back to article Uncle Sam charges Julian Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion

One-time Aussie cupboard-dweller Julian Assange has been charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion by the US government. Shortly after his arrest in London today – which followed the Ecuadorian embassy handing him over to British police – a US indictment dated March 2018 was unsealed. It charges Assange for his …


    1. Mike Moyle

      Re: On the other hand

      "Mind you, if I owed people 1 million quid for skipping bail I'd be demanding to be put in a prison cell...."

      Although, wouldn't that rather depend on just which sort of people you owed the million to?

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bon Voyage

    My guess is that he'll be off to the USA the day that we leave the EU.

    That might be good or bad depending upon your POV about Mr Assange and BREXIT

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Bon Voyage

      Well at this rate if he is off to the USA when Britain leaves the EU he will be spending another 7 years here.

  2. Scott 26

    Does his 7 years in the broom closest count as time served?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      No. Self-inflicted prison is not part of the judiciary system. It's just the amount of cowardice and ass-hattery that he has to try and avoid a 5-year sentence.

      So let him do both.

  3. BazNav

    Read the indictment

    Because it is funny!

    One of the acts of conspiracy is that 'Manning copied a Linux operating system to a CD' and the US Government classifies Linux as 'special software.'

    Pretty sure we're all going to jail

    1. OssianScotland

      Re: Read the indictment

      About the only reason to use Windows, then.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Read the indictment

      One of the acts of conspiracy is that 'Manning copied a Linux operating system to a CD'

      Often things can get a little more.. technical. So that bit seems to relate to trying to obtain a password that Manning couldn't access. Which presumably was a little more complicated than cp /etc/pwd and hoping for the best. Then again, this plus Snowden seemed to show.. certain deficiencies in US IT security.

      But not all Linux distros are created equally, so if this was a DoD special build, then that in itself could be classified and/or contain classified information. Or just prove rather useful to anyone looking to poke holes in US security.

      Hence why nations tend to take this kind of thing seriously, and throw large books at people who don't. Unless they're Clintons, in which case it's fine to have classified data on a server in your basement.

      (Which is also where Assange comes in, like plea bargaining and threats of additional charges unless he co-operates. That could prove problematic given potential espionage charges, especially if foreign states were involved. Or if it was just the unfortunate Seth Rich.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Read the indictment

        > so if this was a DoD special build

        Likely RHEL 6 or 7, with FIPS settings applied.

  4. cd

    Too bad he isn't sitting on a copy of the Mueller Report.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait, wasn't the stuff released by Bradley Manning? Later name and whatnot change, it's hard to follow (perhaps intentionally) this way.

    1. Rich 11

      It may be hard for you to follow but everyone else seems to be coping quite well.

  6. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

    Free Julian Assange

    I don’t believe Julian Assange is an angel. But extradition to the USA is very bad. He has been in reclusion for all this time because all the charges against him have just been a front for extradition. The Australian government should bust a gut to repatriate him – but as usual they are pathetic in helping Australians in trouble overseas (still bogged in penal colony thinking of people are born criminals).

    I’m also horrified by the reaction of Teresa May and the UK Parliament upon Assange’s arrest. Sounds like a lynch mob. Why does this one person instils such fear in governments around the world.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Free Julian Assange rather than Trying to Imprison Freedom. There's No Thanks for the Latter

      Why does this one person instils such fear in governments around the world. ..... Ian Joyner

      Because information they share freely is practically impossible to deny reveals that you are systematically fed false intelligence [and there's a prime oxymoron if ever there was one] about expansive serial abuses in order to try to maintain a perverse and corrupted exclusive executive ordering system of mass human administration .... that which is ubiquitously known as a SCADA System.

      It is increasingly extremely dangerous to such systems to have more intelligent inquisitive and more fully informed natives providing alternative narratives and sources.

      And that is why, as surely you must have noticed, you always get the same old staid establishment voices spout the traditional party line on all matters both controversial and vital ..... for perverse and corrupted lives depend upon the Greater Deception in more ways than just evidenced in this holy trinity of prime observations ......

      “The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.” …. Maximilien Robespierre

      "A mind once expanded by a new idea will never go back to its original dimension." -Oliver Wendell Holmes.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair

      And such a fear of an alternative truth that challenges a false narrative is a catastrophic systemic zero day exploit vulnerability against which there is no viable long term defence. Such serial defenders are always best recognised and treated as hopelessly mad and practically useless in all Honest Future Remote Command and Virtual Control Operations.

      You might like to think on and accept, for a change rather than delivery of more of the same old conflicting stuff and errant nonsense .... Unauthorized disclosures of secrets are essential for democracy. "Responsible disclosure" is corrupt. and Journalism is writing down what powerful people and institutions do not want written.

      You are allowed to think on greater things. Surely only a robotic fool and/or ignorant and arrogant tool of the status quo doesn't.

      Which mega or minor meta data base hat do you like to wear? ...... the SMARTR red one or the rinsed blue one?

      1. Cliff Thorburn

        Re: Free Julian Assange rather than Trying to Imprison Freedom. There's No Thanks for the Latter

        Ain’t it wild and wacky times we are in?

        One had to chuckle whilst driving back today at Project Fear in full swing undoubtedly on Red Alert at Corbyn’s Phoenix style ascent in the Sunday Glad Rags.

        Threatening DT (Death Threats) exhibited ‘en mass in Live Operational Virtual Environments ...

        You’d think the fate of the country boiled down to a selection as simple as choosing a competitive mobile deal, or more appropriate ly one which would accept a credit rating destroyed by deliberate destitution, directly omitting alternative choices perh aps more appropriately desired by the pow ers that be.

        Of course the reality direct direction and narrative of Brexit lies with the Politicians and .... well use your imagination for the rest.

        What would Eve say in such predicaments?, “frankly I don’t give Adam?”, or would she be clearly communicated to in righteous and rightful direction by those hissing self interest?

        Would the above enlighten such alternative theories suggested amFM?, in a paradoxical parallel augmented virtual reality exhibited day by day as the clock ticks?

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Great Britain ...... Once ruled with Almighty Provisional Empires. Changed Days? Crashed 0Days?

          CT, Howdy doody,

          Regarding ..... Of course the reality direct direction and narrative of Brexit lies with the Politicians and .... well use your imagination for the rest.

          What would Eve say in such predicaments?, “frankly I don’t give Adam?”, or would she be clearly communicated to in righteous and rightful direction by those hissing self interest?

          One would have thought, with it being and surely something to be marvelled at and supported, that the Offices and Officers of the House of Windsor/Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ... UKGBNI Elite Executive Right Royal Special Forces ...... would be able to supply the British Prime Minister in her weekly audience with Elizabeth II, with intelligence and information that wouldn't have her currently extraordinarily rendering herself with a sub-prime ineffectual puppet leadership.

          What is their present undeniably accurate excuse for the very evident catastrophic lack of prime premium parliamentary input for remote third party output?

          Have they lost the plot and feeling good to be nobbled and hog tied with deafening silence and light media duties?

          Such is as a dirge whenever truly lamentable. But take heart and never worry, hope and much better plans to right all manner and matter of wrongs always spring eternal, suitably disruptive and crazily creative. It is only natural and fully to be expected.

  7. Phil Kingston

    | Assange faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of the charge.

    Makes his lengthier asylum choice look even more laughable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Assange faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of the charge.

      Sure, if you're excluding the other decades, and potential life sentences the US will additionally attempt.

  8. TheWeddingPhotographer

    Let's even things up

    If the US feel it is fine to demand prosecution for foreign nationals who break thier laws at a distance...

    Maybe it's fine for American companies to pay proper taxes in the countries they operate in when they work at a distance too

  9. Cameron Colley

    So, he was right then.

    He was right that, as soon as he was in custody, the US would want to grab him, Perhaps that really is why he ran in the first place?

    The man does come across as arrogant and, of course, if he's guilty of the crimes accused of in Sweden then he should have stood trial for them.

    But his stated reason for avoiding arrest does appear to be a valid one. He now faces up to 5 years of either solitary confinement or being brutalised. That's assuming that the US won't come up with other charges, terrorism anyone?, and fine reasons to lay down and even heavier sentence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, he was right then.

      Absolute rubbish.

      His story is that he skipped out of Sweden because he was afraid that after being arrested he might get extradited to the US, and that this fear of extradition made him choose to skip to the UK. But the UK is a country who notoriously will extradite to the US anyone, at any time, without requiring anything more than a postit note with "we wannem. Murrica!" written on it in crayon.

      He's dumb, but if he was that dumb we would never have heard of him. If he really was scared of being shipped to the US he would have skipped from Sweden to Russia, Iran or someplace reliably anti-American, not made a beeline for the 51st state.

    2. Brangdon

      Re: So, he was right then.

      He was in custody in the UK for well over a year before he fled to the embassy. From 2010 to 2012. The US could have made an extradition request then, but didn't. That they have now shows there was no need to get him to Sweden first, hence his reason to avoid the European Arrest Warrant was bogus.

  10. I&I


  11. RobertLongshaft

    I love how the US is taking all the flak here when the British government and security services are 100% as culpable.

  12. Mystic Megabyte


    Assange asks Manning to crack password. result; 5 years in jail (assuming that he is extradited)

    Trump asks Russia (in public) to crack Clintons emails: result; become president

  13. Sheepykins

    About time the Ecuadorians came to their senses.

    I personally think Assange is guilty of his Swedish crimes and hes definitely guilty of putting peoples lives in danger with his leaks for the sake of freedom of information and the completely impractical dream of an open government.

    If he was willing to become a martyr to his cause, he would have accepted US extradition earlier. But no, he did everything he could to snivel and worm his way out of prison using every loophole imaginable.

    And then when he got his stay of execution, started mugging off the people helping him. Utter scumbag

    1. Aqua Marina

      Utter scumbag

      Sheepykins could we please have your opinions of the pilots that seemed to be celebrating mowing down civilians and children from the safety of their aircraft? Without Assange we would have never seen that little bit of naughtyness brought out into the open.

      1. Sheepykins

        Re: Utter scumbag

        Alright Kathy Newman, did i say government coverups were OK? No.

        But the transparency of government that Assange wants is untenable and puts more people at risk than it exposes for bad.

  14. Hans 1

    Three steps back.

    1. Assange is a journalist.

    2. He has found a source that can provide him with some newsworthy data.

    3. He helps source extract newsworthy data.

    4. He gives newsworthy data to the press.

    5. The source Assange was helping was a whistleblower.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing wrong either way.

    Manning was a whistleblower and thus needed protection, protection that the US has NOT provided.

    Assange is a journalist and needs protection, protection the US seems not to want to provide.

    As for Ecuador, they just secured a $10bn loan from the IMF, captain obvious, where are you ?

    1. Hans 1

      War crimes

      One more thing, he published evidence of war crimes committed by US armed forces.

    2. TVU Silver badge

      "As for Ecuador, they just secured a $10bn loan from the IMF, captain obvious, where are you?"

      From what's come out, Wikileaks successfully upset the current Ecuadorian President (look up the Ina Papers scandal) and that helped to seal Assange's fate. There's something ironic going on when it's a Lenin helping to send Assange to the good ol' USA.

    3. DontFeedTheTrolls

      "2. He has found a source that can provide him with some newsworthy data."

      If that were the case, then I would support the need for protection.

      Somebody (might have been Assange) persuaded Manning dump masses of data from multiple sources, then Wikileaks dumped that data into the wild. 700,000 documents IIRC.

      That they got lucky and it contained the atrocities was sheer luck, not a targeted whistleblowing. If they had released only the critical items, I could support that it was whistleblowing. Dumping everything is only done to piss off the Merkins.

  15. TVU Silver badge

    "He could face up to 12 months in prison"

    ^ That ought perhaps to read ""He could face up to 1200 months in prison" seeing as it's the USA he's going to.

    Other views are available, but he ought to have gone to Sweden, taken the hit and then stayed there.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't expect much from the bloated Orangutan's flunky run DOJ on this.

    The bloated Orangutan's DOJ flunkies will no doubt make a big dog and pony show here which will exonerate them and this creep, and eventually let him off with a minor slap on the wrist.

  17. Mahhn

    The statement "The government said Manning told Assange she was"

    At that time Manning was a man. I hope Assange doesn't leave jail with his gender changed too.

    My government is so full of corruption and lies, I don't think they know what the truth is anymore...

  18. Menasco

    But Venn again , (Assange (( Ingrams - Hislop )) ) make sure you're connected , the writings on the wall , stumble you might fall . The only thing proven to me is that UN membership means nothing in terms of provision for human rights and that the justice system in our country is available only to those who have the money to pay for it , i now spell "democracy" " d e m o n c o c k e r y ". Thankyou Mr Assange , lots of us admire your courage. Whoda thunkit , an Australian shaming those who exported your ancestors as "criminals".


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like