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Wikileaks Founder Arrested In London 1060

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-didn't-take-long dept.
CuteSteveJobs writes "The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been arrested by London police on behalf of Swedish authorities on allegation of rape. Assange has admitted that he is exhausted by the ongoing battle against authorities. The Swiss Government has confiscated $37K in his Swiss Bank account. PayPal and Mastercard have frozen Wikileak's accounts, hampering Wikileaks from raising any more funds."
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Wikileaks Founder Arrested In London

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  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @08:59AM (#34472080)

    ...just two starstruck women sympathetic to WikiLeaks' cause — one of whom was a longtime activist and even a part of an organization that arranged one of his talks, and thus obviously not a CIA "sparrow".

    All the sordid details here. [dailymail.co.uk] It's a must-read for people who think US intelligence agencies are somehow behind this.

    Would this have been able to happen without Sweden's strange "rape" laws? No, probably not. Would the case have received as much attention from authorities if it was an ordinary person? Again, perhaps not, but that's the price of fame and notoriety: famous and well-known people often get different treatment — and what treatment they do get garners massive news coverage.

    • by dropadrop (1057046) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:01AM (#34472098)
      There have been no charges for rape in Sweden as far as I'm aware, but still that's what all newspapers are touting. I guess it's possible that they used that for the interpol request as it was the closest available option though...
      • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:08AM (#34472156) Homepage

        See, that's the thing, I've heard conflicting "reports"...I've heard reports say that he savagely molested and raped two women, I've heard reports that they both decided to file against him once they both existed, I've heard "rape" in Sweden is not wearing a condom...

        I don't think anyone in the public knows the full, true story. Hopefully, we will, but as of right now, I don't think anyone does.

        • by somersault (912633) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:18AM (#34472236) Homepage Journal

          Read the story that OP posted. It agrees with the other stories I just read. It's not rape at all, what a bunch of BS. Every time I heard it before I was wondering if either it was the CIA or whoever trying to get him, or him taking advantage of his position, but it just sounds like he's a womaniser. He had consensual sex with 2 women, who are now complaining he didn't use a condom, which is apparently illegal in Sweden, but it's hardy rape by most people's definition. The charges have obviously been used as an excuse to try to catch the guy though, it's all very dodgy and basically wouldn't have happened to anyone else.

          • by jscotta44 (881299)

            When in Rome! You have to deal with the laws where you reside. Placing your culture's more's on another culture is one of the things that causes such strife in the world. Sweden is a country with the laws created by their people - not American laws.

            BTWI am American and live in Texas.

          • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:42AM (#34472520)

            The charges have obviously been used as an excuse to try to catch the guy though, it's all very dodgy and basically wouldn't have happened to anyone else.

            Actually, it is probable that if he was an unknown, once he was outside of Sweden, the authorities would have left it on the backburner. Yes, the warrant would have been issued by the Swedish authorities, but they probably would not have gotten an Interpol warrant and if they did, the authorities in other countries would probably only enforced it if he was picked up for some other reason. However, anyone with the level of fame/notoriety that Assange has would have seen the same process followed. Whether or not they were picked up on the warrant would have depended on the nature of their fame/whether or not the authorities local to where they were had some personal grudge against them or not.

          • by halfaperson (1885704) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:42AM (#34472524) Homepage

            He had consensual sex with 2 women, who are now complaining he didn't use a condom, which is apparently illegal in Sweden, but it's hardy rape by most people's definition.

            Nonsense. Having consensual sex without a condom is hardly illegal in Sweden or any other civilized country for that matter. From what I gather, the condom actually broke during intercourse with one of the women and Mr Assange was asked to stop, and he didn't. Yeah, that's at least called sexual assault in Sweden, and since it's no longer consensual I can't really see what else it would be called.

            Of course, what really happened between them is only known by Julian Assange and the two women. Let's not judge anyone just yet.

            • by iserlohn (49556) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:13AM (#34472842) Homepage

              Consent in law is a very complicated subject in law. Depending on circumstances the withdrawal of consent for a activity that is in-progress may be void. For example, if you consent to be operated on but your anaesthetic wore off and woke up, you cannot suddenly withdraw consent.

              On the other hand, private activities between consenting adults may be deemed to be against the public good and the consent found to be void. See the case of R v Brown.

              The idea of consent being a legal defence, or if it actually negates the actus reus is often debated subject in law. There is more to it than just, "was there consent?", which is what people here seem to be so preoccupied with. The lack of quality in the Slashdot army of armchair legal scholars is a bit disappointing.

          • by Urza9814 (883915) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:39AM (#34474108)

            I think it's worth adding that:

            Both women boasted of their of their respective celebrity conquests on internet posts and mobile phones texts after the intimacy they would now see him destroyed for.

            Ardin hosted a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the ‘crime’ and tweeted to her followers that she was with the “the world's coolest smartest people, it's amazing!”

            source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/swedens-reputation-is-on-trial-in-julian-assange-case/story-e6frfhqf-1225965772832 [heraldsun.com.au]

          • by SharpFang (651121) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @12:57PM (#34475388) Homepage Journal

            Still, if you support a noble case for years, have enough of a crush on your boss to go to bed with him, and then use Interpol to drag him from a foreign country, endangering the whole case you were after, and possibly landing him in prison and as result shutting down the whole operation FOR HIM NOT WEARING A CONDOM while having sex with you, then either your dedication for the case is not as deep as you claim, or there was some seriously foul play somewhere here.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:07AM (#34472142)
      I'm guessing you're not from the U.K. because the Daily Mail is probably the least reputable news source in the known universe.
    • by khallow (566160) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:09AM (#34472174)

      ...just two starstruck women sympathetic to WikiLeaks' cause -- one of whom was a longtime activist and even a part of an organization that arranged one of his talks, and thus obviously not a CIA "sparrow".

      Given the misteps with blogs and tweets that both women made, I doubt they're anyone's sparrows, but it's worth noting here that being a longtime activist would be good cover for an agent. Plenty of opportunity to travel and you don't have to explain why you don't have a real job.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:10AM (#34472178)

      From the provided link:

      Earlier this year, Sarah is reported to have posted a telling entry on her website, which she has since removed. But a copy has been retrieved and widely circulated on the internet.
      Entitled ‘7 Steps to Legal Revenge’, it explains how women can use courts to get their own back on unfaithful lovers.
      Step 7 says: ‘Go to it and keep your goal in sight. Make sure your victim suffers just as you did.’ (The highlighting of text is Sarah’s own.)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:41AM (#34472514)

        7 Steps to Legal Revenge by Anna Ardin

        Step 1

        Consider very carefully if you really must take revenge.
        It is almost always better to forgive than to avenge . . .

        Step 2
        Think about why you want revenge. You need to be clear about who to take revenge on, as well as why. Revenge is never directed against only one person, but also the actions of the person.

        Step 3
        The principle of proportionality.
        Remember that revenge will not only match the deed in size but also in nature.
        A good revenge is linked to what has been done against you.

        For example if you want revenge on someone who cheated or who dumped you, you should use a punishment with dating/sex/fidelity involved.

        Step 4
        Do a brainstorm of appropriate measures for the category of revenge you’re after. To continue the example above, you can sabotage your victim’s current relationship, such as getting his new partner to be unfaithful or ensure that he gets a madman after him.

        Use your imagination!

        Step 5
        Figure out how you can systematically take revenge.
        Send your victim a series of letters and photographs that make your victim’s new partner believe that you are still together which is better than to tell just one big lie on one single occasion

        Step 6
        Rank your systematic revenge schemes from low to high in terms of likely success, required input from you, and degree of satisfaction when you succeed.
        The ideal, of course, is a revenge as strong as possible but this requires a lot of hard work and effort for it to turn out exactly as you want it to.

        Step 7
        Get to work.
        And remember what your goals are while you are operating, ensure that your victim will suffer the same way as he made you suffer.

    • by ledow (319597) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:15AM (#34472214) Homepage

      Seriously? You're quoting the Daily Mail for facts?

      Personally, I'm very, very bored of the whole "story" by now but you're quoting SERIOUSLY deficient "sources" and also assume (I have no idea if it's true in this case) that people are uncorruptable or can't start one thing in public while having an ulterior motive contrary to that. Also - read the damn article you cite - there are a million and one pointers in even that unresearched, rumour-ridden heap of journalistic crap to find at least 20 alibis and explanations that clear the guy, but somehow a court ends up issuing an international arrest warrant in full public view during the middle of a PR crisis? Somehow, that seems unlikely unless there is a factor pushing that. Stupidity is the usual explanation for anything in government, but it's not the only one.

      I don't care if there is or isn't an inter-government conspiracy to get this guy - it wouldn't really surprise me either way. I don't care if he's arrested, deported, charged or not. What worries me more is that the US aren't hideously embarrassed and resolving to tighten things up on their end but instead out to quell a single proponent of the discovered material. "Our systems failed and this guy got hold of it - I know, let's threaten to kill this guy and / or make his life hell!" not "Okay, let's fix this system".

      Yet again, the US shows that it can't be seen as "wrong", only other people/countries are ever wrong. These were supposedly private communique that were intercepted, stored, disseminated and publicised on every country's national TV networks - by a PRIVATE in their army. Says a lot for the US military / diplomacy process and the other militaries working alongside them - to me, it's just a warning not to deal with or trust the US military until they've cleaned their act up. To them, it's a case of making some Australian "freedom" nutter out to be public enemy No 2 (behind that other bloke that they never caught / can't prove is dead).

      (P.S. I find *every* single piece of leaked material entirely boring, uninteresting and unsurprising. Hell, I was expecting something *juicy* to come out of that lot and there was absolutely nothing. I'd be shocked if that's *all* my military had to hide, and I'd be embarrassed for them if anything *juicy* had actually come out. The US's reaction has made this a news story, not anything posted on the website in question)

    • by Suki I (1546431)
      So it is a coincidence that the Electronic Pearl Harbor man was arrested on real Pearl Harbor Day? Just asking.
    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:28AM (#34472318)
      I know many have stated this below, but I'm going to say it one more time because it needs to be rammed home in no uncertain terms.

      The Daily Mail is a right wing propaganda machine. It is not to be trusted as a source of unbiased information.

      If you want the flip side of the coin, go read The Guardian articles. They are predominantly left wing, and you should be able to extrapolate a happy middle ground. Either way, citing The Daily M^HFail as a credible source just makes you look like an idiot to any and all of the reasonable British public.
      • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:03AM (#34473506)

        Or if you want a less biased approach, go read the Independent, because right wingers who read something in it they don't like call it left wing, and left wingers who read something in it they don't like call it right wing, which means it probably is in fact quite Independent as it's name suggests although it's generally referred to as centre-left so probably does have somewhat of a left wing slant to be fair. It does have the advantage at least of being able to lay claim as the only paper to have not backed any political party last election though.

        That said, it's probably a bit unfair to class The Guardian as an opposite to the Daily Mail, on the right wing/left wing scale the Daily Mail is about 100 miles right, and The Guardian about 10cm left in comparison. So although The Guardian is certainly left wing, it's not far enough along the scale that you can't get sense out of it most the time, which of course can't be said for The Daily Mail, which is almost always wrong. If you try and extrapolate the middle ground from those two, due to The Daily Mails extreme right wing swing, your opinion will probably still end up predominantly right wing. If you want a true equal and opposite counter to the Daily Mail then the Daily Mirror is your best bet (which makes it's name quite apt).

        This said, whilst reading both The Daily Mail and The Daily Mirror should in theory allow you to extrapolate a middle ground, in practice reading these two publications will almost certainly kill your brain. The effect of reading these two papers could only I imagine turn you into a lazy layabout tramp who thinks the world owes him enough welfare to become a millionaire, whilst simultaneously blaming immigrants and gypsys and Europe for his current situation.

    • by VShael (62735)

      Sorry, you want to use the Daily Mail, a UK tabloid famous for it's high quantities of bullshit, as a SOURCE?

      No, I don't think so. It's a shame so many Americans, who don't know the Daily Mail obviously, have 'labelled' you Informative.

      Here is an article with some much more reliable sources, which detail the ladies in question connections...

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27005.htm [informatio...house.info]

    • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:31AM (#34473104) Homepage

      Actually, no, it doesn't make it seem less likely that US intelligence agencies aren't behind this. If not US intelligence, at least US politics. Not only does this situation mirror the early law enforcement actions against thepiratebay.org (in that despite any evidence of any Swedish laws being broken) political leaders had directed law enforcement to perform the acts they did. The same occurred in the Assange case where the law enforcement officials decided there wasn't a case and the issue was closed. It was re-opened at the direction of a Swedish political leader. In the former case, it was shown that the Swedish politician had contact with US politicians. I would be unsurprised to learn that something similar had happened in the Assange case.

      That Interpol is involved in this extremely weak case indicates further that some "powerful people" are directing this to happen.

      This is indeed a dirty tricks campaign. The sordid details spell it out pretty clearly. There is very little that is random about what has been happening. The only person who wasn't "in control" of this situation has been Assange. He should have been watching himself -- it's not like he didn't know what he was up against... he's the face of Wikileaks!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:01AM (#34472104)

    Here's a just published Register article that discusses the strong criticism of Wikileaks by John Young of Cryptome:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/07/cryptome_on_wikileaks/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:02AM (#34472108) Journal

    Will Assange's people put the money where his mouth is and release the key to the insurance file?

  • It wasn't rape! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bencoder (1197139) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:03AM (#34472122)
    He isn't accused of rape, reminder available here [businessinsider.com].

    He also voluntarily turned himself in at a police station.

    If you're in London and can make it out NOW, please consider protesting [justiceforassange.com].
  • Confiscated? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by qbast (1265706) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:03AM (#34472124)
    Had submitter even bothered to read articles he has linked to? Government has not 'confiscated' Assange's money. Bank closed his account, but Julian is free to pick up his money and make deposit in another bank.
  • Well. now we do it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumBeep (748940) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:06AM (#34472134)

    Time to decode that insurance file.

    And, with what I assure you is no humor, I hope on behalf of all honest human beings, lovers of justice, haters of sniveling cowards, and believers in justice and truth whatever brand it carries, that what is in that file hurts the fuck out of the liars and thieves that stand in places of power.

    Don't let Julian Assange be the last real man on earth.

    • by Uthic (931553) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:08AM (#34472164)
      "The Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit confirmed at 10.30am London time (2030 AEDT) that the 39-year-old Australian had been arrested “by appointment” on a European Arrest Warrant an hour earlier." Seems that he turned himself in, so not sure the insurance file key would be released. Mind you his threat to do that if he was arrested (I don't think he specified for a particular reason) seemed a bit off.
  • WTF??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlackPignouf (1017012) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:11AM (#34472186)

    Since when do Swiss banks or government care about where the money comes from?

    Hypocrite assholes.

  • Google - thanks! (Score:4, Informative)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:14AM (#34472200)
    Lets not forget (in the future) that searching for "Wikileaks" on Google takes you to 213.251.145.96 Google is US company, just like eBay/PayPal or Amazon. So, no excuse any more for those "low-abiding" dickheads.
  • by floydman (179924) <floydman@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:28AM (#34472312)

    "Today's actions against our editor-in-chief Julian Assange won't affect our operations: we will release more cables tonight as normal"

    http://www.justiceforassange.com/ [justiceforassange.com]

    PROTEST Today Westminster Magistarte’s Court meet 13:30[GMT]

    Can someone correct me if I am wrong, but didn't he mention that he will release all the documents if he gets arrested?!

  • by VShael (62735) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:28AM (#34472322) Journal

    No, not Osama Bin Laden. Don't be silly.

    They moved heaven and earth to get this guy. I think that shows us all, where their priorities lie.

  • In related news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:43AM (#34472528) Homepage Journal
    Women from all the world celebrate that they can now compalin to the interpol if their lovers choose to use no condom with the security that they will chase him with full resources in all the brave new world.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:46AM (#34472558) Homepage

    The "crime" is not RAPE. It is something else. Call it what it is or you are perpetuating the problem.

    The Swiss account was CLOSED but the money in it is NOT confiscated.

    Assange TURNED HIMSELF IN. To say he was arrested is technically accurate but does not depict the reality of the situation.

    The media is strangely against Assange. He stands for everything the media is supposed to stand for. So not only has the media forgotten itself, it seems to actually combat its own principles.

    Some might say that these are merely inaccuracies. When repeated in this way, it becomes lies. This stuff has got to stop.

  • by chipwich (131556) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:16AM (#34472896)
    If you value democracy then you should understand that the backlash from the WL episode will be a push for laws and technology to control communications at the direct expense of democratic ideals which require free speech. Anonymity and secure peer-to-peer communications, already at risk, will be further threatened under the premise of terrorism. If you want to help ensure that democracy prevails in the face of reactionary politics, then run a TOR server ( http://www.torproject.org/ [torproject.org] ) now, and consider any of these alternatives [reddit.com].
    • by Burz (138833) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:26AM (#34473878) Journal

      1) It weren't centralized. Tor can be taken down with coordinated action against its auth servers by a handful of governments.
      2) It was faster. Tor was basically only intended for web pages, and simple ones at that. It chokes on large multimedia stuff.
      3) It weren't anti-P2P... which should be a big no-no in any activists book.
      4) It could offer some kind of automatic redundancy/mirroring.

      Tor is starting to look antiquated / inadequate because it was designed based on assumptions from 1999.

      I suggest you try I2P at the link below where you can get access to anything Wikileaks has published, anonymously and relatively quickly.

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:28AM (#34473914)

    I guess "The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been arrested by London police on behalf of Swedish authorities on allegation of rape." sounds more juicy than:

    "After an arrest warrant was issued for Julian Assange in England, he (likely at the advice from his lawyer) turned himself in."

    Sure technically he was arrested, just the little detail that he turned himself in and submitted himself. It wasn't as if the police just found him in a raid or something...

  • Privatization (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iter8 (742854) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:59AM (#34474424)
    The actions of MasterCard, PayPal, Amazon etc. are examples of the privatization of the suppression of dissent. The US, British, and French governments have been unable to legally do anything about Wikileaks and are likely to be unable to anything legally, because they have not committed a crime. The publication of leaked documents is not a crime. Instead like incarceration, many military and police operations, and security, suppression of undesirable information has been privatized. These companies have taken it upon themselves to enforce the new corporate order. Right now this suits the governments program, maybe later it won't.
  • by Lac (135355) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @12:08PM (#34474544)

    Did you notice that to make sure no one saw the story, they even made sure the arrest took place on the SAME DAY as the launch of WoW Cataclysm? That's how bad they wanted this one to fly under the radar.

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