Ecuador confirmed Tuesday that it severed Julian Assange's internet access over concerns the WikiLeaks founder was using it to interfere with the US presidential election.
Assange, who has been living in asylum in Ecuador's embassy in London for four years, lost his internet privileges last weekend, a move that the Ecuadorian embassy took responsibility for on Monday. The Ecuadorian government explained Tuesday that it is temporarily restricting Assange's access to network. The government worries the whistle-blowing site's release of documents could influence the US election.
"In recent weeks, WikiLeaks has published a large number of documents which have an impact on the election campaign in the United States," the Ecuadorian government said in a statement. "The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states, [and] does not interfere in electoral processes in progress or support a candidate in particular."
The move was apparently in response to WikiLeaks' posting the full transcripts of paid speeches that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs. In a press conference on October 4, Assange promised 10 weeks of new publication to celebrate the site's 10th anniversary. WikiLeaks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The WikiLeaks founder sought asylum from Ecuador in 2012 after Swedish investigators issued a European arrest warrant for Assange that required British police to detain and extradite him. He is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden out of fear he would then be extradited to the US to face questioning over classified material published on WikiLeaks.