Ken Day, the former head of the Australian Federal Police computer crime team which brought charges against Assange in 1996, says the movie Underground: The Julian Assange Story is full of inaccuracies.
Day’s role was portrayed by a fictitious character played by Anthony LaPaglia.
He tells The Age the attack on the US military database Milnet never happened.
“The facts are that the AFP found no evidence of any such event,” he said. “We had intercepts on his telephone lines so we captured everything he did on his computer. We also captured all his verbal communications on the telephone. On top of this we gathered all of the evidence from his house.
“Assange was not prosecuted for breaking into any Milnet system that contained information on military targets as there was no evidence that it occurred — and we had a lot of evidence.
“It is a work of fiction inspired by fact, but Assange was definitely inside Milnet and trying to make sense of what he could see in there, as in the film,” he said.
Christine Assange, mother of Julian Assange, has also said the script and dialogue perpetuates the media myth that she was an anti-American, left-leaning activist. But she did compliment Alex Williams’ portrayal of the young Julian.
Underground was based on a 1997 book on Suelette Dreyfus. TEN’s movie also begins with an opening title card that indicates it is based on events and that that some aspects of the story may have been “modified or created for dramatic purposes.”
Writer / Director Robert Connolly points to an interview Assange gave to SBS Dateline reporter Mark Davis, which first aired in December 2010.
“We had a back door in the US military security co-ordination centre,” Assange told Davis, who contributed to the screenplay. “This is the peak for controlling the security of Milnet, the US Military Internet. We had total control over this for two years.”