Julian Assange’s Internet Cut Off by Ecuadorian GovernmentHasan Ahmed - 1A Nanotechnology
Posted on: October 22, 2016
The upcoming US election has caused some problems for the non-profit organization Wikileaks. Recently, Julian Assange, founder and chief editor of Wikileaks, had his internet shut down by the Ecuadorian government in light of the election.
Wikileaks is an organization known for publishing government secrets from anonymous sources for the world to see. Generally, these documents are extremely confidential, and don’t necessarily see the light of day under any circumstances. It has been operating since 2006 and describes itself as “an un-censorable system for untraceable mass document leaking.”
Julian Assange is an editor for Wikileaks, and his work has granted him popularity across the world wide web. However, after rape and molestation claims by two women (which he denies), Assange fled, despite no charges being laid. After applying and being granted asylum in Ecuador in 2012 after arrest threats, he has remained there ever since. If he tries to leave, he will be deported back to Sweden.
2016 has been rich in events regarding the US election, and the constant debate between Clinton and Trump. Talk has always been spread around about Hillary’s 30,000+ deleted emails and how that makes her an untrustworthy candidate. Recently, Wikileaks uploaded an archive of the emails for the public to read. Despite the leak, it did not affect Clinton’s general standpoint in the election, since Trump’s infamy appears to overshadow the emails. The revealed emails are about 50,000 pages in length, and span 4 years of content, including transcripts and leaked debate questions.
The Ecuadorian government decided that the election date was too close for Assange and Wikileaks to uncover information that may affect the voting process, so as of October 17th 2016, they shut down Assange’s internet until further notice. This was done to prevent any potential interference with the US election.
So was Ecuador right to do this? Or should Assange have been given the freedom to uncover more information about the US government that may sway voter opinion in the coming weeks? Either way, the election is not protected from other Wikileaks members, Russian hackers, or any other people who want to get their hands on private information. It may seem pointless to cut off Assange’s communication, but Ecuador also has to think about other individuals’ rights in order to protect their country as a whole.