WikiLeaks Founder Arrested in The U.K. Faces Charges in The U.S.

Joint press conference between Cancillar Ricardo Patino and Julian Assange. Photo by Cancillería del Ecuador.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced on Thursday that WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, was “arrested today in the United Kingdom pursuant to the U.S./UK Extradition Treaty, in connection with a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.”

The unsealed indictment alleges that, “March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning [Bradley Manning at the time].” Manning at the time an, “analyst in the U.S. Army.”

According to the U.S. Attorney Assagne conspired with Manning to crack, “a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications. Manning, who had access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst, was using the computers to download classified records to transmit to WikiLeaks.”

CNN reports that Assange who has “been holed up” at the Ecuador embassy since 2012 was arrested Thursday morning by the Metropolitan Police. Assange had fled to the Ecuador Embassy following sexual assault allegations in Sweden, he has denied those charges, the case has since been dropped.

Ecuador withdrew “his asylum and invited authorities into the embassy, citing the Australian’s bad behavior.”

In their statement New Scotland Yard explained Assange was arrested on warrant that had be issued in June of 2012. They added he was “further arrested,” after he arrived at the London Police station on “behalf of the United States authorities,” he’ll appear in court later Thursday.

Video of his arrest via Twitter.

UK’s Home Office spokesperson said in a statement “we can confirm that Julian Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States of America. He is accused in the United States of America of computer related offences.”

For What It’s Worth.

According to reports Assange is not charged with publishing information, he is charged with hacking a U.S. government computer to obtain classified information which he published.

A lot of hay made on the fact that what he did, continued to do, was protected in the U.S. under our First Amendment.

As Eric Garland notes in several tweets, hacking a Defense Department Computer password is not freedom of the press.

WikiLeaks offered statements via Twitter.

Crime and Justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz reports via Twitter that DOJ officials are expected to add more charges in the future.

He also notes that Assange has been scheduled to appear in Court on May 2nd.

He also notes that in the indictment it says Assange had “no luck,” he obtaining the password.

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About Tiff 1238 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.