Ecuador has cut the internet connection of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its London embassy, the anti-secrecy group said, claiming the move was in response to the group’s publication of documents related to US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
“We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speechs (sic),” the statement from WikiLeaks said.
Mr Assange has lived and worked in Ecuador’s London embassy since June 2012, having been granted asylum there after a British court ordered him extradited to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual molestation case involving two female WikiLeaks supporters.
“We have activated the appropriate contingency plans,” WikiLeaks added. People close to WikiLeaks say that Mr Assange himself is the principal operator of the website’s Twitter feed.
The Ecuadoran government offered no immediate comment on the question of internet access, but the country’s foreign minister, Guillaume Long, said Mr Assange remained under government protection.
“The circumstances that led to the granting of asylum remain,” Mr Long said in a statement late on Monday.
Over the last two weeks, Democratic Party officials and US government agencies have accused the Russian government, including the country’s “senior-most officials,” of pursuing a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organisations ahead of the November 8 US presidential election.
We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton's Goldman Sachs speechs.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 17, 2016
WikiLeaks has been one of the most prominent internet outlets to post and promote hacked Democratic Party materials. While denying any connection with a Russian hacking campaign, Mr Assange has refused to disclose WikiLeaks’ sources for hacked Democratic Party messages.