Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Dotcom denies he's behind the Whale Oil hacking

Pam Corkery nearly upstaged Kim Dotcom's Internet Party's campaign launch. Right, John Key. Photo / NZ Herald
Pam Corkery nearly upstaged Kim Dotcom's Internet Party's campaign launch. Right, John Key. Photo / NZ Herald

Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom says his comments yesterday about hacking the German Prime Minister's credit rating had nothing to do with the hacking of the Whale Oil blog.

Yesterday, Dotcom told the Internet Mana campaign launch that as a 19-year-old he hacked the German credit rating system because he wanted to ruin the German's Prime Minister's credit rating, and hacked in to NASA to find out if aliens existed.

On Radio New Zealand this morning, Dotcom said the story had nothing to do with the hacking of Cameron Slater's Whale Oil blog.

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The Whale Oil hacking uncovered source material for Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics, which revealed am alleged dirty tricks campaign by Prime Minister John Key's National Government.

Dotcom said he had nothing to do with the hacking of Whale Oil and was not behind an associated Whale Dump account.

"I told the story on the road trip the last six weeks, every day, every night. And it's about me being a 19-year-old hacker and at the time I hacked into the German credit rating system ... and I put the credit rating of our German Prime Minister at the time down to zero, and I said because I didn't like the guy.

"And then I added that I also didn't like John Key. But it was not in reference to the [Whale Oil] hacking. It was just for my dislike of another politician."

Dotcom told Radio New Zealand he wanted to be "crystal clear" about the Whale Oil allegations.

"I have nothing to do with the hacking of Whale Oil, I'm not behind Whale Dump. I have issued a press release some days ago about that and I can't believe that these allegations are still live."

Dotcom sought to explain text messages posted to Slater's right-wing Whale Oil blog. One of the messages between Dotcom and his former security manager, Wayne Tempero, said: "I know what's coming ... it's going to get ugly."

Dotcom said there was a "simple explanation".

"I know what's coming because I was going to take legal action against Cameron Slater after he has written 200-plus smear stories, character assassination, ... "

Dotcom said he had been preparing a case against Slater for more than three months.

Dotcom: None of $5m bounty paid out

Dotcom said he had not paid out any of the $5 million reward that he had offered for information to help in his legal case against the United States government. The Mega founder is facing extradition to the US on allegations of copyright infringement.

"That bounty ... has nothing to do with Cameron Slater or Whale Oil."

Asked if he had a theory behind who had hacked Slater, Dotcom said: "A theory? A hacker, I suppose."

Dotcom said he had planned to hire a private investigator to look into Slater's business dealings, but said he did not go ahead with it.

"At the time when I texted Wayne [Tempero], I knew that he was a source of Slater's, that he has been providing him with all kinds of information about my life.

"For example, he revealed to Slater the numerous meetings I had with politicians at the mansion. So that's why I sent that to him."

When approached this morning, Mr Tempero said he did not want to comment on the allegations.

Dotcom said he had a meeting with a company that had suggested surveillance of Slater, including taking photographs and seeing who he was meeting.

"But then I thought about my own GCSB experience and I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of doing that, so I just didn't go ahead with it."

Dotcom said his legal team was monitoring the Whale Oil blogsite.

"There are two junior lawyers that every day go there to see what new defamation he is writing, and they have been building the case. So that is what I was talking about."

Harre unhappy with press secretary's tirade

Pam Corkery admitted today that she was upset about her actions following the ugly spat outside the Internet Mana Party's campaign launch in Auckland yesterday.

"I'm very embarrassed," she told the Herald this morning.

The former MP and broadcaster politely refused to comment further.

"I don't comment - I'm a press secretary. I don't care how you angle it, I just don't do that (comment) and I'm very embarrassed."

Internet Party leader Laila Harre told Radio New Zealand this morning she was not happy with how press secretary Pam Corkery handled the media yesterday.

Read more: Press secretary's tirade overshadows campaign

Ms Corkery told reporters, who wanted to speak to the party founder about his admissions of hacking, to "just piss off".

"We've talked about jobs today and people living in poverty. You want to interview Kim, who did say no interviews, about a 19-year-old story," she said.

"You work in news you puffed up little s***."

Ms Harre told Radio NZ today that immediately after the incident occurred, Ms Corkery apologised for "losing her cool".

"After the incident that occurred, she immediately alerted me to it, she apologised for losing her cool with the media pack that had been pursuing her for some time in quite an aggressive way for an interview with Kim Dotcom, which they were aware wouldn't be given. And they were aware of that before the event.

"No, she didn't handle things well, and she's very regretful of that."

Ms Harre said it was disappointing that media who recorded the scene had decided that was the story of the day.

"It followed an amazing event, over 500 people filling a hall, and the release of our full employment policy. So it was incredibly disappointing that the media chose to make that the story rather than to cover the event itself."

Ms Harre told Newstalk ZB that media were well aware before the event that Dotcom would not be giving interviews.

Ms Harre said she was not shocked to hear that Dotcom had hacked the German Prime Minister's office, or that he had affected his credit rating.

"That wouldn't have been news to anybody who has come to our roadshow events. Kim has told the story of his 19-year-old hacking exploits ... The reason that he tells this story is because the outcome of it was that the judge told him to put his skills to better use."

This resulted in him applying for funds from the German government to start his first successful business, she told Newstalk ZB.

"The point of the story is to show that it is possible with good support from governments to start new internet-based businesses."

She denied claims that Dotcom was using the story as a way of threatening Prime Minister John Key.

"No that wasn't a threat. As I say, the story has been told at roadshow event after roadshow event.

"It wasn't a scoop for the media, and the point of the story is to show when a government has available funds for supporting innovation we can start great businesses and that is one of our priorities as the Internet Party also."

Earlier today Dotcom tweeted Ms Corkery's response was 'unwise' and she was on her 'final final final warning' - a tongue in cheek reference to Prime Minister John Key's response to Judith Collins' reported actions in Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics book.


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