No laws broken over website hacks: Key

Last updated 15:14 20/08/2014

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Prime Minister John Key is confident no laws were broken when a staffer joined blogger Cameron Slater and other National Party people to snoop on an unsecured Labour Party website.

Key has been under fire over the links between the blog and his office, where a former senior adviser appeared to be a conduit for information being exchanged between the two.

The former staffer, Jason Ede, now works at National Party headquarters. 

In his book Dirty Politics, Nicky Hager alleges Ede and Slater, along with other people within National, downloaded material including donor details, credit card information and other data housed on a Labour Party website after the discovered a security flaw.

The breach happened three years ago, and Hagar's book says emails hacked from Slater's personal computer show they intended leaking the information to damage Labour.

Responding to questions about a possible police complaint being laid today, Key said the matter was dealt with three years ago by the privacy commissioner and others when National had publicly disclosed that some staffers had looked at the site.

Key said he did not believe Ede had broken the law.

"My understanding of the position is the website was effectively left open; that means it is effectively publishing it and people are free to go and look at that."

He reiterated his support for Justice Minister Judith Collins while repeating that her actions in feeding Slater informaton for his blog were "unwise".

Among the information she fed Slater were details about a public servant who subsequently received death threats.

Asked if Collins had "something over him" and that was the reason she was getting off lightly, Key said: "She doesn't, and she's not."

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- Stuff

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