Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘When Google Met Wikileaks’

“Assange works for the people – now we need to save him.” Slavoj Žižek on JULIAN ASSANGE and WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS at RT

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Julian Assange has been silenced again, and the timing is most suspicious. With the Cambridge Analytica story dominating the news, it seems some powerful people have reasons to keep the brave WikiLeaks boss quiet right now.
Ecuador is a small country, and one can only imagine the brutal behind-the-scenes pressure exerted on it by Western powers to increase the isolation of Julian Assange from the public space. Now, his internet access has been cut off and many of his visitors are refused access, thus rendering a slow social death to a person who’s spent almost six years confined to an apartment at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Read the full article here.

On the 25th anniversary of the launch of the first website, a look back at notable INTERNET HISTORY

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

The Internet, twenty-five years later

On August 6, 1991 Tim Berners-Lee launched the world’s first website for CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research. Today, there exist more than one billion sites on the World Wide Web and more than three billion Internet users. In those twenty-five years, the Internet has grown in ways that could not have been foreseen two and a half decades ago. OR Books has documented the history of the Internet, from its breakthroughs to its failures, its expectations to its realities, its triumphs to its present dangers.



1994, northern California. The Internet is just emerging from military and university research labs. Groups of idealistic technologists, recognizing its potential as a tool for liberation and solidarity, are working feverishly to build the network.

In an early chat room, The WELL, a Stanford futurist named Tom Mandel creates a new conference asking for advice shaking off a persistent hacking cough. Within six months he is dead.

@heaven opens a window onto the way the Internet functioned in its earliest days. This electronic chronicle of a death foretold reminds us of the values of kinship and community that the Internet’s early pioneers tried to instill in a system that went on to take over the world.


SPLINTERNET by Scott Malcomson

There’s always been something universalizing about the Internet. The World Wide Web has seemed both inherently singular and global, a sort of ethereal United Nations. But today, as Scott Malcomson contends in this concise, brilliant investigation, the Internet is cracking apart into discrete groups no longer willing, or able, to connect. The implications of this shift are momentous.

“This is not your ordinary history of the Internet. Scott Malcomson has brilliantly extended the connections between Silicon Valley and the military back far beyond DARPA—back, in fact, to World War I. If you want to understand the conflict between cyberspace utopians and the states and corporations who seek to dominate our virtual lives, you’ve got to read this book.” —James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. Magazine


LEAN OUT edited by Elissa Shevinsky

Lean Out collects 25 stories from the modern tech industry, from people who fought GamerGate and from women and transgender artists who have made their own games, from women who have started their own companies and who have worked for some of the most successful corporations in America, from LGBTQ women, from women of color, from transgender people and people who do not ascribe to a gender. All are fed up with the glacial pace of cultural change in America’s tech industry.

“Disconcertingly thought-provoking.” —TechCrunch


TWEETS FROM TAHRIR edited by Nadia Idle and Alex Nunns

The Twitter accounts of the activists who brought heady days of revolution to Egypt in January and February this year paint an exhilarating picture of an uprising in real-time. Thousands of young people documented on cell phones every stage of their revolution, as it happened. This book brings together a selection of key tweets in a compelling, fast-paced narrative, allowing the story of the uprising to be told directly by the people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

“Deeply moving, a record of great courage, mostly by young people, facing Mubarak’s legion of goons and regime thugs.” —Robert Fisk, The Independent


HACKING POLITICS edited by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini and David Segal

Hacking Politics is a firsthand account of how a ragtag band of activists and technologists overcame a $90 million lobbying machine to defeat the most serious threat to Internet freedom in memory. The book is a revealing look at how Washington works today – and how citizens successfully fought back.

Written by the core Internet figures—video gamers, Tea Partiers, tech titans, lefty activists and ordinary Americans among them—who defeated a pair of special interest bills called SOPA (“Stop Online Piracy Act”) and PIPA (“Protect IP Act”), Hacking Politics provides the first detailed account of the glorious, grand chaos that led to the demise of that legislation and helped foster an Internet-based network of amateur activists.



Now that communication can be as quick as thought, why hasn’t our ability to organize politically—to establish gains and beyond that, to maintain them—kept pace? The web has given us both capacity and speed: but progressive change seems to be something perpetually in the air, rarely manifesting, even more rarely staying with us.

“No one better grasps the interplay between innovative media technology and politics than Micah Sifry.” —Kevin Phillips



From Facebook to Talking Points Memo to the New York Times, often what looks like fact-based journalism is not. It’s advertising. Not only are ads indistinguishable from reporting, the Internet we rely on for news, opinions and even impartial sales content is now the ultimate corporate tool. Reader beware: content without a corporate sponsor lurking behind it is rare indeed.

“Reading Mara Einstein is like putting on magic glasses that let you see the advertising all around you, all the time. Whether you’re looking to sell, or hoping to resist, here is the state of the art.” —Douglas Rushkoff, author, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Present Shock


Further Reading

what's yours is mine cover

beyond zero and one cover

“Western Civilization Has Produced a God” JULIAN ASSANGE speaks about the religious aura of surveillance on The Huffington Post

Monday, June 15th, 2015

In the end it doesn’t matter whether Google is a completely willing participant [with U.S. surveillance efforts], a partly willing participant or a not at all willing participant. All that matters is that it is Google’s business model to collect as much information about the world and people as possible and store it and index it and compile virtual dossiers on everyone and predict their behavior, and sell it to various organizations and advertisers and so on. For any organization that does that and is based in the United States, the U.S. National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies will make sure that they get hold of that information. It’s simply too easy to do so and too attractive. It is very valuable information that gives the U.S. deep state an edge.

To read the rest of the interview, visit The Huffington Post.

“Assange is a world-class muckraker” The Monthly does an in-depth review of WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Google, a flag-bearer of the new Californian “free market” ideology of digital capitalism, is an accomplice of the American state, Assange insists. He reminds me that early Google search technology was seed-funded by the NSA and CIA “information superiority” programs. Since then, the family integration of Google and the government has tightened. Assange rattles off a string of cases. Each runs well beyond the politics of personal connections, and each connection is damaging to Eric Schmidt’s claim that Google has clean political hands.

To read the rest of the article, visit The Monthly.

JULIAN ASSANGE, author of WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS, launches final appeal to throw out warrant

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Lawyers for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will lodge an appeal with Sweden’s highest court, the Supreme Court today, urging it to drop his arrest warrant. They will do so on the grounds that Assange is suffering “severe limitations” on his freedoms which have been unreasonably restricted since he was first granted political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. He has not left the embassy building since.

To read the rest of the review, visit Newsweek

Antony Loewenstein praises WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS in op-ed for The Guardian

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

The danger of discounting or ignoring WikiLeaks, at a time when much larger news organisations still can’t compete with the group’s record of releasing classified material, is that we shun a rebellious and adversarial group when it’s needed most. The value of WikiLeaks isn’t just in uncovering new material, though that’s important, it’s that the group’s published material is one of the most important archives of our time.

To read the rest of the article, visit The Guardian


Friday, January 2nd, 2015

So, Google is a, in itself, a type of private National Security Agency. It’s in the business of collecting as much data around the world as possible, about as much people and places as it can, making interconnections between this data in order to make people more predictable, in order, partly, to sell them advertisements. That’s its business model.

To hear the rest of the interview, visit DemocracyNow!

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS named one of Truthdig‘s best books of 2014

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who has been in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, was under house arrest at a British estate in 2011 when he received a special visitor: Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. “When Google Met WikiLeaks” is about the meeting.

To read the rest of the article, visit Truthdig

JULIAN ASSANGE explains his reasons for founding WikiLeaks on Newsweek

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

I looked at something that I had seen going on with the world, which is that I thought there were too many unjust acts. And I wanted there to be more just acts, and fewer unjust acts.

And one can ask, “What are your philosophical axioms for this?” And I say, “I do not need to consider them. This is simply my temperament. And it is an axiom because it is that way.” That avoids getting into further unhelpful philosophical discussion about why I want to do something. It is enough that I do.

To read the rest of the article, visit Newsweek

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS named one of The Independent‘s best technology books of 2014

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Assange “showed us the breadth and reach of the secret state. In When Google Met Wikileaks (OR Books, £10) Assange comments on what he thinks of Google but also provides a transcript of a conversation between himself and its CEO, Eric Schmidt, when they met up in England during Assange’s house arrest. He comments that Eric’s team of people was ‘one part Google, three parts US foreign-policy establishment’. An intriguing and pithy analysis of Google’s relationship with the US government.”

To read the rest of the list, visit The Independent

JULIAN ASSANGE on who should control the Internet in The New York Times

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The very concept of the Internet — a single, global, homogenous network that enmeshes the world — is the essence of a surveillance state. The Internet was built in a surveillance-friendly way because governments and serious players in the commercial Internet wanted it that way. There were alternatives at every step of the way. They were ignored.

To read the rest of the article, visit The New York Times


Monday, November 24th, 2014

In many ways then When Google Met Wikileaks is a book of two parts. It is first and foremost an attempt to help people understand the role of Google, and secondly it is a more general insight into some the most important issues around information today. On both points Assange reminds us why he matters.

To read the rest of the article, visit Postmag

The News on Sunday reviews WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Julian Assange’s understanding of the nature and scope of ideological power is staggering.

To read the rest of the review, visit The News on Sunday

Paste Magazine reviews WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

We may […] look back on When Google Met WikiLeaks as the first declaration of new digital war. We hear it here first, from a soft voice quietly speaking to the truths of Silicon Valley: Google is as capable of being evil—may already be evil—as any other company, body, or state.

To read the rest of the article, visit Paste Magazine


Friday, October 31st, 2014

Eric Schmidt: But how in the future will people deal with the fact that the incentive to publish information that is misleading, wrong, manipulative, is very high? Furthermore, you can’t figure out who the bad publisher was as well as the good, because there’s anonymity in the system.

Julian Assange: First we must understand that the way it is right now is very bad. A journalist for the Nation, Greg Mitchell, who has also written about us, wrote a book about the mainstream media called So Wrong for So Long.229 And that title is basically it. Yes we have these heroic moments with Watergate and so on, but actually, come on, the press has never been very good. It has always been very bad. Fine journalists are an exception to the rule. When you are involved in something yourself, like I am with WikiLeaks, and you know every facet of it, you look to see what is reported about it in the mainstream press and you see naked lie after naked lie. You know that the journalist knows it’s a lie; it is not a simple mistake. Then people repeat lies and so on. The condition of the mainstream press nowadays is so appalling I don’t think it can be reformed. I don’t think that is possible. I think it has to be eliminated, and replaced with something that’s better.

To read the rest of the excerpt, visit TruthDig

JULIAN ASSANGE‘s ongoing feud with Eric Schmidt covered in Daily Mail

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Despite its cuddly image and free services, he said, Google’s mass harvesting of data and dominance of the internet are cause for ‘serious concern’ worldwide.

He said: ‘Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of U.S. power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation.’

To read the rest of the article, visit the Daily Mail

JULIAN ASSANGE interviewed by DW GIBSON in Vogue

Friday, October 24th, 2014

In a world where the Web is more decentralized, with more autonomy and anonymity, how does leadership play out on that Internet? Or is there a need for leadership? Or is it OK if it’s simply a fragmented experience?

Leadership is still very important because when you have a cacophony of ideas, it takes a lot of time to understand which ones are worth considering. And so to solve that problem, people look to those who they respect or understand. That’s why we like to read the books of authors that deepen our understanding of a particular area of the world.

But there’s a difference between leadership and direction—coercive control over something. Extremely large states, they have a coercive control structure, and large companies like Google are intertwined with the mechanisms of the state such as law, courts, and police.

Leadership through values or through the creation of new standards or new software or new formulations of human institutions, these are structures that can propagate to others but where the originator doesn’t maintain more than a spiritual or philosophical influence. Most good ideas in human development have spread that way—from writing to the gramophone.

Read the full interview on Vogue

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS excerpted in Newsweek

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Eric Schmidt is an influential figure, even among the parade of powerful characters with whom I have had to cross paths since I founded WikiLeaks. In mid-May 2011 I was under house arrest in rural Norfolk, England, about three hours’ drive northeast of London. The crackdown against our work was in full swing and every wasted moment seemed like an eternity. It was hard to get my attention.

But when my colleague Joseph Farrell told me the executive chairman of Google wanted to make an appointment with me, I was listening.

For the full excerpt, visit Newsweek.

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS covered in The Saturday Paper

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Assange was introduced by one of his editors, who joked, “One of the things we love about Julian is that we always know where he is.” The man himself appeared in suit and tie, rosy-cheeked and seemingly well nourished. As he spoke about Google’s unsavoury ties to Washington, a man in an electric blue suit and yellow neckerchief sat cross-legged on the floor, sketching Assange’s face on a large drawing pad. Twenty minutes in, the British singer M. I. A. joined Assange on screen. The two spoke briefly about freedom of expression before Assange opened the floor to questions. Someone asked how Assange felt about still being labelled a traitor. Assange replied that he was well and truly over it, reminding the crowd of his own country’s response to his case. “The Australian government came after me harder than the US government,” he said. “It’s a sad thing how pathetic my own country is.” An OR Books rep then asked any Google employees in the room to come forward and ask Assange a question. No one fessed up. (The publisher of When Google Met WikiLeaks is now offering 20 per cent off the book for all Google employees.)

To read the rest of the article, visit The Saturday Paper


Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Assange’s book, When Google Met Wikileaks, is the transcript (with commentary by Assange) of a secret meeting between the two that took place on June 23, 2011, when Schmidt visited Assange in England. In his commentary, Assange explores the troubling implications of Google’s vast reach, including its relationships with international authorities, particularly in the U.S., of which the public is largely unaware. Schmidt’s book, How Google Works, is a broader, sunnier look at how technology has presumably shifted the balance of power from companies to people. It tells the story of how Google rose from a nerdy young tech startup to become a nerdy behemoth astride the globe. Read together, the two books offer an unsettling portrait both of our unpreparedness for what lies ahead and of the utopian spin with which Google (and others in the digital world) package tomorrow. While Assange’s book accuses Google of operating as a kind of “‘Don’t Be Evil’ empire,” Schmidt’s book fulfills Assange’s worst fears, presenting pseudo-irreverent business maxims in an “aw shucks” tone that seems willfully ignorant of the inevitable implications of any company coming to so sweepingly dominate our lives in unprecedented and often legally uncharted ways.

Read the full review on Time

JULIAN ASSANGE interviewed in Pando

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

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.”

Read the full interview and review on Pando

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS reviewed in the New Statesman

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

So has Google earned the ire of Assange? First, he was naive to expect fair or favourable treatment. He is any capitalist’s nightmare and, although Google may present itself as a new type of company, in many respects it is an old-style one. It is Wall Street-dependent and close to government, partly through conventional lobbying and partly through a joint interest in amassing information. It used to be unremarkable to say that the interests of General Motors and those of the US were aligned. It should be equally unremarkable to say the same of Google and the Obama administration.

This is not necessarily a bad thing but plainly it could be and it is here that Assange is on relatively solid ground. Schmidt and Cohen did use him rather ruthlessly and misrepresented him at certain points in their book. Furthermore, Google’s power – as demonstrated, embarrassingly, by the ease with which it can walk, carefree and practically tax-free, into Downing Street – is disturbing, unaccountable and, increasingly, global. “Technocratic imperialism” is a substantial charge.

Read the full review on New Statesman

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS reviewed on Livemint

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Post the Edward Snowden revelations, it is common knowledge that surveillance is universal and online privacy is a myth. But the general assumption has been that tech companies were being dragooned into spying for the government. When Google Met WikiLeaks shows that assumption to be largely unfounded.

Read the full review on Livemint

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS reviewed in Counter Punch

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

In his book, Assange made it clear that Google is not as innocent as it portrays itself to be. He revealed what happened when this company, that grew out of an innovative California graduate student culture, came in contact with Washington’s halls of power. With its official motto“Don’t be evil”, the company claims its mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

Assange unveils how, contrary to Google’s efforts to create a positive public image by giving away free storage, making it appear not like a corporation driven solely by profit motives, this seemingly philanthropic company is a willing participant in its own government co-optation. Indeed, he argues, Google Idea was birthed as a brainchild of a Washington think-tank.

Read the full review on Counter Punch

JULIAN ASSANGE appears on CBC Radio’s Q with Jian Ghomeshi

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

In a Canadian broadcast exclusive, controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange joins Jian Ghomeshi on the phone from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living for over two years.

Despite his physical confines, the publisher continues to joust with his ideological opponents on the world stage. His latest book, When Google Met WikiLeaks, is a scathing take on what he alleges are the internet giant’s geopolitical ambitions and what he sees as a business model built of “free service traps”.

Listen to the full interview at Q.

JULIAN ASSANGE interviewed on The Huffington Post

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

HP: Could Google keep its current business model while also making it impossible for the NSA to access its data, or is it baked into the business model?

JA:As long as Google is operating its current business model and runs out of the U.S. jurisdiction, it cannot protect people from the National Security Agency or the FBI, or other arms of the U.S. government.

Read the full interview on The Huffington Post.

Transcript of highlights from WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS launch provided by Long Island Press

Monday, September 29th, 2014

“If Chevron or Lockheed Martin had written down what its vision for the future of the world is, and how it’s going to bring it about and how it was shaping up and the nature of its, some of the nature of its relationships, a book that has on the back of it pre-publication endorsements by Henry Kissinger, Madeline Albright, Tony Blair and the former head of the National Security Agency and CIA [General Michael] Hayden, we would be quite concerned and there would be political scholars, like Noam Chomsky, trying to understand what that meant,” explained Assange.

“But because Google has successfully—up until about a year ago—successfully positioned itself as a playful thing, their colored logo presenting itself under the eyeballs of people around the world more than a billion times a day, a playful thing, like it is a playroom, with soft, curved [thoughts] and soft toys, a place where we can go to look at things, a place that provides information for free, we have come to think of it as something that is helpful, or an assistant, a tap, a magical angel that disgorges helpful and useful information and not an organization like every other organization,” he continued. “Not an organization which spends now more money lobbying with Washington, DC than Lockheed Martin. Not an organization which has engaged in contracts with the National Security Agency since 2003…. And not an organization with a revolving door between the US State Department and Google and between the White House and Google.”

Read full coverage of the launch at Long Island Press

JULIAN ASSANGE appears in hologram form to discuss WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Earlier last week, winds off the Atlantic brought a rumour that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange might be appearing at the Nantucket Project this weekend. But how? Had he left his place of asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London? No, he will not be appearing in the flesh, but as the latest celebrity to follow the likes of Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur to be beamed by hologram.

The question of the day is a large one, about the fate of mankind. As the town square of yesterday (with its post office, bank, library and general store) is fast being displaced by its digital equivalent (email, online banking, Wikipedia and Ocado), what are the societal benefits and attendant costs? Finally, what measures does Assange see as necessary to ensure an optimal information future?

Read the full write-up of the event on The Guardian

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS reviewed in The Irish Times

Monday, September 29th, 2014

During the interview Assange outlines his philosophy and expands on what he calls “scientific journalism”. The press “has always been very bad. Fine journalists are an exception to the rule.” His idea of scientific journalism is that “things must be precisely cited, with the original source, and as much of the information as possible should be put in the public domain, so that people can look at it, just like in science, so that you can test to see whether the conclusion follows from the experimental data.” Otherwise, he says, “the journalists probably just made it up.”

Read the full interview on The Irish Times

WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS launch reviewed on Motherboard

Friday, September 26th, 2014

“How many Google employees are at this party?”

The question hangs in the air at the Babycastles arcade in Manhattan, where Julian Assange’s silver-haired visage is being projected onto the walls via video stream. Assange is taking questions about his new book, When Google Met Wikileaks, which rails against the company’s ever-expanding ambitions, its ties to the surveillance state, and the increasingly intimate relationship between Silicon Valley and the US political machine in Washington.

Seeing no hands raised in the packed room, Assange offers an incentive: 20 percent off sticker price for Google employees. “And we’ll mail the book to you in a brown paper bag,” he adds with a grin, the audience’s laughter echoing faintly through the stream’s audio. And yes, you can buy it with bitcoins.

This is how you throw a book launch party when you’re an international fugitive that’s been holed up in an Ecuadorean embassy for the past two years.

Read the full write-up on Mother Board

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