Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Dodges Feds In New York

Well, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's reemergence from hiding didn't last long. He was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a New York hacking convention today. Homeland Security agents showed up, Assange got spooked and cancelled his appearance.

Assange, the Australian editor of the secret-sharing website Wikileaks.org, went into hiding last month after an army specialist was arrested for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, only reemerging at an Oxford TED conference this week. Assange's scheduled keynote address today at the New York hacking conference HOPE would have been his first appearance in the U.S. Would government agents swoop out of the corner and take Assange to some backroom for a little chat?

The agents showed up, but Assange didn't. CNET reports that five Department of Homeland Security agents appeared at the venue the day before Assange was scheduled to speak. They were told that they'd need a search warrant to enter the event, or to pay the entrance fee; they paid the fee. But Assange, apparently feeling skittish, cancelled his appearance.

It's unclear if the agents were actually looking for Assange. The founder of the conference told CNET that ""If he shows up, he will be questioned at length. But why would Department of Homeland Security agents show up instead of Pentagon officials, since they're the ones investigating the alleged leak of 150,000 cables? Meanwhile, Assange has remained silent on this latest incident—wherever he is.