59 votes

Julian Assange arrested at Ecuadorian embassy in London

38 comments

  1. [7]
    nacho (edited ) Link
    There's a lot of people talking about Assange today for obvious reasons. I'd like to highlight to incredibly important pieces regarding Assange that I consider must-reads if you want to examine...

    There's a lot of people talking about Assange today for obvious reasons.

    I'd like to highlight to incredibly important pieces regarding Assange that I consider must-reads if you want to examine Wikileaks or its leader.

    • Here's Assange's ghostwriter of an autobiography laying it all out from 2014. Read about Assange as the self-proclaimed "third best hacker in the world", Assange the person, Wikileaks leader, narcissist etc. etc.

    • Here's the 2018 Muller Investigation-produced outlet that shows clearly and definitively that Wikileaks (and certainly Assange personally) worked with the Russian GRU (in the form of Guccifer 2.0) to influence US elections.

    (Assange helped Manning with hacking, just as an interesting aside)


    These two documents inform what Assange's been up to in recent years as a partisan, anti-US hacker. He's been using Wikileaks in his self interest for years. Also prior to being stuck in the Ecuadorian embassy for years.

    Assange's clearly being prosecuted as a hacker rather than a journalist revealing secrets in a reasonable way. (Wikileaks stopped releasing documents in a reasonable way ensuring the safety of random bystanders back in 2010).


    The ideals many people believe Wikileaks have upheld clearly don't seem to be what the organization have been working from. At least from as far back as 2011.

    Even though you may agree with ideals of openness in government, over-protection of governments' irresponsible and even immoral use of power, Wikileaks is not an outfit you should champion. That's clear from evidence that's been publicly available for years.

    To me it's interesting to see how many have continued to support the outfit against reason because they appear to want so bad that Assange and Wikileaks were [their] guy even though they've clearly demonstrated they're not.

    Edit: there/their mistake corrected.

    32 votes
    1. [4]
      Yugioh_Mishima Link Parent
      Wikileaks became a shell of its former self when Assange declared it a battering ram in service of his petty grudges and everyone besides his cultists left, but I take issue with this framing. In...

      (Wikileaks stopped releasing documents in a reasonable way ensuring the safety of random bystanders back in 2010).

      Wikileaks became a shell of its former self when Assange declared it a battering ram in service of his petty grudges and everyone besides his cultists left, but I take issue with this framing. In even the least charitable interpretation of how many random bystanders were endangered by Wikileaks, that number pales in comparison to the known body counts of the people they targeted.

      I'm not myopic enough to "champion" Wikileaks in 2019, but any harm they could have possibly caused is soooo many orders of magnitude lower than that of everyone they ever fucked with combined that I'm deeply suspicious of anyone who gets worked up over Julian Assange being a GRU patsy.

      12 votes
      1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
        That strikes me as an incredibly shortsighted and "ends justify the means" way of looking at things. The issue with Wikileaks and Assange being a GRU patsy (or worse) is a matter of trust, since...

        That strikes me as an incredibly shortsighted and "ends justify the means" way of looking at things. The issue with Wikileaks and Assange being a GRU patsy (or worse) is a matter of trust, since information was purposely withheld because of that; Both the DNC and RNC were hacked and yet only the DNC data was leaked. And Wikileaks even refused to publish a pretty significant Russian leak during the US election. So the question then becomes... what else have they withheld, chose not to publish or even purposely omitted from their leaks, and why?

        13 votes
      2. nacho Link Parent
        Why was it important to publish the names of agents rather than redacting their names from cables, leaving them out to dry in the field, irrespective of their nationality? Why was it important to...

        Why was it important to publish the names of agents rather than redacting their names from cables, leaving them out to dry in the field, irrespective of their nationality?

        Why was it important to doxx pretty much every female turkisk voter and publishing all of their private phone numbers rather than redacting them?


        This isn't about the leaks themselves, but avoiding completely and totally unnecessary harm to random people by following basic publishing standards.

        That's beyond even selective leaking or refusing to leak things that aren't targeting the "right people", it's about basic respect and human decency. That's my gripe with Wikileaks. They systematically showed they don't care in the slightest who they hurt as long as it's done in the name of the cause.

        6 votes
      3. xiv Link Parent
        He tangled with Russia and lost... at least if you follow his stances. he was against Putin until he had something against him., then abruptly changed course. The denial of hosting the Panama...

        He tangled with Russia and lost... at least if you follow his stances. he was against Putin until he had something against him., then abruptly changed course. The denial of hosting the Panama papers was a firm nail in the coffin for me.

        5 votes
    2. [2]
      Cosmos Link Parent
      So is this relatively minor charge the only one Assange is going to face? Or are more indictments going to be brought forward after people go through what Mueller has found out? Also, I keep...

      So is this relatively minor charge the only one Assange is going to face? Or are more indictments going to be brought forward after people go through what Mueller has found out?

      Also, I keep hearing that the UK is charging him for skipping bail. But no info about what charge he was actually dodging, and whether or not it is still ongoing.

      2 votes
      1. bhrgunatha Link Parent
        It's often very frustrating trying to understand an ongoing news/political situation - especially when you're trying to grasp a long term situation. He skipped bail escaping an arrest warrant...

        But no info about what charge he was actually dodging, and whether or not it is still ongoing.

        It's often very frustrating trying to understand an ongoing news/political situation - especially when you're trying to grasp a long term situation.

        He skipped bail escaping an arrest warrant issued in Sweden..

        I think the 7th reference linked in that wikipedia page (to a Guardian article) gives as full an account of the situation as we're going to find- and bear in mind a lot of Wikileaks supporters feel that the Guardian is biased against Assange.

        The Swedish case was dropped - I think due to being unable to interrogate him to satisfy technicalities of Swedish law e.g. he offered to meet the prosecutors in the Ecuadorian embassy. From what I understand Sweden does have the option to re-open the case again but I'm not sure how that relates legally to their original extradition that he took asylum to avoid.

        2 votes
  2. [5]
    DyslexicStoner240 (edited ) Link
    I have to admit I really don't know how to react to this news. On one hand it became pretty clear that for one reason or another during the past years Wikileaks had become more and more a biased...

    I have to admit I really don't know how to react to this news.

    On one hand it became pretty clear that for one reason or another during the past years Wikileaks had become more and more a biased tool of Assange, but on the other hand it was a decent source of info when it was denouncing of the atrocities that had happened in Iraq.

    I'm torn on what to expect from the general consensus and the media, and would appreciate any carification from anyone whom might've followed the whole ordeal more cloasely than myself.

    Edit: grammar

    25 votes
    1. [3]
      hamstergeddon Link Parent
      I supported him when wikileaks first started to garner attention (even have a TIME magazine with him on the cover saved from that time). I thought (and still think) it's important to hold...

      I supported him when wikileaks first started to garner attention (even have a TIME magazine with him on the cover saved from that time). I thought (and still think) it's important to hold governments accountable when they try to sweep atrocities or other sketchy things under the rug. Wikileaks seemed like a good way to do that, but over the years it seemed to stray from that goal and got really partisan with what it released. Assange also seems to have become little more than a Russian puppet, but maybe that's a little paranoid of me.

      I support the original mission of exposing government bullshit (within reason and without endangering innocent people), but I do not support Julian Assange anymore. He seems to have played some part in this weird Trump-Russia relationship (at the very least there's the Trump -> Stone -> Assange connection) and I'm not okay with that. I'm hoping maybe some good will come of his arrest. Allegedly he had some sort of deadman's switch, but that could've been bullshit or only contain more cherry-picked information. Maybe he'll squeal and rat some people out. idk.

      So long story short my support of Assange was tied to the stated mission of wikileaks, which seems to have changed over the years, so that's the end of my support of Assange.

      18 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        I believe that was insurance.aes256. It's an old, widely distributed and readily available file. Presumably if anyone were to fuck with wikileaks, the key to that file would be released into the...

        Allegedly he had some sort of deadman's switch, but that could've been bullshit or only contain more cherry-picked information.

        I believe that was insurance.aes256. It's an old, widely distributed and readily available file. Presumably if anyone were to fuck with wikileaks, the key to that file would be released into the wild by a dead man's switch. Is it a bluff, or something that the powers that be would rather not get released? Perhaps we'll find out shortly.

        7 votes
      2. DyslexicStoner240 Link Parent
        If there is one thing that's really keeping me from not having any sympathy for the guy is the fact that it might come off as not being willing to stand up for whistleblowers. Don't get me wrong,...

        If there is one thing that's really keeping me from not having any sympathy for the guy is the fact that it might come off as not being willing to stand up for whistleblowers.

        Don't get me wrong, I realise that he himself really wasn't one, and he was more of a manager of a source that publicised whistleblowers' news, but at the same time I have to admit that if anyone came up to me and asked me to name a recent whistleblower, Assange would instantly come to mind.

        I guess in the end he's just a figure that's gonna be surrounded by controversies, let's hope he won't cause any considerable damage to any possible future source of leaks...

        Edit: as soon as I was done posting this comment it came to mind how critical he's been on the Panama Papers already so in hindsight he's already been causing issues to whistleblowers. I'm now inclined to just say 'fuck him'.

        3 votes
    2. LiberHomo Link Parent
      Honestly I don't think the leaks he did were all that great, in retrospect. Wikileaks did not put forward an honest depiction of the events in the Collateral Murder video, for example, they gave a...

      Honestly I don't think the leaks he did were all that great, in retrospect. Wikileaks did not put forward an honest depiction of the events in the Collateral Murder video, for example, they gave a narrative that was plausible according to the publicly available information at the time, but that doesn't hold up anymore. And IIRC they knew facts that contradicted the narrative they put forward and didn't acknowledge them.

      1 vote
  3. [5]
    firstname Link
    Picture from the arrest Video of the arrest The man has really not aged well, he turned into a caveman living in that house for 7 years from the looks of it. Perhaps he will have it better in a...

    Picture from the arrest

    Video of the arrest

    The man has really not aged well, he turned into a caveman living in that house for 7 years from the looks of it. Perhaps he will have it better in a prison health wise.

    11 votes
    1. [4]
      lumbo7332 Link Parent
      All that stress and isolation will do that to a person.

      All that stress and isolation will do that to a person.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        Cosmos (edited ) Link Parent
        I won't be surprised if we find out he is suffering from some mental illness. The way he got dragged out literally kicking and screaming, and has visibly poor hygiene are both evidence of that....

        I won't be surprised if we find out he is suffering from some mental illness. The way he got dragged out literally kicking and screaming, and has visibly poor hygiene are both evidence of that.

        He's given up on taking care of himself and doesn't care how others see him. That's a sign of depression.

        9 votes
        1. lumbo7332 Link Parent
          Yeah. Even if you don't agree with everything he's done, it's still upsetting to see someone like that.

          Yeah. Even if you don't agree with everything he's done, it's still upsetting to see someone like that.

          6 votes
        2. firstname Link Parent
          I feel like it would be weird if no mental health issues where developed during his stay at the embassy with everything going on around him.

          I feel like it would be weird if no mental health issues where developed during his stay at the embassy with everything going on around him.

  4. gabelanglais Link
    Im wondering if that insurance file he released will have anything of worth. Assuming it gets releassed. Needless to say this will be an interesting story.

    Im wondering if that insurance file he released will have anything of worth. Assuming it gets releassed. Needless to say this will be an interesting story.

    4 votes
  5. [8]
    ThatFanficGuy Link
    I've lost track. What happened? Why was he at the embassy?

    I've lost track. What happened? Why was he at the embassy?

    3 votes
    1. [6]
      dubteedub Link Parent
      Ecuador asked him to take care of his cat and clean up after himself, and he basically refused and tried to take them to court and leaked a bunch of their emails. ... Why Ecuador Finally Got Sick...

      Ecuador asked him to take care of his cat and clean up after himself, and he basically refused and tried to take them to court and leaked a bunch of their emails.

      The dramatic expulsion follows a year of ratcheting tension between Assange and his Ecuadorian hosts, culminating in Wikileaks publicizing a leak of hundreds of thousands of hacked emails mysteriously stolen from the inboxes of Ecuador’s president and first lady. It was this last move that finally set Ecuador’s government firmly against Assange, who was by then already being treated less like a political refugee than an inmate—albeit one who was free to leave at any time.

      ...

      Assange was allowed back online in late 2018, but only after agreeing not to “carry out activities that could be considered political interference in the internal affairs of other states.” At the same time, Ecuador imposed a new and detailed set of rules on its fugitive guest, banning unannounced visitors, and requiring Assange to pay his own medical bills, clean up after himself in the bathroom and tend to the “well-being, food, cleanliness, and proper care” of his cat.

      Assange bristled at the restrictions and took Ecuador’s foreign ministry to court. When he lost, he filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which rejected it.

      17 votes
      1. [5]
        Micycle_the_Bichael Link Parent
        Jesus Christ what a piece of work. “Please do the bare minimum to not destroy our embassy please” “Fuck you. Also I leaked documents about you because I’m so mad you asked me to do a thing”

        Jesus Christ what a piece of work. “Please do the bare minimum to not destroy our embassy please”

        “Fuck you. Also I leaked documents about you because I’m so mad you asked me to do a thing”

        13 votes
        1. [4]
          alyaza Link Parent
          assange is, honest to god, probably the dumbest political refugee on the planet. all he had to do was not rock the boat with ecuador and he'd have been fine, even though lenin moreno (the most...

          assange is, honest to god, probably the dumbest political refugee on the planet. all he had to do was not rock the boat with ecuador and he'd have been fine, even though lenin moreno (the most recent president of ecuador) was not fond of him and called him a nuisance. instead, he did literally everything in his power to make ecuador not like him and be liable to throw him under the bus, and now he's probably going to get the book thrown at him in at least two jurisdictions, likely rendering most of his life over, because he felt the need to challenge ecuador on everything (because i guess he felt like he had some sort of leverage?).

          16 votes
          1. [2]
            rkcr Link Parent
            He might be trying to position himself as a martyr, which seems to be working from some of the reddit threads I saw earlier today.

            He might be trying to position himself as a martyr, which seems to be working from some of the reddit threads I saw earlier today.

            9 votes
            1. alyaza Link Parent
              he was already a martyr to those people, honestly. has been since he first got confined to the embassy.

              he was already a martyr to those people, honestly. has been since he first got confined to the embassy.

              6 votes
          2. Micycle_the_Bichael Link Parent
            I know very little about him from solid sources so take all this with a mountain of salt. But from what I have heard from friends I generally trust is that Assange has a god complex and thinks he...

            I know very little about him from solid sources so take all this with a mountain of salt. But from what I have heard from friends I generally trust is that Assange has a god complex and thinks he shits gold because Wikileaks was viewed as a big deal in 2015 (i think thats when it was big?). He probably thought there was no way Ecuador would HAVE THE GAULL to kick him out. How could they. He’s julien mother fucking assange. Whelp. Now he’s going to jail. So. Fucking rip you pos person

            6 votes
    2. Bauke Link Parent
      The article has a timeline that explains why. It's below this paragraph:

      The article has a timeline that explains why. It's below this paragraph:

      But WikiLeaks said Moreno had acted illegally in terminating Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.

      14 votes
  6. [5]
    DevNull Link
    Assange, third best hacker? "A" hacker? That's rich. This is not a negative comment to the op, or the poster of the comment (which I cannot figure out how to reply to), or anybody/thing else. Not...

    Assange, third best hacker? "A" hacker? That's rich.
    This is not a negative comment to the op, or the poster of the comment (which I cannot figure out how to reply to), or anybody/thing else. Not opining on what he did or if he's a "good" or "bad".
    Perhaps only revealing my personal bias about people in this era thinking so highly of themselves, when they weren't even around when the real geniuses were building the technology they take for granted.
    I haven't read anything that described anything he did that as being so complex and ingenius in it's elegance that he'd qualify for a title that has been so completely twisted in it's meaning as to be unrecognizable from it's origin. I think whoever mentioned "narcissist" nailed it though. The REAL "third best hackers" aren't doing interviews and whoring headlines (or being dragged out of embassies like some meth'd out hobbit zombie).

    1 vote
    1. [4]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      click Reply underneath the comment you want to reply to. ;) p.s. You can also @ mention other people as well, so that if you address multiple people in a single reply, the people not being...

      which I cannot figure out how to reply to

      click Reply underneath the comment you want to reply to. ;)

      p.s. You can also @ mention other people as well, so that if you address multiple people in a single reply, the people not being directly replied to can still be notified about your comment. E.g. (see below)

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        DevNull Link Parent
        Thanks mate - I don't know why but I didn't see the Reply link in the comment I wanted to reply to. I blame old age.

        Thanks mate - I don't know why but I didn't see the Reply link in the comment I wanted to reply to. I blame old age.

        1 vote
        1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          Heh, no prob and no worries, we all have those moments. ;)

          Heh, no prob and no worries, we all have those moments. ;)

      2. cfabbro Link Parent
        @DevNull this comment will also show up in your notifications because I @ mentioned you, even though it is not a direct reply to one of your comments.

        @DevNull this comment will also show up in your notifications because I @ mentioned you, even though it is not a direct reply to one of your comments.

  7. [6]
    annadane Link
    I went on HN to see discussion on this and there is so. much. arguing. And general disagreement. Why is it such a cesspool sometimes? (I understand in this case there may be trolls or shills or...

    I went on HN to see discussion on this and there is so. much. arguing. And general disagreement. Why is it such a cesspool sometimes? (I understand in this case there may be trolls or shills or whatever directing the flow of the arguments)

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      hackergal Link Parent
      The reddit thread on /r/technology wasn't much better.

      The reddit thread on /r/technology wasn't much better.

      4 votes
      1. alyaza Link Parent
        not very surprising, honestly. the crypto-libertarian crowd loves assange, and so do the techbros, and both are significant contingents on reddit and hackernews. it'd be more surprising to see him...

        not very surprising, honestly. the crypto-libertarian crowd loves assange, and so do the techbros, and both are significant contingents on reddit and hackernews. it'd be more surprising to see him get roasted on either, really.

        6 votes
    2. [3]
      FZeroRacer Link Parent
      The answer is that HN is filled with crypto-libertarians (as another commentator mentioned) along with a seemingly growing alt-right contingent that's focused on spreading FUD. The design of the...

      The answer is that HN is filled with crypto-libertarians (as another commentator mentioned) along with a seemingly growing alt-right contingent that's focused on spreading FUD.

      The design of the site and the way it's moderated essentially rewards people who can abuse sealioning and feign neutrality. If someone behaves in a disingenuous manner by purposely misrepresenting sources, groups etc you're not supposed to respond and let it naturally sink. Some examples of things I've seen include anti-climate change propaganda, support for gay conversion therapy and even people advocating to pretend to be the opposite gender to take advantage of inclusitivity programs, grants etc. Needless to say, I've grown increasingly despondent at the current state of HN and how moderators treat the site.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        MrGrey Link Parent
        I was also much happier with HN when it 'stayed in it's lane.' The further beyond the sphere of pure technical goodies it goes, the worse the entire site has gotten. It's basically a more...

        I was also much happier with HN when it 'stayed in it's lane.' The further beyond the sphere of pure technical goodies it goes, the worse the entire site has gotten. It's basically a more technical shade of reddit at this point, where every popular topic will have someone attempting to wedge in pseudo-politics.

        7 votes
        1. dubteedub Link Parent
          That is interesting since Reddit was originally a more technical shade of Digg. Initially, Reddit's largest community was /r/programming for the longest time.

          It's basically a more technical shade of reddit at this point, where every popular topic will have someone attempting to wedge in pseudo-politics.

          That is interesting since Reddit was originally a more technical shade of Digg. Initially, Reddit's largest community was /r/programming for the longest time.

          4 votes
  8. suspended Link

    Scotland Yard has confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of the US after receiving a request for his extradition.

    In a statement it said:

    Julian Assange, 47, (03.07.71) has today, Thursday 11 April, been further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities, at 10:53hrs after his arrival at a central London police station. This is an extradition warrant under Section 73 of the Extradition Act. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as possible.

    2 votes