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charlesarthur : assange   6

Donald Trump 'offered Julian Assange a pardon if he denied Russia link to hack' • The Guardian
Owen Bowcott:
<p>Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he would say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic party emails, a court in London has been told.

The extraordinary claim was made at Westminster magistrates court before the opening next week of Assange’s legal battle to block attempts to extradite him to the US.

Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald QC, referred to evidence alleging that the former US Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher had been to see Assange, now 48, while he was still in the Ecuadorian embassy in August 2017.

Assange appeared in court on Wednesday by videolink from Belmarsh prison, wearing dark tracksuit bottoms and a brown jumper over a white shirt.

A statement from Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson shows “Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange … said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC [Democratic National Committee] leaks”, Fitzgerald told Westminster magistrates court.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is hearing the case at Westminster, said the evidence is admissible.

White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told reporters: “The president barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than he’s an ex-congressman. He’s never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject.”</p>

Of course dozens of tweets and meetings between Trump and Rohrabacher were then provided as evidence by the internet. Completely believable that Trump would do that. Assange would be an idiot to accept it, though.
trump  assange  russia  hacking 
6 weeks ago by charlesarthur
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange indicted on 17 counts of espionage • HuffPost UK
Ryan Reilly:
<p>Of particular concern to journalism advocates is the fact that Assange faces charges not only for working with Manning to obtain classified information, but also for publishing it.

“Assange is no journalist,” John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, told reporters Thursday. The Justice Department maintains that Assange was complicit with and conspired with Manning in WikiLeaks’ publication of classified materials.

Manning, whose sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama in the final days of his presidency, recently spent several weeks in jail after being held in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury. She was sent back to jail last week, and remained in jail as of Thursday.</p>

Bad move. Assange faced charges for his role helping Manning to get the data. But publishing it? On that basis you'd have to charge people at the newspapers which published emails stolen by Russians from the DNC. You'll note that's not happening, because it's not enforceable under the US's 1st Amendment. I wonder if (some of) these charges will fail on that basis too.
wikileaks  assange 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
WikiLeaks and the lost promise of the internet • Lawfare
Quinta Jurecic:
<p>The more common demand is now for more curation and moderation—what Assange would call censorship—not less. (Assange curates as well; a 2012 document release reportedly excluded material relating to a bank transfer between the Syrian government and a Russian-owned bank, and according to Foreign Policy, in the summer of 2016 WikiLeaks turned down an offer of documents containing information on the workings of the Russian government.) The free flow of information, it turns out, can do a great deal of damage to things other than governments—particularly if it is selective in its freedom. It can help cultivate extremism. It can spread disinformation. What Assange offers is not so enticing anymore. Despite the controversy over what indicting Assange means for a free press, his detractors within the US government might reasonably argue that public opinion on WikiLeaks has caught up to their skepticism.

The internet, at least in theory, at first appeared to complicate older notions of sovereignty. This was Assange’s “intelligence agency for the people,” using the internet to reorganize the relationship between government and citizen. The irony is that the intelligence agency for the people was employed by the Russian intelligence apparatus and subsumed into a traditional conflict between two Westphalian states. The internet’s initial promise of democratization succeeded in lessening the authority of the traditional gatekeepers, but the dynamics of power were never entirely flattened.</p>

(The piece also deals with Assange's overt sexism.) The question is, what is Wikileaks without Assange? Is it anything? Does it even exist?
wikileaks  assange 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
December 2011: US Army piles on evidence in final arguments in WikiLeaks hearing • WIRED
Kim Zetter, writing in 2011, when Chelsea Manning was still identified as a male US recruit accused of leaking secrets:
<p>In another chat, dated March 8, 2010, Manning asked “Nathaniel Frank,” believed to be [Wikileaks founder Julian] Assange, about help in cracking the main password on his classified SIPRnet computer so that he could log on to it anonymously. He asked “Frank” if he had experience cracking IM NT hashes (presumably it’s a mistype and he meant NTLM for the Microsoft NT LAN Manager). “Frank” replied yes, that they had “rainbow tables” for doing that. Manning then sent him what looked like a hash.

The WikiLeaks twitter feed noted the new allegation on Thursday, without confirming or denying the password-cracking charge.</p>

This is almost surely the "computer-related" US charges on which Assange was re-arrested in Britain after being forced out of the Ecuadorean embassy, where he had been for nearly 2,500 days. In general, Wikileaks is a publisher, not a hacker - but in this case, if the US can link "Nathaniel Frank" to Assange, there's a clear incitement to hack.
wikileaks  assange  hacking 
april 2019 by charlesarthur
Here's what I learned about Julian Assange while working alongside him • BuzzFeed News
James Ball:
<p>Assange is routinely either so lionised by supporters or demonised by detractors that his real character is lost entirely.

Far from the laptop-obsessed autist he’s often seen as, he’s a charismatic speaker with an easy ability to dominate a room or a conversation. He may have little interest in listening to those around, but he can tell whether or not he has your attention and change his manner to capture it. He has, time and again, proving a savvy media manipulator, marching the mainstream media up the hill and down again to often damp squib press conferences. His technical skills are not in doubt.

What’s often underestimated is his gift for bullshit. Assange can, and does, routinely tell obvious lies: WikiLeaks has deep and involved procedures; WikiLeaks was founded by a group of 12 activists, primarily from China; Israel Shamir never had cables; we have received information that [insert name of WikiLeaks critic] has ties to US intelligence.

At times, these lies are harmless and brilliant: when, on the day the state cables launched, WikiLeaks’ site wasn’t ready (we hadn’t even written the introductory text), the site was kept offline after a short DDoS attack, with Assange tweeting that the site was under an unprecedently huge attack.

Six hours later, when we were done, all eyes were looking: What was so bad in the cables that someone was working so hard to keep the site offline? The dramatic flourish worked, but other lies were dumb and damaging – and quickly erode any kind of trust for those trying to work closely with him.</p>

Ball is entirely trustworthy on these points (even though Wikileaks boosters will try to deny this). Terrible headline, but excellent piece pointing out that Assange is far from the simple personality that many portrayals would want you to believe.
wikileaks  assange 
october 2016 by charlesarthur
How Julian Assange turned WikiLeaks into Trump’s best friend • Bloomberg
Max Chafkin and Vernon Silver:
<p>WikiLeaks has long sought expanded privacy rights and a diminished role for the U.S. abroad—strongly opposing secret wiretaps, drone strikes, and the Guantánamo Bay prison facility. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has suggested “closing up the internet,” expanding extrajudicial killings, and making Gitmo—a longtime WikiLeaks bête noir—a permanent and expanded institution. Assange started his hacktivism career in the late 1980s and has expressed admiration for the antinuclear activists of that era; Trump has often wondered, out loud, if we shouldn’t consider using nuclear weapons more often.

None of this has seemed particularly to trouble Assange, who has mined the leaked Democratic National Committee e-mails, as well as publicly available e-mails from Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, for any meme-worthy tidbit to reinforce the case against her candidacy. He has used these finding to give cover to thinly sourced theories about Clinton’s health—in late August, he dug up an e-mail that showed that Clinton once received information about a Parkinson’s disease drug—and inventing new anti-Clinton theories out of whole cloth…

…on Friday, WikiLeaks released about 2,000 private e-mails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, just minutes after the leak of Trump's vulgar remarks caught on video in 2005. It seemed like an effort to blunt the damage to Trump while arming him ahead of the second debate.

Longtime allies have generally been horrified by these developments, with friends and supporters suggesting that Assange has been so intent on playing the media that he may be in danger of losing control. “I’m not sure what to make of this turn to the alt-right,” says John Kiriakou, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was imprisoned for telling ABC News that the government had tortured suspected terrorists. Among fellow whistleblowers and their friends, Kiriakou says, “There’s no consensus other than maybe Julian is just going nuts.” ([British journalist and Wikileaks editor Sarah] Harrison disputes this, but not entirely. “There are big psychological pressures,” she says. “It’s difficult for him.”)</p>
assange  wikileaks 
october 2016 by charlesarthur

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