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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:33 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, Cypherpunks, Surveillance State

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In his most extended interview in months, Julian Assange speaks to Democracy Now! from inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up for nearly six months. Assange vowed WikiLeaks would persevere despite attacks against it. On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that the credit card company Visa did not break the European Union's anti-trust rules by blocking donations to WikiLeaks. "Since the blockade was erected in December 2010, WikiLeaks has lost 95 percent of donations that were attempted to be transferred to us over that period ... our rightful and natural growth, our ability to publish as much as we would like, our ability to defend ourselves and our sources has been diminished by that blockade." Assange also speaks about his new book, "Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet." "The mass surveillance and mass interception that is occurring to all of us now who use the Internet is also a mass transfer of power from individuals into extremely sophisticated state and private intelligence organizations and their cronies," he says. Assange also discusses the United States' targeting of WikiLeaks. "The Pentagon is maintaining a line that WikiLeaks inherently as an institution, that tells military and governmental whistleblowers to step forward with information, is a crime. They allege that we are criminal moving forward," Assange says. "Now the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the government is trying to hammer into the legal system, and which the department of justice is complicit in, would mean the end of national security journalism in the United States."

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Reply EXCLUSIVE: Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, Cypherpunks, Surveillance State (Original post)
rachel1 Dec 2012 OP
midnight Dec 2012 #1
Peace Patriot Dec 2012 #2

Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:52 AM

1. Almost finished listening to this interview.... Very insightful info. about the banks, and

the topic of Bradely Manning, and now the transfer of internet power from the people to the corporations...

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Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:28 PM

2. Great interview! So rational and enlightening...

...and it's so rare that we get such clarity on the digital/internet revolution. I was particularly interested in his remarks on cryptography as a means to overcome the physical control of people and ideas by the national security state. Physical control of people and ideas is losing to the digital/internet revolution but the national security state (and its interwoven private corporations) are fighting back--and gravely threatening this new freedom of the human race to think its own thoughts and communicate them freely--by physical control of servers within national borders and, of course, by surveillance (which he says is vast). One of the scariest things he talked about was the EU Commission endorsing Visa and other credit card companies blockading Wikileaks donations. He says that 95% of Wikileaks donations have been blocked. He hopes that EU legislators will overturn this ruling.

He looks tired. He looks possibly ill. (He wouldn't talk about that. He merely said that Bradley Manning and others imprisoned for whistleblowing are suffering a lot more than he is.) But he was very articulate and lucid, and, as I said, enlightening on the situation we are all in, being massively surveilled by the national security state/private corporations. As an example, he said something quite interesting about Facebook and other such sites, that the millions of people using such sites are doing the national security state's work for them, by lavishly revealing personal information, info about friends and family, info about activities and opinions, and so on. This info can then be easily "mined" by invasive surveillance programs to keep track of zillions of people for purposes of repression and control.

I myself had some reservations about gmail, and Google's use of a program that picks key words out of my PRIVATE emails and runs ads down the side, based on those key words. A tech friend said it was harmless--just an automatic program that no one is surveilling. But I wonder.

In any case, Assange made the problem very clear: the internet is a yin/yang conundrum of freedom vs repression and we had better be aware of its downsides and dangers and figure out how to counter them.

It is no wonder that this man is hunted, reviled and grievously slandered, and robbed of the wherewithal to run Wikileaks and to defend Wikileaks against legal and other attacks! Anyone this intelligent, this articulate and this savvy about the latest means of state/corporate repression and control needs to be "taken out." It is to Ecuador's credit that they wouldn't allow that to happen. But then Ecuador's leftist president, Rafael Correa--the most popular president in Latin America--knows something about such plots. He himself was the target of a devious "take out" plot in 2008 (Bush Junta era) involving a doctored laptop allegedly containing "evidence" that he was helping "terrorists." We need to be VERY CAREFUL when this kind of bullshit arrives in the corporate "news"--read between the lines, peer into the black holes where information should be, be skeptical, ferret out the distortions, twists, "framings" and manipulations of the story and, above all, understand who the players are: why, for instance, the corporate 'news' moguls would hate Rafael Correa.

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