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Bad Bureaucrats

“None of the main issues which humanity is facing will be resolved without access to information.” 

Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders.

The Cost of Whistleblowing 

Suppose it was Julian Assange who contacted Graham Schorer, COT spokesperson (See Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3). How did he know during the COT v Telstra government-endorsed arbitration that Telstra had the COT Cases under electronic surveillance?

What had the hackers seen as being able to make those statements to Mr Schorer? 

Absent Justice - Break-Ins

The following statements are taken from Graham Schorer's Statutory Declaration regarding his break-in. (See Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3)

“In early February 1994, our premises were broken into and all computer cables including the power cables were severed, as well as all power connections to the main server which was in a specially constructed room. The perpetrators forced entry into the building in what the police described as a “ram raid”, where something similar to pneumatic tyre attached to the front of a vehicle was used to hit the front door with enough force to dislodge the steel frame attached to the brick work.

Part of the microfiche copier and viewer was stolen, as well as the PC on my desk which contained all of my COT information and correspondence between regulators, politicians, etc. Also stolen was a book that contained a catalogue of computer file numbers against their description.

The same day I spoke to Garry Dawson from Dawson Weed and Pest Control (another COT Case) on the phone, who told me that his business premises in Sunshine had been broken into just after midnight and burgled. The only thing stolen was the Dictaphone tape which held a recording he had made of a meeting between him and two Telstra executives on the previous day”. (see also Arbitrator File No/84)

Two months after the above break-in, my arbitration claim adviser Garry Ellicott (ex-National Crime Investigator and ex-Detective Sergeant of the Queensland Police) visited, and we spent five nights trying to decipher the pile of Telstra discovery documents. Then, I discovered further losses: exercise books in which I kept official booking records, several bank statements, and my bank pay-in books for 1992/93. I cannot account for these losses. They may also be missing in March, and I didn't notice their absence. Without these records, I was hard-pressed to produce complete and correct financial statements for my forensic accountant, Derek Ryan. I was reduced to scavenging information from wall calendars and other unofficial sources. When Garry returned to Queensland, I got him to take the work diaries for safekeeping.

Click on the following Julian Assange image and learn more 

Absent Justice - Unresolved Privacy Issues

We ignored the hacker's advice, and it cost the COT Cases dearly 

If these hackers were Julian Assange, our COT story shows he and his friends provided a vital link for the first four COT arbitrations, but we did not know this during our arbitrations.

A statutory declaration was prepared by Graham Schorer (COT spokesperson) on 7 July 2011, which I provided to the Victorian Attorney-General, Hon. Robert Clark. This statutory declaration discusses three young computer hackers who phoned Graham to warn him during the 1994 COT arbitrations. The hackers discovered that Telstra and others associated with our arbitrations acted unlawfully towards the COT group. The principal hacker who contacted Graham Schorer has since been acknowledged as Julian Assange, who told Graham that Australia had a national network billing software problem, that Telstra was covering this up, and that we would not receive this information during our arbitrations. This is possibly the most amazing statement that the COT Cases has ever had with anyone outside of those in the Casualties of Telstra arbitrations. 

Three months after this discussion with John MacMahon, General Manager of Consumer Affairs AUSTEL (now ACMA), after having viewed my billing arbitration-related documentation, asked me to keep them abreast of any billing information I received under FOI and during my arbitration. Letters received months after the completion of my arbitration show that Telstra, AUSTEL was writing to the arbitrator during my arbitration concerning the seriousness of my billing claims. Yet, I have received confirmation from AUSTEL/ACMA that Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator) did not correspond to AUSTEL nor Telstra concerning this national network billing problem that destroyed many businesses throughout Australia. 

“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.” (See Hacking – Julian Assange File No/3)

In other words, the hackers had been fully informed as early as April 1994 that the COT Cases were being violated even before our arbitrations had begun. Why did it take until January 1999 for a Senate Committee hearing to come up with the same findings? Had the arbitrator and administrator of our arbitrations acted in April 1994, I would not be writing this story in 2023/2024, seeking the justice we COT Cases were deprived of all those years ago.

Absent Justice - Don+39t shoot the messenger

We must also include in our Hacking-Julian Assange pages what Karina Barrymore, a journalist at the Melbourne Herald Sun, wrote on 3 August 2016 concerning what she thought about whistleblowers. Had the government genuinely listened to the COT whistleblowers in 1995 and 1996 regarding their telephone faults, which were supposed to have been fixed during their government-endorsed Telstra arbitrations, perhaps the long-running NBN blowout would not have gone billions of dollars over budget. Sadly, Karina Barrymore's statement below is right on target:

“Dobber, Snitch, Rat, Squealer. It’s insightful how the words used to describe a whistleblower are so negative. 

“Yet being honest and speaking the truth is supposed to be cornerstone of our society. A cornerstone of our families, communities, corporate world and government.

“So why aren’t we applauding and raising up these people, instead of shutting them down and ruining their lives.

“These ‘truth tellers’ are shunned and rejected. Telling the truth often means they lose their jobs, their reputations are deliberately trashed, their finances suffer, their mental health fails and all these factors flow on to damage their family, social and professional relationships.

“The whistleblowers have done their job, spoken the truth, suffered the consequences, lived the hardship and financial burden. But our corporate leaders, our regulators, our governments have not done their job.”

Karina Barrymore's statement is right on target because the Australian Establishment, which includes ex-government ministers as well ex-senior members of two government regulators, is aware Dr Gordon Hughes, arbitrator to my arbitration, and Warwick Smith, administrator to the same process, acted in concert with the defendants and used their drafted arbitration agreement instead of the agreed independently drafted arbitration agreement. NONE of the corporate leaders, neither our regulators nor our government ministers have dared to investigate this matter. Below is only one of many examples where Dr Gordon Hughes and Warwick Smith, acted in a manner not befitting an arbitrator and an administrator. We are telling this part of our COT story first in the hope that the reader will be compelled to go to the next part of our story.

Government Corruption. In the public service, misleading and deceptive conduct has spuriously perverted the course of justice during the COT government-endorsed arbitrations over more than two decades. 

The following two links, Australian Federal Police Investigations-1 and my second interview with Australian Federal Police (AFP) transcript of that meeting 26 September 1994 Australian Federal Police Investigation File No/1 shows that the AFP had evidence Telstra had handwritten notes about my various business and private activities going back to at least September 1992 two years previous as well as being aware in April 1994, when I would be away from my business two months before my intended visit.  

Is this the type of information the hackers had discovered and conveyed to Graham Schorer that was widespread in Telstra? Suppose this was not the type of unlawful conduct that the hackers advised was displayed on COT-related arbitration documents that the hackers had seen. What other documents showed that Telstra was committing crimes against the COT cases?

What was also uncovered during the COT Case arbitrations was recorded by John Rundell, the arbitration project manager, in his letter of 18 April 1995 to Warwick Smith, the first administrator of the arbitrations and copied to both the arbitrator Dr Gordon Hughes and the legal counsel to the arbitrations namely Peter Bartlett. In this letter, John Rundell notes:  

“It is unfortunate that there have been forces at work collectively beyond our reasonable control that have delayed us in undertaking our work. (see Prologue Evidence File No 22-A)

If the question is: "Should a citizen be responsible for exposing crimes committed by public officials more than twenty-six years ago?" then surely the answer must be "Yes," particularly if those crimes affected the lives of other Australian citizens.

Absent Justice - My Story

The fax imprint across the top of this letter (Open Letter File No 55-A) is the same as the fax imprint described in the Scandrett & Associates fax interception report (see Open Letter File No/12 and File No/13), confirming faxes were intercepted during the COT arbitrations. The question the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (TIO) and the Federal Attorney-General has still not answered is:

Was this letter actually faxed to my office by the TIO to assist me in any pending appeal process? If not, why was such an important letter deliberately kept from me during my designated appeal period? 

If I had received a copy of this letter declaring the agreement used in my arbitration process was not credible, I would have appealed the arbitrator's award. After all, how could an appeal judge argue against the arbitrator's findings that the agreement was not credible, even though he used it anyway?

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)

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.

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Absent Justice - My Story - Senator Ron Boswell

Threats made and carried out.

Page 180 ERC&A, from the official Australian Senate Hansard, dated November 29 1994, reports Senator Ron Boswell asking Telstra's legal directorate why were my FOI documents being withheld from me during my arbitration:

“Why did Telecom advise the Commonwealth Ombudsman that Telecom withheld FOI documents from Alan Smith because Alan Smith provided Telecom FOI documents to the Australian Federal Police during their investigation?”

After receiving a hollow response from Telstra, which the senator, the AFP and I all knew was utterly false, the senator states:

“…Why would Telecom withhold vital documents from the AFP? Also, why would Telecom penalise COT members for providing documents to the AFP which substantiate that Telecom had conducted unauthorised interceptions of COT members’ communications and subsequently dealt in the intercepted information by providing that information to Telecom’s external legal advisers and others?” (Senate Evidence File No 31)

As I have reiterated throughout this website, the threats against me during the arbitration proceedings came to fruition, and the withholding of pertinent documents is deeply concerning. Regrettably, neither the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman nor the government has investigated the detrimental impact of this malpractice on my overall submission to the arbitrator. Despite assisting the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in their investigation into the illicit interception of phone conversations and arbitration-related faxes, they never came to my aid.

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“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

“A number of people seem to be experiencing some or all of the problems which you have outlined to me. …

“I trust that your meeting tomorrow with Senators Alston and Boswell is a profitable one.”

Hon David Hawker MP

“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

“…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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