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WikiLeaks: France rejects asylum request of Julius Assange

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

France on Friday rejected a request for asylum, or more exactly of “protection”, made by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a letter to French President Francois Hollande, according to a statement from Elysee Palace.

“France has received the letter from Assange. After a thorough examination of the legal elements and the material situation of Assange, France cannot act on his request,” said the French presidency in a statement.

“The situation of Assange poses no immediate danger. It is also the subject of a European arrest warrant,” the document concluded.

In a six-page letter sent on Thursday to Francois Hollande, Assange asked France to grant him political asylum, Xinhua news agency reported.

In his letter, the founder of WikiLeaks asked France to “provide the necessary protection against, and only against the political persecution that (he is) now the subject”, saying that “only France (could) provide (him) the necessary protection”. ”

Assange, 44, has been reportedly living in the Ecuador embassy in London as a refugee for the past three years.

French newspaper Le Monde said what “prevented Assange to leave the embassy” was his failure to present himself before the Swedish court that wishes “to hear as a witness” after “complaints in Sweden by two women, who accused him of rape and sexual assault”. It is for this reason that Assange is the subject of a European arrest warrant.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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US National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Pakistan’s mobile networks: WikiLeaks

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FILE - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participates via video link in a news conference marking the 10th anniversary of the anti-secrecy group in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 4, 2016. VOA

Islamabad, April 11, 2017: The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on Pakistan’s mobile networks, whistleblowing organisation WikiLeaks has tweeted.

“Hundreds of NSA cyber weapons variants publicly released including code showing hacking of Pakistan mobile system,” @wikileaks tweeted.

According to a report in Express Tribune on Monday, the hacker group “Shadow Brokers” released a new cache of information detailing how the NSA accessed private and public networks in other countries.

A researcher on Twitter who identifies himself as ‘x0rz’ decrypted the files and uploaded them on Github, a web-based repository and internet hosting service.

“The researcher confirmed that the archives include evidence of NSA operators’ access inside the GSM network of Mobilink — one of the Pakistan’s most popular mobile services provider,” the report noted.

The hacker group had previously released data suggesting the US agency may have been monitoring hundreds of IP addresses in Pakistan. The encrypted files were being decrypted by security researchers around the world.

“Shadow Brokers” had initially wanted to auction its data cache in exchange for Bitcoin but as no buyer turned up, they released the data online.

This is not the first time that reports have surfaced claiming that the US NSA is snooping on other countries.

According to a Daily Mail report in 2014, WikiLeaks disclosed documents that suggested the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was among six political parties from around the world the NSA was authorised to conduct surveillance on for gathering foreign intelligence. The authorisation was given by a secret American court, it said.

The leak was planned months ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, the report claimed.

Another report in the Washington Post that also came in 2014 said the US has long had broad no-spying arrangements with four countries — Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — in a group known collectively as the “Five Eyes”.

“But a classified 2010 legal certification — approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and included among a set of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — lists 193 countries [including India], that would be of valid interest for US intelligence,” the Post said. (IANS)

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WikiLeaks’ latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools can Blow Cover on Hacking Operations

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FILE - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain, Feb. 5, 2016. VOA

April 1, 2017: WikiLeaks latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools reveals a technique used by the agency to hide its digital tracks, potentially blowing the cover on hacking operations aimed at gathering intelligence on foreign targets, the media reported.

The release on Friday of the Central Intelligence Agency’s “Marble Framework” comes less than a month after the WikiLeaks disclosed a trove of files — dubbed “Vault 7” — that described the type of malware and methods the CIA uses to gain access to targets’ phones, computers and other electronic devices, The Washington Post reported.

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The material includes the secret source code of an “obfuscation” technique used by the CIA so its malware can evade detection by anti-virus systems.

The technique is used by all professional hackers, whether they work for the National Security Agency, Moscow’s FSB security agency or the Chinese military.

Since the code contains a specific algorithm — a digital fingerprint of sorts — it can now be used to identify CIA hacking operations that had previously been detected but not attributed, The Washington Post said.

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In response, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said late Friday: “Dictators and terrorists have no better friend in the world than Julian Assange, as theirs is the only privacy he protects.”

It said “the American public should be deeply troubled by any WikiLeaks disclosure designed to damage the intelligence community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries,” The Washington Post quoted Boid as saying.

“Such disclosures not only jeopardise US personnel and operations but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm,” he added. (IANS)

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Technology firms to get “exclusive access” to details of the CIA’s cyber-warfare programme: Wikileaks

Founder Julian Assange said that, after some thought, he had decided to give the tech community further leaks first

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FILE - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain, Feb. 5, 2016. VOA

Washington, March 10, 2017: Technology firms will get “exclusive access” to details of the CIA’s cyber-warfare programme, Wikileaks said on Thursday.

According to BBC, the anti-secrecy website has published thousands of the US spy agency’s secret documents, including what it says are the CIA’s hacking tools.

Founder Julian Assange said that, after some thought, he had decided to give the tech community further leaks first.

“Once the material is effectively disarmed, we will publish additional details,” Assange was quoted as saying.

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US federal agencies have launched a criminal investigation into the release of the documents.

In response to the revelations, CIA spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak told the BBC: “As we’ve said previously, Julian Assange is not exactly a bastion of truth and integrity.

“Despite the efforts of Assange and his ilk, CIA continues to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states and other adversaries,” Horniak added.

In the first tranche of leaks, Wikileaks alleged that the CIA had developed “a giant arsenal” of malware to attack “all the systems that average people use”.

Tech firms, including Google and Apple, have said that they are developing counter-measures to combat any malware that the CIA may have developed. (IANS)