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    Placard with the slogan We are all Assange written in Spanish below another that reads Ecuador, country of freedom on the railings outside the Ecuadorian embassy in central London on June 21, 2012, where Assange is still holed up seeking political asylum.

    WikiLeaks’ Assange in Ecuador Malware Riddle

    © AFP 2019 / Carl Court
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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (72)
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    WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange – who is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London – has refused to comment on reports that the Ecuadorian police bought surveillance malware from a firm exposed by the web whistle blower

    In July, today WikiLeaks released more than 1 million emails from the Italian surveillance malware vendor Hacking Team, which showed the inner workings of the controversial global surveillance industry.

    The document showed how some governments were using the Hacking Team’s spyware to tap into data on mobile phones, tablets and PCs so that files could be downloaded from a target device. 

    It has now emerged that the Ecuadorian police National Intelligence Secretariat (SENAIN) is a client of the Hacking Team. The emails reveal how SENAIN set up an initial meeting and then bought Hacking Team’s Remote Access Software.

    One email states: "Greetings, Messrs. Hacking Team. Our superiors have commented on your proposals for the Da Vinci 'Remote Control System' DA VINCI. Our police chiefs are interested in the product that you offer. They have asked me to contact you in order to coordinate a visit to Ecuador, for an exhibition and tests conducted in our country."

    In other emails, SENAIN refers to the phone numbers of opposition politicians, including congressmen Luis Fernando Torres, Lourdes Tibán, Mauricio Rodas, Mery Zamora, and Andrés Páez. They also refer to environmental activists Matt Finer, Joke Baert, Sigmund Thies, and Kevin Koenig; as well as TV anchor María Josefa Coronel.

    Swedish Message

    Assange, an Australian citizen, has been unable to leave Ecuador's embassy since claiming asylum there on June 19, 2012.  Assange is wanted for questioning over one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of lesser-degree rape alleged to have been committed against two women during a visit to Sweden in August 2010 — charges he rejects. He was due to be extradited from where he lived in the UK in July 2012.

    Surrounded by British police WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, centre, makes a statement to the media and supporters from a window of Ecuadorian Embassy in central London.
    © AP Photo / Sang Tan
    Surrounded by British police WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, centre, makes a statement to the media and supporters from a window of Ecuadorian Embassy in central London.

    Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in June 2012 as he feared Stockholm would deliver him to US authorities, who may put him on trial for leaking nearly 750,000 classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010.

    Even if Sweden drops the investigation (the statute of limitations runs out next week), he faces arrest by British police for jumping bail granted while the UK courts considered a European arrest warrant issued by Sweden.

    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (72)


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    whistleblower, spying, classified documents, surveillance, mobile phones, WikiLeaks, Hacking Team, Julian Assange, United Kingdom, Ecuador
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