It was really just a matter of time before Julian Assange’s tumultuous life hit the silver screen. Well guess what: Filming commenced today on The Fifth Estate, Dreamworks’ Wikileaks movie scheduled to appear in theaters November 15.
My goodness, you can already see the gleam of Oscar gold in their eyes.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
You might think that a person wanted for extradition by one or more countries would make a problematic political candidate—if not for the stigma that comes from being a wanted person, at least because it would presumably be difficult to turn out the vote from a remote location.
A British student named Christopher Weatherhead was convicted today for his part in a series of cyber-attacks against companies that froze payments to WikiLeaks following its release of classified documents in 2010.
Citing health concerns, Ecuador has asked the British government to guarantee medically related safe passage for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Mr. Assange, who faces allegations he assaulted two women in Sweden in 2010, has been living inside Ecuador’s London Embassy since June. British authorities have insisted they will arrest Mr. Assange should he leave the embassy, but Reuters reports that Albuja Martinez, Ecuador’s vice foreign minister, seeks a formalized exception:
Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that the United States considers WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange an enemy of the state. Soldiers who contact Mr. Assange or WikiLeaks could be charged with communicating with an enemy. Members of the military found guilty of such communication could be sentenced to death in a military court of law.
Technically, this status puts Mr. Assange and his site on the same legal footing as the Taliban.
As Australia’s National Times reports, the government’s view of the whistle-blowing organization and its founder was revealed in documents regarding an investigation into an Air Force officer’s actions while stationed overseas:
Because the first thing you wondered upon waking was probably “what’s up with those Swedish allegations against Julian Assange?” here you go: it looks like a condom used as evidence against the snowy-locked whistleblower didn’t even contain his DNA. From The Register:
With an ill-advised tweet posted Wednesday, WikiLeaks may have won the tacky self-interest sweepstakes. The tweet, which was quickly deleted, suggested a deadly attack aimed at the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was justified by Julian Assange’s refugee status inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The Guardian assumed the tweet was written by Mr. Assange. Whoever posted the statement, they clearly weren’t looking much further than their own navel, writing:
Twitter announced stricter API restrictions yesterday, confirming that it wants a “consistent Twitter experience.” Bad news for anyone who uses a 3rd party Twitter client! [BuzzFeed]
Oof…Facebook stock fell below $20 yesterday, following the end of a lockout. [Wall Street Journal]
NYC is second to San Francisco in terms of tech job growth. Aww, silver’s nothing to be ashamed of. There, there. [Crain's]
WikiLeaks denies that the UK government has the authority to storm the Ecuadorian embassy and take Julian Assange. Oh, this is gonna be GOOD. [WikiLeaks]
Nintendo is socially evil, basically. [CNN]
As rumored, Ecuador officially granted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange asylum today, according to the BBC. The Ecuadorian foreign ministry claims that its decision was based on the fact that Mr. Assange’s human rights may be violated if he is extradited to Sweden for those “hilarious” sexual assault allegations.
Early this morning, a pro-WikiLeaks op-ed purporting to be penned by former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller cropped up online. It was a stunningly convincing piece of web fraud, its design practically identical to the New York Times‘s own homepage, with every link leading to an actual Times article or section. The only hint that it wasn’t real was the URL: instead of showing as nytimes.com/pages/opinion, it read “opinion-nytimes.com.” It’s a tiny difference, but a monumentally important one.
The article itself, which staunchly defends WikiLeaks and the importance of qualifying it under the First Amendment, is certainly stylistically similar to the real writings of Mr. Keller. Some of the wording is rather clunky, but that seems to lend the piece the impression that its message was so dire that it was written in an emotional hurry. The faux article tries so hard to be convincing that it even borrows wording from an email Mr. Keller wrote recently to GigaOm about WikiLeaks.