Assange, Asylum and Softpower in Cyberspace

It is not often that a man wanted for questioning about rape allegations uses the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and customary international law to escape the judicial system. Welcome to cyberspace and one of its many, unanticipated, affects on the world.

To recap recent events, Julian Assange, founder of the internet site Wikileaks, recently sought refuge from extradition to Sweden in Ecuador’s London Embassy. Swedish authorities have wanted to question him about allegations he raped two women in 2010. The United Kingdom has an extradition treaty with Sweden and considers itself obligated to deliver him to Stockholm. Assange and his supporters, however, fought the extradition, asserting that the rape charges were a ruse to throw him in jail for publishing of classified and confidential information damaging to businesses, governments, and powerful individuals around the world.

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