Monday, January 31, 2011

Julian Assange on 60 Minutes : Video

By Jerry Smith Jan 31 2011

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared on 60 Minutes last night. Steve Kroft spent two days with Assange at the estate of friend Vaughan Smith, where under the conditions of his bail, Assange must stay while he is under house arrest.

"Our founding values are those of the U.S. revolution. They are those of people like Jefferson and Madison. If you're a whistle-blower, and you have material that is important, we will accept it, we will defend you, and we will publish it. You can't turn away material simply because it comes from the United States," Assange said during the interview.

"We don't go after a particular country, we don't go after a particular organization or group, we just stick to our promise of publishing material that is likely to have a significant impact," Assange said of the publishing by WikiLeaks of the thousands upon thousands of classified documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan last year.

"I think what it's really about is keeping the illusion of control," he said of the U.S. government's reaction to the most recent release. "We operated just like any U.S. publisher operates. We didn't play outside the rules, we played inside the rules."

“We operated just like any U.S. publisher operates, and there has been no precedent that I'm aware of, in the past 50 years, of prosecuting a publisher for espionage, it is just not done,” Assange said.

Assange shared a story of when he and his mother, who worked as a political activist helping scientists to gather information about nuclear tests by the British in the Australian outback, were out late one night and were stopped by the authorities.

According to Assange, one of the officials said, “Look, lady, you're out at 2 a.m. in the morning with this child. It could be suggested you're an unfit mother. I suggest you stay out of politics."

“Which she did, for the next 10 years, in order to make sure nothing happened to me. That's a very early abuse of power and of secrecy that I saw in my life,” Assange said.

Assange also discussed his plan should the WikiLeaks site go down permanently. He said his group had a "system whereby we distribute encrypted backups of things we have yet to publish".

"There are backups distributed among many, many people, 100,000 people, and all we need to do is give them an encrypted key and they will be able to continue on".

"If a number of people were imprisoned or assassinated, then we would feel that we could not go on, and other people would have to take over our work, and we would release the keys," Assange added.

Additionally, Assange confirmed that the next information release involves banking, but would not confirm whether or not that means Bank of America.

Video from CBS:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to Steve Kroft.

Video from CBS:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to Steve Kroft. Part 1

Video from CBS:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to Steve Kroft. Part 2

Web Extras From 60 Minutes

Video from CNetTv:
60 Minutes Overtime

Video from CBS:
Extra: Assange talks about his defence and Daniel Ellsberg

Video from CBS:
Extra: Julian Assange On Playing By The Rules

Video from CBS:
Extra: Julian Assange Stays on the Move

Video from CBS:
Extra: Julian Assange on Bank Data

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