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Eric Schmidt's secret interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
What happens when two of the biggest names in world of privacy come together to break bread and discuss just what exactly makes the world go round? You’d like to be a fly on the wall in that room, wouldn’t you? Luckily the beans have been spilled on the extraordinary meeting between Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange and Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt.
Schmidt met with Assange in 2011, while Assange was under house arrest no less, to discuss a number of issues for his book ‘The New Digital Age,’ which is being released on Tuesday. Co-writer Jared Cohen was also in attendance in the five hour long interview which was copious in detail of exactly how Wikileaks has grown into the largest whistleblower organizations in the world.
Schmidt was clearly very interested in exactly how Wikileaks operates and more specifically how it manages to keep data transfers and whistleblowers’ information and identities secure. Assange also referenced his keen interest in creating a distributed publishing network just as Bitcoin is a distributed currency.
Assange is a clear believer that if anyone is going to change what he believes to be a ‘crippled network’ of information, it would be the younger generation. He also asserted his belief that censorship is valuable. Assange claimed “It is always an opportunity, because it reveals fear of reform. It means that the power position is so weak that you have got to care about what people think.”
Assange, perhaps looking for a reward for giving Schmidt an interview, went fishing for leaks from Google which Schmidt politely declined. Schmidt – also not one for lack of trying – asked Assange on his take on Wikileaks being a threat to national security which Assange shrugged off as merely being a balance of risks.
With all the ruckus being made about privacy and where your data is headed, Schmidt is clearly interested in maintaining a balance between privacy, security and monetization. To see the full transcript of the meeting between Schmidt and Assange, click here.
Do you think we should be worried about where our data is headed? Let us know in the comments.