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Julian Assange charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London (Credit: BBC)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged in the U.S. with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, according to the U.S. Justice Department. You can read a full copy of the indictment at the bottom of this page.

Summary from the U.S. Justice Department:

The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications. Manning, who had access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst, was using the computers to download classified records to transmit to WikiLeaks. Cracking the password would have allowed Manning to log on to the computers under a username that did not belong to her. Such a deceptive measure would have made it more difficult for investigators to determine the source of the illegal disclosures.

During the conspiracy, Manning and Assange engaged in real-time discussions regarding Manning’s transmission of classified records to Assange. The discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information. During an exchange, Manning told Assange that “after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.” To which Assange replied, “curious eyes never run dry in my experience.”

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