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Rupert Murdoch - Hacked Documents

 

HELEN HANDBURY - Sister of Rupert Murdoch

Absent Justice - Helen Handbury

 

Upon learning about potential illegal phone hacking, the British government did not conceal the information. They were ready to take action against whoever was responsible for the misconduct. However, when Australian politicians discovered that individuals making COT claims were experiencing phone and fax hacking during a government-endorsed legal process, including illegal interference in the transmission of legal documents and Senate estimate committee hearing material, this information was intentionally hidden to the detriment of the claimants. In the UK, the government acted in the best interests of the victims whose lives were severely affected by the hacking. However, in Australia, the government handled the COT cases poorly, treating the claimants as criminals instead of addressing those who used Telstra's network to hack into their confidential legal documents.

The British Government

 

In 1999, while I was working on the first draft of Absent Justice, I shared it with Rupert Murdoch's sister, Helen Handbury. She was shocked by the clear denial of natural justice that I had experienced. After reading the draft, Helen visited my holiday camp twice and expressed her intention to have Rupert publish it. She believed he would be surprised by the content.

Although I appreciated her offer to have her brother, Rupert, publish my book, it was unlikely that he would become involved in my publication. due to the history between her brother and Telstra. This was especially true since my book criticized Telstra's poor workmanship and unlawful conduct towards me. Helen and her friends were impressed by the 1870 Church on my property, which I had turned into charming accommodation. This brought visitors back to my holiday camp year after year.

Helen was amazed by the evidence I had gathered, demonstrating how long I had been affected by illegal fax hacking. The evidence included threats by Telstra, which were eventually carried out by their associates when I continued to assist the Australian Federal Police with their investigations into phone and fax hacking into my private and business affairs.

Of course, 1999 was before the hacking scandal linked to Rupert Murdoch and the News of the World saga.

Unfortunately, Helen died in 2004. Some years later, on 26 September 2012, I sent a draft of the original version of this manuscript to her husband, Geoff Handbury, and told him about my conversation with Helen. I asked whether he could suggest the best way for me to get a copy of the book to Rupert Murdoch.

On October 17, 2012, Mr. Handbury replied in a handwritten letter, showcasing beautiful, old-fashioned penmanship. At the time, he was 87 years old, and despite being highly respected for his philanthropic support of various projects in Victoria, he regretfully couldn't assist me due to too much time had passed. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the comments of the sister of the most prominent newspaper owner in the world, who believed that my "intriguing story" was one that her brother should publish.

Interestingly, on October 13, 1993, a Telstra auditor and his secretary visited Cape Bridgewater. By 2015, the auditor had risen to a very senior executive position within Telstra and is now on the board of Murdoch’s Foxtel. He remembers how shocked he and his secretary were when they saw the information I presented about my Telstra problems. They both commented that they could not believe how poorly Telstra had treated me over the previous five years. These five years were confirmed in a letter from AUSTEL dated June 9, 1993 (see AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, at points 2 to 212). The letter suggested that Telstra knowingly misled and deceived me during my first settlement in December 1992, which shocked them the most.

I included that letter from AUSTEL in the draft of Absent Justice that I provided to Helen Handbury, and I believe that was what prompted her to say I should get Rupert to publish it. The British Government pulled no punches in relation to the ongoing saga now, in 2015, three years after it first went viral across the world. But in Australia, although the government knows that not only did many COT members have their phone lines illegally bugged during their arbitration with Telstra (and after my arbitration was over), but our faxes were ALSO being screened/intercepted by a secondary fax machine (in my case, for at least seven years before sent on to the intended destinations.

In Australia, the COTs have suffered too, just like those victims of the News of the World disaster in Britain; for instance, we couldn’t make a phone call or send a personal fax without being aware that somebody was probably listening in to those calls or intercepting those faxes., Scandrett and Associates prepared the Fax Interception Technical Report exhibit (Scandrett & Associates report Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13), and Peter Hancock of Total Communications Victoria provided a sworn statement to me on 17 December 2014, stating:

“I still stand by my statutory declaration that I was able to identify that the incoming faxes provided to me for review had at some stage been received by a secondary fax machine and then retransmitted, this was done by identifying the dual time stamps on the faxes provided.” (Front Page Part One File No/14)

It is also clear from Front Page Part One File No/1File No/2-A to 2-EFile No/3File No/4, and Front Page Part One File No/5 that numerous documents faxed from my office to the arbitrator's office did not reach their intended destination.

Question 81 in the following AFP transcripts, Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1, confirms that the AFP told me that the AUSTEL, the Government Communications Authority General Manager of Consumer Affairs (John MacMahon), had supplied the AFP evidence that my phones had been bugged over an extended period. Why did the arbitrator not award me in his official findings concerning this evidence after he was supplied with these AFP transcripts?

"... does identify the fact that, that you were live monitored for a period of time. See we're quite satisfied that, there are other references to it".

As to the validity of that report. HOWEVER, Senator Boswell never contacted me regarding any outcome of the Senate estimate’s investigation or any other government investigation into this report, which is easily comparable to the News of the World hacking scandal.

The Federal government has not contacted me concerning this fax hacking/interception issue. Still, if such hacking had taken place in the halls of Britain’s parliament, it would have been even more significant than the News of the World Murdoch hacking fiasco that led to the 2011 shutting down of that newspaper, first circulated in 1847.

In Australia, though, during a government-endorsed arbitration process, with faxes travelling between claimants, their lawyers and advisors, various government officials, at least one senator and the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office, the Telstra Corporation had so much power, even over the government-endorsed legal process, that it was able to cover up this hacking scandal.

On page 15 of The Most Dangerous Man in the World, written in 2011 by ABC’s Four Corners journalist Andrew Fowler, Mr Fowler notes that Julian Assange was one of those who hacked into Telstra’s Lonsdale Street telephone exchange computer system in the centre of Melbourne. The covert AUSTEL draft report (see ) concerning my telephone problems and faults refers to this same exchange where, for some seven months, Telstra forgot to program in the 055 267 telephone prefix for the Portland/Cape Bridgewater exchange.

Page 21 in the 26 November 1996 Telstra Arbitration Briefing Document for Graham (Golden Messenger) also refers to problems at the Lonsdale Street telephone exchange, stating the problems affected the service lines into Golden Messenger over an extended period. So what did Julian Assange and his friends find at the Lonsdale Street telephone exchange that prompted them to telephone Graham?

My statement to the TIO in my 20 October 1995 letter that “This phrase has now come home to roost (File GS 537GS-CAV 522 to 580) reflected that I believed the advice Graham received from these hackers – that Telstra and others associated with the COT arbitrations were acting unlawfully towards the COT cases – was the truth.

Graham's statutory declaration regarding these hackers, which I provided to Victorian Attorney-General Hon. Robert Clark in 2011, includes the following statements:

“After I signed the arbitration agreement on 21st April 1994 I received a phone call after business hours when I was working back late in the office. This call was to my unpublished direct number.

“The young man on the other end asked for me by name. When I had confirmed I was the named person, he stated that he and his two friends had gained internal access to Telstra’s records, internal emails, memos, faxes, etc. He stated that he did not like what they had uncovered. He suggested that I should talk to Frank Blount directly. He offered to give me his direct lines in the his [sic] Melbourne and Sydney offices …

“The caller tried to stress that it was Telstra’s conduct towards me and the other COT members that they were trying to bring to our attention.

“I queried whether he knew that Telstra had a Protective Services department, whose task was to maintain the security of the network. They laughed, and said that yes they did, as they were watching them (Telstra) looking for them (the hackers). …

“After this call, I spoke to Alan Smith about the matter. We agreed that while the offer was tempting we decided we should only obtain our arbitration documents through the designated process agreed to before we signed the agreement.” (Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3)

On April 18, 1995, John Rundell, the Arbitration Project Manager, communicated with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Warwick Smith, and copied the arbitrator, Dr. Gordon Hughes and the arbitration Special Counsel, Peter Bartlett, to explain that unforeseen circumstances beyond their control had caused delays in their work (Prologue Evidence File No 22-A). These "forces at work" may have been the same "forces at work" Julian Assange warned Graham Schorer about in April 1994, a year earlier.

Is this why Warwick Smith and others would not investigate what the hackers had warned Graham Schorer about because to do so would have exposed the raping of aboriginal Childen in Senator Collin's office and other places where this rape occurred? 

During a Senate estimates committee hearing on 24 June 1997, Senator Kim Carr and Senator Schacht asked Telstra’s arbitration FOI coordinator:

Senator Carr – “In terms of the cases outstanding, do you still treat people the way that Mr Smith appears to have been treated? ...”

Senator Schacht – It does seem odd if someone is collecting files. That is a matter that has nothing to do with his telecommunications business. It seems that someone thinks this is a useful thing to keep in a file that maybe at some stage can be used against him. If it is true, I do not know why you would be collecting that information.”

Senator Kim Carr then asked Telstra’s group general manager:

“Mr Ward (Telstra), we have been through this before in regard to the intelligence networks that Telstra has established. Do you use your internal intelligence networks in these COT cases? (See Senate Evidence File No/2A)

 

Absent Justice - Phone Hacking

George Close - COT Case Technical Consultant

Exhibit AS 492-A file AS-CAV 488-A to 494-E is a letter dated 26 August 1998 from George Close to the new Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. The fax header records that the fax was sent from Mr Close’s residential fax number at 17:54. Our Main Evidence File (see Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13) contains the technical findings of both Scandrett & Associates and Peter Hancock, showing that they both agree that if the fax header does not include the correct business identification of the respective COT business, it indicates that a secondary fax machine intercepted those faxes and then redirected to the intended destination. This intercepted letter from Mr Close was copied to the offices of twelve different Government Ministers in Parliament House Canberra, raising several important questions. It is worth considering whether government offices in Parliament House are also routed through Telstra’s Fax Streaming centre, and if so, what could happen to the documents that go through that system without the government’s knowledge. This prompts the question of whether privileged, in-confidence material 'leaks' out of Parliament House through Telstra's Fax Streaming process, meaning that private information may not be as secret as assumed.

Just to let you know, although the George Close exhibits are of poor quality (having been copied several times), the poor quality does not diminish the fact that these exhibits, when viewed together, still prove our claims.

Exhibit AS 492-B file AS-CAV 488-A to 494-E, a report faxed by Mr Close on 16 April 1998, has the correct identification across the top of the page (see 61-74-453198 — GEORGE CLOSE & ASSOC—17:34). In simple terms, those with access to Telstra’s network were able to use ‘keywords’, so only specific faxes leaving Mr Close’s residence were intercepted. I have used these two examples because they were sent at approximately the same time in the afternoon, although months apart.

One of the two technical consultants attesting to the validity of this fax interception report emailed me on 17 December 2014, stating:

“I still stand by my statutory declaration that I was able to identify that the incoming faxes provided to me for review had at some stage been received by a secondary fax machine and then retransmitted, this was done by identifying the dual time stamps on the faxes provided.” (Front Page Part One File No/14)

We should never have been forced into such a position when so much evidence concerning our claims held by the government was never released.

When Geroge Close (the arbitration technical advisor to the COT Cases) visited my residence in Cape Bridgewater after learning his Buderim (Queensland) residence and his office was the conduit (the central location) to where this screening of the advice he gave the COT Cases on what documents they needed to access from Telstra under FOI detailing why this technical information was needed to support their individual arbitration claims, I showed him Open Letter File No/12File No/13Front Page Part One File No/1,Front Page Part One File No/2-A to 2-EFront Page Part One File No/4 and Front Page Part One File No/5, we discussed the effect of these intercepted/hacked faxes on the COT Cases overall submissions to the arbitrator. Mr Close later sent me an email on 5 August 2011 to assist me in exposing what the Telstra Corporation had been able to do (and get away with) during the COT arbitrations to gain an advantage over all of the COT Cases claims before the arbitrator. His eyes were full of sadness, thinking it was his residence and office, and the advice was given to the COT Cases from it that had caused the COT Cases so much damage (see Front Page Part One File No/26).

“I recall a discussion with Senator Ron Boswell during the late 90’s.

“He had been shown fax’s [sic] which had clear indication of change in the headers, indicating interruption in transmission by a third party or parties.

“He questioned whether it was possible that faxes to and from senators could be interrupted, read or copies.

“My response in the affirmative brought about an expression of extreme anger. Stating that if it could be proven that it occurred the offender(s) would be jailed.

“If required I am prepared to re-state this on an affidavit.”

So far, no one in Australia has even been brought to account, let alone jailed, for the terrible invasion of the COT cases’ private and business lives.

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Absent Justice Ebook

Blowing the whistle 

Absent Justice - Hon Malcolm Fraser

While in the midst of my arbitration case against the Telstra Corporation, I stumbled upon a freedom of information release by Telstra. The release disclosed that Telstra had documented and redacted my phone conversations with former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser see page 12 → Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1. During those phone conversations, I expressed my concerns that Australia was providing wheat to China in 1967 despite being aware that China was redirecting it to North Vietnam. I'm curious to know how the interception of my telephone conversations during the arbitration proceedings in 1993 and 1994 with Malcolm Fraser is related to my exposure to the government on 18 September 1967 that Australia was trading with the enemy. 

What intrigues me is the reason behind documenting a seemingly harmless conversation about Australia's wheat selling to China while being aware that China was supplying wheat to North Vietnam during a conflict with Australia, New Zealand and the United States. I am confident there must be a significant motive behind this, and I am determined to uncover it.

It's difficult to fathom the extent of harm inflicted on the young Australian, New Zealand, and United States service members by North Vietnam soldiers who were fueled by the wheat supplied to them by their communist Chinese supporters. Sadly, many of these brave service people lost their lives or were left with permanent injuries.

1.     In September of 1967, I brought to the attention of the Australian government that a portion of the wheat allocated to the People's Republic of China on humanitarian grounds was being redirected to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War Chapter 7- Vietnam - Vietcong

2.    Who else in the Australian government was aware that Australian wheat intended for a starving communist China was being redirected to North Vietnam to feed the North Vietnamese soldiers before those soldiers marched into the jungles of North Vietnam to kill and maim Australian, New Zealand, and United States of America troops? Refer to Footnote 82 to 85 FOOD AND TRADE IN LATE MAOIST CHINA, 1960-1978, prepared by Tianxiao Zhu, who even reports the name of our ship, the Hopepeak and how the seaman feared for our lives if we were forced to return to China with another cargo of Australian wheat. This wheat was being redeployed to North Vietnam during the period when Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America fought the Vietnam Cong in the jungles of North Vietnam.   

3.   During the 1960s, the Australian Liberal-Country Party Government engaged in misleading conduct regarding trade with Communist China despite being cognizant that Australian merchant seamen had vehemently refused to transport Australian wheat to China. The grounds for such an objection were their apprehension that the wheat would be redirected to North Vietnam during the North Vietnam War between Australia, New Zealandand the United States of America. The underlying inquiry is to ascertain the government's rationale for deliberately deceiving the general public and jeopardising the country's troops whose lives were being lost in the conflict in North Vietnam.  Murdered for Mao: The killings China 'forgot'

4.    Why didn't Australia's Trade Minister, John McEwen, correctly and honestly advise the people of Australia why the crew of the British ship Hopepeak had refused to take any more Australian wheat to China because they had witnessed its redeployment to North Vietnam during their first visit to China?  

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“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

Hon David Hawker

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

The Hon David Hawker MP

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

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