[LINK] Wikileak founder's passport cancelled

Frank O'Connor foconnor at ozemail.com.au
Mon May 17 14:26:05 AEST 2010

Yo Jan,

We'll see,

But if he doesn't get his passport renewed/returned I think that any 
protestations Stephen Conroy may want to make about the filter list, 
enforcing IP and the like with no political interference should be 
taken with an even greater grain of salt (one would argue a whole 

I'm keeping a running tab on this matter, and if Assange's passport 
hasn't been renewed/returned to him within a month ... well, then I 
would be REALLY concerned about the state of democracy in this 
country, the independence of the Australian public service, the 
politicization of same, and ANY measures from this government 
concerning censorship, IP enforcement and filtering of internet 

Failure to renew the passport would be weighty evidence of the 
smoking gun that Conroy has been so busy trying to deny.

In other words ... I think not even Conroy could survive a scandal 
based on this, and that he's not foolish enough to push the matter 
through sheer vindictiveness.

Of course, he and the government may be much less intelligent than I 
give them credit for.


At 9:40 AM +1000 17/5/10, Jan Whitaker wrote:
>[I don't understand. Does this mean he's a political prisoner in
>Australia? How can a country cancel a passport without charges? Do we
>know if he now has a new passport? Was this just a beat-up by Fairfax?]
>Julian Assange, the Australian founder of the whistleblower website
>Wikileaks, says he had his passport taken away from him at Melbourne
>Airport and was later told by customs officials that it was about to
>be cancelled.
>Last year Wikileaks published a confidential Australian blacklist of
>websites to be banned under the government's proposed internet filter.
>The Age has been told that Assange's passport is classified
>''normal'' on the immigration database, meaning the Wikileaks
>director can travel freely on it.
>Assange told The Age his passport was taken from him by customs
>officials at Melbourne Airport when he entered the country last week
>after he was told ''it was looking worn''.
>When the passport was returned to him after about 15 minutes, he says
>he was told by authorities that it was going to be or was cancelled.
>Passports are routinely taken from travellers for short periods by
>immigration officials if they are damaged.
>Wikileaks has risen to prominence for posting leaked footage of US
>forces laughing at the dead bodies of 12 people they had just killed
>in Iraq in 2007.
>It was in the Australian spotlight last year after publishing a
>confidential blacklist of websites that forms the basis of the
>government's proposed internet filter.
>The list as published by Wikileaks then blocked links to YouTube
>clips, sites on euthanasia, fringe religions, and traditional
>pornography - as well as the websites of a tour operator and a dentist.
>The government says the intention is to block extreme sites depicting
>such things as child pornography, bestiality and rape.
>The Australian Communications and Media Authority has also asked the
>Australian Federal Police to investigate the leaking and publishing
>of the Australian internet blacklist.
>But a spokeswoman for the AFP said yesterday the federal police had
>dropped the case earlier this year because it was ''not in our jurisdiction''.
>Assange said half an hour after his passport was returned to him, he
>was approached by an Australian Federal Police officer who searched
>one of his bags and asked him about his criminal record relating to
>computer hacking offences in 1991.
>Assange's allegations about his passport were first made on SBS
>current affairs program Dateline, which aired a story on the 
>Wikileaks founder.
>Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
>jwhit at janwhitaker.com
>blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
>business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
>Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or
>sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
>~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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