INTERNET — Julian Assange announced Wednesday that WikiLeaks was severing all formal and informal ties with former spokesperson Jacob Appelbaum. This comes after hackers provided Wikileaks documents exfiltrated from the US Office of Personnel Management which clearly showed Appelbaum received over 50 million dollars in the past seven years from his employer, the United States Department of Defense.
Previously, Appelbaum postured as a rebel “cypherpunk” in exile from the United States government even as the military paid for his jet-set playboy lifestyle. Appelbaum coded much of the Navy’s sophisticated cloaking device, Tor, and also was one of the most active publicists working to depict Tor as a non-profit tool for activists in need of online anonymity, finishing the crucial task of populating Tor’s encrypted network for Naval deployment.
Assange told reporters from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, “There is nothing startling about infiltrators trying to undermine the mission of WikiLeaks, and we are constantly monitoring our organization for possible breaches in security. We close them up when they inevitably appear, and much about this is business as usual. However, I am deeply saddened by the news about Jacob, who many of the staff at WikiLeaks foolishly counted as a close personal friend. Our resolve to continue the mission of WikiLeaks is now fueled by personal anger.”
Assange added, before returning to the embassy, “I think it goes with out saying that anyone who so much as uses Tor is complicit in the mission of the US Navy and can consider their online privacy permanently ruined.”