Patrice Riemens on Tue, 8 Jun 1999 18:33:52 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> FWD: Interview with Richard Tomlinson (fwd)

From: Pharaoh Chromium 93 <>
Organization: Neural Networks Inc.
Subject: interview w/ richard tomlinson
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 13:23:09 GMT

June 2, 1999 Interview w/ Richard Tomlinson
conducted by Pharaoh Chromium 93

PC93: Can you fill us in on any of the latest developments in
regards to the British governments actions and Net censorship
campaign against you? What are they doing right now that you are
aware of?

Richard Tomlinson: It seems that the British police are not taking
any action against me, as they realise that I was not responsible
for the list. However, MI6 are continuing to do everything they can
to cause me legal problems around the world. Their latest move is
to file charges against me in NZ.

PC93: The British governments assertions that you had released
100's of names of SIS MI6 agents on your GeoCities website was
patently false, yet they successfully stopped you from being able
to have a webpage telling your story by making such a claim. This
has occurred on two such occasions. What are your thoughts on this
attempt at Net censorship? What do you plan on doing about it? or
what do you think should be done about it?

RT: Yes, this is quite true. They used all the fuss about the list
as an excuse to take down my website. I think that they just
objected to me criticising them in my site. My site contained
nothing illegal. I could challenge the injunction against me in the
Swiss courts, but I have decided not to do this because I can't
afford the legal fees. I guess if some philanthropist stepped in to
pay my fees I would do it, but the unfortunate reality is that the
UK government has unlimited legal funds whereas I do not.

PC93: I am interested in knowing (that is if you are "allowed" to
speak to such questions)--Do you need any assistance? If so what is
your message to those who may be interested in helping?

RT: I have really appreciated all those people who have mirrored my
site worldwide. I think that this is the best way of helping. It
shows that the freedom of speech provided by the Internet is far
more powerful than the outdated secrecy laws of a minor state. I
think it will also force countries like China and Malaysia to
rethink their internet censorship laws.

PC93: Being that the ability to communicate freely has been and is
now part of a widely accepted paradigm among those of intelligence
in the Net community has anyone approached you in regards to
providing site space so that you can be able to tell your story and
communicate freely?

RT: Yes, many people have offered to host my site. I have been
reluctant to take up their offers just at the moment, but as soon
as my legal position has become calmer I intend to put my site back

PC93: There has been death threats, etc. and apparently a
publication or newspaper (Sun Times?) encouraged people to write
you electronically -- more than likely resulting in such threats
occuring by suggesting that you were a traitor? What did they say?
What are your thoughts?

RT: Some of the mail I received after the Sun published my address
was unpleasant and some really quite frightening. However, I
thought it interesting that despite the Sun's hostile and one sided
article, I still received more messages of support than criticism.
I guess that that says a great deal about MI6's lack of public
support in Britain.

PC93: Is it true that you are in hiding? or is this an unfounded
rumor? Aren't you now essentially in exile because of the British
Government? You no longer can move freely between countries in the
world. Can you fill us in on some details? What are your thoughts?

RT: I am not really in hiding - just keeping a low profile. I
certainly find the restrictions on my movement very irksome. I am
banned from France, USA and Australia, and dare not move from
Switzerland for the moment for fear of being arrested elsewhere.
MI6 are able to cause me these problems by using their liaison with
friendly foreign intelligence agencies. Unfortunately there is
nothing I can do about this as MI6 are not legally accountable.

PC93: Do you think that certain elements in the British government
were and are really more afraid because of the information that you
had on your website in regards to the death of Dodi Fayed and
Princess Diana? i.e. the similarlity of what happened with a
proposed plan to assassinate Slobodan Milosevic in 1993?

RT: I am not sure. I suspect that they are more concerned that I am
demistifying intelligence work and so diminishing their
budget-negotiation power in Whitehall.

PC93: You wrote a book which the British Government attacked you
for and ultimately prevented you from publishing? Is this the case?

RT: Yes. Indeed I was jailed for it!

PC93: What was the British Government afraid of in that book?
Wasn't it because of the contents of the book that you were jailed
under the pretense of violating the Britain's Official Secrets Act?
What are your thoughts, etc.?

RT: My book contained nothing damaging, as I changed all the
details. It was closer to a novel than a biography. They basically
wanted to make sure that I didn't make any money - hence their
strenuous efforts to block it.

PC93: The British government has so far, in your case, been able to
avoid accountability in judicial matters (industrial tribunal?),
etc. by invoking the arguments of what in the US would be called
"National Security" issues, that agents lives would be endangered
by them appearing in court, etc. this in regards to a proceeding
you had against them in the past in which they had dismissed you
for no apparent cause. What is the story behind this? How has it
panned out? And ultimately what would you like to see happen?

RT: Yes, this is true. These arguments that "agents lives would be
endangered" are really absurd. If that were really the case, how
come they went to court to prosecute me? Just as in the USA, the
government here abuses the secrecy laws by applying them
selectively. It's one rule for them, and another for everybody
else. It is this sort of hypocrisy that really makes me angry!

PC93: Any further issues that have not been covered or commentary?

RT: No, I think that's it!

PC93: Thank you very much.


Shayler says: Official Secrets Act was 'incompatible with the
European Convention on Human Rights'.

'The act is so wide in its scope it allows full control to the
state. It falls well below the democratic standards and traditions
of the UK.' The French Government has signed a new EU Convention
which ends the notion of 'political' crimes in Europe.

Paul K.

----- End of forwarded message from Transient Spike -----

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