The government of Ecuador has admitted to severing the internet connection of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange to prevent him from interfering in the presidential election, and WikiLeaks is blaming John Kerry.
In a statement, the Ecuadorian government, which has granted asylum to Assange in its London embassy for years, says “The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries, it does not interfere in electoral processes in progress or support a candidate in particular.”
The government said its foreign policy “responds only to sovereign decisions and not yield to pressure from other states.”
Read the statement in full here:
WikiLeaks has blamed U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, saying “the request was made on the sidelines of a visit by Kerry and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa last month to Colombia to show their support for a peace deal with leftist rebels,” The Associated Press says.
The State Department denies that allegation and “Correa’s leftist government said it was acting on its own and not ceding to foreign pressures,” said AP.
The AP quoted State Department Spokesman John Kirby as saying: “While our concerns about Wikileaks are longstanding, any suggestion that Secretary Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down Wikileaks is false.”
WikiLeaks had sparked a flurry on the internet when it announced early Monday morning on Twitter that Julian Assange’s internet connection was “intentionally severed.”
The dramatic claim increased rumors that had already sparked due to strange encrypted tweets WikiLeaks posted earlier in the day. The organization had not identified the party that severed the internet connection of Assange.
The decision by Ecuador comes as WikiLeaks continues to release batches of damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the hacked emails of her campaign’s chairman, John Podesta. The Clinton campaign has labeled the hacking akin to a modern “Watergate,” and has blamed the Russians, which WikiLeaks denies.
The Hill reported that WikiLeaks and Assange were poised to unleash even more hacked documents into the U.S. election, writing: “Between now and Election Day on November 8, WikiLeaks is expected to release more than 40,000 more emails about Clinton,” perhaps in batches released almost every day.
WikiLeaks had tweeted previously that it had activated contingency plans.
WikiLeaks did not elaborate, although the tweet sparked an immediate flurry of conspiracy theories on the internet.
Earlier in the day, WikiLeaks posted a series of strange tweets that appeared to be in encrypted code. That led some to speculate that Assange is dead, said Gizmodo, but there was no evidence of that, although the internet was awash with people theorizing the “pre-commitment” codes were a “deadman’s switch.” Gizmodo said it appeared the codes were designed to prove the hacked documents were not altered before they were posted.
The Daily Caller says the odd tweets reference Ecuador, US Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Here are the encrypted tweets:
WikiLeaks has also not explained those tweets further.
For the last few days, the organization has been posting a slew of emails and documents hacked from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
The Clinton campaign has not confirmed or denied the authenticity of the documents, which have contained a string of revelations, including the full transcripts of several of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches.
Here are some of WikiLeaks’ recent postings:
The WikiLeaks site has been posting damaging hacked information about Clinton and Democrats for months.