Williamrt Profile picture
4 Jan, 48 tweets, 24 min read
#Assange extradition verdict is due shortly. I will be reporting on the case through a remote video link to the Old Bailey. #Assange #Assangetrial
We can now see the dock in court 2 of the Old Bailey as we wait for #Assange to arrive. The verdict is scheduled for an hour, but may be over more quickly. #Assange #Assangetrial
Assange has been charged in the US of 17 counts under the US Espionage Act and 1 count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. #Assange #Assangetrail
There is no public interest defence to charges under the US Espionage Act. Prosecutors have also indicated that Assange will not benefit from first amendment rights as he is not a US citizen. #Assange #Assangetrial
The case has potentially huge implications for journalists and press freedom. It could criminalise many standard journalist practices, such as gathering information from sources and protecting their identities. #Assange #Assangetrial
Former editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, told the Today Programme this morning that Assange was being charged for seeking information from former US army intelligence officer, Chelsea Manning, and protecting her identity - things that any journalist would do. #Assange
Rusbridger said: "“I think it’s a very dangerous precedent. He is an Australian citizen being prosecuted in the UK for breaching US secrecy laws." #Assange #Assangetrial
Rusbridger: "What happens the next time Pakistan or Israel comes along and says well we’ve got official secrets laws, we don’t want people to know about our nuclear weapons, and therefore you’ve got to extradite a journalist to us." #Assange #Assangetrial
Assange has arrived in court #Assange #Assangetrial
The court has refused Assange's extradition to the US on the grounds that it would be oppressive to Assange's mental health, and that he would be at high risk of suicide #Assange #Assangetrial
Judge Vanessa Baraitser found that there was a real risk that Assange would be subject to "Special Administrative Measures" - equivalent to solitary confinement - if held in the US #Assange #Assangetrial
The US intelligence service view Assange as an on going theat. Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA denounced WikiLeaks as a “not-state hostile intelligence agency” the judge said. #Assange #Assangetrial
WikiLeaks continued to publish confidential documents belonging to the CIA while at the Ecuadorian Embassy, the judge said - a reference to the Vault 7 leaks which exposed the CIA's hacking capabilities #Assange #Assangetrial
Baraister said there was a real risk that Assange would be held at ADX Florence in Colorado - a supermax prison. #Assange #Assangetrial
If Assange was subject to full "Special Administrative Measures" he would be held in isolation, contact with his family would be curtailed, and he would exercise in isolation a small room. #Assange #Assangetrial
This was recognised by all the experts that gave evidence during the the trail as detrimental to Assange's health #Assange #Assangetrial
The judge said that Assange had already adopted a strategy of hiding his suicidal thoughts from prison pscyhologists at Belmarsh prison where he is on remand. #Assange #Assangetrial
Assange has the intelligence and the determination to circumvent the suicide watch measures used in US prisons #Assange #Assangetrial
Baraister said that facing conditions of near total isolation and without the protection of suicide watch, she was satisfied that procedures in the US would not prevent his suicide. #Assange #Assangetrial
The US government told the court that it will appeal against the judgement. It has 14 days to do so. #Assange #Assangetrial
The judge rejected arguments by Assange's defence team that he could not be extradited because of political offences #Assange #Assangetrial
The UK-US extradition treaty prohibits extradition for political reasons. But Parliament took the decision to remove political offences as a barrier to extradition from the 2003 Extradition Act #Assange #Assanetrial
The judge said that Assange's activities went beyond the activities of journalists. #Assange #Assangetrial
Assange offered to use "rainbow tables" to help former US army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning crack a password in her possession. #Assange #Assangetrial
That might have assisted her to download documents from the SIPRnet, a classified US army network, in a way that could not have allowed her to hide her identity #Assange #Assangetrial
After Assange told Manning on a Jabbr chat that "curious eyes never run dry" Manning downloaded hundreds more documents #Assange #Asssangetrial
The judge said that Manning was aware that Assange had encouraged others to hack into computers. He told her, for example that he had used credentials given by a source to access a website of a Nato country [Iceland] #Assange #Assangetrial
In August 2009, Assange spoke to an audience of hackers at a hacking conference and encouraged members of the US military to disclose secret documents, the judge said.
Assange told the audience of the Chaos Computer Club conference to join the CIA and encourage them to leak information. "That took him outside any role of investigative journalism," the judge said. #Assange #Assangetrial
The judge said that Assange was open to prosecution in the UK under the Official Secrets Act 1989, had his offences occurred in the UK. #Assange #Assangetrial
This is important legally as extradition to the US requires that Assange's actions would also be offences in the UK #Assange #Assangetrial
My comment: The decision may have wider implications for press freedom however and a potentially chilling impact for investigative journalists in the UK #Assange #Assangetrial
The judge said that Assange had chosen to disclose documents that contained the unredacted names of US informants. 100 people were at risk as a result. #Assange #Assangetrial
This is in contrast to the actions of the press, the judge said, quoting a Guardian article of 17 December 2011, which criticised WikiLeaks publication of unredacted documents #Assange #Assangetrial
There is insufficient evidence that there was a decison not to prosecute Assange under the Obama adminstration. #Assange #Assangetrial
The judge went on to say there was little or no evidence of hostility by Trump to Assange. During the election campaign [of 2016] Trump praised Assage #Assange #Assangetrial
The court decided not to consider allegations currently being investigated by a court in Spain that the US spied on Assange while he was in the Ecuadorian Embassy. #Assange #Assangetrial
The judge said that David Morales [the CEO of the company accused of conducting surveillance on behalf of the US] had no opportunity to put forward alternative evidence #Assange #Assangetrial
"It would be inappropriate for the court to form a view on the basis of partial evidence," Baraitster said. #Assange #Assangetrial
The jjudge said there may have been other reasons for the US to want to put Assange under surveillance, such as concerns that Assange may be a risk to US security #Assange #AssangeTrial
The court is waiting to hear a possible application for bail from Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Assange #Assange #Assangetrial
Report to follow shortly on @ComputerWeekly #Assange #Assangetrial
Edward Fitzgerald, QC, representing Assange will make an application for bail on Wednesday morning. #Assange #AssangeTrial
Judge Baraitser has made an order for costs to #Assange #AssangeTrial
The protection proposes to make an application to stay the order for costs #Assange #Assangetrial
Costs will now be decided on Wednesday #Assange #AssangeTrial
NUJ welcomes verdict but concerned it leaves open future threats to jouranalists

Full report: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange cannot be extradited to face charges in US, court rules bit.ly/3bk4YUP via @computerweekly
#Assange #Assangetrial

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More from @Williamrt

6 Jan
Good morning. Today a court will decide whether Julian Assange should be released on bail from Belmarsh Prison, following the decision by Westminster Magistrate's court not to extradite him to the US on espionage charges. #Assange #Assangetrail
I am joining the hearing through remove video link and will report updates here #Assange #Assangetrial #WikiLeaks
The hearing is due to begin at 10 am, and I believe two hours have been allocated. Assange's defence team will apply for costs. #Assange #Assangetrial
Read 42 tweets
5 Jan
Journalists and researchers have spoken out over a behind-the-scenes legal threat to bar people living overseas from using the UK Freedom of Information Act. #FOIA #Journalism @benjameslucas @SMaurizi @EmmanFre @manihiki @ComputerWeekly
A tribunal is questioning whether people living outside the UK have legal rights to use the Freedom of Information Act. #FOIA #Journalism
For the past 15 years since the Freedom of Information Act came into force, there has been no geographic barrier to people using the UK’s Freedom of Information Act. #FOIA #Journalism
Read 13 tweets
24 Nov 20
1/ German photographer, Marco Verch, has posted hundreds of thousands of “free” images across the internet. His photographs have turned into a spiders’ web waiting to trap people who do not follow the exact terms and conditions. @ComputerWeekly #MarcoVerch
2/ Universities, small family businesses and charity organisations are among those to have been ambushed with demands for huge payments after publishing Verch’s apparently “free” images. @ComputerWeekly #MarcoVerch
3/ Patty Knoops founded a volunteer organisation to help older women find work. She received a legal demand for €950 from Verch, precipitating the charity’s closure. She became depressed and unable to work.@ComputerWeekly #MarcoVerch perma.cc/M7LQ-D3PC
Read 25 tweets
30 Sep 20
Its the final week of Julian Assange's extradition trial at the Old Bailey. I am reporting on proceedings through the court video link for @ComputerWeekly. I will report updates here in between taking notes. #Assange
@ComputerWeekly Here is a report from yesterday's hearing which covered conditions in US prisions

@ComputerWeekly Witness statements were read out in court. Patrick Cockburn, Middle East Correspondent for the Independent, Stefania Maurizi, Italian investigative reporter, Guy Goodwin-Gill, former legal adviser to the UN High Commission for Refugees, and US lawyer Robert J Boyle. #Assange
Read 10 tweets
29 Sep 20
Judge grants anonymity of the two witnesses. The names will be disclosed to a confidentiality ring, including a named CPS official, an FBI agent, and names counsel for due diligence.#Assange
Witness 2 approached the law firm of Baltasar Garzón in Madrid requesting anonymity and expressed fears of serious repercussions, according to Summers. #Assange
Later Witness 1 was introduced to the law firm. Both witnesses made a statement anonymously to notary on the basis that they and their families were at risk. #Assange
Read 14 tweets
29 Sep 20
Claire Dobbin for prosecution begins cross examination
Summers for the defence makes an application to grant anonymity to two witnesses to give evidence concerning UC Global, the company which had the contract to provide security services at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London when Assange was there. #Assange
Witness 1 and Witness 2 have been designated as protected witnesses in a case being investigated by a Spanish court #Assange
Read 5 tweets

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