Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Rumors of Assange’s death at Ecuadorian embassy in London denied

Social media went into meltdown over the bizarre messages, consisting of a string of numbers, which user speculated may be a “dead man’s switch”. Prominent figures who fear for their lives, such as Mr Assange, have been known to programme their communication channels to send out seemingly incomprehensible messages upon their deaths which make sense to only a select few followers. Today WikiLeaks’ official account posted three tweets – one about US Secretary of State John Kerry, one about Ecuador and one about the UK Foreign Office, each followed by a series of numbers and letters. After the mysterious messages were posted, the whistleblowing website added: “Julian Assange’s internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans.” The revelations provoked a maelstrom of speculation about the health and potential state of the WikiLeaks founder, who is hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. However, rumours of his death were immediately denied by WikiLeaks volunteer Kelly Kolisnik, who tweeted: “Julian Assange is alive and well. Rumors circulating that he tweeted out a ‘Dead Mans’ switch are completely false and baseless.” In response to today’s speculation US entrepreneur Bruce Porter Jr tweeted: “Appears those codes were indeed Assange’s ‘dead man’s switch’.



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