16 August 2013, 14:09

Assange's Q&A hangout by Deakin University

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Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange has participated in a live Google+ Hangout, brought by Deakin University and OurSay.org. The 42-year-old publisher and activist answered five questions previously submitted and voted by the public online. 

Julian Assange answered questions on globalization, on largest obstacles to justice, on Anonymous, on renewable resources live of YouTube stream.

Mr Assange, who has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, has founded the WikiLeaks Party and is running for the Senate in the September election.

Assange receives audience applause for pointing out role of Australian and the US government on creating refugees via Afghani and Iraqi wars.

"Basic principle: transparency for the powerful, privacy for the rest of us," said Julian Assange.

"We have significantly widened the envelope of what publishers can publish; we've changed the expectations," Assange said.

Jullian Assange, you talked about needing judicial approval to mandate any activity that collects any more information about us. Can u give us more detail on that and is that part of your WikiLeaks party pledge?

Yes, it’s part of the policy, but also a part of what I’ve been doing for 20 years now. You know Wikileaks is famous for revealing information about very powerful organizations, but also my work is protecting people’s privacy, developing encryption systems to protect everyone’s privacy. It’s what we’ve been campaigning for all these years. And that is part of overall philosophy, that there should be transparency for the most powerful groups and there should be privacy for all the rest of us.

Assuming that the lack of transparency and accountability is the largest obstacle to justice, what do you think is the second largest obstacle to a more just society?

This is a big philosophical question. Human nature is pretty much been the same, at least for the last 5,000 years. All of us have instincts, anger for example, i.d. mother’s anger when protecting her child, father protecting his family etc.

The biggest problem is ignorance and greed. Most people think these are the separate problems, but I believe that ignorance and greed are the same problem.

Ignorance is that something that fosters greed. To deal with his we have to reduce the level of ignorance.

Whether there any concrete proposals as to what you would do if you were elected and Australia to be fighting ignorance and greed?

We’ve got a number as it’s the second biggest problem. One of those is to introduce Australian media innovation fund to have every Australian eligible to be paid for their intellectual content: blogs, popular twitter feeds, videos they produced, books they made available free for download. And to cut out funding the middle man. That’s a mechanism that can incentivize millions of Australians to produce content to educate other Australians and the world. Similarly, we have policy on climate change, asylum seekers and how the government should process and be accountable and the way to activate all this is to vote for Wikileaks in the Senate. We’re not a party of government but we can hold to whoever is in government and use their methods.

What is your opinion of American journalist Matt Drudge. You consider him to be a friend or foe your Open government movement? And I’m wondering about your opinion on Senator Rand Paul who is a vocal critic of big government. And finally I’d like to know what you think about the activist group Anonymous?

Matt Drudge is a news media innovator. He took off about eight years ago in relation to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He should be applauded for breaking a lot of the censorship. As time was going by. Matt Grudge was involved in collecting many interesting rumors that looked like they might be true and publishing them. His political positions – I might agree with something and with something I don’t. In relation to Rand Paul, I’m his big admirer for the very principal positions in the US Congress on a number of issues. In relation to Anonymous, it’s not a group; it’s an Internet social movement and part of culture. And as part of any culture it has good people and bad people. Among the good people there are very courageous people who have done great things, including supporting this organization and me and Bradley Manning.

There has been a swell of support for the Libertarians among American youth especially. What do you think it means for the US?

The way we see things at the moment, nearly every Democrat in Congress has been co-opted by the Obama legislation or DC social networks. There is now an extreme center in the US where the Democratic administration and a large chunk of the Republican Party have come together pushing forward very fast in a dangerous direction that compromises the future of the US democracy. The Libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is the only useful political voice in the US Congress presently . It will be the driver that shifts the US around.

What is the most impactful action you suggest people take to tip the planet’s centre gravity from nation centric to global centric?

That’s a very interesting question but I don’t quite accept the pretext as globalization gives us terrible things. The perforation of nation state borders by drones. Just think about the future of that with drones getting smaller. What does it mean when a state no longer has the integrity of its borders versus people who have drones? It means t that borders start to collapse. Similarly, cyber warfare every day perforates borders of nation states. The National Security Agencies are spying on nearly all the Internet communication.

Technology has driven the intermingling of states. But who is controlling that intermingling? On the other hand, we have a new international body politic that is developing. New values come out as a result of this worldwide interaction between people. There is finally a new value that has emerged. But there has to be some kind of international control of this interaction and perforations. We have to bring about the positive aspects of the phenomenon and control the negative aspects of it.

Voice of Russia, sbs.com.au

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