back to article Julian Assange said to have racked up $5m security bill for Ecuador

The government of Ecuador spent nearly $5m to provide protected internet access to asylum-seeker Julian Assange and he responded by hacking their systems, an anonymously sourced report has claimed. According to a report from The Guardian, internal documents show that the the Wikileaks boss required surveillance and security …

  1. yoganmahew

    Wikileaks sues for libel after anonymous leak...

    Is it now a parody of itself?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Wikileaks sues for libel after anonymous leak...

      The defence could call Assange as a witness. And if he does not show, the Judge could just throw the case out

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Wikileaks sues for libel after anonymous leak...

      By penetrating the embassy’s firewall, Assange was able to access and intercept the official and personal communications of staff, the source claimed.

      Talk about biting the hand that feeds and houses you.

    3. Oddlegs

      What's in it for Ecuador?

      I really don't get what's in this whole episode for Ecuador. They're spending a large amount of money harbouring Assange and having him around must be interferring with day to day operations of the embassy. To top it all he's now allegedly hacked into their computers. I understand they're not on the best of terms with the US but damaging your relationships with the UK, Sweden and most of the developed western world seems pretty extreme just to spite America.

  2. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Heroes

    There once was a time when Wikileaks/Assange were heroic figures. Now we see Assange is just an expensive dick. The moral is, value the work people do, but don't be too quick to bestow laurels upon the people themselves.

    1. HCV

      Re: Heroes

      There once was a time when Wikileaks/Assange were heroic figures.

      See: Milkshake Duck

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'There once was a time when [INSERT NAME HERE] were heroic figures'

      Reminds me a lot of this... Talk about high hopes:

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34277960

      1. HCV

        Re: 'There once was a time when [INSERT NAME HERE] were heroic figures'

        Reminds me a lot of this

        I guess it does if you squint just right: misuse of a thing in the service of a goal. Only in one case the goal was an odd stab at getting the United States to promote peace, the other's goal was stabbing the United States to promote Julian Assange.

      2. Florida1920 Silver badge

        Re: 'There once was a time when [INSERT NAME HERE] were heroic figures'

        @AC

        Reminds me a lot of this... Talk about high hopes:

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34277960

        Once the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Dr. Strangelove Kissinger, it lost all meaning, IMO.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: 'There once was a time when [INSERT NAME HERE] were heroic figures'

          Once the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Dr. Strangelove Kissinger, it lost all meaning, IMO.

          If not then, then when it was awarded to Obama, who at the time had done literally nothing as President other than not be George Bush (either of them). Now, whether or not he deserved one for later works is a seperate debate, but at the point of its award, he literally hadn't done anything.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Obama's Nobel

            As best I can tell, he was awarded it for good intentions - what he said he wanted to do, rather than what he had already done. It isn't quite as meaningless as Time Magazine's "Man of the Year", but its getting there. If Trump ever gets one, then it will truly have jumped the shark.

            The Nobel committee should declare that US presidents are ineligible for the prize until the US stops spending more on defense than the next ten countries combined, fighting in multiple simultaneous undeclared wars all over the globe, trying to destabilize governments we don't like (i.e. won't give our corporations access to exploit their natural resources) and so forth.

            Heck, North Korea's "Dear Leader" deserves it more than any US president in the past 50 years does - they may have built nukes but they're hardly the only country to have done so and their military hasn't set foot outside their border in 65 years. How many countries other than Switzerland can say that?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Obama's Nobel and his intentions

              I've got an intention to save the world too. What, no Nobel for Mr Nobody?! So SAD!

            2. Malcom Ryder 1

              Re: Obama's Nobel

              Heck, you're just mad cause he killed your buddy Osama Bin laden

          2. handleoclast Silver badge

            Re: 'There once was a time when [INSERT NAME HERE] were heroic figures'

            If not then, then when it was awarded to Obama, who at the time had done literally nothing as President other than not be George Bush (either of them).

            I think Obama not being Dubya was the reason he got the prize. Not so much Obama getting a peace prize as Dubya getting a (virtual) negative peace prize.

            But Obama soon showed he didn't deserve it, by refusing to put Dubya, Cheney, Rummy et alia on trial for war crimes. I'll never forgive him for that. Had he done that, the UK might have done the same for Tony Bliar.

    3. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Heroes

      Now? NOW? No no... many of us considered him an expensive dick the day he jumped bail and screwed god knows how many liberal luvvies out of the money they stumped up for his bail. The man is a liability.

      1. JimC Silver badge

        Re: screwed god knows how many liberal luvvies out of the money they stumped up for his bail

        Just goes to show, there's a bright side to almost everything...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Heroes

        What about the day he removed the condom without her consent?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. PNGuinn
        Angel

        Re: Heroes

        "... screwed god knows how many liberal luvvies out of the money they stumped up for his bail ..."

        So, he's not all bad then.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Florida

      Yeah, not just expensive but pretty arrogant too. I'm still quite disappointed when I learned about this to be honest but at one point Assange even started calling out the Ecuadorian president because he was all in favor of Catelonia going independent and Ecuador was not. Whatever happened to respect thy host?

      He's eating their food, he's using their Internet connection and apparently he has no problems at all just pissing over their political statements "because". Some guest...

      1. PNGuinn
        Joke

        Re: @Florida

        "He's eating their food, he's using their Internet connection and apparently he has no problems at all just pissing over..."

        Perhaps he should learn to use their toilet as well ...

        Oh, sorry, tldr.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heroes

      There once was a time when Wikileaks/Assange were heroic figures.

      Wikileaks would earn at best a "maybe" on that score, but Assange? Never. As far as I can tell, WikiLeaks was only really created to retrospectively establish some sort of justification for Assange's hacking. The problem: subsequent actions by Assange himself even damaged that idea.

      The man's a dick and whoever follows him is as prone to deception as Trump followers.

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Heroes

      well, if they ARE heroes, maybe people would fund them with a 'go fund me' kind of campaign? At least they could pay back the Ecuadorians for the extra security costs...

    7. Felonmarmer

      Re: Heroes

      Almost as if there had been a sustained campaign to discredit him by those his organisation exposed isn't it?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Heroes

        @felonmarmer

        Almost as if there had been a sustained campaign to discredit him by those his organisation exposed isn't it?

        Frankly, there doesn't need to be any sort of organised campaign to discredit him, he's doing very well by himself.

        I don't recall that he's paid back the poor shmucks who stood bail for him, for instance?

        1. Felonmarmer

          Re: Heroes

          The man's a twat, I'll give you that, but the fact that he's a bit of a twat doesn't invalidate my point.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heroes

      "There once was a time when Wikileaks/Assange were heroic figures. Now we see Assange is just an expensive dick."

      Trouble is, you have to ask where the information that lead to that change of opinion/view came from - how much of it was propaganda from organisations that regarded wikileaks as a threat and who realised that an ad hominem attack on Assange was more likely to succeed than an attack on wikileaks itself?

  3. Lee D Silver badge

    "****We're****" suing?

    Who's we?

    Anyone else except Assange would lack standing to bring such a case.

    However, apart from pissing away everyone's money, listening to a lawyer is about the only thing he HASN'T bothered to do. If he had, he wouldn't be where he is.

    But, of course, that doesn't make much of a story and it must have been nearly a week since you were last on the front pages, mustn't it?

    Seriously, stop giving the twat air-time.

    1. YourNameHere

      Yep, He's suing. I think he just went out and hired a new lawyer.

      He talked to his "friend" and hired Michael D. Cohen who gave him great reviews...

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Seriously, stop giving the twat air-time.

      Actually the reverse is probably a better idea. The more he's exposed to the public eye, the less important he'll become. Pretty soon, he'll just be a vague memory.

    3. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      "Seriously, stop giving the twat air...

      There fixed that for you...

  4. BrownishMonstr

    The question is why are they still putting up with him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's politics for you. Booting him out as he deserves would be admitting they got it wrong when this all started. That said, it appears the mounting costs and hassle appear to be changing that equation.

      Better late than never, I guess..

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      The question is why are they still putting up with him.

      Presumably protocol and future proofing.

      Its generally frowned upon to grant someone asylum and then hand them over to their persuers. Assange is, if the reports are true, a horrific guest, but handing him over to the UK, then Sweden, then possibly the USA would diminish the likelihood of anyone ever claiming asylum in Ecuador again.

      There's no question of the UK not arresting him and sending him to jail for bail jumping. So either he comes out and faces the music, or he dies on that couch. I just wish he'd do it without all the fuss.

      Gradually, Ecuador might choose to make his stay progressively less comfortable in the hope that he eventually decides to man up and face the consequences of what are indisputably his own actions.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Its generally frowned upon to grant someone asylum and then hand them over to their persuers. Assange is, if the reports are true, a horrific guest, but handing him over to the UK, then Sweden, then possibly the USA would diminish the likelihood of anyone ever claiming asylum in Ecuador again.

        I think following this experience, they might see this as a Good Thing™

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          They cant chuck him out, he's a citizen now.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Doesn't matter if he's a citizen. They can still chuck him out. The British government won't hide you in the embassy if you're a citizen and are accused of some crime abroad. They'll help you with consular services, but they'll kick you out of the embassy if the rozzers are after you.

            They don't even want to protect genuine asylum seekers if they can avoid it. The Foreign Office attitude is that embassies are there for dealing with foreign governments, and pissing them off by publicly embarrassing them is not good for diplomacy. So they only do it when they've got no choice.

            Also diplomatic asylum is not internationally recognised in the Vienna Conventions. It's mostly practised in South America. So very normal there. Deals are usually done to sort things out after a few more months of awkwardness. But the UK government are far more legalistic than that. The government don't have the legal power to stop the police arresting Assange. And don't have the motive to "have a quiet word on the old-boys network".

            Hence Ecuador are stuck with the last government's bad decision. The Guardian article claims that a poll in Ecuador says 75% of people want Assange kicked out. So I'm surprised they haven't done it already.

            Though as he's hacked their communications, maybe he's got embarrassing materials on them? Like that wasn't a predictable consequence of letting him into their embassy with a computer and time on his hands... Oops!

  5. Lee D Silver badge

    If Ecuador are footing the bill, he can gamble Bitcoin on the outcome of flipping a coin, as far as I'm concerned. I wonder how much it's cost them total, in trade negotiations, lawyer fees, etc.

    P.S. Newsweek doesn't work in Chrome for me:

    ERR_SPDY_PROTOCOL_ERROR

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      the 5m Ecuador have spent on wifi , is peanuts compared to the money it apparently costs us to have a bobby stand outside the place for the last few years.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        I imagine we've subtracted that amount from any and all renegotiated trade deals with Ecuador in the intervening time.

  6. Scorchio!!

    How ironic, though I'm sure it's escaped him; a man evading the British criminal justice system intends to use the civil part of our laws. It's one rule for him....

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      "Certainly Mr Assange.... please present your case to court at this address and time..."

  7. Ignorance is bliss

    This story originates with yet another 'anonymous source' coupled with the usual diligent investigative journalism of the Guardian?

    Give me a break!

  8. Mr Dogshit
    Headmaster

    The Guardian's article doesn't say he "hacked into embassy satellites"- it says "Assange hacked into the communications system within the embassy".

    Slight difference.

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      >"Assange hacked into the communications system within the embassy".

      Ten quid says the "hacking" was the highly-skilled vulnerability exploit of plugging his laptop into the wall's LAN socket.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Under the Computer Misuse Act, such an action would be illegal without authorisation.

        Whether it's "hacking" or not is merely subjective based on the difficulty of doing so.

        Whether it's putting two fingers up to your host or not is quite clear.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Under the Computer Misuse Act, such an action would be illegal without authorisation."

          It doesn't apply within the Ecuadoran embassy although they may have their own legislation about that. If they were to charge him they'd probably have to take him to Ecuador to stand trial. The trip might go via a British court and possibly jail here. Sweden might get involved as well.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            WRONG.

            UK law applies in all foreign embassies in the nation.

            It's only amabassadors who are immune to prosecution (and only under certain caveats).

            Otherwise, you could literally sneak people into a foreign embassy, torture them in front of an open window, and nobody would be able to stop you.

            The "foreign soil" thing is NOT TRUE. Stop perpetuating it. The premises are subject to UK law at all times.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Ten quid says the "hacking" was the highly-skilled vulnerability exploit of plugging his laptop into the wall's LAN socket.

        No, it includes intercepting communications, so it's going to be slightly more complex than that.

        Remember that he ended up with having his internet connection pulled after Spain gave Ecuador a very severe bollocking over his comments about the Catalan independence thing. (https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/28/assange_goes_404/)

        So, there's a good motive.

        The method was probably to unplug his (useless) wireless access point with integrated switch and plug it in at a desk between the wall socket and the computer.

        Being generous, if the embassy was using network access control then he might have also done a man in the middle via wireshark to get the details of the user of that computer to be able to access the network.

        The opportunity was probably in the early hours of the morning when there was (practically) nobody else present in the embassy.

    2. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

      He probably stole somebody's Avaya One-X password. I doubt he has the where with all and the equipment to hijack their satcom. Still, giving this little shit airtime in the media is exactly what he wants and what he deserves the least.

  9. Jove Bronze badge

    Rattle - Pram, Pram - Rattle.

  10. Jove Bronze badge

    Any info on the cost of the cleaning, sanitary, and fumigation charges yet?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Alert

      @Jove

      Any info on the cost of the cleaning, sanitary, and fumigation charges yet?

      And the best way to clean/fumigate would be to vacate the premises for the duration. Now, what would happen if the Ecuadorian Embassy were to temporarily (or permanently) relocate to another venue? The Embassy staff move, the (non-living) contents are moved, leaving Assange behind in a venue that is no longer a recognised Foreign Mission.

      Knock, knock..

      1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

        Seems a lot of expensive hassle when they could just elbow him out that window he's so fond of waving from.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Seems a lot of expensive hassle when they could just elbow him out that window he's so fond of waving from.

          Two options:

          a - What? And risk him surviving that?

          b - That would bring costs for cleaning of the pavement below. Besides, God knows how high the fines for littering are in London..

      2. Jove Bronze badge

        What? Up sticks and not tell him! Oh, that would be just mean. Might work though.

  11. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

    Suing would backfire, badly

    Wouldn't he be a key witness in this case? How would he show up if summoned? Acquiring another contempt charge isn't going to make his life any easier, although maybe it could give the Ecuadorians a lever to get him out of their embassy.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Suing would backfire, badly

      Courts use video links for witnesses who cannot make it to the courtroom for whatever reason.

      Need to find some other excuse to boot him out.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Suing would backfire, badly

        I don't think "because I'm on the run from the law for skipping UK bail" is considered a valid reason.

        Plus, it would drastically hit his credibility as a witness even if it were allowed.

      2. JimC Silver badge

        Re: Courts use video links

        I think they are normally organised from police stations or elsewhere in the court buildings though. My recent experience as a juror on a trial where one was organised was that the link was from a room in the court complex.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Suing would backfire, badly

        "Courts use video links for witnesses who cannot make it to the courtroom for whatever reason."

        It depends on whether they accept the reason. Being a fugitive from an arrest warrant for skipping bail might not be a good enough reason.

      4. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Suing would backfire, badly

        Courts use video links for witnesses who cannot make it to the courtroom for whatever reason.

        True, but that for the case of people who *cannot* make it to the courtroom, e.g. because of hospitalisation - they would if they could but they can't.

        For Assange, it'd be a case of *will not*. He'd be perfectly capable of doing so but would be refusing to attend.

      5. PNGuinn
        Happy

        Re: Suing would backfire, badly

        Courts use video links ...

        But they've cut off his 'hinternet access.

        Everyone say "Aaaaaah"

  12. jonfr

    Julian Assange and Russia link

    There was also some reports that Wikileaks and Julian Assange having forwarded information about Ecuador to Russia. After he hacked into the embassy computer systems read all their emails and other private and sensitive information. I think this was in the same The Guardian news that is being quoted here (or at least resulted in those news reports).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently he penetrated the embassy firewall, did the embassy not have protection? will he never learn?

  14. Mr.Mischief

    Spelling / thesaurus check?

    I found two grammar mistakes in the first couple of paragraphs.. El Reg forgot to proofread?

    1. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Spelling / thesaurus check?

      They are not mistakes; they are a means of sending secret messages.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Spelling / thesaurus check?

        and the secret message is... no spelling / thesaurus check!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    It would have cost them something

    having Assange there, How does he provide for himself. Act as the cleaner or a typist perhaps.

    How many Ecuadorians would love to have such a privilege of their government.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It would have cost them something

      Just as every inmate in our prisons costs us an arm and a leg.

      One might see prison as a safety net against starvation, or even against homelessness. But how many {citizens-of-$country} would love to have such a privilege of their government as a lifestyle choice?

      A plague on all their houses. The only question is who is the biggest a**hole: Assange, or #UK? I'd say Ecuador comes lower down the scale (they just failed to think this through), and Sweden has had enough of the whole idiocy.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: It would have cost them something

        "or #UK"

        A hashtag? Are you Amber Rudd?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          We need to promote a hostile environment

          on use of hashtags

        2. HypG

          Re: It would have cost them something

          Sorry, Cant be Amber Rudd, he used the hashtag properly, therefore proving he understands the relevant hashtags

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: It would have cost them something

        What's the UK done wrong? Or to deserve to be called arseholes?

        All we did was to facilitate a legitimate Swedish arrest warrant as our laws require. Assange got a full legal process, actually more than the law requires, because his effectively became a test case on the International Arrest Warrant system.

        As for Sweden "having had enough of the whole idiocy", I don't think so. Their prosecutors office have suspended the investigation as it wasn't proportionate to continue it, given they had no chance of getting Assange. They've said that if he turns up in a UK police station they can dust down the old IAW and ping it back across again. Minus the charges that are no longer valid under their statute of limitations.

        Ecuador didn't fail to think this through. They were grandstanding and they were being arseholes. Assange was getting perfectly fine due process in the UK, and was about to be shipped off to Sweden, which is one of the most respected countries in the world for rule-of-law / transparency / sociatal equality / general scandi-fluffiness.

        Oh, by the way, #WeHateHastags...

  16. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The scheme was first named "Operation Guest" before changing to Hotel, which may reflect the length of Assange's stay at the embassy.

    Shortly to be renamed "Long Lease" and eventually "Here's the deeds".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Eventually "Operation Saga"

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Eventually "Operation Saga"

        Heat death of the Universe?

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
          Trollface

          No, he's going to join the grey army on a coach trip to Bournemouth.

  17. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    An anonymously sourced report claimed

    In other words, the anonymous source is just making this 'stuff' up. It's going to be a historical oddity that the Guardian have also acted to discredit Wikileaks. What was Assange's response when such anonymous allegations were put to him. What exactly is the evidence, anonymously sourced documents as 'seen by the Guardian' and evidence-free claims of Assange 'penetrating the embassy’s firewall'. Do you people want to lose any last shred of credibility, please leave this neocon waffle to the MSM. See some more high quality reporting from the Guardian - the pretend left leaning newspaper.

    The Guardian Is Committing Journalistic Malpractice By Not Retracting This Claim

    wikileaks: "No, @Guardian, @JulianAssange did not "hack into" embassy satellites. That's an anonymous libel aligned with the current UK-US government onslaught against Mr. Assange's asylum -- while he can't respond. You've gone too far this time. We're suing."

    This reminds of how the Italian mafia used to deal with vigorous prosecutors. Spy and intimidate the prosecutors and then have 'leaked' accusations of the prosecutors being members of the mafia themselves. In this case we have the entire security apparatus being targeted against the one man holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy. And their pet journalists in the MSN concoct a story of how Assange is complicit in spying on embassy staff and visitors. That must of been one hell of a bull-session, as they say at Langley ;)

    1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

      Re: An anonymously sourced report claimed

      I love how you're calling the Guardian a neocon news source and don't get how stupid that sounds to anyone except for possibly readers of the Morning Star.

      1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: An anonymously sourced report claimed

          Systematic ‘fake news’ Planted By Britain’s Intelligence Services

          I'm surprised you trust the book referred to in that article, given it's written by one of those neocon Guardian journos.

          1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

            Re: An anonymously sourced report claimed

            The Pentagon paid Bell Pottinger $540,000,000 to produce fake terror videos (Probably the Jihadi John videos), Bell Pottinger, due to bad publicity of their operations in South Africa, apparently the company went into administration and redundancies ensued.

            I say apparently, because a company is simply a mask, that can be discarded and reimagined under a new guise

            Bell Pottinger are still out there...

            1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
              Big Brother

              Re: An anonymously sourced report claimed

              March 28: "Ecuador’s government said Wednesday that it had suspended internet access for Julian Assange" ref

              April 26: "Ecuador Signs Security Deal with US, Military Presence Expected." ref

              [Assange] 'should hold his hands up and leave the embassy', James Ball of the Guardian

              With friends like that, who needs enemies and why is the Guardian acting to discredit a good source of information. Has any source of information from Wikileaks ever been proved as a fabrication?

              I would have thought a much more interesting story would be the contents of the Clinton and DNC emails and who leaked them and what were their motives. An other interesting story, the source of the Trump 'golden shower' dossier, a purported attempt at a palace coup prosecuted against a duly elected President by elements close to the deep state. Can we blame that on Russian 'hackers'

              But, it's not as if all journalists work for the security services. It is highly plausible that there is at least one embedded agent in all the major news organizations. Their chief function being to funnel propaganda into the 'news' stories and report back to their political masters any signs of real breaking news. I suspect that once Assange handed over documents to the Guardian, they were on the desks of the various intelligence agencies within hours.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        calling the Guardian a neocon news source

        Times have changed - have you read the hand-fed dross they've been pumping out recently ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An anonymously sourced report claimed

      In other words, the anonymous source is just making this 'stuff' up.

      It appears that you and WikiLeaks share a profound lack of understanding of how real journalists work.

      It's a shame, because it would explain to you why an article in The Guardian (or, say, in El Reg) is so much more credible than some tweets from Wikileaks.

      The Guardian would not have published this if they had not found independent verification of those claims - even the link you've posted as "proof" is not credible IMHO until picked up by newspapers.

      The only good effect of the Trump era is, IMHO, that newspapers have become much more cagey in what they accept as genuine news because there is quite some BS flying around.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Likkie

    A very expensive guest!

    FFS $66K/month!!!

    That's the annual nominal GDP of 10 Ecuadorians every month. IMF Link

    One wonders how the average Ecuadorian feels about their tax dollars being used in this way (or if they even know).

    Shame!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A very expensive guest!

      >One wonders how the average Ecuadorian feels about their tax dollars being used in this way (or if they even know).

      Most don't know - less than half the population has Internet access and Ecuador doesn't have a free press. Comments sections like this on websites are effectively illegal in Ecuador.

      https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2016/ecuador

  20. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    What i want to know is...

    ...do they have anywhere in the Embassy grounds to bury Assange after he dies?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What i want to know is...

      Aren't there laws against soil pollution? Or do they not count on diplomatic grounds?

      In any case, I wouldn't want all flowers to wilt..

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: What i want to know is...

      They haven't got any grounds, it's a block of flats. They've got a balcony. Though I'm not sure it's big enough for a compost heap...

  21. mrdalliard
    Flame

    Stupid Question Time

    Doesn't the embassy have a six-monthly fire-alarm evacuation test as per most establishments in the UK? And if so, does that mean Mr A stays in the building, potentially being allowed to burn in the event of a fire? Could they not use good old 'elf and safety' grounds to boot him out of the building and stand in the car-park until the all-clear is received, like everyone else?

    "Not our fault you've had to come outside, guv, just following the rules."

    (Or is the Ecuadorian embassy an extension of Ecuadorian soil, and therefore exempt from such things?)

    Obvious icon.

    M.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Stupid Question Time

      No such thing as "embassy soil" etc.

      Honestly, that's just a myth, like ship's captains being able to marry people.

      The Ecuadorian embassy is subject to the rule of UK law, even if the ambassador himself may not be (he enjoys some immunity).

      What stops the police just walking in is *convention* - it's considered rude and a bad precedent to do so, even though it's entirely legal.

      Plus, the UK can deem the embassy "not an embassy" any time they like, totally legally.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Stupid Question Time

        Plus, the UK can deem the embassy "not an embassy" any time they like, totally legally.

        But not without causing an international incident.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Stupid Question Time

          Correct.

          Which is why they don't. Because then every country hosting an embassy would do the same for every minor disagreement.

          It's "politics" not "law".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'Love, exciting and new Come Aboard. We're expecting you...'

        >Honestly, that's just a myth, like ship's captains being able to marry people.

        Nope it's a thing - in fact demand is such that many cruise ships (eg all of the Princess Line) now have dedicated wedding chapels and all their cap's are Notaries in case the couples local jurisdictions don't recognise captain's authority.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: 'Love, exciting and new Come Aboard. We're expecting you...'

          It both is and isn't a thing.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks to me like a dead man squawking

    Looks like time is running out and ASSange has no place else to hide.

  23. Sheepykins

    I've always maintained that Assange is an utter scumbag and guilty of everything hes accused of.

    Innocent people don't run and hide, they accept what they've done and if hes jailed for "false claims" then he becomes a martyr to his cause.

    Instead he ran for the nearest foreign bolthole willing to take him and I'm glad they're getting fed up. Its starting to not be worth the price of fame to keep him.

    1. DasWezel

      "Innocent people don't run and hide, they accept what they've done"

      Eh, run that one past me again?

    2. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      "Innocent people don't run and hide, they accept what they've done "

      Logic

      Nailed it

  24. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Pint

    "The scheme was first named "Operation Guest" before changing to Hotel, which may reflect the length of Assange's stay at the embassy"

    After all these years and him not paying rent isn't this now Operation Squatter?

  25. deive

    I really can't understand why everyone seems to hate him so much now - this "squatting" isn't his choice, bet he isn't having fun there.

    Think we need to remember why he is there - total fabricated charges by the US, Sweden and the UK. Like the current leaker -https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/15/vault_7_leak/ I doubt was a rapist/peodo, unless every one of them suddenly has uncontrollable sexual urges as soon as the US discovers who they are but have no evidence for a court case.

    If the UK wasn't spending so much money just to keep the US happy then he wouldn't have to hide? The skipping bail is an offense here, but wouldn't have happened if Sweden didn't do the same thing on the fake rape charge.

    This has nothing to do if you like him or not - I hate outspoken, self-aggrandising people as much as everyone else.

    1. MrXavia

      The UK charges are not fabricated, he is wanted for skipping bail.

      The others, well that is for the courts to decide, and I am not sure he can ever have a fair trial, not that I think trials are generally ran fairly.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      I really can't understand why everyone seems to hate him so much now - this "squatting" isn't his choice, bet he isn't having fun there.

      Think we need to remember why he is there

      Whose choice is it? He's there because he jumped bail rather than be legally extradited to Sweden under a valid EAW. You can't get to pick and choose what laws apply to you and what ones don't; if he didn't want to be bound by our laws, he should not have come here. Why did he suddenly flee from Sweden in the first place? Oh that's right, he decided he didn't have to be interviewed by the Swedish police, got his lawyer to lie to them whilst he fled.

      Can you spot a theme here?

      1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

        Let me correct you, because you appear to have been confused by the MSM

        Julian Assange is there because going to some show trial in Sweden is a fasttracked ticket to being extradited to the "land of the free", MURICA™

        Lapdog Britain is a vassal of the USA, that's another reason he is there.

        "A person who reads nothing at all is far more informed than someone who reads nothing but newspapers"

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          "A person who reads nothing at all is far more informed than someone who reads nothing but newspapers"

          Here's your problem: you don't believe anything you read in the "MSM", but you believe everything you read that is against the status quo. The problem is that you end up reading all kinds of nonsense mixed in with a very few valid concerns, and you cannot objectively see which is the nonsense and which are the valid concerns. Your distrust of "MSM" means that if you read one "source" that contradicts the "MSM", you believe it precisely because it is not from the "MSM".

          I read Private Eye. If that's MSM, god help us all.

          PS: He's not going to Sweden. He's not going to the US (well, not from either the UK or Sweden). Eventually he will come out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he'll do 30 days in prison for jumping bail, and then he'll be deported to Australia. What happens to him after that is up to him and his government.

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Trollface

          RE: FlamingDeath

          "Let me correct you, because you appear to have been confused by the MSM"

          Men who have Sex with Men? What have they been saying?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      this "squatting" isn't his choice

      Abusing the asylum system as he did? Yep, definitely 100% his choice.

  26. DougS Silver badge

    How can it possibly cost them $66K per month?

    Even stationing someone outside his door 24x7 shouldn't cost nearly that much. Sounds like some funny money accounting where staff they would have had anyway have been designated to an "Operation Hotel" account so they can ask for budget increases elsewhere.

    They ought to set a deadline for end of the year when he has to leave. The Swedish charges seem to have gone away, and the worst the UK will do to him is jail him briefly for dodging them. His fear of president Hillary Clinton stuffing him in a deep dark hole won't come to pass. Trump isn't going to allow the DOJ to do anything to him, Assange/Wikileaks know too much to risk them cooperating with Mueller's investigation. If he walked out the door of the embassy tomorrow he'd probably be a free man before the end of the year.

    1. Sheepykins

      Re: How can it possibly cost them $66K per month?

      Remember, Trump is all for Guantanamo. If Assange wanted to get away with this, he would have been better trying to do it under Obama.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: How can it possibly cost them $66K per month?

      DougS,

      They paid a private security company, I suspect a UK one. Plus bought a bunch of surveillance gear. So they were paying for a local flat to use as a monitoring centre. A 2 bedroom flat in Knightsbridge was costing them about £1,800 a month rent. Plus a handful of staff on London salaries - soon adds up.

      Apparently they didn't tell the ambassador, and he only found out because the bill for the unpaid council tax on the flat got sent to the embassy. Oops!

    3. aelfheld

      Re: How can it possibly cost them $66K per month?

      Government.

      It makes everything more expensive.

  27. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Ecuador

    What do they get out of this?

    Aren't they just embarrassing themselves by crapping on their host's carpet?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Ecuador

      The last president got to polish his anti-American credentials. Very important in some left-wing circles in South America.

      The current one is stuck with that policy, though he doesn't appear to like it. But for some reason hasn't kicked Assange out. Presumably because that's embarrassing? But then he can just claim it's the last government's policy - even if he was vice president.

      On the other hand, they may still be hoping for concessions from the Foreign Office. Which the FCO really don't look like they'll offer, short of hell freezing over first.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Ecuador

        Because it's seen as bad form to kick out people you've granted asylum to.

        1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

          Re: Ecuador

          Then you should probably keep asylum for those who need it.

  28. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Enemy of the people

    Hardly

    I find it quite incredible that the seemingly common view held by fellow commentards here is that Julian Assange is some kind of boogey man, not worthy of being protected from powerful, long established power structures.

    Is it willful ignorance that his organisation helped facilitate the revealing of war crimes by the USA?

    Do you actually believe he is some kind of sex predator, going around raping women?

    Maybe he also had sex with an alien shrimp, as depicted in that film District 9, the media are happy to oblige as long as there is money being paid

    If I can offer you all some advice.

    Try thinking for yourselves

    Analyse FFS!

    Take for example the media salivating over the death of Alan Kurdi, because it fitted in with their narrative, but completely ignored all of the "Alan Kurdi's" murdered in the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, (insert any number of wars the USA has been involved with either directly, or via some proxy puppet)

    I thought El Reg was where the intelligent people go, perhaps I am mistaken

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Enemy of the people

      What warcrimes? There was nothing in the Afghan war logs and the "Collaterol Murder" video was edited. Although I read one analysis that said the last bit of the incident might be a warcrime (firing into a building that might also hold civilians), but firing on armed people in a warzone definitely isn't.

      Anyway, even if Wikileaks is the heroic organisation some claim, that doesn't give Assange a get-out-of-jail-free card for any rapes he wishes to commit. He has to attend court and face a trial, like the rest of us would. Then we get to find out if he's guilty or innocent. Given there were only two people in the room at the time, he's very likely to be found not guilty, whatever the truth of the matter.

      I don't know if he's a sexual predator or not. That's why we have courts. I do know that spending all this effort hiding from justice, and lying about the circumstances he left Sweden and trying to blacken the name of his accusors makes him look very guilty though. But innocent until proven guilty and all that - which means he needs to face his trial.

      Remember even heroes can be narcisstic arseholes with awful attitudes to women. And Julian's no hero.

      1. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

        Re: Enemy of the people

        Right now Assange carries the label 'accused rapist', and the trial he is actively avoiding would determine if the 'accused' is dropped or the whole label. The fact that his own actions are preventing that determination from being made isn't supposed to affect it. However they do paint a picture of his character that could be quite damaging to his case. If it ever happens.

  29. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Upvoting own posts

    Is that akin to smelling your own farts?

    I know some of you do this

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Upvoting own posts

      1. Who cares?

      2. How do you know?

      3. Why is it important to you?

      4. Are you unable to accept the possibility that lots of people just disagree with you?

      5. I promise not to upvote my own post. I really can't be arsed to go and create a bunch of fake accounts to do so. Life is short, and beer is available.

      1. stephanh Silver badge

        Re: Upvoting own posts

        Don't bother upvoting your own posts.

        Use these chaps instead: http://clickmonkeys.com/

        "As long as you remain a customer of Click Monkeys!!™ we'll never tell!!" So what could possibly go wrong?

    2. PNGuinn
      Coat

      Re: Upvoting own posts

      "Is that akin to smelling your own farts?

      I know some of you do this"

      So How many commentards smell ....

      Enquiring minds etc ....

      Ida thunk it'd be a more suitable question for an erudite tech site such as wot this is to enquire as to how many commentards have, and on how many occasions, successfully LIT a phart. ....

      No, don't bother, I'll get it myself.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    How much public money has the UK government spent on monitoring Assange? There was a rather disturbing figure a while ago

  31. RobertLongshaft

    The deep state / establishment will not stop unitl they have murdered him, will they?

    Another death to add to the Clinton body count.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Black Helicopters

      Careful! Your tinfoil hat is slipping!

      I find it's best to wear a tea-cosy over the top of it, to hold it in place.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Guest" sounds so much better than annoying squatter doesn't it.

  33. aelfheld

    It's his nature

    Scorpion, meet Frog.

    Frog, Scorpion.

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