Assange says internet is obstacle to free speech

There seem to be signs that the pressure of his house arrest in an English mansion are playing on the mind of Julian Assange.

Not only did he claim that he was being targeted by a Jewish conspiracy of journalists, he is now saying that the internet is spying on everyone.

The man who is famous for using the internet to expose the doings of the American government, told Cambridge University that the world wide wibble was the “greatest spying machine the world has ever seen” and an obstacle to free speech.

Assange was particularly scathing about social networking sites such as Facebook, which he claimed gave governments greater scope for snooping.

An example of this was the Facebook revolt in Cairo three or four years ago. It was very small … After it, Facebook was used to round up all the principal participants and they were then beaten, interrogated and incarcerated, he said.

Isn’t there a bit of a contradiction in what Julian is saying and what he has done? Not to Julian. He said that while the internet has in some ways given the ability to let us know to an unprecedented level what government is doing… it is also the greatest spying machine the world has ever seen.

So when Julian uses it, it is good, when others use it, it is bad. Yep, we can see that.

He said that the rise of technology was helping tyrannical regimes, and it was not a technology that favours freedom of speech, or favoured human rights.

“Rather it is a technology that can be used to set up a totalitarian spying regime, the likes of which we have never seen.”

However Julian still thinks that Wikileaks helped trigger the ongoing Arab uprising because the release of official US diplomatic documents had “changed part of the dynamics” in Tunisia, resulting in eventual regime change.

So there you have it. It is possible to have your cake and eat it.