The Hacker

The views expressed here are solely those of the writer and in no way represent those of the Pauline Hanson One Nation party. They record the attempt to hack into the Pauline Hanson One Nation web site from a computer located at the University of Melbourne.

Extract from Pauline Hanson's maiden speech:

"The distinction I make is this. A social problem is one that concerns the way in which people live together in one society. A racial problem is a problem which confronts two different races who live in two separate societies, even if those societies are side by side. We do not want a society in Australia in which one group enjoy one set of privileges and another group enjoy another set of privileges."

The commentary below is factual but has, unashamedly, included the personal views of the company building the web site for Pauline Hanson’s official web sites on the Internet.

Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd, a Queensland based company, first showed their support for Pauline Hanson’s stand when their managing director, Scott Balson, attended the launch of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation on April the 11th 1997.

The censorship by the mainstream media of atrocities committed by protesters at the launch are well documented in this report.

Shortly after the launch of One Nation Interactive Presentations Pty Ltd approached Pauline Hanson’s staff to develop her official presence on the Internet. Approval was given and on April the 19th the web pages, still under construction, were posted.

Soon after they were posted the company started receiving “hate” and “support” mail with an observer summing up the difference, very accurately as follows:

“Funny isn't it? Pauline supporters sound and act decent and human, yet her opponents spit venom and threaten violence like typical hate-crazed racists. Funny, that.”

Being close to the action and close to what was being said by Ms Hanson we quickly recognised that the mainstream media were not only distorting the comments of an elected federal politician, but were, worst of all, a major force in determining the country's political future....

It was on the Thursday afternoon of April the 24th that we first noticed something strange was going on with the Official Pauline Hanson and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Home Page.

At first we didn’t realise that someone had been able to hack into our Internet Service Provider - Global Info-Links’ (GIL) computer to start changing information on these pages.

We made a phone call to a well-trusted acquaintance of the company at GIL and requested that the visitor counter which had suddenly reverted to 0 back to over 1100 where it was just a few minutes earlier. As he was out a message was left.

About half an hour later we received the following message:

Forwarded message:

>Scott Balson was referred to my by the staff on the helpdesk
>can you allocate 1,000 to this variable please,

The GIL staff member responded to this office with the attachment by email that he had an ethical problem regarding changing the counter from 0 to 1,000 as he had not realised that the page was an old one. His position was that counters should always start from 0 and altering a counter reflected an inaccurate reflection of the page's popularity or otherwise.

Understanding his misunderstanding we answered as follows:

At 2.06pm we responded as follows:

>Hi N.....,
>You misunderstand - the counter stood at 1,078 this morning and for reasons unknown started at 0 mid morning.

We also contacted our GIL contact by phone and explained the situation that the counter had ‘mysteriously reverted to 0’ to him and was able to back this up with a comment received earlier in the week:

Here is part of a message received on 21st April:

>Subject: Pauline Hanson's Web Page
>Scrap White Nation supporter #477. I wouldn't support her if she paid me.

The GIL staff contact changed the gwbonenat.htm file (counter on the Pauline Hanson pages) back to about 1,100. The change was viewed by the company and we continued working, then about 5 minutes later after adding new information to the home page we activated the refresh command and found that the counter was set back to 0 again.

This time we were able to get our GIL contact on the phone and after checking he realised that someone was hacking into the GIL box from the outside.

He gave me the exact description of the computer from which the hacking was originating -

The hacker was apparently using a staff computer at the ITS department of the University of Melbourne to change information on an official home page of a registered Australian political party.....

We were only able to identify the hacker because we happened to pick up the breach at the moment it occurred. The story continues on our news of the day.

The story about the hacker made the news headlines after we contacted the only non-News Limited newspaper of note in Australia, the Queensland Times, which happens to be our local newspaper.

The weekend of the 26th to 27th April represented a black week in Australia’s media with the News Limited newspapers once again launching a concerted effort to denigrate Ms Hanson’s fledgling party One Nation.

The issue here is freedom of speech. The Australian media is so tightly controlled that Australians can be compared to the three brass monkeys where the titles are slightly changed - Hear only what you are supposed to hear on television. See what you are only supposed to see in the newspapers. Talk - or think on key issues as a result of this censorship by the mainstream media.

Media concentration has resulted in a worse case scenario where the perceived truth of what is going on in Australia is no more than the decisions of directors of media companies who actively lobby those in power to their own end.

Associated press releases:

The lead story in the Queensland Times. 28th April 1997
Ipswich police investigate. 4th May 1997
Letter to the Queensland Times. Friday, 9th May 1997
Comment in the Weekend Australian - Review. Saturday, May 17th 1997

Return to launch of Pauline Hanson's One Nation

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