Email privacy – but not if it’s stolen, or if you are a politician

Just to catch you up: ?Presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton runs her email through her own secure server. ?The one provided by the government isn’t secure enough for her liking. ?And guess what? ?Her decision has proven to be correct, with various breaches over the years proving that politicians’ emails have been leaked, hacked or otherwise revealed.

But the States has a law requiring all politicians’ emails to be part of the public record. ? Apart from the fact this story was leaked by the Obama team just as Clinton was winding up for her presidential run, which is just a coincidence, I’m sure, as Dirty Politics is only something I do here in New Zealand.

But guess what? ?Now the NZ media are using the Clinton debacle as a reason to get stuck into Key and his TXT message deletion habits.

The Prime Minister does not conduct significant government business via text message or private email, his office says.

A decision on whether John Key’s deletion of his text messages amounts to a destruction of the country’s public records is progressing.

The investigation by chief archivist Marilyn Little comes as a spotlight is put on politicians’ recordkeeping by Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for official business. Ms Clinton, a top contender for the 2016 Democratic nomination for US president, last week said that she used private emails out of “convenience” during her time as Secretary of State.

Officials’ correspondence is considered to be US government property, and thousands of Ms Clinton’s emails not deemed personal will eventually be released.

The distinction of what constitutes a personal communication will be important to Ms Little’s review.

She agreed to a request from Green MP James Shaw to review recordkeeping practices for Mr Key’s texts between when he first took office in 2008 and November last year.

The Prime Minister said he deleted his text messages amid controversy over his correspondence with blogger Cameron Slater, as detailed in Dirty Politics.

It was a dumb thing to do. ?There was nothing there of any significance, but he’s given the opposition a stick to beat him with.

Zooming out a little, when you carry one phone, you don’t exclusively use it for personal use, or business use. ?When you have more than one role, such as Prime Minister, party leader and MP for Helensville, it’s equally murky to decide which apparently innocuous bits of communications may become relevant one day, and which should never be part of any public record.

It seems the media, the Green Taliban and their Hager friend think that personal privacy is paramount except when they break into a journalists emails, or when the person is part of a political party that they don’t see eye to eye with.

The hypocrisy is hard to fathom – there is simply no consistency to their arguments. ?But due to a compliant media who like to use this as a stick to beat people with, it is continuing to receive attention.

Clinton already took her emails into the private sector for extra security. ?Based on what’s happened here over the last years with the left breaking into the right’s mail and using them for political purposes, all these attempts by the media and the left to continue their unwarranted and illegal surveillance on the communications of the right will lead to solutions not dissimilar to Hilary Clinton’s.

We can’t trust people to not break the law. ?We can’t trust media to be consistent when it comes to matters of privacy.

Going highly secure, encrypted and private is simply a natural result that comes from the crime and pressures from the media and the left. ? And now they’re whining that they might lose access to conversations they have no right to in the first place.

Even though they cover it with the cloak of transparency and open and honest government, what they are really doing in undermining the right’s ability to have a private conversation, and by doing so, they manage to destabilise their ability to plan, organise and discuss sensitive matters.


– NZ Herald