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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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  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:07AM (#34472150)

    Sure, no dirty campaing! Just a note, one of the womens involved:
    "Anna Ardins cousin and near friend is Lieutenant Colonel Mattias Ardin, Deputy Head of Operations, Swedish Joint Forces Land Component Command, who works with Nato Operations ... in Afghanistan. Theres a possible CIA connection." http://www.skandinaviflorida.com/web/sif.nsf/d6plinks/JEIE-88LLB7

  • Re:Hahaha, what (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:18AM (#34472234)

    Assange is an Aussie, and probably turned himself in (yes, that's right, he turned himself in) to British authorities so he could expect acceptable treatment while extradition to Sweden for trial was being arranged. Assange faces real charges in Sweden, and has the expectation of a trial and judges and testimony and everything, charges that will take time to resolve and during which time he will receive humane treatment under a country that still respects the spirit of the Geneva Convention and other humane-treatment conventions.

    The longer he can make it take to deal with those charges, the longer he can avoid a quiet US extraction to Gitmo where he can look forward to fun activities like being stacked naked with other men and waterboarding while the US delays his trial until after he's disclosed his sources under torture, then the US can make a big show of pardoning him in the name of freedom once Blackwater has taken out the sources of the leak, because Assange himself is not a threat.

    It's also possible that he's hoping that his extradition from Britain to Sweden somehow makes it difficult or politically inexpedient to extradite him to the US once his trial (and possible incarceration) in Sweden are resolved. The extradition terms from Sweden to the US may not include some of the new terrorism "soft charges" that only require the US get their hands on someone, not that there be an actual crime committed or charges made or a trial or expectation of humane treatment or any of that inconvenient nonsense. The addition of an extradition from Britain to Sweden may add complexity to the subsequent negotiations for extradition from Sweden to the United States.

    At worst, he's buying time until the US gets their hands on him. At best, he's avoiding the possibility altogether.

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

    by bencoder (1197139) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:31AM (#34472382)
    that article is from the 19th of November. Things have moved faster than you know.

    Stephens, told AOL News today that Swedish prosecutors told him that Assange is wanted not for allegations of rape, as previously reported, but for something called "sex by surprise," which he said involves a fine of 5,000 kronor or about $715.

    ***

    "We don't even know what 'sex by surprise' even means, and they haven't told us," Stephens said, just hours after Sweden's Supreme Court rejected Assange's bid to prevent an arrest order from being issued against him on allegations of sex crimes.

    http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/12/sex-charges-and-arrest-warrant-against.html [blogspot.com]

  • Re:Hahaha, what (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow (319597) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:44AM (#34472540) Homepage

    He's Australian. He is in Britain. In general, we don't waterboard our prisoners or humiliate them while they are in prison without trial for YEARS after their initial arrest (how many people still in that "US prison" abroad?) so he was able to hand himself in in the knowledge that we would require certain things of the Swedish government (an EU member) in their handling of him. Also, because he *was* in Britain and because he has deliberately made himself known to the authorities ever since arriving, when an international arrest warrant comes through from a friendly EU country with good human rights record we are absolutely legally obliged to follow it to the letter - so much so that we sent the last one back that they sent the UK police the other week because it wasn't filled in properly.

    It doesn't matter *his* nationality. He's afforded no special favours just because he's from Australia, we have no particular agreements with Australia except for the standard ones - an EU citizen would have twice as many rights, for instance. But equally we can't hide him either because another respected country that has signed many binding agreements with us as part of the EU has now correctly and legally asked for his extradition on charges entirely unrelated to UK law at all, for an alleged crime that's happened on Swedish soil that isn't subject to UK law and for which the correct and legal court and extradition processes have now been followed. It doesn't matter if he was done for stealing a penny sweet or murdering thousands - we can only do what the law says we can (unlike some countries that like to conveniently rewrite or ignore their own laws at will and apply them retroactively - that's aimed at BOTH the US and Sweden).

    The UK? We really don't care. The US is a supposed ally, sure, but the EU is too and we have *much* more in the way of binding agreements to them (plus they live next door and give us most of our electricity). We've pretty much stayed out of this whole embarrassment because it's just hilarious that a private in an army can cause so much embarrassment (mainly through the US's own reaction to the event, which would have been out of the news within a couple of days in the UK if it wasn't for the US constantly blathering about it) for supposedly the world's most powerful country. So to us, it's a question of who ticks all the paperwork boxes first, and the Swedish did so (on their second attempt) so they get him - if he was an EU citizen, it would be pretty much the same but there'd probably be more paperwork (e.g. he could be tried in the UK under Swedish law). The US would have had a MUCH more difficult time justifying his extradition to the US for any reason whatsoever but the Swedish have (for all we know) valid reasons, complete paperwork, a working legal system, and only judicial intent at heart. They also have pretty much the same laws as us with regards to treating him well, or passing him on to other authorities who might not.

    Some countries abide by their laws, even if that means having to draft a couple of dubious ones first. You can always challenge a law that's unfair, but ignoring it is as good as breaking it. The US would be well put to remember such things in the future.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:44AM (#34472548)

    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.

    Actually, according to an editorial penned by Assange's lawyer last week, he started having sex with each woman with a condom on, with their consent. At some point, the condom either came off or broke. The women then withdrew consent, appealing to him to stop. Assange did not stop.

    That certainly isn't in the referenced article - where do you find that she appealed to him to stop and he did not?

  • 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 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 nanamin (820638) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:21AM (#34472978) Homepage Journal
    Fortunately, this will only lend more power to Assange's cause. Polls show that 70% of Americans approve of the leaks, and he is very widely considered to be a hero by many people [iamjulianassange.com]. Imagine what would happen if that insurance file of his happens to be huge news, like evidence of 9/11 being an inside job or something. Just sayin'.
  • 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 iangoldby (552781) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:40AM (#34473260) Homepage

    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".

    Exactly.

    Has everyone forgotten Gary McKinnon [wikipedia.org] so quickly?

    How history repeats itself.

  • by mathmathrevolution (813581) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:49AM (#34473358)

    Actually, according to an editorial penned by Assange's lawyer last week, he started having sex with each woman with a condom on, with their consent. At some point, the condom either came off or broke.

    That interpretation contradicts the factual record. The article made it very clear that a condom was not even used in the second liaison with Jessica, therefore it would have been impossible for it to "come off or break."

    From my reading of the article, it appears that consent wasn't actually withdrawn until the two women found out about each other. When Assange's 40-something feminist activist lover discovered that Assange had some enjoyed a hot 20-something piece of ass on the side, then both the encounters retroactively became "rape".

  • his goal is to overthrow all governments, not just the usa. obviously this is stupid, because anarchy is always temporary, and whatever government replaces the previous one will have its own set of crimes

    so obviously, as you say, the proper goal is to reform government from within. the problem is complacency, secrets, inertia and lies. so you have to stir things up. how about: dump a bunch of secrets. this changes government behavior. it shows they can't hide, so they better just act honestly. in this regard, assange furthers the noble cause you agree with, even if his cause is loony

    look: joan of arc was a schizophrenic. she's still a hero. assange has problems with transgressing boundaries of respecting his partner in his sex life, and he's a loony tunes anarchist. but so what, he's still a hero, because he's helping with the very cause you agree with

    punish assange for his crimes against women in sweden, celebrate him for furthering the good cause of transparency, and have a good laugh at his anachronistic idealism about the value of anarchy

    his reasons are not important, his effect is

  • by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:06AM (#34473554) Journal

    The women then withdrew consent, appealing to him to stop. Assange did not stop.

    It's possible to give consent back. I'm sure once they revoked consent, his words weren't quite so much "I am not stopping", but more like "awww come on, are you sure?" If he requested consent, and they gave it back, he did nothing wrong.

    Now, going by the Daily Mail post from OP (I normally wouldn't trust the Daily Mail but there are pretty much zero details anywhere), it looks like the first woman was quite okay with what happened when it happened, because she threw a party for him. She only got upset with him once she found out he slept with someone else.

    The second woman...her case is odd. The first time he wore a rubber, the second time he didn't. She asked him to wear one, and he said no. ...but that can't be all there is to it. Perhaps he says no...and continues to move closer. Does she say "no condom means no sex"? Does she look meekly at him, and say nothing? Does she back away? Does she give in to his counter-demands?

    When considering what happened, you should note that they went out to breakfast the next day, and she bought him a ticket back to Stockholm...back to the first woman.

    This is pretty much what I expected; embarrassing, shameful, regrettable...but hardly anything like what a reasonable person considers rape. To label his actions as such is really to do a disservice to rape victims.

  • 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 Tom (822) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:35AM (#34474030) Homepage Journal

    Some priests are actually good people. I'm not sure I would lump them in with rapists, child molesters and torturers.

    I am and I do. There are "good people" in priesthood in the same way there are "good people" in the Mafia, or with the Taliban, or in another example I can't spell out without invoking Godwin's law.

    Real good people don't support evil systems.

  • 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 rainmouse (1784278) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:47AM (#34474216)

    but saying sex without a condom is rape is pretty absurd.

    If you are a man with a woman and she insists on not using a condom, can you later have her charged with rape?

  • Fair (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @12:01PM (#34474448)

    Just like the fair trial of the operators of the torrent search engine called pirate bay, eh?

  • by bytesex (112972) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @12:21PM (#34474746) Homepage

    Yeah, it just doesn't add up. First he gets charged, then he doesn't. Then he gets permission to leave, then they charge him again, send out a warrent of the highest possible order for his arrest, for something they would never do that for if it was anyone else, then they fuck that warrant up, then he just calmly tells the English police 'look I'm staying at this address', then they issue another warrant, then the English police *don't* pick him up immediately (even though the priority of the warrant would warrant it) and then he has to just walk into a police station himself.

    It's a farking soap opera, man.

  • 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.

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