Assange’s death rumors were prompted by three mysterious tweets emanating from the official WikiLeaks Twitter account. The tweets contained what some are calling a “dead man’s switch,” a unique 64-digit code used to activate an emergency contingency plan.
A dead man’s switch is a device that activates when certain requirements are not met. In the most mundane sense of the term, it is used in machinery as a deactivation mechanism if the operator becomes incapacitated. In other words, it’s a safety feature to prevent injury or accident. More ominous examples have been used in various action movies in one form or another. The hostage taker holding down a switch or lever that if released will detonate a bomb has become a Hollywood cliché. However, the switch does not have to be a physical device. For example, a computer program can be coded to activate when certain conditions are not met such as logging into the software by a certain time of day. It can also be something as simple as giving a trusted friend a sealed and addressed envelope with instructions to mail it in the event of death. So the tweets were thought to be a signal that Assange was dead and that the 349-gigabyte “insurance file” that WikiLeaks has will be released, according to Gizmodo. h/t inquisitr
Reports of a raid on the Ecuadorean embassy have not been confirmed, nor has Assange’s demise.