Ecuador cut Assange's internet with a little push from the US

It wasn't entirely Ecuador's decision, after all.

Axel Schmidt / Reuters

When Ecuador admitted that it cut off Julian Assange's internet connection at its embassy in London, the country's officials said it was their own decision. According to NBC News, though, the US might have something to do with it. American intelligence officials told the publication that the US urged Ecuadorian politicians to stop allowing Assange to do Russia's bidding from within their territory. Assange, as you know, founded WikiLeaks, which has been publishing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee's computers. The government believes Russia has been orchestrating the cyber attacks and releasing sensitive data to influence the US presidential elections.

American intelligence also believes that Assange knows the emails he's been posting come from the Russians. However, they don't think he actively played a role in the cyber attacks against the DNC. As one senior intelligence official explained: "The general view is he is a willing participant in the Russian scheme but not an active plotter in it. They just realized they could use him."

Ecuador granted Assange asylum back in June 2012, and he's been living in its London embassy ever since. The WikiLeaks EIC sought help from the country to protect himself from being extradited to Sweden to face rape allegations. He also feared getting shipped to the US to face espionage charges. As for how the US managed to convince a known anti-American nation, NBC News said it's all because Ecuadorian officials have been growing frustrated with Assange's activities and presence in their London embassy. They were receptive to the US government's suggestion, because they've been trying to figure out how to deal with him these past few months.