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BREAKING: DOJ Charges Julian Assange With Conspiracy For Helping Chelsea Manning Hack DoD Computer

The Department of Justice has charged Wikileaks founder Julian Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” for agreeing to assist Chelsea Manning in hacking a Department of Defense computer.

According to a release from the Department of Justice, Assange has been charged with one count, and faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted.

From the release:

The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications. Manning, who had access to the computers in connection with her duties as an intelligence analyst, was using the computers to download classified records to transmit to WikiLeaks. Cracking the password would have allowed Manning to log on to the computers under a username that did not belong to her. Such a deceptive measure would have made it more difficult for investigators to determine the source of the illegal disclosures.

During the conspiracy, Manning and Assange engaged in real-time discussions regarding Manning’s transmission of classified records to Assange. The discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information. During an exchange, Manning told Assange that “after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.” To which Assange replied, “curious eyes never run dry in my experience.”

Assange was arrested in the U.K. on Thursday morning after Ecuador revoked his asylum.

This story is currently breaking and we will have more information as it becomes available.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: joed@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo