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Assange wants to Declare the Independence of the Web.
Introduction by Louisa Clarence-Smith
Now under political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy, Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, has renewed public attention with the launch of his co-authored book: Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet. In an interview last week with DemocracyNow! Assange described the “opportunity” we have with cryptography, “to achieve some forms of independence” for “our communications with one another”. Assange is a leading activist in the fight against increasingly global government and corporate control of the Internet.
Comment by RAJA EL FANI
Assange never gives up. With the launch of his book on cypherpunks, which conceives of a Declaration of Independence for the virgin world of the Internet, Assange has pulled a blow to his enemies with his widespread re-emergence onto the international scene.
His last intention is to associate the historical Wikileaks’ value with a deep shift in society. So he’s trying to hook on to the cultural meaning of his invention, by explaining its public and technical usefulness.
Wikileaks now has a lot of competitors but Assange has chosen to persist in battle and address his cultural legacy. Sure, this solemnity could win him massive solidarity for his contested freedom. But his priority seems to be a genuine concern for the outcome of Wikileaks.
That’s why, with the gaffe of the Ecuadorian embassy about his pneumonia (that seemed more a fake and desperate way out for Assange still held in London), we should understand that he now represents various problems (diplomatic, juridical and commercial), which many institutions will have to address.
Meanwhile, Assange gathers support from specialists and courts the media, constantly enticing the interest of new cables. Huffington Post, US edition, is leading the pack with its recent publication of a long article on Bradley Manning, signed directly by Assange. The post expresses the activist’s views on the situation of the young soldier heard for the first time to testify in court after two years in prison.
Assange has chosen the second anniversary of the first cable to denounce the increasingly undemocratic practice of the American Department of State in all its government relations. Since the incident in Iraq in which the U.S. Army, through a private company (Blackwater), was guilty of the killing of civilians, the U.S. has continued their foreign policy principles sanctioning inhuman crimes covered up by state secrecy.
In his defence, Assange collates international events which present Wikileaks as the protagonist of important discoveries and fundamental developments. However, in his lengthy report on the irrepressible worsening of American methods in diplomacy, and on the pressure they excede over the administrations of their allies, Assange expresses his growing concern about the cultural consequences of what he calls intellectual terrorism behind the U.S. trade and monopoly control of the media (see ACTA). Assange considers himself just another victim of a system of regulations aimed at influencing the public perception.
So on RT, Assange, after a long time spent decoding the real infrastructure of the Web, opened the democratic struggle for the Independence of the Internet: the new heart of knowledge and civilization. The campaign is supported by other European organizations all determined to stop the automatic shut-off of individual data. Indeed, there’s a real storage carried out by security systems initially created to stop terrorism, but which are now the keys, (as alarming as they are underestimated), to reducing freedom. Revealingly, the formula of Assange hints at a constitutional swing. In fact, of all the cyber-activists, Assange is the one with the greatest political awareness.
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