No way out: Julian Assange marks one year inside Ecuadorian embassy in UK

Julian Assange, October 2011You may have forgotten about him. But Julian Assange is still there, holed up inside Ecuador’s embassy in central London. And on Wednesday this week it’ll be a full year since he walked into the embassy claiming political asylum.

Julian Assange knows that despite having been granted asylum by the Latin American nation in August 2012, if he steps outside the building he’ll be immediately arrested by UK police and likely extradited to Sweden to face questioning over two alleged sexual assaults in the country.

The 41-year-old WikiLeaks founder denies any wrongdoing, but fears that being transferred to Sweden could ultimately result in him being handed over to the US authorities investigating the release of confidential and highly sensitive diplomatic files and military reports over recent years.

‘…like living on a space station.’

In an interview granted to the AFP news agency to mark the one-year anniversary, Assange spoke of life in the embassy, outside which UK police have kept a 24/7 presence, an operation said to have so far cost somewhere in the region of £3 million ($4.7 million).

Assange told AFP reporter Katy Lee it’s been “like living on a space station” for the past 12 months. To make up for the lack of sunlight, the Australian says he’s been using a sun lamp, and runs on a treadmill for exercise.

“You ask how I deal with the difficulties of being confined,” he told Lee, “Well actually, my mind is not confined. The physical circumstances are difficult. However, I’m working every day.”

On the subject of actually leaving his space station, Assange said, “I think the position in the UK is softening. Of course, it will never publicly humiliate the United States by offering me safe passage in a manner that doesn’t seem to be forced. But there’s lots of ways of saving the pride of Sweden, Australia, the UK and the United States.”


The anniversary comes as the US authorities seek to make contact with American Edward Snowden, who hit the headlines recently when he was named as the man responsible for exposing PRISM, a huge Internet surveillance program operated by the National Security Agency. He is currently thought to be in Hong Kong.

“Mr. Snowden is as good an example of a hero as any,” Assange told Lee.

He said the former CIA employee had performed “an extremely courageous act” and praised him for revealing America’s “creeping mass surveillance state.”

However, Assange said he feared Snowden could end up in the same situation as Bradley Manning, “detained without trial, abused in prison and now facing life imprisonment.” After spending three years in detention, Manning’s trial, on charges connected with the leaking of hundreds of thousands of classified US government documents to WikiLeaks, finally got underway earlier this month.

As for Assange, his future is still far from certain. Swedish court? US prison? Ecuadorian beach? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure – he must be dying to get out of that embassy.


House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

These are the best movies on Hulu right now (April 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.