Wikileaks Roundup: Assange Arrested, Visa, MC Cut Ties

OK. It’s been just over a week since information leaking Web site Wikileaks released the first installment of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, with each day bringing new documents from the purported hoard of some 250,000 pages, and new developments from a range of very pissed off Western governments.

WikileaksOK. It’s been just over a week since information leaking Web site Wikileaks released the first installment of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, with each day bringing new documents from the purported hoard of some 250,000 pages, and new developments from a range of very pissed off Western governments.

The fur is flying so fast and furious around Wikileaks and its controversial head, Julian Assange, that we’re going to relate just the choicest bits for each day. 

Looking at the past 24 hours we should note, first, that Mr. Assange has been taken into custody in the U.K., which executed a Swedish warrant for Assange’s arrest stemming from a sexual assault case there. The New York Times is reporting that Assange will resist extradition to that country.

While Assange turned himself in, he found the time to pen an Op-Ed piece for The Australian in which he vigorously defended the release of sensitive cables from the U.S. military and U.S. diplomats about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and other goings on. 

“Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption,” Assange wrote, while lamenting the lack of support he has received from the Australian Government. 

Needless to say, sentiment among politicians in the U.S. isn’t particularly sympathetic to Assange, Wikileaks or the democratic imperative of transparency – despite the more troubling questions raised about the conditions that led to the leak in the first place. None other that California Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote her own Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal today that Assange should be tried under U.S. espionage laws for his leak.

Legal doings aside, various forces for and against Wikileaks continued to battle it out online. The  main Wikileaks Website, which has bounced around, was reachable, though the domain was not resolving to that address – continuing a trend seen in recent days as Wikileaks has sought relief from large scale online denial of service attacks.  At the same time, a Website used by the Anonymous hacktivist umbrella group posted a message that claimed that it, too, was experiencing large scale DDoS attacks. 

Following the lead of online payment service PayPal, Mastercard and Visa Europe said on Tuesday that they, also, would stop processing payments and donations to the organization.  Wikileaks said it was partnering with Datacell, a Swiss payment processor, by direct transfer into bank accounts set up in Iceland and Germany, or through a mailed donation. 

Despite a tightening noose around the organization from governments, law enforcement and the private sector, Wikileaks continued to succeed in getting its message out online. Prominent social networks Twitter and Facebook continued to provide a platform for the group, despite scattered reports that Twitter may have been filtering Wikileaks related tweets in compiling its trending topics lists – a charge that a Twitter spokesman strenuously denied. Facebook said that the group has not violated its terms of use and that there are no plans, currently, to remove Wikileaks Facebook page, according to a report on ReadWriteWeb.

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  • P. Neisman on

    This is getting absurd, since when does Sweden arrest tourists if they do not use condoms while in Sweden? Keep your used condoms as evidence, though-a boycott of Sweden and the UK for denying bail to Assange will start a larger movement of opposition to govt secrecy.  These are trumped up charges that were previously withdrawn. Assange is now in prison for being a whistle blower. What democracy?

  • maria kelly on

    Did she mean it?

    On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress. But the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognise that the world's information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it.

    This challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. The words of the first amendment to the constitution [guaranteeing freedom of speech] are carved in 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the front of this building. And every generation of Americans has worked to protect the values etched in that stone.

    Hilary Clinton 2010

  • Andy Carloff on

    Britain does not investigate or arrest more than 96% of the rape cases that come before it: .  It's a fact.  Only 5.7% are ever caught.

    "After Linda Davies reported to police that her 15-year-old daughter had been raped, it took three months -- plus two dozen phone calls and a threat of legal action -- before police questioned the suspect, a 28-year-old neighbor."

    That, but Assange is arrested without even the full details of the warrant and the charges?  Clearly, it's the most political case in the world.  Being denied bail, when most rape cases aren't even investigated, has confirmed this suspicion.  It's pretty obvious that those who sit by and watch rape happen aren't the best people to be listening to when it comes to actually stopping it.

  • bud on

    Thank God this worm will never see the light of day again!

  • Sunsetman on

    Wikileaks Julian Assange was arrested: for Silvio Berlusconi we have to wait after the 14 December...

  • Anonymous on

    he should be made a full time resident of guantanamo and he'll not have to bother paying for hotel accomodation as he claims to have been doing for months now. Good riddance to rubbish.
  • dunnit on

    Enough about the messenger already!! Shouldn't Hillary Clinton resign?


  • Anonymous on

    Who has the password

  • Anonymous on

    Mendax in custody for perpetrating all those illegal acts. Ship him to Gitmo ASAP.

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