Keith Ng has a fascinating post up on all of the strange things that were happening regarding Cameron Slater and Ben Rachinger and their hilarious and dysfunctional search for ‘Rawshark’, the mysterious hacker that gave Slater’s emails to Nicky Hager. You should go and read the whole thing, but because Keith is so comprehensive its easy to miss the absurdity of what happened here, which is:
- Slater told Rachinger he wanted proof that various enemies of his (mostly journalists, but also Kim Dotcom, Rangi Kemara and Keith himself) were involved in the hack. He agreed to pay Rachinger for the proof
- A brief time – sometimes a matter of hours – after each enemy was named Rachinger got back to Slater and assured him that he had obtained this proof. Slater then paid Rachinger who provided with very questionable-looking chat transcripts or encrypted files that Slater couldn’t open. Then onto the next enemy!
- Slater then repeated the names of the people that Rachinger had ‘proved’ were involved in the hack to senior journalists, senior police officers and the Prime Minister, and police and journalists started running around the country investigating or trying to interview the people who Slater had named.
One of the strangest things about the WhaleOil phenomenon is that someone who was pretty obviously a troubled fantasist briefly became one of the most powerful people in the country by drawing a lot of our most senior political and media leaders into his fantasies.