After six months under virtual house arrest, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange acknowledged today that his detention is hampering the work of the secret-spilling site. The 39-year-old Australian is living at a supporter's rural estate, and says he has become "a fixed target" for snoopers. "It is easy to conduct surveillance against me and anyone I talk to," Assange said. "We take steps against this, but it is costly and time-consuming."
Vaughan Smith, who owns the 600-acre property, calls it a "pretty intrusive regime" and says three cameras have appeared near the property since Assange came to stay. Assange describes his house arrest as "the single largest impediment to our work, with the possible exception of the illegal blockade being conducted by the major US financial institutions against us." Though WikiLeaks is "still producing publications every day, a lot of those resources have been taken away to deal with these events." (Click to read about a WikiLeaks fund-raiser that will give Assange some time out of the house.)