was someone who had been kind to me long before I was leader of a large guild or well-known player. Our friendship spanned back to 2006/7, some 4-5 years before I had become an activist and journalist.

The fraud was seamless. Sabu knew of conversations I had had with my friend so intimately that he was able to regurgitate and continue them as if he had been my friend all along. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Blizzard Entertainment, the parent company of World of Warcraft, must have supplied him with server logs dating back years in order to accomplish the ruse. That, or Sabu’s real name is Mario Fernandes, and he’s a bloody good rogue. I’m definitely going with the first theory.

Much later, after I had realised the deception, it did indeed come out that LEA’s had been using World of Warcraft to spy on activists. They conceded that the outcome of their investigations determined the platform was being used for…gaming. Not for crimes. For gaming. Well, duh.

For weeks upon weeks, Sabu just played the game with me. Chatted to me on my vent server and in game. I never (and have never) hid any aspect about myself because what I do is entirely legal. I am not a hacker. I am a young mother. I do not commit crimes. I do support activism causes and I do undertake journalism. All of which I started in the belief that, as human rights lawyers explained to us on the first day of Occupy Auckland, we have the right to freedom of expression, to freedom of association; the right to seek redress and to not be discriminated against for political opinion. Unfortunately ever since being told that, myself and my entire media team have had every single aspect of our lives interfered with, from our personal and professional relationships, our day jobs, to our living situations. Our physical belongings have been stolen and/or sabotaged, our computers and digital communications interfered with, monitored, compromised and/or stolen. Our heads fucked with. The war on us has been as much psychological as tactical and we have all paid a really high price.

Sabu was really good about not interrogating me, but just letting me talk. The more we talked, the closer we got. When I said sweet things to him, he’d tell me I was moving him to tears. He played on the emotional frequently. If he said something I found mildly suspicious and expressed as much, he would immediately withdraw to punish me. He was absolutely pro at guilt games and manipulation.

He had his sob story down pat – he was trapped in a dead-end shitty job, monitoring house alarms for a security company (lol!) and living with his Puerto Rican/Cuban parents in Florida. He would dutifully disappear to ‘work’ and text me while he was supposedly there, to tell me how much he missed me. All he wanted was a family and a life of his own. His Dad was a drunk; his mother abusive to his father. He felt trapped; and myself and my children were his ticket out.

He loved us. He wanted to marry me and move to New Zealand. He was saving his pennies as hard as he could to make this happen. He wanted to see me, so badly. So badly that he wanted me to Skype with him.

Skype was a dirty word to me – I had read enough of Snowden’s disclosures to know the company was a party to PRISM program and I told Sabu as much. I was extremely reluctant to use it and in fact my only webcam I had access to was my work laptop. I kept the camera stickered over, as I had been with cameras on phones. That’s ok, he told me. I could just watch him.

Our first Skype conversations were undertaken with me as voice-only and him voice and cam. His room was dark – he complained of poor lighting though in retrospect this was clearly deliberate. There was an ever-present bottle of whiskey or some other suitably dark spirit. The camera angles were never direct – always looking down on him from above or up from underneath. No full-frontal face shots. He was often wearing glasses though sometimes not.

Inevitably the conversation would turn to sexual innuendo, and eventually the cam sessions became outright sexual. He had zero qualms about climaxing on camera repeatedly. I had been single for nearly two years and, wholly believing that this person had been in my life for the best part of a decade and existed completely outside of the activism realm, I eventually dropped my guard and allowed him to see me on cam as well. Although he saw me topless, I thank the heavens that I never actually allowed him to see anything beyond that. He frequently begged, but I retained my reluctance, and the more he pushed to see more, the more I dug my heels in.

A modern-day Geppetto, he would instruct me like I was his puppet and he was the puppet master. Yet we now know he is the ultimate puppet.

Do this, do that. Show me this, show me that. Get better lighting. Lick your nipple. He would egg me on, and his insistence and the frequency of the acts became disquieting.

It was very unlike me to discuss personal relationships on Twitter in any capacity, but at some level I must have had significant reservations, because on a whim I sent a single tweet referencing what had become, indeed, mutual masturbation sessions between what I thought was two consenting adults.

Some time after having sent that one single reference, I received an anonymous message. The message was innocuous but I understood it’s meaning immediately. It contained a picture of the official FBI Orlando Twitter account and the FBI Boston account.

My heart sank and I knew. Not that ‘Mario’ was Sabu – I still didn’t realise that. But I knew that I was being played, and why.

Furious, I logged onto World of Warcraft. Sure enough, his character was online. He instantly greeted me. I replied simply, “So, how is working for the FBI?” There was a few seconds of nothing and I could literally feel the shocked silence on the other end. Then his character logged off, and didn’t come back. I could almost hear the “Abort Operation!” in my head. He was gone and not coming back.

It wasn’t until a long time later that I realised ‘Mario’ was ‘Sabu’. Not until I saw a picture of his creepy face. The first picture of Sabu that came out – of him attending court – was not the ‘Mario’ I knew, who had a lighter complexion and no visible tattoos; who was nowhere near as hefty.

But as later pics of Sabu emerged, there was absolutely no denying that he and ‘Mario’ were one and the same.
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Obviously I do not take speaking about my experience lightly, but it is not something I have ever hidden. I openly discussed it on Twitter, long since, and sadly, this is not a situation that is rare in the activism world.

Is it shameful to talk about? Yes. Should it be? No. The shame belongs with Sabu. The shame belongs with those who obtain sex, or ‘netsex’, by deception, under the guise of an “investigation”.

The behaviour is clearly completely unacceptable. There is no way the public would approve of tax dollars being spent like this. The fact that these activities are not acknowledged by the FBI in their reports to the judiciary makes it clear they are personal trophies – collected by sick egos, to punish and discredit perceived enemies, rather than as evidence of any crime.

It takes a total and complete sociopath to be sexually aroused by their deception of another human being and apparently many additional sociopaths to fund it and cheer it on.

Victims should not take the shame upon themselves but remember that the responsibility belongs with those who devise and undertake these sick deeds. Sex obtained by deception is rape – no matter what the nature of the sexual activity or what the medium. The deception is coercion and the capturing of the acts via multimedia or otherwise is memorialising the unjustifiable. Agents who indulge themselves in obtaining sex by deception in whatever form, are no better than the college rapists who film inebriated girls being abused. That they use public money and work hours to do so exacerbates the impropriety. These are acts of social and professional fraud.

Having seen Sabu’s cyber-bullying of @FreeJeremyNet‘s @brazenqueer I’m well aware of the types of accusations that these agents level back at us. They apply as much negative pressure as they can to our ability to prosper, to live, to mother, to nurture others, then they call us bad mothers, deride us as bad human beings. Never once stopping to consider their own destructive influence in our lives.

Fortunately, I know the truth. I got off light. Not only was Sabu unable to establish anything other than that I had legally authored blogposts which it was already obvious by other basic means to establish I had authored (at that time I used Windows while blogging, for God’s sake…) but he was not able to entrap me into anything more egregious than showing my breasts, after-hours, at home on a work computer.

Thus the damage was largely reserved for my pride. Dashed hopes of a legitimate and lasting relationship. Embarrassment and humiliation.

Many others have endured much worse.

In New Zealand, the private investigation agency Thompson Clark Investigations Limited (TCIL) employee Rob Gilchrist was caught out by his victim, Kiwi activist Rochelle Rees, who he had lived with in a long-term sexual relationship for years, while informing on her and her entire circle of friends. Rochelle caught on to what he was doing and managed to access his emails, carbon copying them to herself, and eventually reporting on his communications with his police handlers. Despite widespread reporting on the disgusting conduct and despicable tactics of Gilchrist and TCIL, the latter was, years later, hired by Auckland Council to investigate occupiers at Occupy Auckland, my home occupation.

With 84 operations lodged against Kiwi protestors in a year it seems business is busy.

In Spain, an activist known as ‘Lily’ had a tracking device found on her car, presumably of the same vein as the tracking devices also unearthed on the vehicle of Rochelle Rees in New Zealand. ‘Lily’ had been suing the Metropolitan police in the United Kingdom after she was entrapped into a relationship with undercover agent Mark Kennedy.

In the U.K. undercover agents Bob Lambert and Jim Boyling were caught out not just obtaining sex by deception but even fathering children to their activist targets. The mind boggles when considering the emotional implications for the activists and their children. The pain and degradation must be everlasting, as the familial connection ties them to their betrayers/rapists forever.

Even more recently, self-confessed police spy and self-proclaimed ‘social engineer’ Ben Rachinger ( @B3nRaching3r on Twitter ) obtained pictures of Jessica Williams, the political editor of mainstream Kiwi radio station RadioLive, and ostensibly passed them on to right-wing political blogger Cameron ‘WhaleOil’ Slater. The pictures have since been published on the internet (I am not linking to them out of respect). On a positive note, there has been a massive outpouring of support for Ms. Williams and so there should be.

Social engineers are immoral liars and manipulators, of a kind that has always existed on the internet but only lately been promoted as a viable career path. The fact that it is, is an indictment on their employers. Their conduct is despicable and the fact that there are invoices for and corporate budgets financing such immoral activities is something that needs to be examined far more closely.

For social engineering was once the realm of the quintessential Nigerian banker fraud emails, like those frequently investigated by law enforcement. Yet somehow, law enforcement agencies have gone from investigating social engineers to hiring them, and humanity has so failed in shining light on and shaming their activities sufficiently, that the social engineers themselves are able to openly discuss and even brag about their disgusting undertakings. To the extent that today, Hector ‘Sabu’ Monsegur will be speaking at the ‘Spooks and Suits‘ conference in New York City. To an audience of law enforcement agents and related affiliates.

You can bet he won’t be talking about how many times he wanked on webcam. You can also bet he won’t be talking about the accusations made by a teenage hacker known as Kayla (@lolspoon) who has made plain not only his feelings about Sabu’s conduct, but that it was also sexual in nature. I have not yet had a chance to look closely at the timeline but Kayla’s entirely believable commentary may lend credibility to the theory that Sabu may have been obtaining sex by deception online far longer than the official FBI story of him having turned informant in a 24-hour period in 2011.

Finally, the role of the media in holding up sexual predators as celebratory figures has to be examined. Not long after Dan Stuckey parted ways with Vice News in the wake of posting pictures of himself in a hot tub with his then source, Sabu, the Daily Dot and other organisations have taken up the task of promoting Sabu as some kind of newsworthy figure. This in itself has shades of the BBC’s infatuation with protecting Jimmy Savile – one of many celebrated media figures whose career was allowed to continue to flourish despite multiple high profile accounts of his sexual abuse of a range of victims. While Sabu’s crimes do not appear to have advanced to anywhere near the level as that of Savile’s, this continuation of a rape culture where victims being shamed and silenced while perpetrators are given media platforms and celebrated must be cowed and evolve.

Which is precisely why those of us who know the truth about these scumbags must speak up.

For spooks, suits and sexual predators may make sure that for activists, no good deed goes unpunished, but the universal law of karma means that no ill deed shall either.


PERTINENT QUESTIONS FOR SABU AT SUITS, SPOOKS AND SEXUAL PREDATORS:

1. How many people have you obtained sex and/or ‘netsex’ from, by deception?
2. How many were women? How many were men?
3. Have you ever obtained sex and/or ‘netsex’ by deception from someone under the age of 18?
4. To what extent were the FBI aware of your committing identity theft and/or obtaining sex and/or ‘netsex’ by deception?
5. Where is the footage you obtained of activists once obtaining sex and/or ‘netsex’ by deception?
6. Were you paid money in order to obtain sex and/or ‘netsex’ by deception, or do you do it for free?
7. Under what law or statute do you feel justified in obtaining sex and/or ‘netsex’ by deception?
8. Is your obtaining sex and/or ‘netsex’ by deception an ongoing activity?
9. Do you or have you ever provided training to other people in how to obtain sex and/or ‘netsex’ by deception?


This article is dedicated to all those who were victimised by Hector ‘Sabu’ Monsegur – those who are subsequently physically and/or psychologically imprisoned by his acts. Free yourselves. Let all see and hear the truth. Let the record show, the shame is not yours to bear.

It is his, and his equally culpable enablers.

karma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

You Be The Judge: 3 Different Versions of NZ’s “Moment of Truth”

[This post was blogged live and is now complete. Thank you for watching]

The recent “Moment of Truth” (#MOT) event in New Zealand featuring Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam and Laila Harre is best understood when viewed from multiple perspectives.

There is of course, the perspective of the beleaguered and scandalised NZ mainstream media, with which most are by now familiar.

There is the perspective of new media activists like myself and others, well-schooled in #GCSB-related issues from a first person context, present at the Auckland Town Hall event to eye-witness and document this slice of political history, of social evolution.

Most importantly, there is the seldom-aired and oft-forgotten perspective of the non-politically-aware average Joe and Jane Bloggs Kiwis, who knew little or nothing about the GCSB prior to the Moment of Truth but for whom the massive media maelstrom that surrounds everything Kim Dotcom had penetrated enough to pique their interest and lead them to the livestream on the night.


The Housewife

In conversation with a couple that fits just that description, valuable feedback is gleaned that had not been anticipated.

“You know me, I never get into politics”, said Jane Kiwi (name changed to protect identity). “But I actually watched the livestream last Monday night”.

To say Jane doesn’t “get into politics” is an understatement. She frequently hushes others when they attempt to discuss it. Too controversial, and as the old adage goes, not a topic for polite company. A primary school teacher and mother of infants, Jane is a classic case of not having the time or inclination to invest herself in matters beyond her immediate surroundings and concerns.

But watching the stream, Jane soon found herself confused. To paraphrase; “Not understanding much of what Greenwald said made it feel like he spoke for too long. We knew John Key had called him a loser and how embarrassing that was, but I didn’t understand most of what was said that night, so the parts I did understand being about John Key made it come off as self-aggrandizing”.

She greatly enjoyed seeing Snowden and Assange on the big screens but confesses to have comprehended little if any of what was discussed. “We just don’t know why we have the GCSB. It makes no sense” she says.

Another complaint was Kim Dotcom’s mic volume on the stream. While not at all a noticeable issue from within the Hall, Jane says it was too loud in the mix, leading to a perception Dotcom was cackling throughout. Indeed at the close of event, the guest mics were all left open – allowing those departing the Hall to hear the backstage conversations of Dotcom, Greenwald and Harre.

Tellingly, the conversation overheard was the aforementioned noting to one another how wonderful the audience response had been, and how great they felt the event had gone, which was also my experience on the night.

However the rash of open-mic-incidents in recent times does raise question as to whether the open mics were malicious or purely accidental.

So what would have helped Jane to understand? If a group of the most intelligent men on the planet proving, at a highly technical level, how our government intelligence apparatus has been turned on us, couldn’t?

For although Jane has occasionally heard about the plight of Edward Snowden on TV, she has been too busy changing nappies to read Greenwald’s “No Place To Hide“. She will probably never read The Intercept’s articles on the New Zealand revelations.

She has no idea how to explain what is happening to school children.

But she has this nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach that something is not quite right. Larger forces are at play in her country and to undesirable effect. Although she has little grasp on who or what that is, she innately knows that somehow, she is a tiny part of the antidote. If only she knew how to take the first step.

Jane is looking for answers. Answers that, truth be told, take countless hours of research to be able to get near. But that is just not within the reach of much of the population. So Jane needs to have it explained to her in much simpler terms.

While not specifically about mass surveillance, Edward Snowden, Assange or Dotcom, this short animated video about the basic elements of liberty instantly springs to mind as a type of teaching tool that is accessible to most members of the public.

Jane is not a terrorist. She is a middle class white female from the suburbs who has, through mainstream coverage of Snowden’s revelations, discovered that for her entire adult life she has been routinely driving past an NSA station in the middle of Takapuna, an upmarket beach-side suburb of Auckland’s North Shore.

Largely dismayed by recent political events, she is among the last demographic of Kiwi consumers to realise that the mainstream media might not cover events with her best interest in mind, but their own instead.

Having been taught her entire life to view politics as a left-right spectrum, it has never occurred to Jane that there might be alternatives to the current paradigm other than to swing between voting red and voting blue.

She is further disillusioned by #DirtyPolitics: a book full of despicable people and despicable acts and too few characters with whom she can relate to, in order to identify and empathise with them.

The barrier that raises prevents her from seeing herself as a victim of privacy intrusion; a concept which remains stubbornly foreign, despite concerted assertions to the contrary from those she speaks with.

To even begin to think outside the box Jane has been brought up in, she needs not only seeds of inspiration and the time to contemplate and form new ideas, but also holistic support at her level of understanding.

This is not something readily available via the mainstream, nor within the esteemed circles of academics, researchers and talking heads on the speaking circuit. If only Jane had a button on her browser that translated geek speak to colloquial Kiwi lingo; political engagement would inch that must closer to her realm of possibilities.


The Dinosaurs

The performance of the proverbial Fourth Estate at #MoT was entirely predictable however is on another level when witnessed first hand.

It was patently obvious from seeing NewstalkZB political editor Barry Soper camped out at the very rear of the hall that the media pack were there to relay sensation, not to pay attention. But to listen to establishment journalists openly colluding over angles at the end of the event was next level. “I’m going to say it was a fizzer”, declared one extremely well-known New Zealand journalist. “Yeah, me too” said another equally recognisable stalwart.

This, after an event where the public had stomped the floor in appreciation so loudly and vigorously that we thought the floorboards would break under our feet. Where standing ovation after standing ovation took place, where poor Edward Snowden had to interrupt the audience’s protracted applause for him, in order to be able to speak. An event at a venue filled to capacity, with another capacity crowd regrettably turned away. An event where 200,000 people watched the livestream in the first 24 hours.

A fizzer, indeed.

Even more embarrassingly, these journalists, many of whom consider themselves to be “new media” and expert at media analysis, made their boasts and backslaps while standing right beside a REAL journalist – one who they didn’t even vaguely recognise.

With global reach and ten times the followers of the “fizzer” conspirators, Tim Pool is the quintessential new media journalist and innovator – a fearless firebrand far beyond the imagining of the establishment New Zealand media. Not only was Tim one of the first Occupy Wall Street livestreamers, broadcasting epic live footage to the world in up to 21-hour stints during the evictions, but he has spent the years since continuing to relentlessly cover, worldwide, what the mainstream media don’t.

From New York to Istanbul, Chicago to Los Angeles to Ferguson, Missouri, Tim has been shot at with rubber bullets, tear-gassed, arrested, and followed in the pursuit of real journalism.

To see him in New Zealand was exhilarating.

Tim didn’t think the Moment of Truth was a fizzer. When I asked him for comment, he said: “this is the biggest story in the world right now.”

Indeed it is. After weeks of #DirtyPolitics lead-up, the “Moment of Truth” broke into the international media in a huge way. Despite this, the New Zealand mainstream media continued to target Kim Dotcom in precisely the same way warned about in Nicky Hager’s book.

At the press conference backstage after the event, they appeared to spontaneously and collectively obsess over an email related to Kim Dotcom’s case, conveniently forgetting to ask questions about the Snowden revelations or Greenwald’s reporting. Finding himself in the uncalled-for situation of being grilled about Dotcom’s business rather than actual journalism, Greenwald remained polite under fire.

In this unedited video shot live, the tail-end of the media frenzy can be seen. After Greenwald politely deflects their irrelevant and inflammatory questions by explaining what he is there to talk about and why, the media continue to yell questions unrelated to Snowden at the panel, prompting Dotcom to call them out on their relentless bias, to their faces, and end the press conference.

Apparently Russell Brown from the often-friendly sometimes-fence-sitting NZ blog PublicAddress was apparently not at the same press conference. For he wrote of the incident, “no one else could be such a dumbass as to undermine the event in the way Kim Dotcom did”.

That the entire mainstream media had Glenn Greenwald sitting in front of them, waiting to answer any question they had about mass surveillance, New Zealand’s role in it and Snowden’s revelations, and instead chose to attempt to saddle him with baggage from the ongoing Dirty Politics anti-Dotcom vendetta, is a travesty.

In contrast and no doubt to Russell’s chagrin, the over 500 reader comments on his article are by-in-large from wide-awake citizens openly discussing the media’s position with a deep level of understanding and no shortage of very-Kiwi sardonic humour.

(The following three images are screengrabs from the comments section of the PublicAddress article)

PublicAddress Comment

PublicAddress Comments 2

PublicAddress Comments 3

Damn good question.


The Activist

There was nothing more torturous (other than initial confusion over whether I could get a media pass to cover the event?!!) than having a thousand questions to ask Glenn Greenwald and not getting to ask any of them. Which is why I was overwhelmed with joy to see Russell Brown soon redeem himself with this interview with Greenwald.

While still dragging Kim Dotcom into it, Brown actually does manage some good questions and this is reflected in the comments section, which is far less vitriolic and even congratulatory of him.

“At the end of the day” (inside joke for Kiwis) people recognise truth when they see and hear it. They understand the difference between the real and the manufactured. While they can be lulled into sloth they are not so easily lulled into disbelief when confronted with experiences and conversations that they inherently understand are rooted in fact. Whether or not they can grasp the intricacies or know how to place themselves in the picture yet.

Having living legends like Snowden, Assange and Greenwald appearing in Auckland will have begun that process of change for many people, as the issues become more real to them and less whimsical figures of their imagination. The scale of the awakening is now such that there is no longer any single person, even Kim Dotcom, on whom the future of this country is reliant or can be swayed. The people want and are demanding answers. All of us will equally carry the responsibility for the security of our future generations on our shoulders and it is only a spirit of unity that will overcome any challenge.


 

Update: Post-Election Result

Last night the General Election results were posted and updated live at the official New Zealand Government Elections website.

Defying statistical probability, the standard of deviation in the party votes was ~1% for the vast majority of the count, after a fall of a few percentage points at the very beginning.

A lack of exit polls deprives us of any meaningful way to measure the veracity of the result.

While the mainstream media made much of the efficacy and safety of using “paper ballots” in the lead up to election night, the data being updated on the Government website clearly had a point of entry and left some Kiwis wondering what we have really just witnessed.

5Eyes

Kim Dotcom, however, has been gracious in defeat; extending a gentlemanly congratulations to Prime Minister John Key and taking responsibility for the loss.

While admirable of him to do so, the #DirtyPolitics script was very clear about who was responsible for the anti-Dotcom smear campaigns and which members of the mainstream media participated in them.

All of the mainstream journalists implicated in the scandal closed ranks and remain employed and operational to this day, and indeed are bragging and victim-blaming on social media as I write this.

Let New Zealand never again be called the least corrupt country in the world. For we are not. Our government is an international embarrassment, newly empowered to run amock for another three years.


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Activism

I finally heard what I had always been thinking, spoken by other people and joined my voice in unison with them for the first time on October 15, 2011.

I believed the human rights lawyers who told over 3,000 of us present that political activism and expression was entirely legal, in fact, protected by the Bill of Rights, and that we could not be discriminated against as a result of it.

I soon discovered the reality couldn’t be further from that.

I had no intention to immerse myself in Occupy Media but, born of the ingrained insolence of a survivor, I have a strange habit of speaking the truth regardless of social consequences, which made me a perfect fit.

Occumama says true Occupiers are all survivors. Every day that the system in its various incarnations victimises more people, creates more Occupiers.

The evictions we witnessed and amplified to the world did nothing but harden the resolve of Occupiers to spread their experiences and decentralise their dissent, throughout the country. Perhaps that was the state’s hidden agenda? Who knows. Either way, the oppression of large numbers of New Zealanders guarantees that so long as there is no justice, we will speak.

Causes:
I live tweet, photograph, promote and infrequently organise social justice actions in Auckland, New Zealand and I have recently moved to Berlin, Germany. I try to cover any action which aligns with true Occupy principles.

I write for a whole host of different publications and you can see a complete list of my recently published articles, along with my portfolio, profile, interviews and other information at Suzi3d.com

Blowing our own whistle sucks and everyone should have a voice regardless of qualification, however I am proud to have blogged for OccupyWallSt.org & Occupy Savvy; worked with HellaOccupyOakland.org, been referenced by David Seaman (@d_seaman) in BusinessInsider.com, reblogged on 404SystemError.com & OccupyMelbourne.net among others, been retweeted by countless high profile social media accounts and had my articles read tens of thousands of times all thanks to participation in Occupy Media.

In my first 4 years of citizen journalism I received $0 for my efforts. Was I just nuts? No. Occupy is priceless. No experience I’ve had can be quantified in economic terms. The hardships retributively imposed only stiffen our resolve. Occupy is family. I can’t regret a thing!

I urge you to check out the following via Twitter:

#OWS @OccupyWallSt / @OccupyWallStNYC
@OccupyNZ @OccupyNZD @amplifyonly
@endarken @Suzi3d @decipheryou
@thespinbin @contraspin @MintPressNews
#SaveGI Glen Innes Housing Protests
#TPPANoWay #TPP #TPPA Trans-Pacific Partnership “Trade” Agreement / #D8 Shutdown
Greenpeace NZ #OilFreeSeas
#GCSB | #NSA | #GCHQ
#Schapelle Corby – wrongfully imprisoned for over 15 years for corporate interests – www.expendable.tv
@InternetPartyNZ #InternetMana
#TrapWire
#NZ4Gaza
#Snowden

This entry was posted on September 3, 2013. 2 Comments