The Official History of ASIO 1949 – 1963 By David Horner

On the 9th October, the ANU hosted a lecture by David Horner on his new book, The Official History of ASIO. I found this a very engaging lecture, and I learnt many new things about ASIO as a result of Professor Horner’s thorough historical research. Professor Horner’s clear presentation was very much to be commended, and he had done an admirable job digging up several obscure facts, using the recently opened Metadata Archives to great effect. Here are several interesting facts about ASIO’s history that you may not know:



19:42 – Accessed Google (2 mins).

19:44 – Accessed ASIO Homepage: “Foreign Policy Briefings” (5 mins).

19:49 – New tab. Accessed Google again. (23 secs)

19:49 – Accessed Youtube: “Funny Cats Compilation [Must See] Funny Cat Videos Ever Part 1” (43 mins)

20:32 – Change of tab. ASIO Homepage: “Potential Domestic Terrorism Alerts.” (1 min)

20:33 – Change of tab. “Funny Cats Compilation [Must See] Funny Cat Videos Ever Part 2 [BEST EVER]” (3 mins)

20:36 – Change to Domestic Terrorism Alerts (30 secs). Back to cat videos (45 mins)

21: 21 – New tab. Accessed Facebook. Clicked on Buzzfeed link: “Here’s What the Spice Girls Look Like Now” (6 mins).

21:27 – Refreshed Facebook.

21:28 – Refreshed Facebook.

21:30 – Refreshed Facebook.

21:30 – Refreshed Facebook.

21:30 – Accessed ASIO Homepage: “Near East Intelligence Operations (OPERATION: RIGHTEOUS VENGENCE)” (11 mins).

21:41 – Back to Facebook. Accessed profile of NAME REDACTED. [ed.: ASIO’s ex-partner. Currently in Jakarta. Acrimonious break-up.] (13 minutes. Multiple refreshes).

21:54 – Cycles through NAME REDACTED’s profile pictures. And then again. (5 mins).

21:59 – New tab. Accessed PornHub. Accessed “Whores of the Rings.” (2 mins).

22:01 – New tab. Accessed “Laid in Manhattan” (7 mins).

22:08 – New tab. Accessed “Good Will Humping” (8 mins).

22:16 – Back to ASIO Homepage: “Update: Student Newspapers and the Threat Their Moderately Amusing Undergraduate Satire Poses to the Australian Way of Life (OPERATION: DEEPLY OFFENDED)” (21 mins).

22:37 – PornHub again. Accessed “Edward Penishands” (13 mins).

22:50 – PornHub. Accessed “Masked Lingerie GMILFs Make Love to Army of Screaming Cannibal Dwarves” (23 mins).


23:50 – Accessed Google again. Accessed ASIO email address (11 mins).

00:01 – New tab. Accessed Ask Jeeves. Search: “what does it mean if you have a red rash on your upper thigh?” Accessed WebMD (17 mins).

00:18 – Accessed Google. Search: NAME REDACTED (16 mins).

00:34 – Search: “how to make friends” (22 mins).

00:56 – Back to ASIO email account. Open email: “ISIS: Should We Worry?” (2 mins).

00:58 – Open email: “Urgent: Indonesian Fishing Policy Vis-à-vis Prawns” (4 mins).

01:02 – New tab. Accessed Google. Search: “what does it all mean?” (10 mins).

01:12 – Search: “why does NAME REDACTED hate me so much” (27 mins).

01:39 – Search: “kebab places that deliver past 1am” (2 mins).

01:41 – Search: “chicken gourment [sic] number” (7 mins).

01:48 – New tab. ASIO Homepage: Risks of Cyberterrorism (6 mins).

01:54 – Search: “taxi price Parkes to chicken gourmet” (2 mins)


We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.