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The Almighty Buck Government Privacy Security United Kingdom

Ecuador Spent $5 Million Protecting and Spying On Julian Assange, Says Report (theverge.com) 165

Citing reports from The Guardian and Focus Ecuador, The Verge reports that Ecuador's intelligence program spent at least $5 million "on an elaborate security and surveillance network around WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange." The intelligence program was known as "Operator Hotel," which began as "Operation Guest" when Assange took refuge in Ecuador's UK embassy in 2012. From the report: Operation Hotel has allegedly covered expenses like installing CCTV cameras and hiring a security team to "secretly film and monitor all activity in the embassy," including Assange's daily activities, moods, and interactions with staff and visitors. The Guardian estimates Ecuadorian intelligence agency Senain has spent at least $5 million on Assange-related operations, based on documents they reviewed. The report details attempts to improve Assange's public image and potentially smuggle him out of the embassy if he was threatened. But it also writes that relations between Assange and Ecuador have badly deteriorated over the past several years. In 2014, Assange allegedly breached the embassy's network security, reading confidential diplomatic material and setting up his own secret communications network.

Ecuador Spent $5 Million Protecting and Spying On Julian Assange, Says Report

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  • by captbollocks ( 779475 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @03:40AM (#56619118)

    to get a new credit card couriered to a backwater in Brazil because he thought he was helping the world by publishing my personal details and my credit card details on WikiLeaks.

    All because I subscribed to a geopolitical newsletter which I used for research to write investment reports, but WikiLeaks thought I was part of an international private spying network. If I was I certainly wouldn't be on /. I would be drinking martinis on a tropical island whilst contemplating my next mission.

    The good news is that eventually he will have some sort of medical emergency and will have to be taken to a hospital. Hopefully, I will get my money back then by laying a bet that he will be put in a dark hole somewhere.

    • by ( 4475953 )

      Thus spoke Captain Bollocks. Poor schmuck lost $200. So SAD!

    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      Er... Wikileaks just publishes what other people send them. If they published your information, it means that your information was already compromised.
      • by captbollocks ( 779475 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @07:24AM (#56619566)

        Er, actually they selectively publish what people send them, usually to suit whatever PR strategy they are using at the moment.

        Yes, the information was compromised already, but now I am stuck with my personal information (not to mention the 10,000s of others) on WikiLeaks for anyone to get hold of it.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          And what about the 100 million others with their personal information on the darkweb for anyone to get ahold of?

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          got you, so like, you'd rather just not know about it ... Wikileaks problem here is exposing your ignorance and you are suitably upset ..... poor muffin

        • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 )

          Regardless, your information was compromised. If Wikileaks didn't publish it, you may not have ever known.

        • by pots ( 5047349 )
          I'm not seeing your point here. Yes the information is on Wikileaks, plus whatever other websites which have also published it. Because it's compromised information and that's how that works. How are you tying that fact to blaming your loss of $200 on Wikileaks? Are you saying that you wouldn't have needed a new card if Wikileaks hadn't published your compromised information? That is not true.
    • He is literally the definition of a shitweasle. Even looks like one.
  • But it also writes that relations between Assange and Ecuador have badly deteriorated over the past several years. In 2014, Assange allegedly breached the embassy's network security, reading confidential diplomatic material and setting up his own secret communications network.

    He annoys people and they are out to get him. It's not paranoia, he just can't help himself.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This kind of jackasses always make excuses and cry that people are just bad with them without reason.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by tinkerton ( 199273 )

      He crosses the CIA and the US government. So they destroy his reputation and they destroy him to show everyone who's boss. They just can't help themselves, it's standard procedure . From the article:

      In an extraordinary breach of diplomatic protocol, Assange managed to compromise the communications system within the embassy and had his own satellite internet access, according to documents and a source who wished to remain anonymous. By penetrating the embassy’s firewall, Assange was able to access and

  • You keep bees, you will get stung.
  • If Ecuador knows who was meeting Assange and what they were talking about then the chances are the UK/US does too - by spying on Ecuador's spying.

    What is funny to me is that Assange allegedly hacked through a firewall and gained access to the embassy's own personal network. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

  • In 2014, Assange allegedly breached the embassy's network security, reading confidential diplomatic material and setting up his own secret communications network.

    Seriously? After all the hospitality they've provided Assange? They need to write up formal charges for this and extradite him for computer crimes committed at the embassy. He should get a LONG stay in an Ecuadorian prison that will make the Sweden rape allegations look small by comparison.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      True or not, overstated or not, you'd think that Assange would be of a mind to be as deferential as humanly possible to the the embassy, located in a country desperate to nab him, which was sheltering him.

  • by zarmanto ( 884704 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @12:25PM (#56621130) Journal

    ... allegedly breached the embassy's network security, reading confidential diplomatic material and setting up his own secret communications network. ...

    Rough translation: Assange found that little placard with the WiFi password written on it for all to freely use, discovered an open share on one of the embassy's network-connected computers (but probably didn't find anything particularly interesting on it) and then he casually turned on his VPN to tunnel through the embassy firewall and log into Wikileaks.

    It feels to me like certain high profile personalities in the media (like Assange, but certainly not limited to him) are all-too-often treated like they possess some sort of super-intelligence, and can do shockingly amazing things with computers. The reality is likely to be underwhelming most of the time, when you break down the colorful but vague terminology into layman's terms.

  • Spending $5m on Assange seems like weird priories from a country where 25% of the population makes less than $2/day.

"Money is the root of all money." -- the moving finger

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