Ben Rachinger

Ben Rachinger

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Informants, informing and who decides this?

To many people, it appears there are three main questions:  Am I an informant? If so, when did I inform? On who did I inform? And why did I inform?

Mr. Slater sent the cops to me. The visit from the police was apparently to ascertain whether I had any information for them regarding hacking in New Zealand. It was a visit by a detective sergeant of the Manakau CIB police squad. Needless to say, my parents were quite upset to have random police visits.

After being informed of the visit, I called the officer and offered to go into the police station and chat. He declined to meet at the station and wanted to meet in a less formal setting of a cafe. I met him at the cafe the next day. We discussed various technical aspects in policing (anonymizing Tor users who are CP distributors or creators), and then he gave me some idea of what the police wanted from me. 

I was friends with a guy named ______ who has previously been in trouble/prison in New Zealand for various things. He's a Maori activist and keen computing genius. The police asked me to pass on any information _____ may have had as regards the identity of "Rawshark."

They also wanted proof of any other crimes that could be taking place. Now here's where I first majorly fucked up. I didn't decline the Police. I told _____ that I was getting groomed to inform on him and anyone in Kiwi hacking scene. He told me to stop talking to the cops and get clear.

Unwisely I declined. At that point I wanted to be involved and to understand why the police targeted the people they did and not others. I subsequently met the police officer on a park bench and we did a handoff of a USB drive. It just contained general info and some screenshots. At this point I had never had any kind of financial arrangement to inform nor had I been officially made into a confidential informant.

At around this time, Mr. Slater had passed a contact to me hoping we could help him. This contact's name is Tomasz Grygoruk. Grygoruk has served time in New Zealand for hacking offenses and carding. He's Googleable. Grygoruk wanted to know as much information about potential Rawshark people's personal email addresses and relationships. It was implied that this was for the purposes of hacking them to get information. I did not give him anything but we talked quite a bit.

Grygoruk works for a man named Tony Lentino. Lentino was a major funder of Kim Dotcom and served as the first CEO of Mega. The relationship between Kim and Tony had gone south before I came into the picture and Tony had worked with Slater using Slater's blog Whaleoil to repeatedly target and smear Kim Dotcom in the lead up to the election last year.

I informed the Police that dubious and criminal events were taking place around Slater. They were interested in my collecting information on these activities which I did and passed on. Lentino offered me a position as his apprentice in his company in October but withdrew the offer in November. Slater had set me up with Lentino in meetings and was the gatekeeper for those meetings. I was quite upset to have the job offer withdrawn because I had spent a sum of money on going to interviews and hotel costs. I discussed this with Mr. Slater who informed me that he had known nothing about Lentino withdrawing the offer and that anyway I could work for Slater in his new media venture "Freed." I was put on the payroll at 500NZD cash a week in December and continued to work with both the Police and Slater.

In January, Slater began to ask for information not legally obtainable from a rival political party (, affiliated with the left wing party Labour). Specifically he sought to have the commenters and anonymous authors outed so he could use that information to embarrass his funders' political enemies.

Here is a link to a segment shown on television here in New Zealand that covers things past this point -> … The police seem to be doing nothing except claiming to be investigating it--eight months later.
Slater has worked with many media people in New Zealand so there were some pretty tough barriers to getting the story out. Although no one has been sued by Slater since the TV segment and his response was to carry on a campaign of intimidation using his proxy blog friends at Lauda Finem.

The whole experience had broken me by this point and I was drinking heavily every day. I checked into detox. This information was posted by Lauda Finem, but they stated that I was a methamphetamine user. They also stated they knew my location outside of the detox. This was my girlfriend's parents house, and it was pretty scary to have all this information about me come out because of my interaction with Cameron.

I reported the intimidation to the police and they did nothing. Mr. Slater is the son of an ex-National Party President. He owns firearms. He has stated he has gang contacts. He also works with very unscrupulous people. The constant attacks, intimidation, worrying for my family and girlfriend and my pre-exisiting proclivity to handle stress with alcohol has worn me down and caused me to have a very paranoid approach to life. Even now.

Many things have happened since then but I've been off the booze for over a month now and I'm trying to get into a good headspace. I don't want anyone's money. I don't want charity. I just want a chance to keep this story alive in hope that justice will be served.

While the police hunted for Rawshark, many of us hunted for our true selves. We questioned ourselves. "If I saw bad things happening, would I speak out? Even though I could be raided? Hated? Destroyed?"

For many the answer is "No." Would you? Most people won't speak out. But just because a tree falls on its own it the woods, it does not mean it did not happen, didn't make or sound, or didn't.

Corruption happens around us every day. We cannot, for the most part, do much about it. But what if we could? I mean, what if you knew you could do something to change things? You call it entrapment to let the natural unfolding of events occur, but I call it observing someone's true self.

Slater's true self is much like mine. Desperate for recognition. Hungry for engagement. Relentless. But what are we a part of? A political system that shields Jason Ede from sunlight and has the prime minister cleared even though he deleted his messages? Showing that he knew something, he did something wrong. He was cleared.

That's corruption. Exposing Slater was exposing the system in progress at the time. Nothing has happened except the slow destruction of Slater and other low-level people.

The real culprits go free. The National Party.

It is natural for someone who has seen the inside of the police informant program, the government's dirty politics squad and the way media screen stories to go off the deep end. Happens a lot.

Me? Am I a nice guy? That's debatable. Some will say yes, and others scream no.

But here's what I did.

I brought new facts and information to light. I brought to the nation that Hager had been raided --something I believed was beyond the pale. As a young and impressionable guy I have allowed myself to have my ego pampered by the likes of Slater and more. Guess what? I did it. I bet a lot of you would have done the same.

But consistently, when it mattered, I have spoken out. One year out from dirty politics. Nothing has changed. We wait for another Rawshark. But what Rawshark has done yielded no results but a raided journalist and an embittered Slater.

We are all Rawshark if we want to be. The qualities inherent in shining whatever light you can on government activities in order to provide transparency are truly noble things. But it is accountability that matters most. I have made myself accountable by virtue of exposing myself. You get to see me. I am accountable to you. You can rip my life apart and squash my reputation. My only question is this: Why can't you do that to our authoritarian government and their soldiers like Slater?