Ecuadoran Embassy confirms it changed its wifi password to lock out Assange


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/19/ecuadoran-embassy-confirms-it.html


#2

Julian must be losing his touch if a changed wifi password can keep him out (or in).


#3

Sounds like he was also taking his hosts for granted. It doesn’t have to be outside pressure, just people pissed off that he’s hogging all the WiFi with his ranting, or the embassy’s IT guy was getting fed up with his bullshit.


#4

Free speech doesn’t seem to be all that important to the Ecuadorian government, and this friggin guy is prank calling a nuclear superpower from their phone.


#5

I’m not saying you’re wrong about Equador (I simply don’t know), but as a more general point: it’s possible to support the principle of free speech without being willing to actively facilitate or host it.


#6

Is it a violation of free speech if I don’t let you use my phone to make prank calls?


#7

Fish and guests stink after 3 days.


#8

That’s called cowardice, in my language. Which is perfectly fine for time-scarce individuals, but somewhat problematic for resourceful institutions.


#9

A little bit, if you’re the government, but that’s not what I’m saying. I’m noting that Ecuador doesn’t seem to have any sort of commitment to free speech in the first place, and then here comes this dingus taking all kinds of advantage.


#10

If you gave me your phone explicitly to support free speech and then you take it away, you’re either saying that 1) I am not a worthy recipient of free-speech advocacy resources, or 2) you don’t support free speech enough to stake a bit of your political capital on it at the current time (which is not exactly “not supporting”, but in practice produces the same result).

It’s perfectly credible that the Ecuadoreans got a few enraged calls from UK / US representatives (anyone in his right mind, at any level of government and on both sides of the pond, would be extremely annoyed by Trump winning), and realised the amount of political capital invested on letting Assange be Assange had raised beyond their liking. With this token gesture (I’m sure Assange will eventually get a 4g connection or something), they lowered that amount enough to keep it under the threshold of option 2).


#11

To be fair, he didn’t share his Netflix password, and he is constantly hogging bandwidth from torrent sites.

Also he didn’t do his chores.


#12

Let’s remember that there’s the idealized version of free speech and the reality of free speech. Idealized free speech is great and we should strive for it with the knowledge that we can’t actually have it because we can’t have nice things. Fire in a crowded theatre and all.


#13

My thoughts exactly. Also it’s pretty funny that the headlines “Wikileaks: a “state party” has cut off Julian Assange’s primary internet access” and “Wikileaks: Assange’s internet access was cut off by Ecuador” translate to “The embassy changed their wi-fi password.”


#14

I was not of the impression Assange was ever an ace hacker. Isn’t he more of the political and financial brains of the operation?


#15

Now I wonder - is the Ecuadorian embassy not wired at all, or they just don’t trust Assange enough to give them access to their wired network?


#16

What is your Band Name, Rapper Name, Album Name
#17

You know, I can kind of see where they’re coming from. A South American country, particularly considering their history, is going to be very wary of and sensitive to anyone trying to interfere in elections, particularly considering how hard Eucador fought in the late 70s, early 80s to get back to proper democracy after many years of brutal dictatorships and rigged(like, actually rigged, not Trump’s “I’m losing, quick, blame someone else” rigged) elections.

Especially considering that they know better than most how close Julian is with the Russian Government, considering he made direct demands to them that the FSB have access to the embassy, and handle his security rather than the current Ecuadorian security contingent.


#18

Good grief. I believe “Mendax” means liar.

But so much for my comment above - thanks!


#19

or 3) free speech is also a responsibility, youg man, and you’re not behaving yourself, so you can sit in the embassy while you think about what free speech actually means to people.


#20

No, I disagree.

Hypothetically, I might support the principle of someone’s unlimited right to free speech*. Say absolutely anything you** want; no limits.
Yet I mightn’t agree with what you say, and whilst I respect your right to say it, I won’t actively assist your doing so: use your own resources, but I’m not going to make mine available to you. How is that ‘cowardice’?

Maybe ‘support’ is the wrong word: I suppose I mean ‘condone’ rather than ‘assist’, and that Equador might (or might not!) agree that Assange has the abstract right to free speech without having the vaguest duty to provide a means of him exercising it via their resources.

He’s very welcome to step outside and use his own wifi, of course…

*; I don’t.
**: non-specifically ‘you’. :wink: