Russia’s actions in Crimea are child’s play compared to what the United States has done under its program of global surveillance,
according to WikiLeaks founder and noted whistleblower Julian Assange.
“The news is all flush with talk about how Russia has annexed the Crimea, but the reality is, the Five Eyes intelligence alliance,
principally the United States, have annexed the whole world as a result of annexing the computer systems and communications technology that is used to run the modern world,” Assange said during an address last week at the WHD global 2014 conference.
Assange called for countries to develop independent networks to resist the all- pervading US control over telecommunications.
“It’s a matter of national sovereignty. If there is not at least some national network
that can be maintained in a moment of economic or political conflict with the United States, then there is simply too much leverage on nation states to be able to effectively defend the interests of their peoples,” he said.
The whistleblower also stressed the importance of encryption and the need to review legislation concerning privacy to secure communication safety.
Julian Assange launched his website WikiLeaks in 2006, which has published hundreds of thousands of classified US
government documents. In 2010 he was arrested on sexual assault charges in Sweden, but released soon after on bail. He has been holed up in the Ecuadoran
Embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition.
Assange is known as a major supporter of fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden,
who last year exposed the existence of US clandestine surveillance practices.
According to files released by Snowden, the US and its allies have systematically tapped phone calls and read emails of millions of ordinary citizens and high-ranking officials around the world.
The US National Security Agency was assisted in the effort by other members of the intelligence sharing “Five Eyes” alliance, which also includes Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
The revelations have triggered a global public outcry, casting doubt on the lawfulness of the US surveillance.
Snowden, who fled the United States out of fear of prosecution, was later granted temporary asylum in Russia. He remains
wanted in the US for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information and theft of US government property. He faces up to ten years in prison on each charge.
Russian human rights defenders meanwhile insist the whistleblower acted in the interests of ordinary people.
(culled from RIANOVOSTI)