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News Link • Whistleblowers

Assange to SXSW: We're all being watched

•, By Doug Gross
 "The ability to surveil everyone on the planet is almost there and, arguably, will be there in the next couple of years," said Assange, speaking via Skype to a large audience at the South by Southwest Interactive festival here.

Assange rocketed to international fame, and infamy, in 2010 after Wikileaks began helping publish secret government documents online.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum in June 2012 and he fled to the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he raped one woman and sexually molested another.

He calls those charges false and politically motivated, but has said he fears Sweden will transfer him to the United States, where he could face the death penalty for the work of WikiLeaks if he were charged and convicted of a crime.

On Saturday, he called life in the embassy "like a prison," adding that actual inmates "arguably" have it worse.

Saturday's talk was billed as a question-and-answer session, but because of technological glitches it ended up being mostly an hourlong speech by Assange, punctuated occasionally with questions from Twitter.


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