Ola Bini is a Swedish free/open source software developer who lives in Quito, Ecudaor; as he prepared to depart for a long-planned (and previously publicly announced) vacation in Japan, he was seized by Ecuadorean police, who claimed he was fleeing the country after the arrest of Julian Assange; authorities had a warrant for a "Russian hacker" (Bini is neither Russian, nor a hacker) and they have held him without reading him his rights, offering him a translator, or allowing him to contact his lawyer.
Bini is a former developer for Thoughtworks, a global, justice-oriented IT consultancy, and has contributed to many privacy and security tools, including OTR.
Bini is still in custody, being held on absurd charges and on the thinnest of evidence.
The charges against him, when they were finally made public, are tenuous. Ecuador’s general prosecutor has stated that Bini was accused of “alleged participation in the crime of assault on the integrity of computer systems” and attempts to destabilize the country. The “evidence” seized from Ola’s home that Ecuadorean police showed journalists to demonstrate his guilt was nothing more than a pile of USB drives, hard drives, two-factor authentication keys, and technical manuals: all familiar property for anyone working in his field.
The Ecuadorean Authorities Have No Reason to Detain Free Software Developer Ola Bini
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Not ashamed to admit I’m obsessed with this crime story.
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