U.K., Ecuador still at impasse over Julian Assange asylum

LONDON Britain and Ecuador have failed to break the deadlock over the unresolved asylum case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday to search for a diplomatic solution over Assange, who has been holed up inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for almost a year. They agreed to set up a working group to work on the issue and to continue communicating.

Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning for alleged sexual misconduct. Ecuador has granted him political asylum, but Britain refuses to grant him safe passage.

Ecuador says Assange faces a threat of political persecution from the U.S. for publishing a trove of secret U.S. documents.

Assange spoke to "CBS This Morning" earlier this month about recent, developing stories involving similar national security leaks in the U.S., namely the revelation that the National Security Agency and the FBI tapped into the servers of nine major Internet companies to allow analysts to track an individual's communications under a program known as PRISM.

"People have a right to understand what the government is doing in their name," Assange said of the PRISM revelation and new details about NSA collection of records of millions of U.S. Verizon phone customers.

"Of course we permit the government to do all sorts of things. ... When it's done properly, there is a law [and] people are aware of what the law is ... there is open justice. It doesn't mean that every aspect, every detail must be public but at least enough parameters to understand what is really going on. There's no way that the American or international public was aware, in detail, of these mass spying programs."

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