[LINK] Wikileak founder's passport cancelled

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Mon May 17 09:40:39 AEST 2010

[I don't understand. Does this mean he's a political prisoner in 
Australia? How can a country cancel a passport without charges? Do we 
know if he now has a new passport? Was this just a beat-up by Fairfax?]


Julian Assange, the Australian founder of the whistleblower website 
Wikileaks, says he had his passport taken away from him at Melbourne 
Airport and was later told by customs officials that it was about to 
be cancelled.

Last year Wikileaks published a confidential Australian blacklist of 
websites to be banned under the government's proposed internet filter.

The Age has been told that Assange's passport is classified 
''normal'' on the immigration database, meaning the Wikileaks 
director can travel freely on it.

Assange told The Age his passport was taken from him by customs 
officials at Melbourne Airport when he entered the country last week 
after he was told ''it was looking worn''.

When the passport was returned to him after about 15 minutes, he says 
he was told by authorities that it was going to be or was cancelled.

Passports are routinely taken from travellers for short periods by 
immigration officials if they are damaged.

Wikileaks has risen to prominence for posting leaked footage of US 
forces laughing at the dead bodies of 12 people they had just killed 
in Iraq in 2007.

It was in the Australian spotlight last year after publishing a 
confidential blacklist of websites that forms the basis of the 
government's proposed internet filter.

The list as published by Wikileaks then blocked links to YouTube 
clips, sites on euthanasia, fringe religions, and traditional 
pornography - as well as the websites of a tour operator and a dentist.

The government says the intention is to block extreme sites depicting 
such things as child pornography, bestiality and rape.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has also asked the 
Australian Federal Police to investigate the leaking and publishing 
of the Australian internet blacklist.

But a spokeswoman for the AFP said yesterday the federal police had 
dropped the case earlier this year because it was ''not in our jurisdiction''.

Assange said half an hour after his passport was returned to him, he 
was approached by an Australian Federal Police officer who searched 
one of his bags and asked him about his criminal record relating to 
computer hacking offences in 1991.

Assange's allegations about his passport were first made on SBS 
current affairs program Dateline, which aired a story on the Wikileaks founder.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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