WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange's Complaint Against U.K.'s Channel 4 Denied

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Media regulator Ofcom says a documentary that included a video of Assange dancing at a nightclub in Iceland was not unjust or unfair and didn't infringe on his privacy.


LONDON - U.K. media regulator Ofcom has decided not to uphold a complaint from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange against British broadcaster Channel 4, which had aired a documentary that he had argued treated him unjustly and unfairly.

Assange, who is the subject of various Hollywood projects, had also complained of "unwarranted infringement of privacy" by the late November episode of True Stories entitled WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies on Channel 4's More 4 network. One of the arguments in the case surrounded the network's use of a video that showed Assange dancing in a nightclub in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The video had been available online, but Assange had argued that uploading a video to the Internet does not mean that it loses “any quality of privacy."

But the U.K. regulator said Monday: "Ofcom did not consider that Mr. Assange had a legitimate expectation of privacy in relation to the nightclub footage and it was therefore not necessary to go on to consider whether the use of that footage was warranted."

Overall, it said: "Ofcom’s decision is that Mr. Assange’s complaints of unjust or unfair treatment and of unwarranted infringement of privacy in the program as broadcast should not be upheld."

The More 4 show charted the history of WikiLeaks and featured commentary from Assange, employees from The Guardianand other newspapers. "Other contributors, such as a former employee of WikiLeaks and others who came into contact with Mr. Assange or who were affected by the impact of the material that was published by WikiLeaks, also featured and gave their opinions on WikiLeaks, Mr. Assange and related matters," Ofcom summarized the case on Monday.

Assange's complaint that the TV network didn't fully explain what its documentary would focus on and what other contributors it would use drew the response from Channel 4 that email exchanges with the WikiLeaks founder and his interview are proof that he was aware of all the key issues. Ofcom was content with the channel's explanations.

In regards to other complaints from Assange, Ofcom found that he provided "his informed consent" to appear on the program, "material facts were presented in a way that was not unfair to Mr. Assange and omitting certain facts or points raised by Mr. Assange did not create unfairness," and Assange was provided with "a timely and appropriate opportunity" to respond to points made in the documentary.