Julian Assange – Google Is Not What It Seems

19-01-21 04:12:00,

Google Is Not What It Seems

by Julian Assange

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt shares a joke with Hillary Clinton during a special “fireside chat” with Google staff. The talk was held on 21 Jul 2014 at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

 

In this extract from his new book When Google Met Wikileaks, WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange describes the special relationship between Google, Hillary Clinton and the State Department — and what that means for the future of the internet. WikiLeaks readers can obtain a 20 percent discount on the cover price when ordering from the OR Books website by using the coupon code “WIKILEAKS”.

* * *

E

ric 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, 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.

        In some ways the higher echelons of Google seemed more distant and obscure to me than the halls of Washington. We had been locking horns with senior US officials for years by that point. The mystique had worn off. But the power centers growing up in Silicon Valley were still opaque and I was suddenly conscious of an opportunity to understand and influence what was becoming the most influential company on earth. Schmidt had taken over as CEO of Google in 2001 and built it into an empire.

        I was intrigued that the mountain would come to Muhammad. But it was not until well after Schmidt and his companions had been and gone that I came to understand who had really visited me.

* * *

        The stated reason for the visit was a book. Schmidt was penning a treatise with Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas, an outfit that describes itself as Google’s in-house “think/do tank.” I knew little else about Cohen at the time.

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Julian Assange trotz verweigerter Auslieferung auch weiterhin im Hochsicherheitsgefängnis in Haft

07-01-21 09:58:00,

Am gestrigen Donnerstag gab es eine erneute Wendung in der Tragödie um den Wikileaks-Gründer Julian Assange. Am Montag hatte Bezirksrichterin Baraitser seine Auslieferung an die USA mit Hinweis auf seinen Gesundheitszustand und die Zustände im US-Strafvollzug blockiert, aber gestern wies sie einen Antrag auf Freilassung gegen Kaution ab. Somit bleibt Assange weiterhin isoliert von seiner Familie im Hochsicherheitsgefängnis Belmarsh. Die Zustände dort haben wohl auch zu seinem derzeitigen Zustand beigetragen. Ein Überblick über die Entwicklungen der letzten Tage und einige Pressestimmen dazu. Von Moritz Müller.

Während ich diese Zeilen schreibe, spielen sich in den USA einmal wieder Dinge ab, die mich daran erinnern, dass ein irischer Freund einmal zu mir sagte, dass man jeden noch so unglaublichen Satz mit dem Nachsatz „in Amerika“ glaubhaft machen kann. Da sind die Szenen, wie ein merkwürdiger Mob, seltsam ungehindert, das Kapitol stürmt und es bis jetzt vier Todesopfer gibt. Die Kongressabgeordnete Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers hat nun auch schon angekündigt, die Präsidentschaftswahlen nicht mehr anfechten zu wollen.

Im Senat gibt es seit den Wahlen in Georgia eine Patt-Situation mit der zukünftigen Vizepräsidentin Kamala Harris als Zünglein an der Waage. Die gleiche Kamala Harris, die bei den Vorwahlen der Demokratischen Partei so gut wie keine Wählerstimmen bekam, hat jetzt so viel Macht. Außerdem wurde gestern der dritte ehemalige Mitarbeiter des Finanzkonzerns BlackRock in das Team von Joe Biden befördert, als Finanzberater von Kamala Harris.

Mehr als 60 der 100 US-Senatsmitglieder sind Millionäre.

Ich hoffe, dass es mittelfristig nicht nur in den USA zum Dialog und zur Mäßigung kommt, sonst sieht es für uns alle nicht so gut aus …

Die Regierung Venezuelas hat übrigens nicht zu unrecht angemerkt, dass die USA nun eine Ahnung davon bekommen, wie die Umstürze, welche sie weltweit anzetteln, sich anfühlen.

Da fragt man sich, wie man es überhaupt ernsthaft in Betracht ziehen kann, momentan jemanden in dieses Land – und in dem Zustand, in dem es sich gerade befindet – auszuliefern.

Aber Richterin Vanessa Baraitser hatte dies ja mit Blick auf Assanges Gesundheitszustand, und wie dieser im US-Strafvollzug behandelt würde, auch in erster Instanz abgelehnt. Leider hat sie den Aussagen der US-Anklage ansonsten in allen wesentlichen Punkten zugestimmt.

Die Neue Zürcher Zeitung begrüßt den Richterspruch als möglichen Ausweg aus der menschlichen Tragödie.

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Free Julian Assange! (petition)

06-01-21 04:01:00,

A breath of relief was felt around the world on Monday after news broke that the US government’s request to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the UK was denied. Unfortunately, the ruling was made on the basis of concern about the US prison system and its effect on Julian’s mental health, rather than because of the more obvious issues of freedom of the press and protection of whistleblowers. If Wikileaks cannot be protected from prosecution for releasing a video that everyone agrees shows a war crime (the gunning-down of Afghan civilians and a Reuters journalist from a US military helicopter) and that was republished in countless newspapers around the world, what kind of reporting will be protected??

Today, the same judge has refused to release Julian Assange on bail while the US appeals the ruling. For all of the judge’s concerns about American supermax prisons, she does not see a problem with Julian Assange’s conditions at Belmarsh prison, where he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day and, according to Nils Meltzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture, developed “intense psychological trauma” after being subjected to years of “progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”. [1] Releasing Julian Assange is essential to restoring his health after almost a decade of oppressive arbitrary detention.

It is long beyond time to stop this travesty. We urge the Department of Justice to drop the charges against Wikileaks and release Julian Assange NOW!

[1] https://www.abc57.com/news/uk-judge-denies-us-request-to-extradite-julian-assange

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What Julian Assange’s win today really means for the world

05-01-21 04:26:00,

The 10-year campaign by the US government to criminalise reporting critical of its actions has failed in rather peculiar circumstances, with the unexpected decision by the court in London to reject the US demand for Julian Assange‘s extradition.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser gave as the reason for her decision Assange’s mental health and possible suicide risk, not freedom of expression or evidence of a politically inspired persecution by the Trump administration. If the judge is correct, this must be one of the very few non-political actions of the Trump era in the US.

Assange stays for the moment in the high-security Belmarsh Prison, as the US is likely to appeal against the verdict, but he can make a fresh application for bail.Had the US succeeded in extraditing Assange to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act of 1917, and one charge of computer-hacking, he could have been sentenced to 175 years in prison. His conviction would have had a devastating effect on freedom of the press, because what he was accused of doing is what every journalist and news outlet does or ought to do: find out significant information, which may or may not be labelled secret by self-interested governments, and pass it on to the public so they can reach evidence-based judgments on the world in which they live.

I followed the extradition hearings day-by-day last September, and there was nothing that Assange and WikiLeaks disclosed that I and any other decent reporter would not have revealed.

It is a little too early to say whether the Assange saga, which began when WikiLeaks published a great trove of US government documents in 2010 giving an unprecedented insight into US political, military and diplomatic affairs, is finally over.

At that time, extracts from the US government files were published by The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and El Pais. They were described as the greatest scoop of the century, akin to Daniel Ellsberg giving the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971.

The most famous item was film taken by a US military helicopter in Baghdad in 2007 as it opened fire on a dozen Iraqi civilians,

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Julian Assange Has Formally Requested a Pardon from President Donald Trump – Global Research

18-12-20 02:10:00,

People from across the political spectrum have called on President Trump to pardon the WikiLeaks founder, citing the importance of the freedom to publish.

Assange’s fiancé Stella Morris, the mother of his two young children, has previously called for a pardon — but a formal request was not filed with the White House until this week.

Assange is imprisoned in the United Kingdom pending a decision about his extradition to the United States where he faces charges under the Espionage Act for his publication of the Iraq and Afghan War Logs. If convicted he could face a maximum sentence of 175 years for the “crime” of publishing material that the US government did not want the population to know.

In 2018, President Trump’s attorneys quietly made a case in defense of WikiLeaks throughout legal filings responding to a lawsuit filed by Democrat Party donors who alleged that the campaign and former advisor Roger Stone conspired with Russians to publish the leaked Democratic National Committee emails.

Buried within hundreds of pages of case filings, in a motion filed in October 2018, Trump lawyer Michael A. Carvin argued that under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (47 U.S.C. § 230), “a website that provides a forum where ‘third parties can post information’ is not liable for the third party’s posted information.”

“That is so even when even when the website performs ‘editorial functions’ ‘such as deciding whether to publish,’” the filing contends. “Since WikiLeaks provided a forum for a third party (the unnamed ‘Russian actors’) to publish content developed by that third party (the hacked emails), it cannot be held liable for the publication.”

This defense holds true for the war log releases that Assange has been charged for publishing.

“In addition, the First Amendment generally denies the government power to punish truthful speech,” Carvin wrote. He added that privacy cannot justify these violations of core First Amendment norms. The filing then refers to the 1989 case of Florida Star v. B.J.F., in which it was determined that “punishing truthful publication in the name of privacy” is an “extraordinary measure.”

The formal pardon request comes on the heels of a viral claim from a Trump ally that the president would be pardoning the publisher.

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