Assange Extradited to U.S.

Mckenzie Martinez, Staff Writer

After nearly seven years, the Ecuadorian government withdrew their asylum for WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange. On April 11, Assange was extradited from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

WikiLeaks is a website dedicated to releasing secrets and classified information over governments and important beings. Some significant leaks include the hacked DNC emails in the 2016 election and exposing Pope Benedict over allegations of abuse by the priests.

Assange was charged with conspiracy after being accused of working with ex-army intelligence, analyst Chelsea Manning. Supposedly Assange helped Manning hack into the Department of Defense’s systems by cracking passwords in government computers in 2010. Since he was under asylum in Ecuador, he could not have been arrested before. But recently Ecuador felt as if Assange outstayed his welcome because of complaints they received over him. Escalating grievances about the hacker skateboarding in the lobby of the Embassy and his well-dressed cat being messy, all contributed to the asylum being lifted.

There has been debate over what this means for the press. After all, Assange was charged due to conflicts over the First Amendment. Because of the possibility of creating a precedent of locking up Assange, many journalists could be charged in the future for exposing “classified” information. Freedom of the press has been a very popular topic of discussion in deciphering what news is, as many outlets release information that may be negative or illegally obtained, like Assange did.

The extradition from Ecuador to the U.S. flowed easily once they promised to not use the death penalty on Assange. This was significant as a video of Assange being literally carried out of the embassy leaked. More importantly, WikiLeaks stated that Assange’s cat is safe and will stay with his family. As the story develops, so does the story of Assange and the future of WikiLeaks.