back to article Assange traveled in drag to evade gov spooks

Julian Assange's wariness of government spooks ran so high that the WikiLeaks founder resorted to disguising himself as a woman when traveling, according to a profile published Monday by The Guardian. As Assange's entourage moved from London to the village of Ellingham, the battered red car they rode in periodically pulled off …

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an attention seeker in disguise

"Please don't look at me oh no, all this attention its awful I hate it, still it'll look cool when they make a film about me"

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Anonymous Coward

For some reason

I can't help thinking of Joan of Arc.

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Reg readers who are interested in WikiLeaks and/or Julian Assange

would be advised to see Steve Kroft's interview with Mr Assange on «60 minutes» (part 1 : http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7300034n). Don't miss the discussion on «60 minutes Overtime» !...

Henri

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What a bunch of clowns

Yeah, right, not like they need to follow it with the UK CCTV motorway camera network.

Clowns playing pretend secret agents.

What is an Assange? A Kathie Price sans the Bulgarian airbags.

FFS...

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Anonymous Coward

I don't get it.

"to make sure it wasn't being followed"

Maybe I'm just a bit thick but wasn't it common knowledge that he was going to Ellingham?!

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@I don't get it

Yes, it was common knowledge. This Daily Fail article was written before he was released, and says precisely where he'll go if he gets bail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1338832/WikiLeaks-Julian-Assange-asked-judge-bail-address-secret.html

@DanGoodwin: a bit more background might have prevented the irrelevant chatter below from the Black Helicopter brigade.

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Anonymous Coward

I was going to ask

for pictures, but decided they might provoke nightmares! Playmobil reconstruction instead?

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Silver badge
Pint

Neither the UK or the US governments are 'nice' - ask the Brits who stayed over in Guantamo

Given the history of both the UK and the US governments, especially the anger expressed so publicly by members of the government and congress, Assange is likely wise to have regard for his security.

It is is interesting to see how the UK beneficiaries of Wikileaks downloads is now turning against Assange. The Guardian, along with the New York Times, have really been scraping the gutter trying to disparage Assange.

It makes one wonder why? Is it because they know he is going for different leak partners and the newspapers respective increased circulation, and profits, will suffer as a consequence?

What the newspapers are printing about Assange personally say more about their 'professionalism', or rather lack of it, than anything else.

Whatever personal foibles Assange adopts still doesn't detract from the fact that he has produced the goods in a way, and in a quantity, that no one has ever achieved or is likely to achieve again.

I have no interest in whether he is a cross dresser, has unusual ways of expressing his happiness, or is particular about his security - but I am interested in his product which stands on it's own.

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IT Angle

How about

We go back to the leaked cables and their implications instead of that douchebag?

This is not supposed to be the Daily Fail approached from the other side. Let him quietly enjoy being victimized and report again when something actually happens, like those ridiculous charges being dropped and his sudden disappearance.

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Black Helicopters

Yeah, that'll work....

I bet the spooks keeping tabs on him were pissing themselves laughing (as they watched from their black helicopter with night vision cameras)

I wouldn't be surprised if the video footage makes the MI5 xmas gag-reel - "watch this idiot . He thought dressing in drag would fool us!"

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Coat

They do not need a black helicopter

Read more on "keeping the criminals off the road" campaign and the way the police traced the vehicle around Bradford after the Sharon Beshenivsky murder. They could do that in 2005. We are in 2011.

Nuff said. Me coat.

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I have heard some excuses...

as to why someone has dressed in womens clothing, but this has to be the most elaborate!

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds more like

Someone with a borderline personality dissorder to me. I'm starting to feel sorry for the guy.

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Anonymous Coward

"borderline personality dissorder"

He was dragged to 37 separate schools in his childhood so that isn't surprising.

I doubt if he had the chance to make on single meaningful relationship during his formative years.

No wonder he's a bit of an emotional mess as an adult.

As for personality disorders in general, I doubt if anyone is completely free of that.

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Flame

Borderline Personality Disorder....

It took this long to work that out?

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Joke

'Can't imagine how ridiculous it was'

... actually I can

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Pics

or it didn't happen

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WTF?

Bullshit

Hacking a major US government network with a Commodore 64, yeah right. It ran 1mhz with only 66kbs of memory. Either he had help from god or this is another wild and bogus hatchet job from uncle sam and our own security services.

Everyone knows he has been chased by the CIA and MI5 for a long time, hell i don't even know the guy and i know it. I give him top marks for dressing up as a woman to protect his sources, it shows total commitment to protect them.

I give this hatchet job a thumbs down for complete lack of research and brain power.

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Bronze badge

Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

There's a full stop between those sentences - there's no implication that he hacked MILNET with a C64 (although I don't know what significance Mhz or RAM has when you're over a network link).

And as for "I give him top marks for dressing up as a woman to protect his sources" - you're a comedy genius sir, although perhaps unintentionally, and I can't wait for the film adaptation - perhaps they should cast Rowan Atkinson?

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FAIL

Clueless

Back in those days, most systems were accessed through terminals and telnet with very little security. You could use a TI1000 or TRS80 compute or Apple II or Atari 400 and still be able to hack into most computers. However, back then, most had very little security (if any at all). With call packs, you could easily war-dial with a 300 baud modem. Think about it - how much processing power do you need for TEXT???

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Anonymous Coward

Wiki leak

Just wondering - a couple of hours in the car, bit nervous perhaps, cold weather. Nature must call sooner or later, but where to go? Can't stop at the public services; neither ladies nor gents is appropriate. So I have this image of a 6'2" old lady standing up against a hedge in a lay-by. Nothing suspicious about that.

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Black Helicopters

@Charles Calthrop

I'm surprised the CIA hasn't hired you to eliminate Assange yet... Or have they..?

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@ici.chacal

My name is Chacal for we are many. ;-)

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Black Helicopters

Everyone does that

don't they?

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Grenade

Women's clothing disguise

A burka?

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Black Helicopters

You can't imagine how ridiculous it was

Waiting for Bin Laden's lieutenant to come with a similar story. Oh no, wait, ...Assange is the real focus today.

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Dead Vulture

Poisoning the Well...

Once again it seems that the media (including El Reg) are trying to make the story about Assange, not about what Wikileaks is doing.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/poisoning-the-well.html

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Silver badge

What is Wikileaks doing again, eh?

At least, Julian in drag _is_ a story (though no information really).

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FAIL

Disgusting

Torture and killing thousands of civilians aren't stories, I guess.

Where is it that fail astroturfers like you crawl up from? I hope they threw you a dime from Langley, well deserved.

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WTF?

Since when...

Did I miss a meeting, who decided that wearing a disguise to evade capture was foolish?

And paranoid? Come on, he was/is the target of what is perhaps the most high profile manhunts of the century.

Business as usual people. Nothing to see here.

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Manhunt?

"Come on, he was/is the target of what is perhaps the most high profile manhunts of the century." Odd that. Noone ever said they were looking for him. The police said they knew where he was the whole time and were waiting for the paperwork to be correct.

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Coat

He's a

Crap, unfunny and un-charming Lilly Savage. Paul O'Grady is actually a better hacker too.

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Anonymous Coward

Erm...

You only know that you're being followed, if "they" want you to know that you're being followed. If they don't want you to know, you'll never know. Dressing as a woman isn't going to help stopping people following you, it just isn't.

The flip side of this is that it really messes with the minds of the truly paraniod, becauase the paranoid think that they're being followed because they can't see anyone following them, missing the point that it's much more likely that they're not being followed.

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Boffin

Lumbering Giants

With regard to the comments posted by JaitcH, etc.:

The problem with today's news outlets isn't laziness; instead, it's a combined lack of agility, a propensity to pander to special interests, political correctness, and dilution of product. I'll explain each in turn.

-- -- Lack of agility: Each of today's news/media giants is a big, corporate bureaucracy with continental and/or global reach. Because of this bureaucratic overhead, such a news outlet often cannot react quickly enough to get a legitimate "scoop" on breaking news. And once the news outlet does have its hands on a chunk of newsworthy information, it gets "edited by committee" before it's turned into a publishable article, further delaying its dissemination. A topical blog (or website like WikiLeaks) has the advantage in that it's small and nimble, often with only one person (or very few people) making editorial decisions. This speeds time to market.

-- -- Pandering to special interests: A large, world-reaching news outlet means Big Money, and to keep things running, it needs Big Friends (i.e., major investors, shareholders, and advertising clients). This means that there are undoubtedly cases where prescient and newsworthy info is withheld or ignored, so the news outlet doesn't embarrass the "wrong people." A blog operator often has the advantage in that his/her work is a personal endeavour, and has few ties to commercial interests. This means he/she doesn't have to "please" anyone other than him-/herself.

-- -- Political correctness: In today's hair-trigger, litigious climate, with lawyers just itching to get their hands on a fat, juicy award, a large news organisation will often delay publication of and/or water down its articles so as to not offend parties mentioned in its publications, or to gain assurance that it can back up its defences against libel/slander suits. This is similar to "pandering to special interests" (above), but approaches the "offensiveness" issue from the other end. In this case, a blog operator may have the advantage in that he/she has little in the way of resources or capital that could be awarded in a lawsuit. This makes bringing suit against a given blog's owner much less appetising.

-- Dilution of product: In order to keep circulation revenue up, a large news outlet will try to cater to a wide readership. This often prevents it from dedicating a substantial portion of its resources to a specific topic of interest (or prescience), since doing so could (over the long term) alienate a sizeable portion of its readers, due to the readers' lack of interest, or perceived bias of the news outlet in question. A blog operator, on the other hand, often limits his/her missives to a specific range of topics, allowing for more thorough analyses.

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Jobs Horns

He is only telling us..

..what we knew anyway. He dresses in women's clothing

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