My response to sex allegations

You may be aware that news has surfaced about sex allegations about me from nearly forty years ago. I utterly refute any such claim and will dispute them with full vigour.

First, I am extremely angry that authorities have chosen to reveal my medical records. Outlets such as dailytelegraph.com.au have said that I am undergoing treatment for cancer. I have not even revealed my health concerns to my own family. For the record, my consultants are in Germany, not Belgium.

The Belgian health situation occurred two years ago when I had a major heart attack and went into a coma for two months. This incident triggered a brain clot which has crippled me. Police have those medical records, which I am sure they will reveal willingly to anyone who asks.

I will provide some background to the current controversy.

In 1980, when I was 23 years of age (I am now 63), I established an Australian project to assist disadvantaged youth. The mandate of this organisation was to support youths aged sixteen and seventeen. This followed from a two year campaign to release state owned properties that were fallow.

As I understand the situation, it is alleged that I had encounters with one or possibly more of these people. Even though the accuser, or accusers, were of legal age, there is a question of alleged breach of duty of care.

Why after almost four decades is this matter being pursued? Some people believe it is an attempt by some parties to discredit the global privacy movement. As the creator of many of the world’s most important privacy initiatives and institutions this would be their perfect storm. I am not in a position to say, and I certainly could not suggest with any certainty who these parties are. But in the realm of theory I can hazard a reasonable guess. However this situation is for others to judge

Beyond that scenario, it is relevant that the organisation in question to which I belonged in the early 1980’s was overseen by a Board of the most powerful people in the country. From the Prime Minister, to other political leaders, to the heads of the judiciary, academia, trades unions, the church, the military and business, the people who ran the country were all present. This has significance. Even if you do not believe the theory that this is a strategic attack on privacy, it is quite possibly the case that I have been made a scapegoat because of the powerful entities with which I was connected.

This does not surprise me. The prime minister and I had plans to build a network of kibbutz communities to reform the welfare system and the result was a violent anti Semitic response. The then Prime Minister majored on this initiative in his keynote to the International Labour Organisation.

Media are using phrases such as “global manhunt”,“international fugitive” and “in hiding”. This is absurd. I have lived a totally open life over the past forty years. Even this year I have spoken at dozens of events and published a book. I have founded numerous important privacy initiatives and written and campaigned extensively across the world. I cannot imagine how I could be more open.

And importantly – for the technically minded among you – I have owned the same computer and phone hardware for the past six years, and my primary email address and bank account have not changed in that period either. If authorities have not “tracked” me it is because they chose not to. Perhaps, were you to believe such a hypothesis, it’s far more effective to portray me as a fugitive. This entire episode is the deliberate construction of a dramatic story, rather than a mirror of truth.

Predictably, it is suggested that I constructed a global privacy movement to cover myself by setting up an international web of laws and conventions that obstruct the passage of police data between nations. First, this is the most absurd conspiracy theory in existence. Not only is the disclosure of police data fully operable, but I only entered the privacy arena five years after the alleged offences.

I fully intend fighting this allegation. Once the legality of an extradition is established I will defend myself in court and clear myself of this slur.

This statement has been published after I have presented myself to my local police.