Founder and director of Wikileaks, Julian Assange has been finally arrested on the shores of Ecuador by London’s territorial police force, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on Thursday.
Out of the Net
Julian Assange has long been on the wanted list of many countries for years now, and his recent arrest is bound to cause a new international scramble for the computer programmer who has long spearheaded a movement of freedom and transparency. Albeit in his own way. It is no surprise that Wikileaks was part of the first known institutions to openly receive and trade in Bitcoin (BTC). The whistleblower organization was founded in 2006 and has since gone on to influence major developments across Europe and the United States. One of the most prominent of leaks by Assange’s organization was the famous leak of Hilary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 US presidential elections: one that was widely regarded to have significantly influenced her eventual loss.
Julian Assange, the major face and public representative of WikiLeaks stirred unfriendly hornet nests when the whistleblower organization released the controversial Collateral Murder tape of killings in Iraq and got into hot waters with the US government.
Assange’s involvement and relationship with cryptocurrencies is a predictable and unsurprising one, given previous involvements of liberalist movements and hard right groups with Bitcoin as early as 2010. Wikileaks has stood as a safe haven for all individual whistleblowers across the world, and has been open to contributions from anyone while guaranteeing their source or contributor’s safety. With tendencies against centralized governments and bodies, Bitcoin’s decentralized nature is a sure appeal to long hard rights.
After fleeing to seek asylum with the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 following allegations and warrant from arrests from the US, UK and Sweden, Assange escaped prosecution for years until current Ecuadorian President decided to withdraw asylum.
Assange has been arrested on basis of unwillingness to surrender to court, a response to an ordered warrant by the Magistrate’s court in 2012. After seven years of staying in the Ecuadorian embassy, Assange would be staying in a central London police station until he is due to stand before Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
There have been mixed reactions to Assange’s arrest, with many online groups condemning the arrest as a threat to honesty and integrity in the press.
“This sets a dangerous precedent for all media organizations and journalists in Europe and elsewhere around the world,“ Jennifer Robinson, Asssange’s lawyer said concerning the arrest. “This precedent means that any journalist can be extradited for prosecution in the United States for having published truthful information about the United States.”