Ecuadorian Embassy in UK ends Julian Assange's asylum

11 Apr 2019

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's political asylum was revoked by the Ecuadorian Embassy and he was arrested by UK police.  According to NBC, the revocation of Assange's Ecuadorian asylum was due to his 'spoiled brat' behaviour. Other sources reported that Assange's arrest was designed to make sure he didn't press a mysterious panic button and that the detention was 'a sad day for human rights, for freedom of expression and for Ecuador' and a 'threat to journalism'.

Some do not consider the WikiLeaks publishing of documents to be a crime, rather, the hacking and leaking that opened the classified documents to the public, for which Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Assange is facing extradition on charges of helping Manning hack one of the US Department of Defense passwords.

 

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Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.

Several international instruments guarantee the right to freedom of expression. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that this right includes the freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. The Internet, with the opportunity it offers people to express themselves, is seen as an enabler of the exercise of this particular human right. Although these freedoms are guaranteed in global instruments and in national constitutions, in some countries freedom of expression is often curtailed through online censorship or filtering mechanisms, imposed by states, often for political reasons.

 

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