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posted by hubie on Friday August 19 2022, @07:22AM   Printer-friendly

Assange lawyers sue CIA for spying on them:

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sued the US Central Intelligence Agency and its former director Mike Pompeo on Monday, alleging it recorded their conversations and copied data from their phones and computers.

[...] They said the CIA worked with a security firm contracted by the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where Assange was living at the time, to spy on the Wikileaks founder, his lawyers, journalists and others he met with.

[...] Richard Roth, the New York attorney representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said the alleged spying on Assange's attorneys means the Wikileaks founder's right to a fair trial has "now been tainted, if not destroyed."

[...] It said Undercover Global, which had a security contract with the embassy, swept information on their electronic devices, including communications with Assange, and provided it to the CIA.

In addition it placed microphones around the embassy and sent recordings, as well as footage from security cameras, to the CIA.

This, Roth said, violated privacy protections for US citizens.

Anyone knowledgeable on the law who can help unpack all the legal angles here (non-US citizen, US lawyers, in an embassy in a foreign country involving a private company)?

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday August 20 2022, @12:16AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 20 2022, @12:16AM (#1267595) Journal

    and if they can identify a specific agent who they think acted badly that agent can be tagged with "persona non grata" status and deported from Britain/Ecuador/Ecuadorean Embassy property as the case may be

    While not likely in this case, sanctions can go on to any interests of the offending country. A typical escalation might be to kick out suspected agents or even every government employee (such as the ritual cleaning out of embassy staff during the Cold War when some significant offense occurred), or even penalties against various interests of parties associated with the country (tariffs or trade treaty complaints, restricting citizens from the country, for example).

    I see three possible avenues for how this case could matter in the larger scheme of things: generate positive publicity for Assange's main case, throw out evidence on the basis of illegal collection, and perhaps, a little opportunity for discovery - a lot of time FOIA requests can only happen once the requester is aware of the information source (repeated requests to eventually discover basic information aren't rare).