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Julian Assange on Wikileaks, Bradley Manning and the Emerging Surveillance State

Assange gave Amy Goodman a rare interview.

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JULIAN ASSANGE: Possibly, Amy. I mean, it is possible. I mean, the Ecuadorean government said, "If it takes 200 years for Mr. Assange to be safe, then 200 years it is," to their credit. There’s an Ecuadorean national election in February next year. And it seems to be that there’s a bit of a diplomatic waiting game on, as far as the U.S. and the U.K. are concerned, to look to see how that election goes. President Correa is the most popular political leader in Latin America, so by rights it should be fine. But there have been reports that the United States has increased its sort of anti-Correa funding by three times, so that’s a potential problem. But the people of Ecuador have been very supportive, so I suspect, even if there is a switch to another leader, it’s now a matter of sort of national pride for Ecuador, so they’ll stick the course.

AMY GOODMAN: And as to, you feel, the—how people should use the internet today and protect themselves, as we wrap up with your book,  Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, first, first, they have to—it is not always possible to protect oneself. You know, if you walk over the edge of a cliff, it’s not really that possible to protect yourself. But it’s important to know the cliff is there, so you can simply avoid doing certain things that would put you at risk. Now, the first thing they should do is go out and buy the book. It’s not easy to protect yourself. That is part of the problem. It really is not easy. It is, in fact, with some exceptions, something that is presently only open to extremely knowledgeable people. So, we must push forward to empower the greater development of this technology, the—preventing moves to outlaw it, which have been done—we fought a big war in the 1990s to prevent the outlawing of cryptography—and additionally, preventing the back-dooring of cryptographic technology. There are moves afoot to try and do that.

I’m sorry—sorry, Amy, I’m getting the cut-off signal for some reason.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you very much for being with us, Julian. Julian Assange spread that 10 minutes to about 40, and we thank you so much for being there. Julian Assange is the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, now under political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy, happens to have co-authored this new book,  Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet, which can make it outside of the embassy, which he can’t do right now. Thanks so much for being with us. And folks, if you want a copy of today’s show, you can go to our website at But we’ll be back in a minute.

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