Julian Assange: Prominent Australians rally in Sydney for his release | #computerhacking | #hacking

Prominent Australians have reiterated calls for the federal government to intervene in Julian Assange’s impending extradition to the United States, during a rally in Sydney on Friday.
United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel last month approved , including espionage and hacking.
If convicted, lawyers for the 50-year-old Australian have said he could face a jail term of 170 years. US lawyers said he would more likely face four to six years in jail.
Actor Michael Caton said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese needed to urgently step in.
“The only thing Julian Assange is guilty of this revealing to the world the scale of the atrocities committed by the United States in Iraq and elsewhere,” he said on Friday.
“He has been unduly pursued and harassed for eight years. Enough is enough.

“It’s time for Albanese to get on the phone to his mate Joe Biden, and insist this Australian be returned to us.”

Australian actor Michael Caton is among those calling for Julian Assange’s release. Source: SBS News

Mr Albanese has said he doesn’t see the purpose of the “ongoing pursuit” of Mr Assange.

But he said he also wouldn’t be pressured into publicly intervening in the case, instead opting to deal with the matter through diplomatic channels.
“There are some people who think that if you put things in capital letters on Twitter and put an exclamation mark, that somehow makes it more important. It doesn’t,” Mr Albanese said.
Filmmaker James Ricketson, who , said he’s doubtful a softer approach will work.
“Quiet diplomacy didn’t get Kylie-Moore Gilbert out of jail or Peter Greste out of jail,” he said.
“As much as I appreciate the prime minister saying that quiet diplomacy may work in this case, I have my doubts.

“I hope that I’m wrong, but even if I am wrong, I think it’s necessary for all of us to place as much pressure as we possibly can on the government; not just the Australian government, but also the UK government and the US government.”

The rally comes a week after former attorney-general George Brandis said Australia had no legal grounds to intervene in Mr Assange’s extradition.
“Australia wasn’t a party to the proceedings and had no standing to intervene in the proceedings,” Mr Brandis told the ABC.
“It was legal proceedings in a British court between the government of the United States and a private citizen. We would not intervene in those proceedings.”
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie rejected those claims, saying politicians have to “stop hiding behind the excuse of the Julian Assange matter being a legal matter”.

“It has always been an intensely political matter,” he told AAP.

Former CIA engineer convicted in WikiLeaks espionage case

A former CIA programmer was found guilty in New York federal court on Wednesday of the 2017 leak of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most valuable hacking tools to WikiLeaks, two years after his initial prosecution ended in a mistrial.
Joshua Schulte worked for the US spy agency’s elite hacking unit when he quietly took the “Vault 7” tools it uses to break into target computer and technology systems and, after quitting his job, sent them to the anti-secrecy group.

Vault 7 was a collection of malware, viruses, trojans, and “zero day” exploits that, once leaked out, were available for use by foreign intelligence groups, hackers and cyber extortionists around the world.

The leak, which stunned the CIA in March 2017, was called one of the most damaging losses of classified material ever experienced by the organisation.
It spurred the government to consider tough action against WikiLeaks, which then-CIA director Mike Pompeo called a “hostile intelligence service”.
The US government then moved to indict Mr Assange on espionage charges.

With AAP and AFP.

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