from the where's-the-nearest-Starbucks? dept.
Multiple sources reporting:
Wikileaks has announced that Julian Assange's internet access had been intentionally severed by a state actor. I would assume this means they disrupted a VPN connection he had rather than just cutting all internet access to the Ecuadorian Embassy, but again details are limited.
The announcement of disruption was also preceded by multiple strange tweets of random numbers (likely crypto keys) that appear to be part of a dead man system activated by the disruption.
takyon: The full tweet states "Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans." Wikileaks recently released Part 9 of the Podesta Emails. Also at CNET and Ars Technica.
Update: Wikileaks says: "We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton's Goldman Sachs speechs."
Perhaps the embassy's perennial guest has finally overstayed his welcome?
The Ecuadorean government spent around $5 million to protect and spy on Julian Assange and his visitors, according to The Guardian. The operation evolved over time as the embassy's guest became less welcome:
Over more than five years, Ecuador put at least $5m (£3.7m) into a secret intelligence budget that protected the WikiLeaks founder while he had visits from Nigel Farage, members of European nationalist groups and individuals linked to the Kremlin. [...] Documents show the intelligence programme, called "Operation Guest", which later became known as "Operation Hotel" – coupled with parallel covert actions – ran up an average cost of at least $66,000 a month for security, intelligence gathering and counter-intelligence to "protect" one of the world's most high-profile fugitives. [...] The security personnel recorded in minute detail Assange's daily activities, and his interactions with embassy staff, his legal team and other visitors. They also documented his changing moods.
[...] Worried that British authorities could use force to enter the embassy and seize Assange, Ecuadorian officials came up with plans to help him escape. They included smuggling Assange out in a diplomatic vehicle or appointing him as Ecuador's United Nations representative so he could have diplomatic immunity in order to attend UN meetings, according to documents seen by the Guardian dated August 2012. In addition to giving Assange asylum, Correa's government was apparently prepared to spend money on improving his image. A lawyer was asked to devise a "media strategy" to mark the "second anniversary of his diplomatic asylum", in a leaked 2014 email exchange seen by the Guardian.
The money being spent was unknown to some members of the government, including the Ecuadorian ambassador to the UK, who learned of the operation in 2015. Ecuador's financial controller's office also investigated payments related to the operation.