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Ear to the Ground

Assange: Facebook ‘Most Appalling Spying Machine Ever’ (Update: Video)

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Posted on May 2, 2011
Flickr / espenmoe

Julian Assange

In a recent interview with Russia Today, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had harsh words for Facebook, denouncing the company for enabling the U.S. government to keep close tabs on the behavior, relationships and personal details of its citizens. —ARK

“Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented. Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people—their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations, their communications with each other, their relatives—all sitting within the United States, all accessible to U.S. intelligence,” Assange said. Furthermore, “Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them.”

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By mlb, May 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Every time I’ve heard him, I’ve been very impressed with Assange’s understanding of ways in which democracy, governance, and politics work.  It makes me wish we could get to hear him speak more often.  We might stop thinking of him as just some guy who published some leaked documents, and come to see that he’s a brilliant guy (who had an exceptionally brilliant idea with Wikileaks!), to understand the moral perspective that drives the work he’s doing, and most importantly, to realize that he’s in the right. 

To brianrouth:  Assange didn’t steal anything.  He published documents given to him.  And for that matter, neither did Bradley Manning (or whoever the leaker was) steal anything.  He merely returned to the public what was ours to begin with, and was wrongfully kept from us by our government.  Contrary to all the menacing and ridiculous brouhaha from politicians and jealous charlatans who call themselves journalists, none of the material released by Wikileaks has demonstrably endangered national security.  None of it should have been secret in the first place.

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By brianrouth, May 4, 2011 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

what a hypocrite…a man that steals private info lecturing us of privacy and so
what?? I have nothing to hide…what a load of bollocks…is Murdoch paying to say
this?

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By Margaret, May 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love how Assange never takes the bait and never lets the discussion be just about him.  E.g., who is his greatest enemy?  “Our greatest enemy is ignorance.  It’s everyone’s greatest enemy.”

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By Gregory Kruse, May 3, 2011 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anybody who didn’t know even before Facebook that anything they did online was public just was not thinking about it.  As Assange says, “My greatest enemy is ignorance”.  This looks like an historical rerun.  Pvt. Manning is John the Baptist, and Julian is Jesus on his way to the cross.

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By Anonymous, May 3, 2011 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most people I know seem to believe that only “bad guys” have anything to fear from government spies. That Martin Luther King Jr., amongst others, was targeted by the FBI using laws originally designed to catch mafiosi seems not to be relevant, because, and this is why I can’t help finding life to be a monstrous farce,“That was a long time ago.” These days everyone’s a cynic, and wishes they were Khrushchev, anyway, and nobody wants to stand for Truth, Justice, or Superman’s American Way (which, to be fair, always clashed with reality).

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By TDoff, May 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

I don’t mean to insult such a vast number of people, but anyone who could not foresee their exposure on Facebook as eliminating their personal privacy and security is a dunce.

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