Feeds

US said to designate Assange 'enemy' of the state

Military who 'communicate' with WikiLeaks could face death penalty

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The US military has allegedly classified Julian Assange as an "enemy", a desigation that could make any member of those forces who communicates with him or WikiLeaks to be liable for the death penalty.

According to an article in Thursday's Sydney Morning Herald, this latest elevation of the charges against Assange was discovered in "declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents" obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Reg can neither confirm nor disprove the existence of the documents, but according to the Morning Herald, they discuss a US Air Force Office of Special Investigations inquiry into whether a UK-based "cyber systems analyst" with top-secret security clearance and access to the US departments of Defense and State's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET) had disclosed "classified or sensitive information" to WikiLeaks or its supporters.

If the Morning Herald's documents are genuine, and if the UK analyst did, indeed, disclose such secret information, she may be in deep trouble.

If Assange & Co. are, indeed, classified as "enemies", the US Uniform Code of Military Justice, specifically section 904, article 104, states that a person who "gives intelligence to, or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly," may be punished by "death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct."

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Morning Herald's disclosure came on the same day that Assange addressed the United Nations General Assembly – albeit by video from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought protection and was then granted asylum, avoiding extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges for which key evidence has recently found to have fallen apart.

"It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks," Assange says in the video, "to cease its persecution of our people, and to cease its persecution of our alleged sources. It is time for President Obama to do the right thing, and to join the forces of change – not in fine words, but in fine deeds." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.