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Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:23 pm UTC
by solune
Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder arrested in London

Julian Assange has been ejected from the Ecuador embassy and subsequently arrested by the English police.

The US justice department has finally revealed what they plan to charge him with: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/wikileaks-founder-charged-computer-hacking-conspiracy

And yet, for 9 years that we've been talking about this story, I've yet to know: HAS ASSANGE EVER BEEN ON US SOIL ?
That's the core issue of this affair and I never see anyone talking about it. If you're not a US citizen and you're not in the USA why would the US law have any relevance to what you do.
I've only skimmed over the indictement but it doesn't assert anything about the location of the crime.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:44 pm UTC
by Thesh
See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_McKinnon
Hacked government computers. The only reason he wasn't extradited was because of his mental health.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Kaplan
Ran a website in the UK which broke US law because the website was used by people in the US, arrested upon traveling to a US territory.

If the law is broken in both the US and the UK, you are likely to be extradited unless it would lead to the death penalty. If you only break US laws, then you are generally okay as long as you don't enter an American territory. On top of that, US laws can be ridiculous and phone and banking laws are broad enough that if your internet connection even goes through the United States while doing something that is against the law in the United States you could be subject to them.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:51 pm UTC
by solune
Thank you for the links. But is it then asserted that he was in the UK when he talked to Manning ?
From his wikipedia all I know is that he used to work in Australia before he founded wikileaks and that wikileaks is hosted in Sweden. But I don't know where Assange actually worked.

Thesh wrote:On top of that, US laws can be ridiculous and phone and banking laws are broad enough that if your internet connection even goes through the United States while doing something that is against the law in the United States you could be subject to them.

That's not what international law says though. It can work for companies that have a branch in the USA or otherwise need to interact with US institutions, but individuals are only subjects to the law of their own country

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:06 pm UTC
by Thesh
Things get complicated once you get into things like the internet, and I don't think laws have responded well to technology (or reason in general).

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:07 pm UTC
by The Great Hippo
solune wrote:That's not what international law says though. It can work for companies that have a branch in the USA or otherwise need to interact with US institutions, but individuals are only subjects to the law of their own country
While I don't know for certain, this sounds counter-intuitive to me for a couple of reasons. For starters, if this were literally true, all it would take is for me to find a country with loose regulations regarding what I can and can't send through the mail -- then I could send chemical mail-bombs to the US all I want.

It also seems really silly to get hung up on where I am physically located when I perform a crime. If I order a hit on a New Jersey guy while I'm in El Salvadore, does that mean I've legitimately not committed a crime in the US?

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:34 pm UTC
by cphite
solune wrote:Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder arrested in London

Julian Assange has been ejected from the Ecuador embassy and subsequently arrested by the English police.

The US justice department has finally revealed what they plan to charge him with: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/wikileaks-founder-charged-computer-hacking-conspiracy

And yet, for 9 years that we've been talking about this story, I've yet to know: HAS ASSANGE EVER BEEN ON US SOIL ?
That's the core issue of this affair and I never see anyone talking about it. If you're not a US citizen and you're not in the USA why would the US law have any relevance to what you do.
I've only skimmed over the indictement but it doesn't assert anything about the location of the crime.


If the activity is considered a crime in both countries, he can be extradited. So they will likely include some generic intrusion charges, to make sure that he qualifies.

His best bet at this point is to argue that he was acting as a journalist and also that he is being targeted politically by the US. It's a long shot... but at the very least it should keep him in the UK for a couple of years; especially if he can keep appealing to higher courts.

That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be free during that time... what he was actually arrested for by the UK was skipping out on bail on a sexual assault charge - even though that was eventually dropped.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:42 pm UTC
by ijuin
Also, the location of the victim at the time when the crime was comitted can be construed as the location of the crime, regardless of the location of the criminal at the time (precedent would be from slander and libel cases being prosecuted at the victim’s home jurisdiction).

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:13 pm UTC
by Dauric
Somewhat of an aside:
Spoiler:
Frontline: The Fantasy Sports Gamble gets in to jurisdiction over internet traffic with regards to sports betting, but the basics are probably applicable to jurisdiction over any internet activity deemed illegal by relevant authorities.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:50 pm UTC
by teelo
The investigation into the alleged rape, which he denied, was later dropped because he had evaded the arrest warrant. The Swedish Prosecution Authority has said it is now considering whether to resume the inquiry before the statute of limitations runs out in August 2020.
Since when are criminal charges subjected to a statute of limitations? Some weird Swedish thing?

Also, what happens if multiple countries want to extradite him? If Sweden resumes the extradition request, and, say, Australia steps in and says they want him back for whatever reason. How do they decide which country gets priority?

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:21 am UTC
by freezeblade
teelo wrote:
The investigation into the alleged rape, which he denied, was later dropped because he had evaded the arrest warrant. The Swedish Prosecution Authority has said it is now considering whether to resume the inquiry before the statute of limitations runs out in August 2020.
Since when are criminal charges subjected to a statute of limitations? Some weird Swedish thing?

Also, what happens if multiple countries want to extradite him? If Sweden resumes the extradition request, and, say, Australia steps in and says they want him back for whatever reason. How do they decide which country gets priority?


The decision would likely be all politics, as it is plenty murky who would have precedence. Lots of in-fighting and deal-making between the countries, likely.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:29 am UTC
by sardia
freezeblade wrote:
teelo wrote:
The investigation into the alleged rape, which he denied, was later dropped because he had evaded the arrest warrant. The Swedish Prosecution Authority has said it is now considering whether to resume the inquiry before the statute of limitations runs out in August 2020.
Since when are criminal charges subjected to a statute of limitations? Some weird Swedish thing?

Also, what happens if multiple countries want to extradite him? If Sweden resumes the extradition request, and, say, Australia steps in and says they want him back for whatever reason. How do they decide which country gets priority?


The decision would likely be all politics, as it is plenty murky who would have precedence. Lots of in-fighting and deal-making between the countries, likely.

You follow extradition treaties, no? Then add political considerations on top of that.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:34 am UTC
by elasto
teelo wrote:Since when are criminal charges subjected to a statute of limitations? Some weird Swedish thing?

Does the US not have a statute of limitations?

In general it's to do with the accused's right to a fair trial: If the crime was committed too long a time ago, the accused may reasonably have no recollection of his whereabouts for an alibi, potential defence witnesses may likewise be unable to clearly recall specifics, physical evidence such as cctv recordings may be long gone etc. etc.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:38 am UTC
by Soupspoon
So, he finally wore out his welcome¹ at the Embassy, then? Regardless of what I think of the guy², I was wondering how this would end. Or at least move on to a new stage. There were worse ways of it ending, that won't happen now.

I'd been seeing a lot of comments about him recently, making me wonder if there were changes in the offing. It'd be interesting to track those sentiments back to find out where they'd originated, if possible. My instinct (based on the characters seen rumbling about this, ahead of time) is that it came via the (Q)Anon-type infrastructure (the "Deep un-State" madness), probably ultimately tipped off by Assange himself about his leaving/being pressured to leave.




¹ Or became less of a cause celebre than an increasingly ungrateful political embarrassment

² Basically, whatever the rights or wrongs of what he originally did, I think he started to believe the hype about himself while in 'isolation', and had long since gone down the rabbit-hole at least partly of his own making. Though being paranoid does not also preclude that They are after you, of course. Especially if you've done things that can't be ignored.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:46 am UTC
by Thesh
elasto wrote:
teelo wrote:Since when are criminal charges subjected to a statute of limitations? Some weird Swedish thing?

Does the US not have a statute of limitations?

Not if you are a terrorist!
https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/u- ... terrorist/

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:35 am UTC
by idonno
I'm pretty sure Assange would have had better odds if he had let himself get extradited when it first came up. His odds of getting a juror that won't convict him have to be a lot lower since he published the Democrats' emails.

cphite wrote:If the activity is considered a crime in both countries, he can be extradited.

In what country is hacking into government computers not considered a crime?

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:44 am UTC
by solune
idonno wrote:In what country is hacking into government computers not considered a crime?


He didn't hack into a government computer though. He 'conspired' to do so, as in, he told Manning that it would be really cool if she hacked the computer all by herself.
I mean, look at page 6 of the indictment. The only act that they manage to attribute to Assange is that he asked for a password after he had already received the file.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:08 pm UTC
by cphite
idonno wrote:I'm pretty sure Assange would have had better odds if he had let himself get extradited when it first came up. His odds of getting a juror that won't convict him have to be a lot lower since he published the Democrats' emails.

cphite wrote:If the activity is considered a crime in both countries, he can be extradited.

In what country is hacking into government computers not considered a crime?


I was making a general statement; the reason he can be extradited is because it's a crime in both countries.

He didn't hack into a government computer though. He 'conspired' to do so, as in, he told Manning that it would be really cool if she hacked the computer all by herself.


He convinced a person with access to hack into a government computer and took possession of the files she illegally obtained; so yeah, conspiracy. He didn't merely tell her it'd be really cool... he asked her to do it, requested she steal information for the purpose of unlawful distribution, and even offered assistance.

I mean, look at page 6 of the indictment. The only act that they manage to attribute to Assange is that he asked for a password after he had already received the file.


Knowingly accessing a classified system without authorization, knowingly receiving classified documents without authorization, distributing classified documents. That he didn't physically access the system isn't relevant from the courts perspective - he requested the information be stolen, he offered assistance with the password, he took possession of the stolen information, and distributed it.

His only hope at this point is to avoid extradition, because once he's on US soil he is in up to his neck. His best hope - and it's a very thin hope - is to convince the UK courts that he was acting as a journalist, and that the US is only seeking to prosecute for political reasons. That isn't going to work ultimately, but it will at least keep him in the UK until it fails. Best case scenario from his perspective is that he can drag it out for several years with appeals.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:45 pm UTC
by gd1
Well, he did let us know about dragnet surveillance in the United States. That's probably why he's being hounded so much. Maybe they want to make an example of him.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:09 pm UTC
by sardia
gd1 wrote:Well, he did let us know about dragnet surveillance in the United States. That's probably why he's being hounded so much. Maybe they want to make an example of him.

There's also the Collateral murder video that he edited in a way to make the US look worse. It wasn't necessary unless you had an axe to grind. There's so much bad stuff the US does, it was dumb to edit the video.
He also released stuff without hiding names and sources, which is a huge dick move.

I dunno what his motivations were when he started siding with Russia. Not sure if the two were related. (His allies claim assange has a either your with you or against you mentality). I don't totally buy that. At best WikiLeaks is a vicious attack dog. At worst, it's a NGO propaganda arm for Moscow.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:17 pm UTC
by EdgarJPublius
I'm pretty sure receiving and distributing classified documents aren't actually crimes in the U.S. unless you work for the government or have a security clearance. It's that whole 'freedom of speech and of the press' thing.

Assange can only be charged for the illegal acts he allegedly committed in order to obtain the classified documents. I don't even think the fact that the alleged conspiracy was specifically to obtain classified documents is an aggravating factor (legally speaking, obviously it aggravated the U.S. government plenty)

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:17 pm UTC
by Crissa
EdgarJPublius wrote:I'm pretty sure receiving and distributing classified documents aren't actually crimes in the U.S. unless you work for the government or have a security clearance. It's that whole 'freedom of speech and of the press' thing.

No, they're totally illegal. You have to prove the people's interest in freedom of speech overrides the people's need for some things to remain secret. It's illegal to share someone's medical records without permission, for instance. There's a bunch of exceptions where one right is deemed more important than the other. Amendments aren't considered ordinal in importance.

Now, if he had merely received them and redacted private information, he wouldn't be liable. But that's not what either he nor the government contends. Which is why he's in hot water.

And skipping bail - even when it's retracted - is still a crime because 'the people' have an interest in making sure that privileged people don't escape prosecution.

-Crissa

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:30 pm UTC
by DeGuerre
ijuin wrote:Also, the location of the victim at the time when the crime was comitted can be construed as the location of the crime, regardless of the location of the criminal at the time (precedent would be from slander and libel cases being prosecuted at the victim’s home jurisdiction).

It depends on the jurisdiction. There was a case in Australia a few decades ago where someone was shot. The person firing the gun was standing in one state and the person who was shot was across the border. And as you can guess, it had to be decided as to which state the case should be tried in.

The courts eventually found that the crime happened in the state where the shooter was standing.

Re: Julian assange arrested

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:23 pm UTC
by Quizatzhaderac
The U.S., the U.K. and Australia have a large number of treaties, including mutual defense and and extradition treaties. These describe what people can be extradited for. Murder, rape, robbery and such are covered by most extradition treaties. Our tight alliances mean things espionage against the US are covered to.

The Great Hippo wrote:While I don't know for certain, this sounds counter-intuitive to me for a couple of reasons. For starters, if this were literally true, all it would take is for me to find a country with loose regulations regarding what I can and can't send through the mail -- then I could send chemical mail-bombs to the US all I want.
The USPS would not accept mail from such a country, as wouldn't most intermediaries. Participation in international trade requires agreeing to at least some basic agreements, namely agreeing that certain things are crimes.
elasto wrote:Does the US not have a statute of limitations?
We do, so I'm not really sure what Teelo's referring to. Although we don't have a blanket period for all crimes, and state laws make their own limits (or not in some cases).
idonno wrote:In what country is hacking into government computers not considered a crime?
There are many countries in which hacking a US computer isn't a crime.
EdgarJPublius wrote:Assange can only be charged for the illegal acts he allegedly committed in order to obtain the classified documents.
No, when you obtain something illegally you obtain no rights to it at all and are fully accountable for all of your actions with it.

In the case of the pentagon files, it was found that they weren't justifiably classified in the first place, thus canceling out the crime of leaking them, thus cancelling out the crime of publishing/disseminating them.