Assange is happy!

Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle blower website, Wikileaks will be released on bail later today from the high court in London. This follows days of legal wrangling, which has seen the Wikileaks story dominate global headlines. The story is long and convoluted and so here is a quick recap on the main twists and turns of the plot. 28th Nov Wikileaks releases the first of 250,000 leaked documents that come from US embassies around the world. Almost immediately, the website suffers a DDOS attack (Distributed Denial of Service – a hacking device, whereby thousands of emails and other traffic are sent to one site to overload it and thereby stop it from operating) 1st Dec A US senator, Joe Lieberman calls for “any company that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them”. Amazon subsequently stops providing Wikileaks with its domain space 3rd Dec Wikileaks moves its content to another domain registered in Switzerland, 4th Dec PayPal, owned by eBay, stops any donations being made to the Wikileaks account, because PayPal “cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity”. 6th Dec Credit card giant, Mastercard, withdraws the ability to donate money to Wikileaks. 7th Dec Credit Card company, Visa, restricts any payments through its system to Wikileaks. There seems to be some double standards at work here though, as Mastercard and Visa has no problem in processing donations for the Klu Klux Klan, the racist, anti-Semitic, extreme violence movement. Julian Assange voluntarily attends (by appointment) a London police station and was arrested in connection with alleged rape charges in Sweden. He was refused bail and remained in custody. 8th Dec ‘Hacktivists’ known as ANON, coordinate DDoS attacks on Visa and Mastercard in revenge for freezing donations to Wikileaks. The attacks temporarily bring down the credit card websites. 9th Dec An ANON DDoS attack slows down traffic on the PayPal website. PayPal releases all the frozen funds owed to Wikileaks, but announces it would not reactivate the account. 14th Dec Assange is granted bail of £240,000 with conditions, but is not allowed out of custody due to an appeal against that decision. 16th Dec The appeal is dismissed and Assange is granted bail. Some of the conditions are that he must wear an electronic tag and stay under house arrest. Julian was said to be happy that he had finally made it on to the SGI blog (not true!)

Vocabulary from the article

A whistleblower – a person who raises a concern about wrongdoing in an organisation Convoluted – complicated and difficult to follow Recap – summary Double standards – a rule that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups To be granted bail – the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, providing that a sum of money is given to guarantee their reappearnce in court An appeal – an application in court for a reversal of a court decision An electronic tag – a device, usually attached above the ankle, which allows offenders to be monitored for movement House arrest – the state of being kept as a prisoner in someone’s house, rather than in a prison

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