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Julian Assange arrested

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https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/11/us-charges-wikileaks-co-founder-julian-assange-with-conspiracy-to-commit-computer-hacking.html

The Justice Department announced a criminal charge Thursday against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, accusing him of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a classified U.S. government computer.

“The charge relates to Assange’s alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States,” the Justice Department said in a press release.

 

The announcement followed an extradition request by the U.S. for Assange, 47, who on Thursday morning was arrested and removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has lived for nearly seven years. A British judge said Thursday that the U.S. must share its case justifying Assange’s extradition by June 12, multiple outlets reported.

If convicted, Assange could face five years in prison, though his actual sentence would likely fall below the legal maximum.

CNN reported, however, that Justice Department officials expect to bring additional charges against Assange.

“This is a dark day for journalism,” a representative for Assange said outside British court. “We don’t want this to go forward. This has to be averted.”

“It’s called conspiracy. It’s conspiracy to commit journalism,” the representative continued, adding: “There is no assurance that there will not be additional charges when he is on U.S. soil.”

 

The indictment, filed under seal in the Eastern District of Virginia in March 2018, states that he and Manning worked together in 2010 to crack passwords on government computers and download reams of information with the intent of publishing them on WikiLeaks. Manning was jailed last month for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating Assange’s document-sharing organization.

The alleged conspiracy has no direct connection to the 2016 presidential election, where Assange’s whistleblowing organization became a main engine of controversy by publishing troves of Democratic National Committee officials’ internal emails. U.S. intelligence officials alleged in a January 2017 assessment of Russia’s election meddling that Kremlin military intelligence gained access to DNC networks and fed the hacked information to WikiLeaks.

President Donald Trump had praised WikiLeaks repeatedly in the late stages of the election, in which he defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Manning, who held a top-secret security clearance, sent hundreds of thousands of U.S. military documents to WikiLeaks agents so that they could be publicly disclosed — and the website did publish the “vast majority” of those classified records between 2010 and 2011, the indictment alleges.

Those documents allegedly included approximately 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, a quarter-million State Department cables and 400,000 Iraq War-related reports.

In March 2010, Assange allegedly “agreed to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on United States Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network, a United States government network used for classified documents and communications.”

Manning used a Linux operating system to access the password, which would help disguise her activities but was stored on a computer she did not have specific privileges to access, according to the court filing.

Assange was allegedly aware that Manning was providing him information in violation of Army regulations.

On March 8, 2010, before forging the agreement to crack the government password, Manning allegedly told Assange that “after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.”

The indictment says Assange replied: “Curious eyes never run dry in my experience.”

A spokesperson for Manning told NBC News on Thursday that “our legal team is reviewing the language now as it may impact her appeal to the charge of civil contempt,” referring to Manning’s current legal situation.

“We are confident in Chelsea’s legal strategy regarding the grand jury and the appeal and that we may have more we can share soon,” the spokesperson added, NBC reported.

Assange had been holed up in the London-based embassy since 2012 in order to avoid an extradition to Sweden related to a sexual assault case. Two years earlier, Sweden had issued a warrant for Assange related to allegations of sexual assault and rape from two women. Those charges were dropped in 2017.

But Assange had refused to leave the embassy for fear of being extradited to the U.S. — a situation that reportedly wore thin for Ecuadorian officials.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno tweeted Thursday that his country had withdrawn Assange’s asylum status “after his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.”

He was arrested for allegedly breaching U.K. bail conditions, and had been arrested again in a U.S. extradition warrant, according to Metropolitan Police. Multiple outlets reported Thursday that a British court found Assange guilty of jumping bail.

Assange’s lawyer, Jen Robinson, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the DOJ’s announcement of the charge against her client. She had tweeted earlier Thursday that the U.S. warrant had been issued in December 2017.

Robinson vowed Thursday that “we will be contesting and fighting extradition.” She added that Assange “will be brought before the court again within the next month.”

 

So, is this a "dark day for journalism" or is justice finally being served?  Also any theories as to why the Ecuadorians dropped his asylum status?

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20 hours ago, swordfish said:

 

 

So, is this a "dark day for journalism" or is justice finally being served?  Also any theories as to why the Ecuadorians dropped his asylum status?

Looks like it was for the same reason that folks tire of household guests:

  • Being "discourteous and aggressive" 
  • Running a blog out of the host's house
  • Installing stuff in the host's house
  • And bad hygiene.

 

At least he lasted longer than most relatives who do this stuff.

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/assanges-ecuador-embassy-life-discourteous-aggressive-behavior-bad-174000477--abc-news-topstories.html

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, foxbat said:

Looks like it was for the same reason that folks tire of household guests:

  • Being "discourteous and aggressive" 
  • Running a blog out of the host's house
  • Installing stuff in the host's house
  • And bad hygiene.

 

At least he lasted longer than most relatives who do this stuff.

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/assanges-ecuador-embassy-life-discourteous-aggressive-behavior-bad-174000477--abc-news-topstories.html

 

 

 

Image result for cousin eddie

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Julian Assange and WikiLeaks Deserve Our Thanks for Making Governments More Transparent: https://reason.com/2019/04/11/julian-assange-and-wikileaks-deserve-our

Quote

A lot of people are dunking on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now that he’s been arrested by British law enforcement and will likely face extradition hearings to the United States on charges that he conspired with Chelsea Manning to “commit computer intrusion” on a U.S. government machine. Assuming the British authorities do go forward with extradition, it will almost certainly be years before the matter is settled (and there’s a strong argument that Assange might walk in British courts). In the meantime, Assange has effectively traded exile in Ecuador’s embassy in London for a jail cell in the same city. As Robby Soave notes, prosecuting Assange for publishing leaked documents—something that media outlets do on a regular basis—would be very bad for press freedom.

Regardless of how you feel about Assange as a person, there’s no question that WikiLeaks, founded in 2006, has been central to starting a salutary era of forced transparency, a time when state and corporate actors have much more trouble keeping secrets. Forced transparency is bigger than WikiLeaks, of course. It’s one of the defining dynamics of our time, riding the same technological wave that gave us Napster and other innovations that disperse power and information in all sorts of unauthorized ways. But let’s give credit and praise where it’s due. The world is better for the fact that it’s harder than ever for governments to keep their own secrets.

Early exposés by the organization included documents from the Church of Scientology and East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit. In 2010, the organization came into its own by publishing a trove of documents given to it by Chelsea Manning, then an Army intelligence analyst. Among the things that came to light:

* graphic video of a U.S. Apache helicopter killing Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists;

* 90,000-plus pages of military memos, now known as the Afghan War Diaries, that showed that the Taliban and the Pakistani government were in regular contact and that civilian casualties were far greater than the U.S. officially acknowledged;

* 400,000 pages of documents about the war in Iraq, including revelation of 15,000 unreported civilian deaths and brutal reprisals by Iraqi forces;

* diplomatic cables that showed a wide gulf between the U.S.’s public positions and private analysis.

In 2016, of course, WikiLeaks also released hacked emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, which unmasked various bad-faith dealings within the Democratic Party establishment.

There are legitimate questions about WikiLeaks’ relationship with the Russian government, but it’s the worst sort of whataboutism to argue that WikiLeaks’ revelatons about the United States government should not be taken seriously until it releases equally damaging material about, say, the Putin regime. The information it has shared about the United States is widely understood to be accurate; calls for some sort of geopolitical balance doesn’t make the group’s revelations about our leaders any less true.

In 2017, FBI Director James Comey said that WikiLeaks trafficked in “public intelligence porn.” Mike Pompeo, then CIA director and now secretary of state, went so far as to condemn Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the state. “We can no longer allow [Julian] Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us,” Pompeo declared at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for.” Such talk was reminiscent of The Wall Street Journalcalling Assange an “enemy of the U.S.” who should face the death penalty.

Such backward thinking is absurd. We won’t be “crushed” if our actions are defensible. Assume the worst about Assange, who was first taken into custody in relation to sexual assault charges in Sweden that have since been dropped. We don’t need to praise the man to recognize that governments’ radical loss of control of secret knowledge is ultimately a very good thing—and one that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Spot-on commentary by Mr. Gillespie.

 

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