Attorney-General George Brandis received a mountain of instant messages on Monday from ‘concerned’ voters using a common iMessage trick.
It all started when a software engineer from Sydney, Justin Simon, Tweeted a reportedly rude message (since apparently removed) he successfully sent Brandis via iMessage – the free SMS service between iPhones. Simon had simply sent the message using Brandis’s aph.gov.au email address that is publicly visible on the Parliament House website and had apparently been linked up to Brandis’s own text message inbox.
Simon’s delighted Twitter followers tried it for themselves, Tweeting shots of their own charming inquisitions. And then… well you know how the Internet works.
While many messages were polite and matter of fact, if not just a little sarcastic, others were further along the annoyed and angry end of the texting spectrum. Some were trivial and mundane:
“Hi George, just wondering what your favourite emoji is. Mine is [thumbs-up] in case you were interested.”
A great many, though, were about the government’s new data retention laws championed by the attorney-general. One read:
“Hello Mr Brandis can I pls see your harmless metadata? It’s for security purposes. Don’t worry, if you’re not doing anything wrong you don’t have anything to fear.”
Harassing senators off the line pic.twitter.com/KE1SHS58Du
— Luke Vurens (@LukeVurens) March 2, 2015
The Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, was soon receiving similar messages.
“Can we do something serious about Climate Change, mate? Cheers,” wrote one.
According to Junkee.com, Beyond Green then began a campaign to flood Brandis’s inbox by encouraging people to CC the attorney-general into all their emails as a protest, ostensibly cutting out the data retention middle-man by sending the data directly to “Curious George”
One helpful participant Tweeted: “I’m messaging George Brandis the entire first chapter of 1984”
I’m messaging George Brandis the entire first chapter of 1984 @SenatorLudlam pic.twitter.com/P9iwNtEwMl — Lauren Ingram (@laureningram) March 2, 2015
TOP IMAGE: Australian Attorney-General George Brandis. (Steve Holland/Getty Images)