Assange: Web Is Massive Spying Machine
Governments will use Internet against citizens, he warns
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2011 1:38 AM CDT
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives for a court hearing in London last month.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The Internet is the "greatest spying machine the world has ever known," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has warned in a speech. While the Web holds great promises of increasing transparency in government operations, it will more likely be used by officials to spy on their own citizens, he told students in a rare public appearance at Cambridge University. The Internet is "not a technology that favors freedom of speech. It is not a technology that favors human rights," he warned. "Rather, it is a technology that can be used to set up a totalitarian spying regime, the likes of which we have never seen."

Assange boasted that diplomatic cables leaked on his website helped foment the unrest in Tunisia that is sweeping across the region, reports the Guardian. And documents revealing support for torture by ousted Egypt leader Hosni Mubarak made it impossible for US officials to publicly support him, easing the way for the Egyptian uprising, said Assange. As for Bradley Manning, the soldier suspected of leaking masses of secret cables to WikiLeaks, he is "in a terrible situation," said Assange. For more on Manning's treatment, check out another Newser story here.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Observer
Mar 17, 2011 3:57 PM CDT
Assange is right. Governments are using the internet to persistently spy on billions of individuals. Never email, post or tweet remarks that can get you noticed, suspected, investigated and arrested. Too many creepy, closet Feds and police organizations can tap your vein without cause. F the Patriot Acyt and all that uphold it's illegal premise. Think how fast Google searches - now imagine an NSA spider 1000 times faster with interpretive logic to pinpoint key words in context. Don't say: Pot, Bomb, Hijack, CIA Killers, X, Blow, Happy or Anarchy. Just say no.
matteo
Mar 16, 2011 7:09 AM CDT
...and the sky is blue !!
finkster
Mar 16, 2011 2:12 AM CDT
Duh Julian, thanks for telling us something we already know. The internet is a double edge sword that cuts both ways and that will never change. If you ever said on the internet: Bomb Jihad Plastic Explosives Kill the President Politicians should all die Asked How to be a Terrorist Sharia Law ETC...ETC...ETC.... You've probably been checked out by some government agency.... (As I'm being checked out right now)