Wikileaks’ Julian Assange arrested in U.K.

The founder of WikiLeaks, the website that publishes leaks and whistleblower disclosures, was arrested early Tuesday in the U.K. on a warrant issued in Sweden (CBS News).  Appearing before Judge Howard Riddle, of the Westminster Magistrate’s Court, Assange refused to agree to be expedited to Sweden, where authorities say they want to question him regarding allegations of rape, molestation and unlawful coercion (Wall Street Journal).  Judge Riddle denied bail. 

Assange denies the allegations, which stem from a visit to Sweden in August. Assange and his lawyers claim the accusations stem from a “dispute over consensual but unprotected sex,” and have said the case has taken on political overtones. (CBS)

Assange was driven by armored car to London’s Wandsworth prison (New York Times), where he will be held until December 14 (WSJ).

After the hearing, Mark Stephens, Mr. Assange’s U.K. lawyer, called the Swedish investigation a “persecution and not a prosecution.” In a television interview with Sky News, he said Tuesday’s court hearing was the first time he and his client had heard the exact allegations against Mr. Assange. (WSJ)

Meanwhile, mirror sites for Wikileaks have been popping up like mushrooms after a rain.  Amazon booted the website from its server (Christian Science Monitor) , the Wikileak’s DNS  server provider, EveryDNS.net, also shut down the website after a series of denial of service attacks (Mashable).  With the Wikileaks website homeless, supporters erected hundreds of mirror sites in Iceland, Finland, Germany and Luxembourg, and other countries  Sites often don’t stay up long, but new sites quickly spring up to replace them.

Update: WikiLeaks has announced it moved to Switzerland and is currently available at the address wikileaks.ch. The address is resolved to a numerical IP, which means WikiLeaks still hasn’t fixed its DNS-related issues. (Mashable via SkepticGeek)

The U.S. government, meanwhile, has been furiously trying to keep federal workers and contractors from reading documents leaked by Wikileaks or visiting the website and mirror sites (CNET).   Even the Library of Congress blocked access to Wikileaks from its computers (The Guardian).

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