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Apr 19, 2012

WikiLeaks lawyer, on 'inhibited person' travel list, stopped at airport

Human rights lawyer Jen Robinson has been stopped while returning to Australia as an "inhibited person". Who did it and why?


Australian human rights lawyer and WikiLeaks supporter Jennifer Robinson appears to have been placed on a travel watch list and was prevented from leaving the UK this morning until approval was secured from the Australian High Commission.

Robinson was returning to Australia to speak at the same conference as Attorney-General Nicola Roxon tomorrow — the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association’s Regional Law Conference — on the apt subject of “Lawyers in the firing line”. Roxon is giving an address on human rights.

Robinson was stopped when checking in at Heathrow early this morning Australian time and told she was an “inhibited person” and that approval from the Australian High Commission would be needed before she was allowed to proceed. She tweeted

Security guard: “you must have done something controversial” because we have to phone the embassy. “Certain government agencies” list.

Intriguingly, however, no Australian agency uses the term “inhibited person”. A DIAC spokesman told Crikey “the only mechanism that would restrict uplift of a person to Australia is the Movement Alert List (MAL).”

The government doesn’t discuss who is on the MAL, but it is understood it would be highly unusual for an Australian to be on the MAL.

This raises the possibility that, in spite of what she was told, Robinson was stopped not at the behest of an Australian agency but a foreign agency. In December, Robinson was in the US to monitor the pre-trial hearing of Bradley Manning and was sharply critical of the conduct of the hearing. In January, she confronted US Attorney-General Eric Holder about the Obama administration’s treatment of WikiLeaks when both of them attended the Sundance Film Festival.

Robinson is currently en route to Hong Kong before travelling on to Sydney, where she is scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning.

A short time ago DFAT issued the following statement to Crikey:

“We are not aware of any Australian Government restriction applying to Ms Robinson’s travel. As an Australian with a valid passport, she would be free to return to Australia at any stage. The UK border authorities or airline of travel may be able to provide further insight on claims that she was impeded from boarding her flight.”

The DFAT statement is a reference to the fact that airlines themselves may stop people from boarding if they believe they may not be permitted to enter their destination country, leaving the airline with the cost of returning them to their point of departure. As Robinson is an Australian, however, this clearly would not have applied to her.

Crikey is seeking comment from the UK Border Agency.


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70 thoughts on “WikiLeaks lawyer, on ‘inhibited person’ travel list, stopped at airport

  1. el tel

    Perhaps they don’t like Julian’s new TV show.

  2. Frank Campbell

    So the UK govt. is yet again doing the bidding of the paranoid USA….

    The Orwellian language is a giveaway…Note that the Blair govt lied when it denied complicity with the CIA in ‘renditions” for torture…

  3. gapot

    Nicola ROXON must have some friends at Heathrow. Robinson is also an advocate for the people of WEST PAPUA who are trying to remove the Indonesian invaders.

  4. shanghai

    Weird stuff!

  5. Greg Jones

    (This raises the possibility that, in spite of what she was told, Robinson was stopped not at the behest of an Australian agency but a foreign agency. )

    There it is, right there!

  6. Andybob

    She doesn’t sound inhibited to me. Good on her.

  7. bluepoppy

    When did it become normal where those who advocate for human rights and transparency are listed as potential ‘enemies’ or worthy of ‘watching’. What if it is the State that commits the unlawfual acts? At least Wikileaks and people like Ms Robinson are also keeping the B**s honest. (As much as is humanely possible). What is it with dem Yankees.

  8. Suzanne Blake

    Roxon wanted the limelight herself, it seems

  9. Liz45

    What’s the point of having a passport? What’s the point of being a member of a ‘developed country’ that boasts of being democratic, freedom loving, blah blah!

    I suppose she should be grateful for not ending up in a cell next to Bradley Manning?


    (And the best SB can do is once again engage in childish political point scoring! I’m sure she’s Christopher Pyne! the little poodle who just keeps on yapping around peoples’ heels?)

  10. kennethrobinson2

    This smells like our Yank masters, have our government totally under control, smacks of treason to me, when is our GUTLESS so called leaders, going to say ENOUGH!.
    We definately have been sold out on this one, as I said before, Assange would be advised to hotfoot it down to the Russian Embassy and seek political assylum, otherwise, he will juse dissapear, and Gillard wont lift a finger to help, maybe even invited to the White House for praise.

  11. shepherdmarilyn

    Roxon is going to give a lecture on human rights? While we jail Indonesian children in adult prisons in breach of the law and Gillard says he is an adult even though his parents, the school and the Indonesia authorities say he is 16?

    While she jails babies as a “security risk”, and while the government still whinge about sending refugees to Malaysia to die, while we are paying Indonesia to torture refugees to death and deport them for us without due process of the law?

    I think I want to puke.

    But the unions are backing Assange as a Senate rep.

  12. Some Dude

    @kennethrobinson2: But what happens when he pisses the Russians off? That’s when he’ll really ‘disappear’.

  13. SusieQ

    You know, we used to joke about being the 51st state of the USA, now it seems it really has happened.

  14. michael crook

    We have arrived, 1984.

    Unless you, I mean you, take some action to defend your so called freedoms, we will all lose them. It may already be too late.

    Like the “war on drugs” which has created two industries, one that profits from selling drugs and one that profits from drugs being illegal, so has “security” become an industry that feeds on deliberately generated fear. This industry has no barriers to its feeding frenzy and the “rule of law” has disappeared. In a world of artificially contrived fear personal freedoms including that of speech, have gone.

  15. Liz45

    @MARILYN – I watched a documentary re asylum seekers – SBS! You were on it I believe. Now I have a face to go with your wonderful and gutsy comments.

    I agree with you about our appalling human rights history/reality. I take my hat off to Indonesia re the young teenager and the marijuana issue. They took care of him like any decent country should care for kids – they’re just that? Kids! I was appalled when Rudd announced that he wasn’t going to sack any public servants etc. We still have Sandy ‘whatsisname’? Logan is it? in charge! A most unlikable person! Nothing’s changed at all!

    I can only imagine the dangers these young teenagers are exposed to in an adult jail with some pretty horrible people!

    If I hear just one more time how ‘concerned and sad’ they are about asylum seekers taking such risks? leaky boats etc? Of course, they should stay home and dodge our bullets every day and night? Much more respectable if they die that way! Then, we don’t have to even mention that they ever existed!

    Not surprising that most of the recent arrivals(last year included) are from Afghanistan. Apparently, last year was the most bloody/violent/dangerous year to date!

    I’d take the risk with my babies, and leave! Any way anywhere!

    Like you, I want to puke too! I’m ashamed, very ashamed! I recall Julia Gillard and Nicola Roxon in Opposition! Where have those people gone to?

  16. davidk

    And the best SB can do is once again engage in childish political point scoring! I’m sure she’s Christopher Pyne! the little poodle who just keeps on yapping around peoples’ heels?)
    @ LIZ45
    I’ve suspected that for a while now
    I also note how Annabelle Crabb was scathing of Assange on the drum yesterday just after the presenter fulminated about what a fizzer his first show was.
    It’s interesting how many of our journalists castigate Assange for his big ego. After all they are modesty personified themselves for the most part.

  17. kennethrobinson2

    @ some dude,
    Id rather take my chances with the Ruskies than the Yanks.

  18. Stiofan

    Leaving aside the tinfoil hit aspects, what exactly happened? Both this story and Fairfax report that she tweeted that she was told that she would need High Commission permission to travel to Australia (despite the fact that, as DIAC pointed out, this is completely wrong – and something that, as a lawyer, she would presumably have known).

    The next part of the story is that she’s on her way to Australia. What happened in between? Did she contact the High Commission? Did the authorities at Heathrow contact the High Commission? How was she allowed to travel despite being “inhibited”?

    Your story says that “approval was secured from the Australian High Commission”. Since the High Commission has no power to prevent an Australian citizen returning to Australia, how did it grant approval?

    If she was stopped “at the behest of … a foreign agency”, what difference would “approval” from the Australian High Commission have made?

    This is up there with the “ASIO stole my iPhone charge” story.

  19. Stiofan

    Sorry- “tinfoil hat”.

  20. Meski

    @Stiofan: So you need to be a lawyer to return home as an Australian citizen now. A curious new qualification.

  21. Stiofan

    Your comment appears to be the result of a misreading of what I wrote.

  22. zut alors

    Roxon is giving a lecture on human rights? After hearing her limp comments regarding Assange on Q&A one deduces the thrust of her speech will be ANTI-human rights.

    Unless an Australian is charged with drug smuggling in a foreign land our government is disinterested.

  23. Liz45

    @DAVIDK – And yet, Julian Assange was the recipient of the ‘top award’ at the Walkleys?

    Annabel is very chummy with both side of the conservative side of politics. I don’t mind her as a person, she can be very engaging and entertaining. (However, I won’t be praising her again).
    I watched most of the TV talk/eat shows – even the one with Pyne and Vanstone! It gave me a laugh! Fancy the revelation that Pyne can’t cook? Now why doesn’t that surprise me? Probably can’t change nappies either!

    What newspapers in Australia did NOT print or cover Wikileaks stories? What hypocrites they are. Why isn’t Murdoch in the dock for example? The ABC/SBS and many the commercial channels (although I haven’t seen it on commercial TV) played the Iraqi horrors including the brutal murders etc of little kids? And yet Assange is treated like a monster? I shakes my head!

  24. Policeman MacCruiskeen

    This requires reading between the lines. The deal is done: Assange will be ‘rendered’ to the US and the watch list on his lawyers’ and associates’ movements is preparatory to shutting them down the minute he is nabbed.

    Traitorous conduct from Gillard and the ALP.

  25. shepherdmarilyn

    Thank you Liz. I took years to get any media interested in the facts of Mazhar Ali and the family instead of the lies and bullshit the media fed the public.

    After they were deported with the help of the ALP’s Laurie Ferguson he wrote and told me “it doesn’t matter if they die in the snow, they were not genuine”.

    The baby was only 14 months old, born here and we sent them in December to the coldest winter on record and without warm clothes and money.

    They survived because within one week of my appeal for cash people around the country sent $40,000.


    My first reaction – it’s a fabrication. The term “inhibited person” I’ve never heard of in connection with border control.
    I’m bemused by some of the comments that the tweeted incident generated.
    STIOFAN’s made the most sense.
    Then, if it was not a fabrication, maybe it was a ploy by a Border Authority (generic term) person to delay a Julian Assange supporter either for devilment or for leaking her travel to Oz either to the media or to the Australian High Commission.
    I’m inclined to accept the DFAT reply.
    I expect the reply to Crikey from the Brits to be just as anodyne.

  27. fractious

    I’m not the most outgoing sort myself, in fact many aspects of my personality even I would describe as “inhibited”. Does this mean I shouldn’t ever leave the country for fear of being refused re-entry? Come to that am I about to be kicked out for being inhibited?

  28. botswana bob

    Given CRIKEY’s previous revelation about “labor’s ” (sic) refusal to tell the public what its good mates the USA have got in mind for Australian citizen Assange–its in the public interest that the public not know–Robinson’s treatment makes a lot of sense. If its not the Australian government putting Ms Robinson on a no-fly list, I suspect the Canberra pen-pusherocracy has spoken to their good American friends.[I assume they are capable of such even though Mark Arbib no longer makes regular stoolie pigeon flights to the Canberra Embassy].As revealed by @GAPOT M/s Robinson is a strong supporter of dissidents–known to Indonesia as rebels–in WEST PAPUA so this and her legal advocacy for Assange would likely get her on some freedom-and-democracy government S**T list.
    It should be amusing to hear what that recycled union bureaucrat currently occupying the Attorney-General portfolio has to say, as she has–unsurprisingly–recently been sledging Assange.
    The word LABORAL was coined to indicate the total similarity is Australia’s Tweedledumb/Tweedledumber major partier. Which means we won’t hear a peep from Abbo about Australian citizen Robinson’s rights.

  29. Venise Alstergren

    “Inhibited person”. Pure American tortured syntax. However, I feel sufficiently uninhibited to tell Americans to fück off out of our country.

  30. kennethrobinson2

    Does anyone know where Arbib, went?.
    Maybe he works full time at the CIA, surely he wasnt rendered!

  31. Liz45

    @MARILYN – What can be said about Ferguson’s comment. Disgusting is the word. I was a bit confused between this story and the Baqtiari’s(spelling?)Their youngest child was born in captivity. Rose’s husband was not allowed to be there. (I’ve read of women in labour being handcuffed with a guard(male or female? who cared?) in attendance? I’ve also read of women not giving permission, but a caesarian being performed – one woman gave birth to twin girls under this appalling condition/s.)

    Rose and the baby were kept in a motel room with 24 hour guards for months – her other children were brought to her once or? a week. Through public scrutiny/opposition, she was reunited with her children out of jail. I believe one of the major churches was involved. The authorities didn’t believe that Rose was an Afghani. Vanstone was begged to wait, as the lawyers had organised for someone to go there and get proof – they did! But too late! That family were sent in a chartered plane just before Xmas day! I cried – a lot! Anger, sorrow and shame!

    We have no right to gloat about our so-called strong views about human rights – none at all!

    I’m glad the money was raised. Restores my faith in humanity! The Fergusons have never had a good reputation re caring for human beings. Look at the attitude to dumping nuclear waste in the Top End! Racist attitudes and the nuclear industry/tests etc go hand in hand I’m afraid!

    Thank you for all you do! I’m in awe! You restore my faith!

  32. AR

    KR2 – it would be nice to think that he HAD been rendered down to a barrel of fat but unfortunately he is still Langley’s man-in-Canberra.
    DIAC’s shill, Sandman “nuttin here, move along” Logan, is irrelevant in this matter as DIAC has no power over Oz citizens, that is solely a matter for DFAT, on secondment from the Septics.
    Robinson has often referred to the letter of threat she received from the US justice (SIC!) Dept spelling out in two pages of boilerplate how her freedom of movement (and, should she be extra naughty, her akshal freedom) could be affected should she persist in being a lawyer for Assange or otherwise prove annoying to the Hegemon.

  33. Kim Wright

    Yoohoo! forget the restPOLICEMAN MACCRUISKEEN is on the money!!!

  34. Graeme Thornton

    Interesting !

  35. Ian

    A question that came to my mind too was, on what authority was Robinson allowed to proceed? No doubt the answer will come in due course.

  36. lilac

    @Policeman MacCruiskeen Posted Thursday, 19 April 2012 at 4:35 pm
    Scary stuff all right you have nailed it.

  37. Sausage Maker

    Robinson was told she was an “inhibited person” by someone at the airport. The words can have just been the words the person at the airport chose.

    The UK government is putting Australia citizens on travel restriction lists at the request of the USA? If that is true then that is very disturbing.

    If this is some sort of sign that Assange is going to be extradited to the USA then this must have been a bungle on the UK’s behalf. Also, if Robinson has been in the USA recently then why did she have no trouble getting in and out from there?

    What I don’t understand is the Labor government’s complete acquiescence on this issue to foreign powers. The ALP is facing political annihilation and a rapidly declining primary vote and these sorts of issues is what makes Labor voters become Green votes. While voters who switch primary vote from Labor to Green are never going to preference the Coalition parties, the ALP can’t just dismiss this trend if the Greens start seriously challenging more lower house seats in the future.

  38. Julian Fitzgibbon

    Ha, this conundrum is easily answered. Thanks to my connections with ASIO I can inform you Ms Robinson has invented the episode.
    Proof? If she really believed it had happened she would be filing a Privacy request (seeking all information held on a person) with the High Commission and DFAT. She won’t being doing that because she knows it didn’t happen and there will be no record at the Australian High Commission of any incident regarding her departure from Heathrow. Its a common tactic with Wikileaks associated people to always claim harrassment at airports and yet puzzlingly never lay an official complaint about it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I support wikileaks, but I am not blind to the fact that it seems to attract the biggest collection of tools to be found outside of a Mitre 10 store.

    The boys from ASIO.

  39. Meski

    @Stiofan: Well, I still read it as an implication that you’d need to be a lawyer to get out of it. Or have the relevant legislation at your fingertips.
    And, @Julian Fitz: argument from false authority? Probably not, more likely irony, I guess.

  40. Alfonse

    There is something remarkable “fishy” about this whole story. In the absence of any real legal reason, ie, you are a fugitive, no country or authority can stop you returning home to the country of your origin as a citizen. It makes no sense to declare to someone that they are an “inhibited” person and then let them proceed. I have never, in all my own years of bureaucratic involvement at many levels, even heard of the term “inhibited”. Don’t completely dismiss the possibility that Ms Robinson’s perception of the event (if there was an event) may not necessarily be related to what actually occurred. Let’s wait for more detail to emerge. (or not).

  41. . .

    POLICEMAN MACCRUISKEEN is on the right trail. Also Robinson would have been prevented from speaking at the same forum as Roxon. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  42. lindsayb

    western democracies wouldn’t bully or intimidate dissenters, just like they wouldn’t use militarised police forces agains peaceful protesters, hold citizens in indefinite detention without charge, or confiscate private property without due process or compensation.
    our “democratic” elected governments are starting to behave like the authoritarian regimes that they used to criticise in the communist USSR et. al. History would suggest that this will not end well for us, the citizens, at least in the short term.

  43. Of Your Business None

    Amazing. Australians are an ocean away, face no real risk telling the US government to stuff it – yet they roll over.

    Believed my own countrymen had gone soft….

    If one can’t be free from creeps in Australia – then where?

  44. Greg Jones

    POLICEMAN MACCRUISKEEN.. has the vessel with the pessel that is true.

    @Liz45, could you please display the link to the SBS doco that features the beloved Shepherd Marilyn? Thanx honey!

  45. Liz45

    @GREG JONES – It was on SBS on January 24 2012 and called, ‘The Man Who Jumped’. Here’s the link – http://www.sbs.com.au/documentary/program/855/

    Sadly, it has expired, but maybe you can buy it from SBS or maybe Marilyn has a suggestion. I recorded it and only watched it a few days ago!


    Unlike some people here, I’m not surprised that Jennifer was treated in this manner. It all goes back to Blair/Bush/Howard and the draconian Laws and horrific treatment of people who they deemed was ‘suspicious’ or a ‘security threat’ real or IMAGINED?

    A really good documentary about the US after 9/11 including the PATRIOT Act, and the involvement of the CIA and FBI on real or imagined ‘suspicious persons’? It’s called, ‘Unconstitutional – the War on Civil Liberties’. This is the link – http://freedocumentaries.org/int.php?filmID=90

    This site has heaps of docos that you can watch for free – apart from what your IP charges etc. I’ve watched lots and this one is a real eye opener. Some may be shocked, I was! Innocent people, particularly of Middle Eastern appearance were jailed, flown out in secret at night, for ever, and the climate at the time was appalling. I hasten to add, that these were not the only people singled out. The Bush regime wanted local govts to report on people, and people were questioned in libraries for being ‘interested’ in harmless topics. True! I kid you not!
    Sit in the library looking at a reference book etc on Martin Luther King, or the Middle East, and then feel the presence of 2 burly FBI people at your side! A man was arrested for wearing a Peace badge or T shirt!

    I’m not surprised by the subject at hand, and as the Labor Govt has embraced, broadened almost every questionable invasion/imposition/investigation etc of innocent people, it shouldn’t surprise anyone else either! Look at the lengths they went to, including lying in the Court to ‘make’ a case against Dr Haneef purely for electoral advantage! It was just appalling – but not by US or British standards. Britain is responsible for the rendition of its citizens to either the Middle East or torture jails in Europe, and like Bush and Howard, lied their heads off! Downer (allegedly) lied about Mandouh Habib and David Hicks!

    The ease of being able to see first hand what these pillars of democracy have been up to is the reason why the Obama Administration wanted to curtail our access to the internet, and KNOWLEDGE! They’re s**t scared of the material Wikileaks has been given, and this is one way to stop it. thankfully, there was so much opposition, this time it failed! We are NOT entitled to the truth

    I’m probably under surveillance myself – since knowledge is such a threat! I’m not bothered at all! But????if I disappear???

  46. Schnappi

    Whats the big fuss,another clive joke on the country.

  47. Greg Jones

    I understand all of the above only too well. Seriously, I may even be under surveillance myself.

    I just started to write you about some very strange circumstances that I have experienced over the last few months, but then realized that I can’t put this stuff up on an open forum like this and scrubbed it.

    I said strange circumstances, no, that down-plays it. They were actually very intimidating and threatening.

    Nuff…thanks for the links.

  48. Venise Alstergren

    LIZ & GREG J: The truly horrific implication of the Jennifer Robinson ‘affaire’ is she was able to get the attention she deserved. What happens when a person having no access to publicity and no powerful friends is detained? That is the question.

    GREG: Re surveillance. As I understand it all correspondence to Crikey is automatically surveyed by ASIO, or its modern equivalent. For me this is a change from the time I was on the Save the Kangaroo committee and all my telephone calls were monitored. It was at a time when it was easy to hear the sounds of another telephone listening in a fairly harsh clicking followed by a spooky (no pun intended) sort of sound of a ‘phone working in a tunnel. This went on for a period of over a year.

    Cheers Venise

  49. Liz45

    How right you are Venise. Poor little buggars who look Middle eastern get carted off for questioning. However the positive side is that because Jennifer is a public figure, we all get to know about her experience.

    I’d say I’d have an ASIO file. Organising anti nuclear rallies; workers comp; peace rallies (now nobody is as suspect as a person marching for peace???). Pro a woman’s right to choose, may day etc. One day I’ll go to Canberra and get it! Worth a laugh I reckon. A very dangerous person I am!

  50. Ian

    The Wikileak’ s revelations have set in motion an escalating attack on the basic human rights of not only the traditional enemies targeted by the military/industrial complex since 911 but the very citizens of the countries the “complex” was set up to protect. We are all enemies now – especially peace activists.

    I’m sure ASIO is a keen observer of commentators on articles like this and anxiously awaiting the moment when they can pounce on someone who oversteps the line.

  51. kennethrobinson2

    There seems to be some hope on the horizan, apparently there are some groups, that plan to open a new source of finance for Assange, Manning and co.
    This will really piss the puppet money controllers, I really hope that this succeeds.

  52. Kevin & Julie Harris


    (I’m probably under surveillance myself – since knowledge is such a threat! I’m not bothered at all! But????if I disappear???)

    Dear Liz45,

    If you don’t mind, Julie would like to say a few words.

    Julie: Don’t worry Liz, it’s ok, they’ll never get away with it.


    Yours Sincerely

    Kevin & Julie Harris

  53. Ian


    If you find out anything more on how we can donate to Assange etc let us know as I, for one would be keen to help.

  54. Greg Jones

    Venise. Spot on.


  55. kennethrobinson2

    @IAN, and others,
    The article is on THE GUARDIAN site, Friday April 20, just Google GUARDIAN, and search either Assange or Battle for the internet.
    Daniel Ellsberg is one of the leaders, having started with the PENTAGON PAPERS, and was lucky to escape life, or worse he knows a bit about it, the article was written by James Bell, Wikileaks supporters plan US foundation to restore funding.
    Hope this helps, the article cant be saved, but can be printedAlso “THE BRADLY MANNING SUPPORT GROUP” are accepting donations.
    Good luck, hang in there, its worth the effort.

  56. Liz45

    @KENNETHROBINSON2 – Did you watch the documentary on ABC 2 about Daniel Ellsberg? What a courageous man he was and still is. He was arrested not that long ago re Bradley Manning, or was it over Bush’s illegal invasions? He’s still very active. It’s interesting isn’t it. Here’s a man who was ‘in the thick of it’ and the light bulb went off – and once he saw how immoral the whole thing was/is, could never go back. Why can’t more people do this? For instance, in a recent interview, Howard was/ is still ‘convinced’ about actions he took that so many of us know were and still are reprehensible and responsible for so much death, maiming and misery! Human beings are very complex, or maybe some are just evil!

    I’d like to donate to help Julian Assange either for his personal/present situation or just to help Wikileaks do their important work! How long does he have to wait for the Legal decision? It’s gone on far too long. It’s horrific to think that he still hasn’t even been charged with ANY offence? Not even jay walking!

  57. kennethrobinson2

    Yes he was lucky to get off, eventually, I hope he can get the finance running again, Ive donated to Assange and Manning, but I believe they are really going for the kill this time, if they miss, maybe the rest of us will have a chance, there is a lot of opposition building up, if they cant shut the net down, then there really is hope.

  58. Alfonse

    Some of you appear to desperately wish for, nay – demand, that the Govt takes notice of you. Such self -flattery is uncalled for. The amount of physical resources it takes for a Government agency to place someone under surveillance is significant and generally reserved for more worthy targets, not “would-be mudstirrers” who wish to build whale sanctuaries instead of nuclear energy facilities. Please don’t think you are all so important that the Government quivers in fear of your opinions and committee memberships. As for somehow knowing that your phone calls are intercepted simply by means of “crackling” or other noises shows great silliness and gullibility. Stick to making poignant or otherwise not so poignant comment on public websites (that anyone can read) and pursue your legal interests without discouragement, rather than trying to hint to all and sundry that your personal opinions rate regular full scale covert operations. Be more afraid of the advertising spam that your secret memberships will ultimately thrust into your inbox. That, fellow bloggers (and bored shitless Asio monitors) is a much more worthy pastime !!

  59. A. N. Onymus

    For anyone still wanting to watch the expired SBS program, a Google search for
    “The Man Who Jumped” + watch online
    (including quotation marks around the title of the program) produces about 621,000 results including several links at watchseries-online.eu/2012/01/the-man-who-jumped.html (insert the http and www prefixes before watchseries-online).

  60. AR

    Alfonse – nice bit of rabble soothing there but, as pointed out a couple of weeks ago in the report of bored but assiduous AFP “guarding” the unknown target in LatteLand, the spooks, from the AFP (“plastic police” as they are known by the State variety) through the various alphabet soup agencies to the Bond wannabes, have had their budgets increased beyond belief.
    As in all gov depts, if ya got it, spend it, otherwise the allocation will be cut next year. No bureaucrat can bear the thought of a cut in funding, no matter how useless, counter productive or downright deleterious their activities.
    I can think of one case where, according to court documents, 4 AFP agents (2×2 on shift, hence O/T penalty payments, 6am to 7pm), spent 6 MONTHS (actually longer but not admitted to court) surveilling a target for the supreme, evidential, total of ZIP, NADA, SFA ‘evidence’ but, hey gotta spend the doush somehow!

  61. Ian

    In the other 50 states 6 whistle-blowers are being/have been charged under the Espionage Act under the Obama administration – twice as many as ever previously charged. On top of that numbers of journalists and documentary film makers have been intimidated at airports and the like as too have many peace activists.

    Alfonse, what makes you think the 51st state will act any differently? People that comment on Crikey and other similar online media could easily be seen as the potential enemy by these paranoid functionaries.

  62. Alfonse

    Okay, be paranoid then. You are all certainly entitled to a good conspiracy theory. I still can’t imagine anyone on this blog rating in the top 10 for surveillance this week. Methinks you’ll have to throw some eggs at Peter Slipper’s electorate office or shake your fist vehemently and yell “Yankee go home” in a public place, to lift your profiles.

  63. kennethrobinson2

    I would love to join you, but living in remote NT, and at 78, not fit enough, but would like to buy some rotten eggs, which wouls be suitable, go for it.

  64. Alfonse

    Perhaps someone can just drop off a dozen or so eggs, still in the carton and give them to his staff. I am certain he will “make a meal” of it. Oh gawd…….I make me laugh !

  65. Liz45

    @Alfonse – I know of a few politically active people (just ordinary people like you and I) who’ve seen their ASIO file/s. These were activists after WW2 and onwards for example – members of political parties; union organisers and anti-nuclear people like myself; feminists etc. There was a documentary on ABC a few years ago on one family in the Illawarra. Some of the ‘notations’ were quite comical! Stupid! There were photos also – very scary images of a Dad with xmas presents etc? True! ASIO has had a huge increase in funding, so they’d have to justify themselves somehow.

    Anyone who thinks that as an activist they’re not ‘followed’ is dreaming. In fact, not long ago Martin Ferguson had to admit that protesters against coal mining or CSG were being followed! I went to a conference a few Sundays ago on this issue. I’m sure someone was there to monitor events. Such terrible threats to security? Worrying about our water catchment areas is a crime against the country it would seem! We must be monitored!

    Isn’t it great to know that we live in a democracy, where people have the right to protest without being photographed! Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

  66. Alfonse

    Just keeping things in perspective Liz. Having had some “ordinary” experiences in life I am happy that authorities simply don’t have the resources to determine the name of everyone’s favourite spy movie.

  67. AR

    Alfool – still with the rabble-soothing, nowt to see here, go back to sleep? I can assure you that at least 3 fed. agencies, to my knowledge (far from comprehensive), have specific officers whose job is to trawl the letters page, others who are required to run checks on every (EVERYONE) who writes anything mildly critical to any MP (from collegial conversations it seems to be true of State authorities) and even respond to paranoid librarians who, for the last ten years have been sending in information of people borrowing ‘suspicious’ books. On public library shelves FFS!

  68. Alfonse

    @AR, sorry of course you’re right. They are watching your every move and word. You are starting to sound like the type of loony whom some of those agencies would be quite justified in keeping an eye on. Best not post here anymore lest they work out where you live and switch off the oxygen.

  69. Ian

    I see it all.

    It starts innocently enough with an occasional joint and ends up with a crack addict willing to steel to satisfy his addiction.

    It starts off with a Crikey commentator decrying injustices and ends up with terrorist helping to rid Afghanistan of its invaders.

    These ASIO people could be onto something.

  70. Venise Alstergren

    ALFONSE: Feeling better for having got that little load off your chest? I did say my experience happened a long time ago. But happen it did.

    Are you totally naïve? There is an ocean of money to purchase the machines to do the dirty work. The poor blöody taxpayer supports an army (the size of which the Russians during WWII would have killed to have) of bureaucrats; are you trying to suggest we can’t afford to purchase more leeches? It’s easy, just chalk the money up to AusPost. Better still utilise the Victorian police force and the Melbourne parking meter goons. Next problem?

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