Topic of the day:- Secrets And Agents: Arrest Of Assange

 The Arrest Of Julian Assange Raises Fears About Suppression Of The Right To Information

The arrest of Julian Assange, the head of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, has renewed a global debate on balancing freedom of expression (or the right to information) with considerations towards the national security of a country. After nearly seven years of eluding authorities in the U.S. and the U.K., facing charges related to theft of classified information from government computers, he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on April 11 following Ecuador President Lenín Moreno’s withdrawal of his country’s grant of asylum to Mr. Assange, for “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols”. Ecuador had earlier limited Mr. Assange’s Internet access. As he sits in jail for up to a year on bail-jumping charges from 2012 in a now-closed case relating to sexual assault allegations by a complainant from Sweden, he will find out whether he will ultimately face the prospect of extradition to the U.S. There, Mr. Assange is looking at a single count of conspiring, with former U.S. Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning, to break into a secret government computer network. Conspiracy charges, rather than those under the Espionage Act, are what he will likely face, given concerns in the U.K. that he should not be extradited to any country where the death penalty is applicable in his case. At the heart of the drama is the question whether Mr. Assange is a “journalist” in the traditional sense of the word and whether, following that line of reasoning, freedom of expression is endangered or constrained by the action taken in this case. There is some irony in this debate given that the voices of liberal America are clamouring the loudest for his interrogation for the alleged crime of conspiracy, not so much in the case of the U.S. diplomatic cables or the dissemination of related top-secret U.S. government information — but owing to WikiLeaks being linked to rogue actors in Russia who allegedly purloined Democratic Party documents and handed them over to Mr. Assange for use on his website, thereby tipping the scales in Donald Trump’s favour in the 2016 election. Nevertheless, can WikiLeaks be considered a mainstream media organisation? Perhaps not. However, the arrest highlights troubling facts, including that the indictment against Mr. Assange, revealed only this month, appears to be flimsy, for it relates to a conversation he is alleged to have had nine years ago with Ms. Manning on a computer break-in attempt that ultimately failed. At a time when strongmen-led governments and resurgent nationalism are at the forefront of domestic politics in many countries, the arrest of a prominent anti-secrecy advocate is likely to have a chilling effect on whistle-blowers everywhere. That could ultimately weaken democracy itself.


  1. Renewed

Meaning: to begin or take up again, as an acquaintance, a conversation, etc.; resume.

Synonyms: revived, modernized, repaired

Antonyms: Damaged

Example: to renew a lease.

  1. eluding

Meaning: to avoid or escape by speed, cleverness, trickery, etc.; evade:

Synonyms: Baffle, outwit

Antonyms: Abet, Aid, Assist, Clarify

Example: to elude capture.

  1. dragged out

Meaning: to draw with force, effort, or difficulty; pull heavily or slowly along; haul; trail/ continued for a long time, especially for longer than is necessary.

Synonyms: Draw Out, Endure, Extend

Antonyms: Complete, Finish, End

Example: “a long, dragged-out story”

  1. asylum

Meaning: the protection granted by a state to someone who has left their home country as a political refugee.

Synonyms: refuge, sanctuary, shelter, safety

Antonyms: Danger

Example: “we provide asylum for those too ill to care for themselves”

  1. allegations

Meaning: a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof.

Synonyms: Plea, Charge, Claim

Antonyms: Exculpation, Denial

Example: “he made allegations of corruption against the administration”

  1. extradition

Meaning: the action of extraditing a person accused or convicted of a crime.

Synonyms: Deportation, handover, repatriation, refoulement, expulsion, banishment

Antonyms: Hold, Keep

Example: “they fought to prevent his extradition to the US”

  1. conspiring

Meaning: make secret plans jointly to commit an unlawful or harmful act.

Synonyms: Plot, hatch a plot, form a conspiracy, scheme, plan

Antonyms: Leave Alone, Neglect, Disagree

Example: “they conspired against him”

  1. Espionage

Meaning: the practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information.

Synonyms: spying, undercover work, cloak-and-dagger activities, surveillance

Antonyms: Honesty, Truthfulness, Candour

Example: “the camouflage and secrecy of espionage”

  1. endangered

Meaning: (of a species) seriously at risk of extinction.

Synonyms: Imperil, Jeopardize, Risk, Put At Risk

Antonyms: Guard, Help, Protect, Aid

Example: “he was driving in a manner likely to endanger life”

  1. constrained

Meaning: appearing forced or overly controlled.

Synonyms: Unnatural, Awkward, Self-conscious, Mannered, Artificial, wooden, stilted, strained, Forced, Contrived, Laboured

Antonyms: Relaxed

Example: “he was acting in a constrained manner”

  1. clamouring

Meaning: (of a group of people) shout loudly and insistently.

Synonyms: Yell, Shout, Bay, Scream, Shriek, Roar

Antonyms: Calm, Order, Peace, Silence

Example: “the surging crowds clamoured for attention”

  1. alleged

Meaning: said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality.

Synonyms: Supposed, So-Called, Claimed, Professed, Purported, Ostensible

Antonyms: Certain, Definite, Sure

Example: “the alleged conspirators”

  1. dissemination

Meaning: the action or fact of spreading something, especially information, widely.

Synonyms: spreading, circulation, distribution, dispersal, diffusion; proclamation, promulgation, propagation, publicizing

Antonyms: Collection, Gathering

Example: “the dissemination of public information”

  1. rogue

Meaning: a dishonest or unprincipled man/ a person or thing that behaves in an aberrant or unpredictable way, typically with damaging or dangerous effects.

Synonyms: scamp, rascal, imp, devil

Antonyms: Decent, Ethical

Example: “you are a rogue and an embezzler”

  1. purloined

Meaning: steal (something).

Synonyms: Steal, Thieve, Take, Take for oneself

Antonyms: Fill Up, Unite, Receive, Keep

Example: “he must have managed to purloin a copy of the key”