Former NSA consultant and data privacy advocate Edward Snowden tweeted on Wednesday that Julian Assange “could be next,” after antivirus mogul John McAfee died by apparent suicide in a Barcelona prison cell following news that he was being extradited to the U.S. on criminal tax evasion charges.
Spanish outlets broke the news of McAfee’s death by suicide on Wednesday. While he was in detention, the millionaire software pioneer insisted he would never return to the U.S..
“Europe should not extradite those accused of non-violent crimes to a court system so unfair — and prison system so cruel — that native-born defendants would rather die than become subject to it. Julian Assange could be next,” Snowden tweeted.
“Until the U.S. system is reformed, a moratorium on extraditions should apply,” he added.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in April 2019 in London, after spending six years in asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. A UK court temporarily blocked his extradition to the U.S. in January 2021 on 18 charges, most through the Espionage Act, of obtaining and sharing classified information.
Snowden is a former U.S. computer intelligence consultant who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013 when he was an employee and subcontractor for the Central Intelligence Agency. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA. Wanted by U.S. authorities, he is currently living in exile in Russia.