Julian Assange's Internet Access Cut Off By Ecuador

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Let’s get right to it. Earlier today, Julian Assange had his internet access severed.

Here’s a translation of the statement from the government of Ecuador, in whose embassy he’s been trapped since 2012:

The Government of Ecuador suspended the systems that allow Julian Assange to communicate with the outside world from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the citizen remains in an international protection situation for six years due to the risk to his life and integrity.

The measure was adopted in the face of Assange’s failure to comply with the written commitment it assumed with the Government at the end of 2017, for which it was obliged not to issue messages that implied interference with other States.

The Government of Ecuador warns that the behavior of Assange, with its messages through social networks, puts at risk the good relations that the country maintains with the United Kingdom, with the rest of the States of the European Union and other nations. Therefore, to prevent potential damage, the embassy in London interrupted this March 27 communications abroad to which Assange has access.

The Executive also keeps open the way to the adoption of new measures in the face of breach of commitment by Assange.

The excuse for this egregious act against Assange is his social media activity “puts at risk the good relations that the country maintains with the United Kingdom, with the rest of the States of the European Union and other nations.”

Naturally, we must ask what Assange has been tweeting about lately that prompted some bigger country, or countries, to force Ecuador’s hand.

The answer is Catalonia.

I’ve been following Assange’s tweets closely following the revelation that German police seized Catalonia’s elected President Carles Puigdemont on behalf of Spain. Assange provided some much needed context and commentary about the disturbing incident over Twitter in recent days. Here are a few examples that likely ruffled the feathers of various EU governments.

The tweets above were quite informative, especially to someone like me who’s a U.S. citizen and had no understanding of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) and its obvious potential for abuse. Clearly, the government of Spain (and possibly Germany & the UK) put an enormous amount of pressure on Ecuador behind the scenes since they don’t like it when people with large platforms challenge their silly, authoritarian narratives.

The fact these governments are so terrified of a guy holed up in an embassy tweeting his political opinions tells you how weak and insecure these governments really are. The first word that popped into my mind when I heard the news wasn’t outrageous, although it is outrageous. The very first word that came to mind was pathetic. The Spanish state is acting like a petty two-bit dictator that can’t handle some Twitter criticism. Embarrassing. Pathetic. Deranged.

Strong and confident nation-states don’t react like this, insecure and weak ones do. Which brings me to the next point. This ridiculous episode furthers my confidence that the massive centralized nation-states that dominate the world today will collapse and be restructured. It no longer makes sense to organize human affairs in such a centralized manner, particularly in our age of technological interconnectivity and instant access to information.

When individuals or nation-states gain too much power they always end up acting like abusive thugs. Humanity must shift away from monstrously centralized governance structures and restore sovereignty to a more local level. The pendulum has swung way too far in the authoritarian direction, and the results are clear. A loss of freedom, rampant corruption and zero accountability for “elites.” Julian Assange is simply the canary in the coal-mine for the rest of us.

Meanwhile, what else in going on in the world? Well there’s this...

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Comments

Laowei Gweilo jcaz Wed, 03/28/2018 - 22:30 Permalink

that picture is kinda stupid tho.

 

people willingly giving their information to Facebook. it's legal and it's not private in that regard. 

 ... it's stupid ... and you shouldn't use Facebook lol ... but "private" oh come on... such naivety

people thinking it's "private" to put their information on Facebook to begin with is the real problem -- greedy corporations are gonna greedy corporation. take some fucking ownership over your naivety. 

In reply to by jcaz

Laowei Gweilo beemasters Wed, 03/28/2018 - 23:10 Permalink

sure. but, at the end of the day, if Nineteen Eighty-Four comes true, who do we blame? 1 CEO or the 1 billion users who blindly and naively empowered him?

thinking ur shit was ever "private" with a corporation is way more dangerous than any single CEO cuz if it's not Zuck then it'll be some other 'Zuck'

privacy debate no different than gun debate. if they ever take away our guns, who's to blame: one Liberal President or 'We The People.'

your shit is never private with a corporation. your rights are never safe with the government. protect your shit.

In reply to by beemasters

Endgame Napoleon beemasters Thu, 03/29/2018 - 00:57 Permalink

It looks like they just failed to put the privacy settings on default, unlike MS, which has a lot of settings that require tiresome tinkering to adjust. Techies live for that stuff, but non-technical people don’t. They took advantage of that human tendency, but kid yourself not, all businesses trade on various types of human weakness.

These companies most likely do it to generate profit, not to surveil. But it is good that they are being more open about the capabilities. Many non-technical people do not understand what they can do on the back-end.

Companies probably don’t use that technical capacity to actually surveil billions of users. If they did, it would cost a ton of money? Why would they do it? It is not like they get public money to fuel surveillance, like the NSA.

Since they are not on the line for money, gained by pleasing customers, governments get out of hand quicker. Take the case of Assange, making what sounds like the analogy of a history professor, leading to censorship by a government.

Maybe, Ecuador cannot afford to make the British or the Germans too mad due to some trade or financial aid issue. It is still ridiculous. 

In reply to by beemasters

fattail Laowei Gweilo Thu, 03/29/2018 - 06:58 Permalink

The meta data for their calls and text messages is private.  Their calendars are private.  The GPS coordinates where they go is private.  Their in person conversations are private.  All accessed and used to sell ads by FB.

This will be like banking privacy, it will take a congressman to see his private information being sold as a commodity before something gets done.

In reply to by Laowei Gweilo

Dutti FoggyWorld Wed, 03/28/2018 - 21:21 Permalink

I can understand the steps taken by the Ecuadorian Government.

Assange is a guest of the Ecuadorian gov. and they protected him so far. All this small country gets in return are problems with other, more powerful governments.

Now Assange had to make his views known about the way Europe is dealing with the Catalan separatists.

This is not a whistleblower action, but political action without regards to problems he creates to the detriment of Ecuador.

As a guest, he showed little concern for the interests of his protectors.

In reply to by FoggyWorld

Give Me Some Truth BuddyEffed Thu, 03/29/2018 - 05:54 Permalink

This might be the ultimate test, or dividing line between the past and what’s in store for the future.

If they can stop Assange and Wikileaks from publishing, and go further and arrest him and extradite him to the U.S. for trial and imprisonment (execution?), we will have arrived at the scariest of totalitarian places.

Now they do risk making Assange a martyr, and finally riling up the segment of the population who might still care about fighting back against goons.

In reply to by BuddyEffed

commoncourtesy jmack Thu, 03/29/2018 - 09:35 Permalink

Of course, honesty is the 'best' policy.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. In other words, nearly everyone has to zip it. Gaffa-tape works well.

Our free-speech media use D-notices, that went to standing D-notices, that went to DA-notices (defence advisory), that are now DSMA (Defence and Security Media Advisory) notices.

However, authors who legislate, are immune when they participate.

In reply to by jmack

FoggyWorld batushka Wed, 03/28/2018 - 20:55 Permalink

I read in a UK paper that IF he does, people will stand out there in the street to provide him with blue tooth connection.

This is appalling but unfortunately it's the way the UK and Europe have been moving and we aren't far behind.

And Julian's fear is that he will be deported to the US where Pompeo and Haspel think he should be killed.  

Savonarola lives.

In reply to by batushka

hxc True Blue Wed, 03/28/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

You can literally signal-jam a single room, and that's been around since the 80s. I'm sure they can jam any EMF signals from any particular person (say 4 square feet or whatever).

That and, as mentioned above, they can just ban his IP's, or mac addresses, or hell, even anything that automatically captures a picture that some algorithm determines to be him. I mean, whitelist mac filtering on the cell towers nearby (think stingray) & in the embassy LAN ought to do it.

In reply to by True Blue

ThanksChump BarkingCat Thu, 03/29/2018 - 06:58 Permalink

SIM cards are only part (the least significant part) of a GSM cell radio's ID subsystem.

 

SIM cards solve nothing.

 

The best solution would be to feed him a WiFi link, line of sight, with a point-to-point yagi or Pringles can antenna. You'd need a secure location with non-cellular internet access and line of sight to Julian's room at the embassy. Those last three parts are impossible to arrange, thanks to the UK, else this would be a non-issue.

In reply to by BarkingCat