By the time Google began as a Stanford University research project in 1996, the Creation Myth of Silicon Valley (and all the hubris that it brings) was locked solid. People have struggled to name and define this ideology over the years: the California Ideology, Digital Utopianism, Technolibertarianism, and so on. Whatever you wish to call it, its apotheosis was Wired in its heyday, before being sold to Conde Nast in 1998. The magazine connected and crystallized a number of ideological strains that had been popular in the valley for decades, making them seem real. And one of the key parts of the Silicon Valley myth is that governments cannot and never will be able to keep up with digital communications technology, which is why government is slow and stupid, while Silicon Valley is smart and fast.

But a look at the history of the tech sector betrays this notion for the con job that it is. As long as American intelligence has needed computers, it has needed Silicon Valley – who has been paid handsomely for its part in this marriage born out of the Cold War.

“It’s not surprising that Silicon Valley would be collaborating with the biggest industries in society,” says Assange. “Including intelligence agencies, which are an industry in terms of their need to or their desire to purchase large amounts of data.”

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