News and Commentary

Ecuador Cuts Off Julian Assange’s Internet … Again

The Ecuadorian Embassy has grounded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from using the internet for a while to reportedly prevent him from interfering in other countries’ affairs.

The WikiLeaks founder has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden over alleged sex crimes; he has vehemently denied the charges, calling them a conspiracy against him. Though the Swedish authorities have dropped the investigation against Assange, he will not be given political asylum for fear that he would be extradited to the United States for questioning over WikiLeaks activities.

According to the BBC, Ecuador pulled the plug on Assange’s internet after he “questioned accusations that Moscow was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the UK” back in early March. The Ecuadorian government views Assange’s move as something that could endanger their relations with the United Kingdom.

“The measure was adopted in the face of Assange’s failure to comply with a written commitment he assumed with the government at the end of 2017, under which he was obliged not to issue messages that would interfere with other states,” the Ecuadorian government said in a statement.

U.K. officials did not take kindly to Assange’s comments on Twitter; U.K. Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan publicly referred to Assange as a “miserable little worm” that must submit himself to British justice.

Assange has been suspended from the internet at the embassy before; in 2016, his connection was briefly severed after he famously published hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign.