60 Minutes Interview with Julian Assange


By Nathaly Duran

From a 600-acre estate in Britain under house arrest, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gave an exclusive interview to CBS “60 Minutes”, where among many other things he opened up about his ideals and defended his work, discussed his organization’s vulnerability to government shut down, and rumors about an upcoming release of revealing documents of Bank of America.

Throughout the interview Assange took the opportunity to respond to the negative criticism he has received in the past years, one of which is that of being perceived as anti-American, allegation he denied by stating that his actions are supported by the U.S. Constitution, Assange: Not at all. In fact, our founding values are those of the U.S. revolution. They are those of the people like Jefferson and Madison. And we have a number of Americans in our organization. If you’re a whistleblower and you have material that is important, we will accept it, we will defend you and we will publish it. You can’t turn away material simply because it comes from the United States.

Assange also clarified that his organization doesn’t go after anyone in particular; instead, their job is to publish material that is likely to have a significant impact. But what Julian Assange emphasized most was in the ideal of achieving freedom of press, he said that if the U.S. creates threats to small publishers to stop them publishing then the U.S. had lost its way, “throwing the first Amendment in the bin”.

Published in: on April 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm  Comments (1)  

Assange to 60 Minutes: Free Press “the Raw Ingredients to Make a Just Society”

JONATHAN SIMMONS

Julian Assange, the sectretive figure behind the WikiLeaks project, spoke to Steve Kroft of CBS News’ 60 Minutes in a rare interview at the home in England where he is currently being held under house arrest.

Assange spoke of the goals of the WIkiLeaks project, the accusations made by his critics, and the prospect of facing prosecution in the U.S.

Asked by Kroft about charges that his organization was subversive and anti-American, Assange spoke of the importance of a free press, and said that WikiLeaks was dedicated to “publishing documents that are likely to have a significant impact.”  Pressed on the issue, Assage said, “You’re right – we’re subverting illegitimate authority,”

On the prospect of facing charges in the U.S. for his release of classified documents, Assange said that the U.S. government had never before prosecuted a publisher, and that to do so now would be to set a dangerous precedent which would discourage whistle-blowing.  If he is left free to publish, Assange said, that would be “encouragement to every other publisher to publish fearlessly.”

Asked of his role, of whether WikiLeaks was journalism or activism, Assange said, “We’re a particular type of activist… We are free press activists.”

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Julian Assange 60 Minutes Interview Condensed

By Ana Milanes

Julian Assange, the man responsible for the WikiLeaks leaks, was recently interviewed by 60 Minutes. During his time on the screen, Assange concludes a couple of main points. He makes notable that a small amount of people have access to large quantities of information, and the United States doesn’t necessarily have the means to shut down the internet. The combination of the two can be beneficial or detrimental because it leaves a lack of control throughout.

Also, Assange claims the United States wants their people to be in a state of fear, to the point where they are afraid to use their freedom of speech. Case in point; a publishers job is to make information available to the public and he being arrested for doing his job.

Assange goes on to say that what he did wasn’t a threat to the United States, it was simply “an embarrassment”.
He then speaks of his past, and how he became acquainted with computers at a young age, he was previously arrested for hacking, and his mother also had issues with the politics when he was young.

The WikiLeaks program, according to Assange, runs solely on donations and is a non-profit organization. It is run by volunteers, who he claims have the ability to publish more secrets should something happen to him. Assange makes it clear, that with current technology and our freedom of speech, it is very simple of state whatever you wish.
His basic message throughout the interview is that he is being accused and possibly charged for a right which pertains to him.

Sources:
CBS News. (January 30,2011) “Julian Assange, the Man Behind WikiLeaks”. Retrieved February 2,2011 from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/26/60minutes/main7286686.shtml

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 7:24 am  Leave a Comment  

WikiLeaks’ founder opens up

By Amelia Gutierrez

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange clears the air with Steve Kroft.

In the last four years, WikiLeaks has published secret documentation that have played a role in causing conflict in many countries.

During the interview, Assange defends WikiLeaks from accusations it has received from the United States.

“We don’t go after a particular country, we don’t go after a particular organization or group, we just stick to our promise of publishing material that is likely to have a significant impact,” he said.

WikiLeaks acts as a conduit to make government more transparent, brought forth by a government’s lack of internal accountability structures.

“If you’re a whistle-blower and you have material that is important, we will accept it, defend you, and we will publish it,” he said.

Assange found it “completely outrageous” when told about the possibility of being charged for espionage.

“If we are talking about creating threats to small publishers to stop them publishing, the U.S. has lost its way, it has aggregated its founding traditions, it has thrown the 1st Amendment in the bin,” he stated.

Assange ends the interview by mentioning a system of encrypted backups distributed among hundreds of people if the organization could not go on.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 6:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Julian Assange: Advocate for Transparency?

Assange, Julian. (2011). Time Magazine.

By: Viviana Garcia

It’s been hard to miss the plethora of headlines that have printed on newspapers across the country with the name Julian Assange in connection to the recent WikiLeaks controversy. Whatever your personal stance may be on whether governmental transparency is good for society in the age of information technology, it is worth taking a glace at what constitutes Assange’s views and what the intentions are behind a site that has divulged, what was at one time confidential information to a public without any kind of journalistic buffer. Some have implied that we have entered into a new era of Journalism, that Assange’s take on the news has revolutionized an audience’s exposure to the global state of affairs. WikiLeaks seems to give the term, “raw coverage,” a whole new meaning.

Countries, however, that have fallen victim to Assange’s news posts, have not been keen on the idea of total transparency, especially in the case of the United States, that is now seeking means by which to charge Julian, now under house arrest in Britain, with espionage. He has been called all kinds of things by the public that has followed his story and terrorist is at the top of the list. He denies this, however, and claims that he desires not the harm of a people, but instead, rooting WikiLeaks in the principles of the US Revolution, he hopes to revive a vintage approach to journalism, one that the Founding Fathers of our nation would support, he claims.

There are other claims that he does not shy away from, stating, “we are subverting authority,” while making it quite clear that the United States doesn’t have the technology necessary to take down a site such as this. He says he plays, “inside the rules” not outside them, but just believes that governments are attempting to, “keep the allusion of power” without showing the people what is really happening behind closed doors.

When asked about Private Manning, the American soldier who copied classified government information and turned it over to Assange, he states that he is a prisoner of conscience and because of WikiLeaks Assange was able to take the material given to him and, “publish it fearlessly.” Ultimately, this seems to be one of his strongest points, that journalists should publish whatever they’re given. If a government, such as that of the US, attempts to control the information they release regarding governmental affairs from the public, in Julian’s opinion, the country has, “thrown the First Amendment to the bin.”

When questioned about his own secrecy and how some might view that as hypocritical in relation to his strong advocacy for transparency, he states that he wants a transparent government, not transparent people and that because of the fact that he is a part of a small organization, he can maintain secrecy. Assange is about “free-press activism,” and if they are in danger of being stopped, he holds the power to release encrypted keys that will further disclose the remainder of what he holds in his possession.

One last point of significant interest to the public is who checks up on Julian Assange? Who keeps him from corruption up at the top? To that, he replied, the donors and contributors to WikiLeaks, along with the public.

Countries around the globe have been holding their breath along with top corporations as they wonder what Assange might have stored in his computer. What does he say to that? “Let them squirm.”

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 6:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Julian Assange: The Man Behind WikiLeaks 60 Minutes Interview

By: Paige Johnsen

Creator of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, proclaimed his innocence during a 60 Minutes interview on Februrary 3, 2011.  Assange said, “The United States doesn’t have the technology remove the site and its information.”  When asked if he should be held accountable for “going after” who and what the documents pertain, he said, “We don’t go after anyone.  We stick to our promises.”  WikiLeaks, a small non-profit organization, provides volumes of government documents to the public.

When Assange said, “We are playing inside the rules,” he means WikiLeaks is abiding by the First Amendment.  The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law infringing on the freedom of speech or the freedom of the press.  Assange said, “I encourage you to publish fearlessly and the United States has lost its way because publishers must be free to publish.” 

WikiLeaks is a completely new form of journalism because it provides raw data, makes it available, and allows the readers to make an individual decision. Assange attended thirty-seven schools throughout his academic career.  Always an outsider, he found his way in by developing a intellectual passion for computer hacking.  Assange said, “I know the terrain and I know what is possible for other people to do.” 

Assange makes it very clear that he wants a transparent government, not transparent people.  He maintained a very clear and calm composure throughout the interview.  He defined himself as a particular type of activist (a free press activist) and it is his responsibility to give people information to decide for themselves.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 5:57 am  Leave a Comment  

60 minutes with Julian Assange

By: Ashley Williams

Public enemy number one is who he is, founder of Wiki Leaks, Julian Assange finds himself in trouble with the Us government, and on house-arrest due to his controversial website. Full of disturbing videos, confidential documents, and things that would be considered to put the country and army civilians in danger, he continues to have the US government in an uproar. He finds himself defending his first amendment right of freedom of speech, despite some very powerful people against him. He stands firmly by his decision to provide the world with this top-secret information.

During his interview on 60 minutes, he recaps his intentions and purpose of the website in which he calls himself a “free press activist.” From this interview, most would get the impression that he feels what he is doing is his right, nor is he doing anything wrong. He is providing the “Public” with information to make an informed personal decision based on the information on the website. What sources send to him is what he relays to the public. He doesn’t see any harm in that, as it’s important for Americans to know what’s really going on, regardless of the source and where it originated.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 5:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Interview with Julian Assange

By: Joeli Prieto

On January 30, 2011 Steve Kroft interviewed Julian Assange the creator of a website called WikiLeaks.  The site has recently gotten a lot of attention because of all the confidential and controversial documents the site has released. According to the 60 Minutes interview Assange is currently under house arrest for alleged sexual assault, which Assange says is simply part of some people’s plan to bring him down.

The US government is one of the big groups who want to charge Assange with espionage.  When Kroft asked Assange is he thought WikiLeaks was going against the American way, Assange quickly responded with “No”. Assange said that if anything he was supporting the First Amendment. Assange continue to say that if there were limits on the things that get published then that would be going against the American way because it would be taking away from freedom of speech.

When Assange was asked if he considered himself an activist, which is seen as something negative by Americans, Assange said that he would call himself a “free press activist.” Assange went on to explain that he believes in giving people the raw information and letting them decide for themselves what they thought about it.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 4:49 am  Leave a Comment