Threat Management

Cat got your internet? Ecuador tells Assange to look after kitty, stop meddling in foreign affairs

It might sound more like a parent scolding his or her child, but reportedly Ecuador recently issued a memo to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, ordering him to mind his manners as a condition for getting his severed internet connection restored.

According to an AP report, the memo instructs Assange, a fugitive who continues to seek refuge in the U.K.'s Ecuadorian embassy, to avoid meddling in the internal affairs of other nations while exercising his right to speech, particularly in ways that could damage Ecuador's global relations. He also was reportedly asked to keep the bathroom clean, as well as look after his pet cat, lest officials confiscate the feline and take it to an animal shelter or another caretaker.

Not Julian Assange's cat.

"Mr. Julian Assange is reminded that, as long as the Republic of Ecuador recognizes him as an asylee, he must, in exercising his right of communication and freedom of expression from the Embassy of Ecuador in Landres, comply scrupulously with the conventions... of diplomatic asylum, among others, especially, the prohibition to carry out activities that could be considered as political and interference in the internal affairs of other States, or that may cause harm to the good relations of Ecuador with any other State, be it whatever form is used to execute said activities," says a translation of the memo, the original version of which was published by the Ecuadorean website Codigo Vidrio.

Additionally, "in order to safeguard the sanitary conditions of the Embassy facilities, Mr. Julian Assange and his visitors will keep the cleanliness and hygiene of the bathroom and other spaces they use inside the Embassy. For the same reasons, Mr. Julian Assange will take care of welfare, food, cleanliness and proper care of your pet," the memo continued.

The memo also warns Assange that he must receive written authorization to install or operate an electronic equipment within the embassy. Without such permission, the technology can be seized.

Ecuador reportedly just restored partial internet access to Assange after cutting off his internet privileges back in March.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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