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THE AGE HACKING SCANDAL: The Age’s criminal defendants disrespect court with “no-show”


Charged with crimes that could get them two years imprisonment, three arrogant Fairfax journos and a senior Greensparty operative and state government bureaucrat didn’t bother attending the Melbourne Magistrates Court for the first hearing Thursday.

In what is only the first part of the criminal trial of three Age journalists and a Greensparty senior operative over allegedly illegal computer database hacking of their political opponents, observers were surprised the four failed to attend the court at the mention hearing of the charges at the Melbourne Magistrates Court today.

The AgeBC’s one-time rising star Nick McKenzie, CFMEU chum Ben Schneiders, veteran lefty scribe Royce Millar and near-miss Greensparty Brunswick candidate and EPA honcho Fraser Brindley are all accused of penetrating the ALP’s confidential database that it uses to communicate with voters, as provided by the Victorian Electoral Commission.

nickmckenziecourtroomOddly, a story bearing McKenzie and Millar’s by-line at the time, essentially boasted of having committed the crime and sources told VEXNEWS at the time the IP traffic on the ALP’s systems confirmed that some had penetrated the database from IP addresses associated with The Age. A brazen crime indeed, if the elements of it are proven in court.

We note that the criminally accused are entitled to the presumption of innocence under our system of justice.

That said, the hysterical defence offered by beseiged Fairfax management over the allegations, that being held to account for the allegedly criminal behaviour is itself an attack on press freedom, won’t help them in court very much.

Even this part of their story, as we have previously reported, doesn’t stack up in that sources say the accused did searches on individual records in the database that didn’t relate at all to their initial beat-up story or indeed, in some cases, to any story at all.

As we have explained before, the extent of the Age’s ferocious denunciation of News Limited in Australia as being collectively guilty for the transgressions of UK tabloid colleagues (and some employed in other companies) was central to our initial reporting of this story. They denounced the breaches of privacy and law that so many British journos engaged in in that highly competitive news market.

Their pious words now appear very embarrassing indeed, given the criminal charges their best and dullest now face. It will be pleasing to see the whites of Fairfax management’s lies in open court.


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  1. If anyone else did this they’d be jailed, I hope to see equivalent justice here.

    Posted by Hacking | May 16, 2013, 14:03
  2. The Age cackled like jackals at the prospect of journos going to jail just because they worked for Rupert Murdoch.

    Shameless hypocrites!

    Posted by suck it up princesses | May 16, 2013, 16:14
  3. Paul Ramadge has resigned but has not been charged. The staff were merely acting on his orders. Why isn’t he being held to account?

    Posted by Responsibility? | May 16, 2013, 16:31
  4. The News of the World was closed over its hacking scandal.

    I expect The Age will have to follow.

    Posted by Oliver | May 16, 2013, 17:00
  5. Was Greg Hywood wilfully blind to the criminal actions of his employees in illegally gathering source material for stories and just general snooping?

    He should resign.

    Posted by Hywood must go | May 16, 2013, 17:01
  6. Are long-suffering Fairfax shareholders having to pay for these clowns legal defense?

    Posted by Hywood must go | May 16, 2013, 17:02
  7. I expect to see violence outside the court when The Age militants actually show up.

    Posted by Sacking | May 16, 2013, 17:05
  8. Fairfax has questions to answer.

    Posted by Gillardine | May 16, 2013, 17:15
  9. Hacking is illegal and outrageous except when done at Fairfax.

    Posted by David Marred | May 16, 2013, 17:17
  10. I hope that criminal charges stick and these idiots will have trouble travelling to lots of places that do not grant visas to crooks.
    Bring it on.

    Posted by Polster | May 16, 2013, 17:22
  11. Posted by jeremiah | May 16, 2013, 18:30
  12. Ah, in the Failfax world laws only apply to us little people.
    You see because they have good intentions and are on the right side of history they get a free pass. In their minds anyway.

    Posted by Scott | May 16, 2013, 18:43
  13. My little man mikey Tyler has been a bit naughty. Shacked up with norain wreford and he won’t get any thrills until he drops that terrible wench

    Posted by Inga binga | May 16, 2013, 20:17
  14. Mikes keeping me very well in beach rd Hampton. Inga Binga bugger off I’ve got the prize, Mikey boys shrivelled stick. Does me just fine, better than serges Yugoslav stick. You need to know who is boss. Me and my bird brain

    Posted by No Brain Wreford | May 16, 2013, 22:18
  15. O’dwyer only shows her teef for big money. She’s like cossie lots of money but no friends

    Posted by Horse whisper | May 16, 2013, 22:26
  16. Why does everyone still question my integrity?

    Posted by KOD | May 16, 2013, 22:33
  17. Given that Royce Millar’s career has been built on using poetic license to accuse others of breaking laws , this is sweet cummupence, indeed!

    Posted by Cyclops | May 16, 2013, 23:33
  18. comeuppance

    (1) Punishment or reward for one’s actions; (2) getting what you have coming to you; (3) getting what you deserve; (4) karma.

    Posted by royce | May 17, 2013, 9:40
  19. Why KOD, because you ONLY got where you are by ‘laying on your back’ for the party rulers – that is why!

    Posted by anon | May 17, 2013, 11:08
  20. jail schneiders – mighells bitch in cell block 4. see how much of mighells ‘truth’ he swallows then !!

    Posted by kop | May 17, 2013, 11:23
  21. I walked past this court yesterday and despite the no smoking signs bogans were smoking in the street outside – disgusting.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | May 17, 2013, 12:20
  22. Australians are all bogans Adrian.

    Posted by anon | May 17, 2013, 12:37
  23. Anon

    Physicists got the surprise of their lives when instead of finding the Higgs Boson they found the Higgs Bogan.

    Posted by H the B | May 17, 2013, 16:45
  24. Posted by Where have all the flowers gone at Fairfax? | May 17, 2013, 17:07
  25. Next time I plan to hack into the US defense force database I will do so as a journalist.

    I am sorry your Honour I was committing the crime in fulfillment of my real-job as a Journalist. I should be given a Walkley not a Jail sentence.

    Posted by Assange | May 18, 2013, 2:40
  26. I can’t speak for the others, but Nick McKenzie was always a low life toad. Hope he gets what he deserves!

    Posted by Roy Tuswell Seat Sniffer | May 18, 2013, 7:11
  27. What a bunch of whiners. Don’t like the Age, don’t read it. Like a bunch of idiots complaining about a TV show they keep watching. Turn off the TV or if that is too intellectually challenging change channels.


    Hope this helps
    H the B
    Australia’s Best Christian

    Posted by H the B | May 18, 2013, 11:45
  28. I love to observe Andrew Bolt as he saw one of his children die maimed in a gutter.

    Posted by anon | May 18, 2013, 18:10
  29. The are “journalists” so the law is different for them than ordinary folk. A slap on the wrist. If anyone else did it, 9 months at HM Barwon.

    Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2013, 23:22
  30. Copper coins found on beach is a conjob of the first order. Copper is highly reactive to salt and it is doubtful the coins could survive 3 years let alone a thousand.

    A great big fat stinkin lie of a joke…!!

    Posted by Assange | May 20, 2013, 11:30
  31. The dinner to make Costello a Liberal Life Member has turned into a fiasco. Only MP’S and other freebies going after 25,000 invites to all and sundry and then another 25000 reminders. He is as popular as KOD!! ie not very

    Posted by Elio | May 20, 2013, 16:46
  32. Well Scott and I are going… and our lapdoggy Tony S.

    Posted by KOD | May 20, 2013, 16:47
  33. Tony Snell is not too shabby but granted… a little bit close to the ratpack of disloyalists… O’Dwyer, Hawke, Ryan, Fifield etc.

    Posted by Elio | May 20, 2013, 16:52
  34. Am I being tarnished by me snuggling up to Costello? Hope not as i’m unpopular enough in my own right.

    Posted by KOD | May 20, 2013, 16:54
  35. Psst….HQ went close to cancelling the Peter Costello dinner but are proceeding out of sheer embarrassment. 30 MP’s and 250 freebies being bussed in against their will. All horrible really. At least Peter gets a free dinner following the bankruptcy of his banking enterprise.

    Posted by Elio | May 20, 2013, 16:58
  36. I’d go to Pete Costello’s do if it were guaranteed post-pubescent males would be there in number.

    Posted by Cr.Craig | May 20, 2013, 17:22
  37. Elio, Tony Snell a disloyalty? To whom? Please explain!

    Posted by Anon | May 20, 2013, 18:04
  38. Oops, I menat to say:
    Elio claims Tony Snell is disloyal. The question remains, disloyal to whom?

    Posted by Anon | May 20, 2013, 18:05
  39. It seems The Age journalists have become somewhat media shy. They feared their photos plastered over the Herald-Sun with a report of the proceedings and a summary of the allegations with some editorialising linking their behaviour to Assange’s exploits.

    There are a few good defences available to them under the relevant legislation and general law so it is quite possible they will be found Not Guilty.

    My concern is the allegation that they didn’t just check the database for news purposes but trolled the data to satisfy prurient desires.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | May 23, 2013, 22:15
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