April 11, 2019 – In Breaking News – Fox News
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was charged Thursday with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for aiding Chelsea Manning in the cracking of a password to a classified U.S. government computer in 2010, the U.S. Justice Department announced hours after Assange’s arrest in London.
Assange is accused of engaging in a conspiracy with Manning, the former U.S. Army analyst, in breaking a password stored on a U.S. Defense Department computer connected to a U.S. government computer network for classified documents and communications, the Justice Department said.
Manning later transmitted a trove of classified government files to Assange, whose website posted the materials to a worldwide audience.
(After nearly seven years, Julian Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and arrested. Now he’s facing possible extradition to the U.S. Paula Reid reports. Courtesy of CBS Evening News and YouTube. Posted on Apr 11, 2019.)
Cracking the password allowed Manning to use a different username “rather than her own,” officials said.
“During the conspiracy, Manning and Assange engaged in real-time discussions regarding Manning’s transmission of classified records to Assange,” the Justice Department said.
“The discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information. During an exchange, Manning told Assange that ‘after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.’
To which Assange replied, ‘curious eyes never run dry in my experience.’”
(A post-court appearance news conference is held in London after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears before a judge. Courtesy of NBC News and YouTube. Posted on Apr 11, 2019.)
Assange faces a maximum of five years in prison if he’s convicted of the charge.
He pleaded innocent to a separate charge of failing to surrender to a Swedish court and skipping bail while in a British courtroom.
However, the court found him guilty of breaching his bail conditions
Earlier Thursday, Assange was carried out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in the arms of British police, who arrested him in a dramatic scene that ended Assange’s nearly 7-year stay at the embassy — and left the world watching to see if the anti-secrecy site would retaliate.
Moments before the stunning arrest, Ecuador announced it had withdrawn Assange’s asylum for “repeatedly violating international conventions and protocol.”
Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno described the decision to withdraw Assange’s asylum as a “sovereign decision” because of his alleged repeated violations.
Continue reading… Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder arrested in London
WikiLeaks Founder Charged in Computer Hacking Conspiracy
Julian P. Assange, 47, the founder of WikiLeaks, was arrested today in the United Kingdom pursuant to the U.S./UK Extradition Treaty, in connection with a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.
According to court documents unsealed today, the charge relates to Assange’s alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.
The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications.
(U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her role in leaking government documents to WikiLeaks. US President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence for leaking documents to Wikileaks in 2010. The 29-year-old transgender US Army private, born Bradley Manning, was freed on 17 May, 2017 instead of her scheduled 2045 release. She was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 for her role in leaking diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy group. The leak was one of the largest breaches of classified material in US history.Courtesy of CNN and YouTube. Posted on Jul 12, 2016.)
Manning, who had access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst, was using the computers to download classified records to transmit to WikiLeaks.
Cracking the password would have allowed Manning to log on to the computers under a username that did not belong to her.
Such a deceptive measure would have made it more difficult for investigators to determine the source of the illegal disclosures.
During the conspiracy, Manning and Assange engaged in real-time discussions regarding Manning’s transmission of classified records to Assange.
The discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information.
During an exchange, Manning told Assange that “after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.”
To which Assange replied, “curious eyes never run dry in my experience.”
Assange is charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted.
Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.
A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement after the charges were unsealed. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kellen S. Dwyer, Thomas W. Traxler and Gordon D. Kromberg, and Trial Attorneys Matthew R. Walczewski and Nicholas O. Hunter of the Justice Department’s National Security Division are prosecuting the case.
The extradition will be handled by the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
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