Democracy Now! Exclusive: Assange on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, Cypherpunks, Surveillance State

“In his most extended interview in months, Julian Assange speaks from inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has been holed up for nearly six months. Assange vowed that 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 antitrust rules by blocking donations to WikiLeaks. ‘Since the blockade was erected in December 2010, WikiLeaks has lost 95 percent of the 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 government whistleblowers to step forward with information, is a crime. They allege we are criminal, moving forward,’ Assange says. ‘Now, the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the Pentagon is trying to hammer in to 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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