The Tory's techie stat gnome - the same one who complained so bitterly and for so long, about the 'Hollow Men' leak of sensitive National Party emails and who bored readers of his blog for years with how it was doing his head in (because he couldn't accept it was an inside job) - well isn't it a different tune when it's the Labour Party having all their data exposed. It's such a different tune - it's like jumping from Concert FM to George. It's like we're listening to a different person altogether.
When it happens to the Nats it's some order of high state crime that demands the police swat team bash down the door of everyone connected to Hager, but now with it happening to Labour it's:
A weakness in security? That implies there was some security at all[...]
So it's Labour's own fault - and the data capture is morally neutral - according to Farrar's line because it was just out there. Not because it is in the public interest - he's not going there - just that, the data wasn't adequately secure. Telling us:
Again I should stress that while I have no first hand knowledge of how the information was obtained, I am told that there was no hacking, cracking or illegal access. It was simply available to the world.
But it wasn't 'the world' that wanted to get in and that found a way in. Labour's official response mentions "vulnerability":
On Saturday Labour discovered the possibility of a malicious breach of an online Party contact database. We began an investigation immediately.
On Sunday we isolated a system vulnerability that we believed had been exploited. The system was immediately secured. We fully understand the seriousness of this kind of event, and we have apologised unreservedly. One of the earliest downloads of the database appears to be from an internet address belonging to a National Party Head Office mail server.
A trooper in the Death Star gets access and then - probably within minutes - Slater is fossicking in there too.
Farrar's stance is that it's 'open to the world' and so it's all fair in love and politics. But just as one's house is also 'open to the world' if the front gate doesn't have a lock on it, it doesn't mean that it's OK to open it, take what you can out of the yard and start distributing it about the neighbourhood. 'Open to the world' is not much of a defence when you are a tech-savvy political operative.
Anyway, our cetacean friend is going to perform another malicious drop of privacy breaching data at 2pm, bless him. For his sake it better be genuine public interest material - like the questions raised around the use of parliamentary services to fund party political campaigning - nothing wrong with exposing those sorts of emails. However the scattergun approach he takes hasn't always gone down well with the judiciary and his defences in court were weak. Better luck this time, eh?