The Blog of Karwalski

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Month: March, 2012

Attorney-General’s Department calls Assange reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

Below is the a letter dated 22 March 2012 I received in response to my most recent letter to the Attorney General (in response to this letter)

Dear Mr xxxxxx

I refer to your letter of 23 February 2012 to the Attorney-General, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, concerning Mr Julian Assange. I am responding to you on behalf of the Attorney-General.

You have asked about protections available for a citizen detained in response to an extradition request in circumstances where there may be allegations that the request is politically motivated.

Most extradition treaties, including those to which Australia is a party, require the refusal of extradition where the offence or offences in question are of political character, or in circumstances where extradition is sought for an impermissible purpose, including for the purpose of prosecuting a person on account of his or her political opinions.

You have also referred to the Australian Government’s response to the allegations against Mr Assange. The Australian Government has stated that the large scale distribution of hundreds of thousands of classified United States Government documents is reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

The Government acknowledges the importance of openness and transparency and the public’s right to be informed or raise concerns about government matters. However, with any right comes responsibility. Being informed of government related matters does not entail an automatic right to every document within the government’s possession. Certain information must remain confidential in order for governments to carry out their role of protecting the national interest. The Australian Government has put in place a range of mechanisms to balance the competing public interests in this area, including strong freedom of information laws, independent accountability and oversight mechanisms and a commitment to strengthen laws to protect whistleblowers. The Government has stated that the debate about the WikiLeaks matter is not about censoring free speech or preventing the media from reporting news. The Government’s concerns relate to the reckless disregard for the potential damage that could be caused by the unauthorised disclosure of classified material.

Yours sincerely

Anna Harmer
Assistant Secretary
International Crime Cooperation Central Authority

Beat the Blockade – April 5

In December 2010 WikiLeaks was extrajudicially cut off by Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. However, there are still some ways around this. Help us beat this blockade. On 5th April donate $5 to WikiLeaks and keep them strong.

Find out more about the arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade of WikiLeaks at http://beattheblockade.org

 

Media release: On April 5, Beat the Blockade and Donate Five Bucks to WikiLeaks

Issued: Friday March 16, 2012

Today marks the launch of ‘Beat the Blockade’ – a day of action on April 5 to protest the extrajudicial financial blockade of WikiLeaks and raise vital funds for their work to continue.

While Julian Assange fights legal battles under the serious threat of extradition to the United States to face secretly drawn up espionage charges, WikiLeaks continues to analyse and publish information that reveals truths about the world, its power relationships and injustices, most recently the Stratfor release, the ‘Global Intelligence Files’. And yet they struggle to operate under an extended ban processing on payments to them by US based corporate giants Visa, MasterCard, Western Union, PayPal and Bank of America.

Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam today called on the Australian Government to act:

“It’s time our Government pushed back on companies including Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, and demanded to know why they are continuing the crippling financial blockade of WikiLeaks. If it turns out the blockade is legal under Australian trade practices law, then that’s a problem the Australian Parliament should fix. In the meantime, it’s up to each of us to beat the blockade in our own way.”

By logging on to beattheblockade.org on April 5 and donating at least $5 by one of the easy payment methods, people around the world can send a message to the companies engaged in the blockade – and the governments that regulate them – that censorship of a free press publisher and denying consumers their rights will not be tolerated.

Since 7th December 2010 an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade has been imposed by Bank of America, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union on WikiLeaks. The attack has destroyed 95% of Wikileaks’ revenue. The blockade came into force within ten days of the launch of Cablegate as part of a concerted US-based, political attack on a free press publishing organisation that has breached no law in any country, and that won the 2011 Australian Walkley Award for outstanding contribution to journalism.

Veteran broadcaster and Australia’s first female prime time TV news anchorwoman Mary Kostakidis said today:

“The public are the real targets of this financial blockade because they are the stakeholders in this publisher – it is their right to know that is being revoked because the protection of anonymity Wikileaks has offered to whistleblowers is too powerful a tool. Time for a show of people power: protest this illegitimate censorship with one voice on 5 April.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has openly criticised the financial blockade against WikiLeaks, as have the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression.

In announcing ‘Beat the Blockade’, Cassie Findlay of the Support Assange and Wikileaks Coalition said:

“It is completely unacceptable that any of us who have one of these credit cards in our pocket are part of a campaign to destroy free speech. We hope that people everywhere will show these companies that they won’t win by donating five bucks or more to WikiLeaks on April 5.”

For more information about Beat the Blockade contact Cassie or Matt

Find out more about the financial blockade of Wikileaks here.

 

Donate Via Credit Card

WikiLeaks have found some ways around the financial blockade by Visa and Mastercard.

1. Use a credit card to donate to the WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund


With Wikileaks’ partners Fundrazr you can use a Credit Card to donate to the WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund. This fund was established to cover the legal defence fees of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks staff. Derek Rothera & Company is appointed to administer this Fund. The terms of the tust and its trustees can be found here.

Give through Fundrazr / Facebook

2. Use a credit card to purchase revenue-generating WikiLeaks merchandise

You can help spread the word by purchasing WikiLeaks-branded T-Shirts, hoodies and other gifts at the only shop that sells official WikiLeaks merchandise. Profits go to WikiLeaks.

http://officialwikileaks.spreadshirt.net/

The best way to use Spreadshirt to donate to WikiLeaks is to buy a Supporter Item where most of the sale price goes to WikiLeaks.
– EU Shop Supporter Items
– US Shop Supporter Items

3. Use a credit card and Flattr to donate to WikiLeaks 




With Flattr you can both give and receive donations. Set up an account and decide how much you’d like to spend per month, for example $5. Then, whenever you see a Flattr button on a website that you like, click it. Flattr counts up all of your clicks at the end of each month and distributes your monthly spend between everything you’ve clicked on. You can now also directly donate up to $50 at a time. So please use it, especially since Flattr supports WikiLeaks donations. If you are not logged in to Flattr you will be directed to their homepage. Either log in, or sign up and then click this link again to go to the WikiLeaks Flattr page.

Donate via PayPal

Despite PayPal cutting off payments to WikiLeaks, they have found some ways around the banking blockade.

1. Use PayPal to donate to the WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund


With Fundrazr you can use PayPal to donate to the WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund. This fund was established to cover the legal defence fees of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks staff. Derek Rothera & Company is appointed to administer this Fund. The terms of the tust and its trustees can be found here.

If you don’t have a PayPal account you can donate directly using your credit or debit card by clicking on the ‘Give’ button below and choose ‘buy as guest’ option.

Give through Fundrazr / Facebook

2. Use PayPal to purchase revenue-generating WikiLeaks merchandise

You can help spread the word by purchasing WikiLeaks-branded T-Shirts, hoodies and other gifts at the only shop that sells official WikiLeaks merchandise. Profits go to WikiLeaks.

http://officialwikileaks.spreadshirt.net/

The best way to use Spreadshirt to donate to WikiLeaks is to buy a Supporter Item where most of the sale price goes to WikiLeaks.
– EU Shop Supporter Items
– US Shop Supporter Items

 

Donate via Mobile (SMS)

You may be able to donate by using you mobile/cell phone (depending on your country).

With boxPAY you choose the amount you wish to donate. BoxPAY is not a subscription service. It offers an easy to use, one-off transaction service. You simply select the boxPAY logo, enter your mobile/cell phone number. You will receive a message telling you to text the word ‘BOX’ to a number. Follow these instructions and text the word to the number supplied and the transaction is complete. Your donation will be added on to your monthly bill or deducted from your pre-paid credit.

Go to http://beattheblockade.org/#donate-via-mobile-sms

 

Donate via Bank Transfer


Donors can make direct bank transfers, including international transfers, to WikiLeaks accounts in Iceland, Germany and Australia.

Australia

Recipient name: WIKILEAKS ICT INC
Bank name: Bendigo Bank
BSB Number: 633-000
Bank account number: 138296579

Iceland

Bank name: Landsbanki Islands
Bank address: Landsbanki Islands, Laugavegi 77, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Bank account number: 0111-26-611010
Bank account type: savings
ACCOUNT/IBAN: IS97 0111 2661 1010 6110 1002 80
BANK/SWIFT: NBIIISRE
Subject/reference: anything you like

Germany
Via the not-for-profit Wau Holland Stiftung Foundation. This support is tax deductible in Germany!

Recipient name: Wau Holland Stiftung
Bank name: Commerzbank Kassel
Bank address: Region Nordhessen – Filiale Kassel, Königsplatz 32-34, 34117, Kassel, Germany
Bank account number: 277281204
Bank account type: Kontokorrent / Current account
IBAN: DE46 5204 0021 0277 2812 04
BIC/SWIFT: COBADEFF520
German BLZ: 52040021
Subject/reference: WIKILEAKS / WHS Projekt 04

You can also use EFT to donate to the WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund
Derek Rothera & Company is appointed to administer this Fund, which has been established to receive donations that will be used to cover the legal defence fees of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks staff.
DR&Co – Julian Assange Defence Fund
Country: United Kingdom
Account number: 24345160
Sort code: 30-94-57
BIC/Swift code LOYDGB21158
IBAN: GB76 LOYD 309457 24345160
Subject / Reference : JA Defence Fund
Recipient address: Derek Rothera & Company, Chartered Accountants, Units 15 & 16, 7 Wenlock Road, London N1 7SL

 

 Donate via Cheque


You can post a donation via good old fashion postal mail.

Australia
Cheques payable to ’WIKILEAKS ITC INC’
P.O. BOX 4080
University of Melbourne
Victoria 3052
Australia

Brasil
Cheques payable to ’WIKILEAKS ITC INC’
WikiLeaks
Casa da Cultura Digital
R. Vitorino Carmilo, 459 – Santa Cecília
São Paulo
01153-000
Brasil

Germany
Cheques payable to ‘Wau Holland Foundation’
WikiLeaks
Wau Holland Stiftung
Postfach 65 04 43
Hamburg
22364
Germany

You can also send cheques to donate to the WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund

Cheques made out to ‘DR&Co – Julian Assange Defence Fund’ can be sent to:
Derek Rothera & Company
Chartered Accountants
Units 15 & 16
7 Wenlock Road
London N1 7SL

 

 Donate via bitcoin

Bitcoin is a secure and anonymous digital currency. Bitcoins cannot be easily tracked back to you, and are safer and faster alternative to other donation methods. You can send BTC to the following address:

1HB5XMLmzFVj8ALj6mfBsbifRoD4miY36v

Various sites offer a service to exchange other currency to/from Bitcoins. There are also services allowing trades of goods for Bitcoins. Bitcoins are not subject to central regulations and are still gaining value. To learn more about Bitcoins, visit the website (http://bitcoin.org) or read more onWikipedia.

For maximum security and anonymity, you can request a one-time Bitcoin address. To do so, please join the WikiLeaks IRC and type /msg Bitcoin new. WikiLeaks’ helpful bot will generate a new donation address for each transaction. Please make sure Bot is active on #bitcoin channel and has @ to the left of his nick.

 

 Donate via Money Gram

You can send donations from any MoneyGram office.

Visit your local MoneyGram agencyhttps://www.moneygram.com/wps/portal/moneygramonline/home/findlocation to send WikiLeaks a donation.

Fill out a form and send your donation specifying that your donation is for ‘Kristinn Hrafnsson, Iceland’. Kristinn Hrafnsson is the WikiLeaks spokesman.

MoneyGram will issue you with a reference number. In order for us to collect your donation we need the reference number. Please email it to sunshinepress@this.is with the words ‘MoneyGram’ in the subject title.

Note: Due to the fees that MoneyGram charges the donation needs to be a minimum of EUR 150 or your national currency’s equivalent.

 

Purchase official WikiLeaks merchandise

You can help spread the word by purchasing WikiLeaks-branded T-Shirts, hoodies and other gifts at the only shop that sells official WikiLeaks merchandise. Profits go to WikiLeaks.

Choose a store – Australia – US – Europe – United Kingdom

 

More Information

More information at the WikiLeaks Banking Blockade page

The Beat the Blockade campaign has been organised by members of the Sydney based Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition. Read more about us here. All funds generated by this campaign go to WikiLeaks or the WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Defence Fund. All methods provided are exactly the same as those provided by WikiLeaks on the ‘Donate’ page of their website: http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate


Useful links

NSW Labor Senator John Faulkner replies to my letter regarding Assage extradition to US

I wrote to Senator John Faulker, a NSW Senator with many years in Australian politics along with many Ministry roles, asking if he support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The letter was the almost indentical to the form letters from Sharon Bird MP, Tanya Plibersek MP and Kevin Rudds office (while Foreign Affairs minister). Again no mention of the United States, even though my letter clearly stated the concern about US extradition. The letter finished with a line that WikiLeaks described as “Gillard’s WL gag” (https://twitter.com/#!/wikileaks/status/182442529818542080)Find below his response (..and Yes! he did write “United Kingdom of Sweden” I assume a typo).

 

Dear Mr xxxxxxx

Thank you for your recent letter regarding Mr Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

The Australian Government provides high quality consular support and endevours to protect the legal rights of all Australians overseas, and of course, this includes Mr Assange.

Australian consular officials are working closely with Mr Assange and his lawyers to provide him with appropriate consular support in his current circumstances.

Extradition proceedings against Mr Assange must proceed in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom of Sweden. It is important to remember that when Australians are involved in legal or judicial processes overseas, there is a limit to what the Australian Government can do for them; the Government cannot intervene in the judicial processes of other governments.

The Australian Government has, however, clearly expressed its expectations to UK and Swedish authorities that Mr Assange’s case will proceed in accordance with proper due process.

I do not intend to speak publicly about this matter.

Yours sincerely

JOHN FAULKNER

17 March 2012