LONDON, Oct. 17 (UPI) — WikiLeaks announced Monday co-founder Julian Assange‘s Internet link was severed by what it described as a “state party.”
“Julian Assange’s internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans,” WikiLeaks said, hours after it published three tweets, each reading “pre-commitment” and then referencing Ecuador, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth Office, each followed by a 64-character numerical code.
Some social media users inferred the three tweets were examples of use of a “dead man’s switch,” triggered in the event of Assange’s death. If Assange had died, any automatic release of information by WikiLeaks would likely contain considerably more data.
The WikiLeaks announcement did not identify a suspected “state party” or explain how Assange’s link was severed. After receiving asylum at the Ecuador Embassy in London in 2012 to prevent extradition to Sweden over a rape allegation, the Internet is Assange’s only means of communication with the world. Assange denies the rape allegation and said he suspects it would lead to his extradition to the United States.
Several weeks ago he said WikiLeaks would release weekly confidential information pertinent to the U.S. presidential election. More than 12,000 emails, believed to be from John Podesta, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton‘s campaign manager, were released in October. Clinton’s campaign has suggested WikiLeaks is working with the Russian government to subvert her efforts in favor of Republican candidate Donald Trump.