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Wikileaks founder Assange calls NSA a ‘rogue agency’

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone, but founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, is no fan of the NSA or its data snooping practices and has called for the general public to stand up to the privacy invasions in a recorded interview for SXSW.

Filmed in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been since mid-2012, as he attempts to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, the address called the NSA a “rogue agency,” with “unfettered,” power that needs to be given back to the people.

“How is it that the internet that everyone looked upon as perhaps the greatest tool of human emancipation there had ever been, had been co-opted and was now involved in the most aggressive form of state surveillance ever seen,” he said.

Assange, pictured here in 2010. Source: Wikimedia

When asked whether he thought the internet was under threat, Assange said that there was no real distinction between offline and online life, due to the way contemporary living was linked with internet connected activities. “The laws that apply to the internet apply to human society. This penetration of the internet by the NSA and GCHQ is the penetration of our human society. It means there has been a militarisation of our civilian space. A military occupation of our civilian space … is a very serious matter.”

Assange went on to call on everyone to do something about the NSA. While he didn't elaborate on what that might be, he did say that Wikileaks would have more big reveals and document dumps in the coming months, though he preferred to remain vague on who they might be targeting or when they would be released, suggesting that revealing too much would simply give his opponents more of a chance to counter-spin the information.

KitGuru Says: Not everyone is a big fan of Assange, but some put him among the hallowed ranks of internet heroes like Edward Snowden. What do you guys think of him? [Thanks The Guardian]

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