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Interview Julian Assange

Julian Assange

Assange is the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, whose stated mission is to force the U.S. and other governments into maximum transparency. The organization published the "Collateral Murder" video and the more than a half million classified documents allegedly leaked by Bradley Manning. In this interview, Assange denies any direct contact with Manning or any other WikiLeaks source, and addresses charges that he was reluctant to redact the names of sources who could have been harmed by the disclosures as "absolutely false." This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on April 4, 2011.

So let's just talk about the idea of WikiLeaks, how it comes about, when you begin to conceptualize what eventually becomes WikiLeaks. What were you thinking?

I had had a lot of experience in bringing the Internet to Australia, and I saw that knowledge in the hands of people achieves reform. And in my involvement in cryptography and human rights, protecting human rights workers using cryptography, [this] also showed that privacy is an important part of spreading knowledge. [The] ability to be able to communicate privately helps people spread knowledge out to the public for these human rights workers in South America. ...

“Our technology does not permit us to understand whether someone is one of our sources or not, because the best way to keep a secret is to never have it.”

So there's certain constraints on knowledge, and those basic constraints affect all of us. So we could go back to James Madison, who put it perhaps bes