Rumors that Julian Assange is dead have been spreading online after a strange set of tweets from WikiLeaks that some believe to be a "dead man's switch" --- an insurance policy to ensure that closely guarded information is released in the event of his death.
The viral rumors started on Sunday afternoon after the official WikiLeaks Twitter account posted a series of messages that appeared to be coded. Many users believed that the release of the tweets meant that something had happened to Assange, who has been at the forefront of American politics in recent months by releasing sensitive emails connected to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.Many believed that the tweets represented the "dead man's switch" that Julian Assange had mentioned in the past. As USA Supreme reported, there was a belief that the insurance protocol may have had something to do with Hillary Clinton.
"When WikiLeaks released a mysterious file labeled 'WIKILEAKS INSURANCE' for people everywhere to download in advance of a huge upcoming announcement, everyone was having a second thought of what this file actually contain. This file serves as a type of 'deadman's switch' that is currently encrypted. WikiLeaks will release a second encryption key to unlock the file if they are prevented from making a planned announcement. Because of previous statements made by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, many people are wondering if this insurance file is meant to ensure that WikiLeaks can release potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton."While there is no official word from the document-sharing organization, it does not appear there is any truth to the rumor that Julian Assange is dead. The official WikiLeaks Twitter account continued posting normal messages after the release of what appeared to be the "dead man's switch." To many following WikiLeaks closely, the rumors that Julian Assange was dead would not have come as a surprise. There have been increasing conspiracy theories about the site after it began releasing emails directly from the Democratic National Committee and from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta. Assange has been a thorn in the side of Democrats this entire election cycle and has personally helped spread some conspiracy theories around Clinton. Back in the summer, young DNC staffer Seth Rich was killed in Washington, D.C., in what police called a robbery attempt gone wrong. But there were some who claimed that Rich was killed either by the DNC or Clinton because of some secret he may have threatened to release.
Despite scant evidence to support the theory --- and statements from Rich's family asking that people stop spreading the baseless rumors --- Assange jumped on the story. WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information abut Rich's murderer, and Assange himself insinuated that Rich may have been the source of the DNC leak.
The Gateway Pundit had a transcript of Assange's appearance on a Dutch television show in which he hinted about it.
Julian Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27 year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.A later report from a site called True Pundit claimed that Hillary Clinton wanted to order a drone strike against Julian Assange back in 2010, when WikiLeaks had released hundreds of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables. The report has been called into question and there appears to be no evidence to support the account of Clinton trying to assassinate Assange.
Reporter: That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn't it?
Julian Assange: No. There's no finding. So… I'm suggesting that our sources take risks.
Despite WikiLeaks posting on Twitter after the release of the so-called "dead man's switch," the rumors that Julian Assange may be dead have persisted online. Many people are still openly questioning his fate and calling on Assange to make a statement directly.
[Featured Image by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Images]