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Assange allegations dropped, but he's not going anywhere

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, 2011. Toby Melville/Reuters

Two allegations of sexual assault leveled against Julian Assange by Swedish police were dropped Thursday due to that nation's statute of limitations.

But he still faces a more serious rape allegation and remains subject to if ever he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

“Julian Assange, on his own accord, has evaded prosecution by seeking refuge in the embassy of Ecuador,” Swedish chief prosecutor Marianne Ny said in a statement. “As the statute of limitation has [expired] … I am compelled to discontinue the investigation.”

Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has not been charged in connection to the allegations and denies them, maintaining that they amount to politically motivated retaliation for his work exposing embarrassing government misdeeds. His lawyers say that should he travel to Sweden, he will be extradited to the U.S., which recently sentenced whistleblower (and Assange source) Chelsea Manning to 35 years' imprisonment.

“I am an innocent man. I haven’t even been charged," Assange told The Guardian. "From the beginning I offered simple solutions. Come to the [Ecuadorian] embassy to take my statement or promise not to send me to the United States. This Swedish official refused both.”

Since Assange entered Ecuador's embassy in 2012 and was granted asylum, the UK government has spent more than £12m maintaining a round-the-clock police presence at its doors to prevent him leaving.

The situation is a bureaucratic farce: Swedish prosecutors say they are willing to interview Assange in London, but Ecuador will not permit them to do so within their embassy. But Assange cannot leave the Embassy without being arrested by British police. If he waits out the statute of limitations on the remaining claim—another five years—he is likely to be collared anyway, for jumping bail.

Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

Chelsea Manning threatened with 'indefinite solitary confinement' for expired toothpaste and asking for a lawyer

chelsea

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who is currently serving an unjust thirty-five year jail sentence and who has already been tortured under US military supervision, is now being threatened with "indefinite solitary confinement" for alleged infractions that are so minor it's actually hard to believe.

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Journalists around the world voice support for Netzpolitik after outrageous 'treason' investigation

Reuters


Reuters

Last week, the German government informed the popular news site Netzpolitik that two of its journalists were under investigation for treason for reporting on their government's mass surveillance programs - in other words they were being investigated for doing their job.

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NSA conducted commercial espionage against Japanese government and businesses

New leaked documents published by Wikileaks show that the US spy agency conducted surveillance operations against Japan's top government officials, prioritizing finance and trade ministers, as well as the Japanese central bank and two private-sector energy companies. -

We're suing the Justice Department over FBI’s secret rules for using National Security Letters on journalists

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Freedom of the Press Foundation this week filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department over their unpublished rules for using National Security Letters and so-called informal “exigent letters” to conduct surveillance of journalists.

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How you can contribute to whistleblower Chelsea Manning's legal defense fund

chelsea

We’re proud to announce a major new crowd-funding campaign in support of whistleblower Chelsea Manning to help pay for her important legal appeal.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel's rep to meet with U.S. ambassador over NSA spying charges

U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Emerson (C) is surrounded by body guards as he arrives at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch


U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Emerson (C) is surrounded by body guards as he arrives at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 2, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

The chief of staff for German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with the ambassador for the United States today to talk about allegations that U.S. spies bugged senior government ministers.

"The Chancellor's Chief of Staff has invited U.S. Ambassador John Emerson to a meeting because of the new bugging revelations. The conversation is due to take place on Thursday afternoon," a source told Reuters.

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Not just Germany: the NSA has been spying on France's leaders since at least 1995

A new release of top secret NSA docs by Wikileaks shows the US spy-agency has intercepted the phone conversations of the past three French presidents, the French ambassador to the USA, and others.

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Google says government forced it to hand over Jacob Appelbaum's data for WikiLeaks grand jury

Jacob Appelbaum


Jacob Appelbaum

“Google released another legal disclosure notice related to the United States government’s ongoing grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks,” Kevin Gosztola writes at Firedoglake.

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Sony pirated ebooks on hacking

Pirated copies of two O'Reilly books on hacking, Hacking: The Next Generation and Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld were hosted on Sony's internal servers.

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TPP leak: states give companies the right to repeal nations' laws

A new Wikileaks-published leak from the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty reveals a January 2015 draft "Investment Chapter" of the agreement, where the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are set out. They allow companies to repeal nations' environmental, health and labor laws.

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Google fought gag order over Wikileaks emails

The company says that it fought the warrants and their gag orders, and the reason they weren't able to follow Twitter's suit by disclosing the warrants' existence was that prosecutors were furious over the public backlash when Twitter got to disclose.

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UPDATED Google handed Wikileaks staffers' email over to US Government, didn't tell anyone


Wikileaks has issued a furious denunciation of Google after it learned that the company turned over its staff email to the US Government in March 2012 without notifying it. Update: Google says it fought to disclose sooner.

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Journalist Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months in federal prison

He's already served more than two years in prison on charges related to sources within the Anonymous hacktivist entity.Read the rest

Spain's Xnet: leak-publishing corruption-fighters


Xnet is a Spanish collective that invites the public to leak evidence of corruption using the Tor anonymizer, then uses those leaks to bring private criminal complaints against officials and corporations.

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Twitter sues U.S. Justice Department for right to reveal government surveillance requests

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In a blog post titled “Taking the fight for #transparency to court,” Twitter today announced it is suing the Department of Justice for the right to report “the actual scope of surveillance of Twitter users by the U.S. government.”

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Jacob Appelbaum on Americans' false belief that the NSA isn't targeting them

Al Billings writes, "Jacob Appelbaum discusses the fallacy of Americans thinking that they won't be targeted, passive and active surveillance methods, AI and human analyst systems working together, satellite networks, deep packet inspection & injection, military contractors getting special access to surveillance programs, proprietary vs open source software, OTR messaging, hoarding exploits for self-gain."

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