Dylan Wheeler, the 20-year old security prodigy who allegedly hacked the big names in gaming is renouncing his Australian citizenship. Between laws like data retention, site blocking and alleged human rights abuses, Wheeler has had enough, and has told us of his plans to abandon his home nation.
You've met Dylan Wheeler before. You just don't know it. He's the guy who had his door kicked in by the Feds who wanted the allegedly stolen Xbox Durango development units back. He went under a few pseudonyms back then, posing as a guy called Dan Henry, aka SuperDaE.
Wheeler tried selling the Durango development kits on eBay, which he told us was a "prank". As a result, he had his assets seized by police before his day in court on hacking charges. Wheeler's pseudonym has popped up at the centre of alleged hacks involving Epic Games, Valve, Blizzard and Sony in the past.
Since then he's turned into a "white hat". He's working as a security researcher for his own company called DAESEC IT Solutions. Clever.
Wheeler sent a mass email detailing his desire to abandon Australia. Recipients include Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, several key Government ministers, as well as a handful of journalists.
The email, entitled "Australia, a place I can no longer call home", reads like this:
To all whom it may concern,
When was it that Australia gave up it’s freedom? Why is it that the very country I once called home is now just short of what most would call a police state. Why are you allowed to throw out basic human rights in favour of your own policies? Harass and defame citizens. Support illegal surveilling of your own citizens, help out foreign law enforcement and completely ignore the core foundations of the country.
I’ve had FOIA’s on myself blatantly ignored from the state, with the AFP still yet to come to a conclusion. I’ve had lawyers harassed and otherwise intimidated in such a way as to not feeling comfortable with proceeding anymore.
I don’t want to be known as an Australian anymore, and it’s made nearly impossible to denounce it via paperwork without being physically present, to which I do not feel safe, as I can’t even be guaranteed basic fundamentals like my right to liberty and security. I have at no point in time been guaranteed the right to a fair trial, I’ve been harassed by the Western Australian police, for what? This false presence that you are allowed to accuse people of standing up for themselves, for expressing their own opinions and for being an Australian. I once was proud to call myself Australian, and I love my country dearly, I grew up there and it will always have a place in my heart, but I can’t stand by and watch violation after violation and continue to call myself an Australian. I would consider myself a patriot, I support my country, and Australia will always be apart of me, but I can’t support a bastardised government and in the very essence of patriotism, I feel I need to denounce my citizenship, as I do not stand for the government, I do not support the government, and I will not let myself be associated with such abusive powers.
- The government can’t keep treating citizens as potential criminals. - The government can’t keep denying their involvement in these international treaties/agreements that waive the privacy of their citizens.
It is for this reason, I no longer want to be known as an Australian, and I (Dylan Shane Terry Wheeler) denounce myself formally in this email as an Australian citizen as per my right laid out in Article 15(2) of the UDHR.
You can not take away the freedom of the people, you are playing a dangerous game and the stakes you are wagering are the citizens.
The email included a photo of his passport, which we've blurred out above.
He also tweeted the letter. It has since garnered over 1000 retweets.
Australia, a place I can no longer call home. "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." - JFK. pic.twitter.com/NJhlvUqOqj
— Day After Exploit (@WhatIsDaE) July 9, 2015
Wheeler's desire to ditch his Australian citizenship will take more than an email to the Prime Minister to accomplish.
Update: We've now spoken to Dylan who told us why he wants to give up his citizenship, and how he's going about it.
Wheeler told us that he fears he'll never be able to formally renounce his citizenship out of fear.
"The problem with the way [renouncement] works is that you have to provide all this [personal] information which I just can't provide because it makes me vulnerable. I don't want [law enforcement agencies] to know where I am. I don't feel safe," he told us.
That's why Wheeler sent the email: as a protest against Australia's national security agenda. He doesn't want to formalise the process out of fear, and sent the email as an informal application.
"I'd love to formally renounce my citizenship, because the way Australia is going at the moment with laws going into place involving privacy rights and allegations that we're involved in spying and all that stuff, I don't want to be in a country that supports that," he added.
Wheeler is currently residing in Europe, but for his own reasons would prefer not to identify where. If his renouncement went through, Wheeler assures us he wouldn't be stateless, adding that he has citizenship to another country already.