Weird WikiLeaks Tweets Spark Alarm, Death Rumors

But Julian Assange is reportedly alive and well
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2016 12:46 PM CDT
Weird WikiLeaks Tweets Spark Alarm, Death Rumors
The strange tweets.   (WikiLeaks)

On Sunday, the WikiLeaks Twitter account tweeted out a series of odd messages: "pre-commitment 1: John Kerry," read the first, followed by a 64-character series of numbers and letters; the next two referred to "pre-commitment 2: Ecuador" and "pre-commitment 3: UK FCO" (the United Kingdom's Foreign Commonwealth Office, as Fox News reports), also both followed by 64-character codes. Rumors started swirling that Julian Assange had died, a "dead man's switch" had been triggered, and all remaining WikiLeaks documents would be released as a result, Gizmodo reports. But a WikiLeaks volunteer has since assured the world Assange is still alive (he also tweeted pictures of them together on Monday.) WikiLeaks explained on Twitter Sunday night, "Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans."

As CNET reports, Assange's name and the hashtag #FreeJulian have been trending on Twitter, with some speculating that the US is responsible for severing Assange's internet connection. Time rounds up the rumors flying around the weird tweets, including one that involves Pamela Anderson. As the AP reports, Anderson visited Assange over the weekend at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he's holed up; she brought him a vegan meal, and some are theorizing (presumably jokingly) that perhaps the meal killed him. In regard to those 64-character codes, Gizmodo explains what a "pre-commitment" actually is: "a cryptographic scheme to prevent unreleased information from being tampered with," writes Bryan Menegus. "Essentially those unique codes are proof to anyone reading the documents in the future that their contents remain unchanged: alteration to the leaks will likewise alter those 64-character codes." (More WikiLeaks stories.)

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