The hacker known as Rawshark has quit, acknowledging he could go to jail for hacking the WhaleOil blog but defended the decision to do so.
He has also threatened to return if dirty politics continues in New Zealand.
"I know vigilantism is a dangerous final resort. I hope history judges me kindly," he said. "If I didn't do it, who would have? If I didn't do it this way, how could it have been done?
"Don't try this at home.. unless you think it's important enough to risk 7 years in jail. Think it through." In a series of tweets from the Whaledump2 account, Rawshark said he was not motivated by political leanings but by "ratf***ers"-- a term from the Watergate scandal to describe those alleged of manipulating the political system.
"This was never about party politics for me. I have done what I set out to do. It is time to go.
"To targeted ratf***ers: Good luck lying. Remaining dumps (of information) are with journos. You feeling lucky, punk? To all other ratf***ers, present and future: Don't make me come out of retirement." The announced retirement from a central role in the scandal fits with the Herald's understanding of Rawshark's intentions, which were referred to prior to an announced court action by blogger Cameron Slater.
"By the time you read this, every device used in this operation will have been destroyed and disposed of along with all the decryption keys. So long Aotearoa."
The hacker referenced the cases of Aaron Swartz and Jeremy Hammond -- two cause celebre hacker activists who were targeted for prosecution after computer intrusions. Swartz committed suicide while facing aggressive prosecutors demanding he serve decades in jail while Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Next article: Slater wants court to stem hacker's flow