Assange believes too late for any pervasive privacy

Shelley shelley at
Fri Dec 11 08:13:03 PST 2015

On December 11, 2015 12:48:12 AM Zenaan Harkness <zen at> wrote:

> Feels like a sell out. I suspect he feels he's being pragmatic.

>  Game for privacy is gone, mass surveillance is here to stay – Assange

Jeezus, wtf!  Julian has either finally lost his mind from living in exile 
or someone has gotten to him.  What is this defeatist fuckery?!

Of course we learn to adapt while living under a surveillance, militaristic 
police state - while we use and make the tech that pushes back, and will 
ultimately take it back.

The very fact that the recent atrocities committed by crazy religious 
extremists and other mentally unstable people (including the latest 
delusional asswipe to shoot up a woman's health clinic in my gun-obsessed 
country) were able to be planned and carried out right under their noses 
proves that they're not ubiquitous.  They just like to project that image 
so we will self-censor and cower in fear, as Julian seems to be buying 
into.  Fuck That, I say!

Part of it is just practicality:  the Digital Stasi collects so much 
information that they can't process it all in a timely manner.  Since they 
claim to hoard all encrypted communications (as though they don't hoard 
everything anyway), using existing encryption and other strategies while we 
develop something better will keep these pissant spies busy for quite some 

I'm not a ter'rist, not doing anything particularly interesting or illegal, 
don't really have much I care to hide... and that's exactly why the fucking 
government is not allowed to read my email and track my every move.  
They're proven that their attempt at constant and total surveillance is 
useless for keeping "the homeland" (what a fucking nazi phrase) safe, time 
and again.  They're the ones we need protection from anyway.

Adapt to survive: yes.  Always!  But advising that their cancerous 
surveillance is malignant, that it is too late to stop it, is utter 
bullshit.  I refuse.


> on #RT10 panel
> Published time: 10 Dec, 2015 18:13
> Edited time: 11 Dec, 2015 03:16
> Humanity has lost its battle for privacy and must now learn to live in
> a world where mass surveillance is becoming cheaper for governments to
> implement, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said during a panel
> dedicated to RT’s 10th anniversary.
> Assange addressed the panel on security and surveillance hosted by RT
> in central Moscow on Thursday via videoconference from the Ecuadorian
> embassy in London, where he has remained holed up for the last three
> years in order to avoid extradition to Sweden.
> When offered a chance to comment on the session’s topic – “Security or
> Surveillance: Can the right to privacy and effective anti-terror
> security coexist in the digital age?” – the whistleblower asked the
> moderator, and host of The Big Picture Show on RT American, Thom
> Hartmann: “How long have you got, Tom?” implying he has a lot to say
> on the issue.
> But it was Assange’s only joke during the event, as his reply turned
> out to be gravely serious and in many respects depressing.
> “In thinking about this issue I want to take quite a different
> position, perhaps, from what you would expect me to have taken… I
> think that we should understand that the game for privacy is gone.
> It’s gone. The mass surveillance is here to stay,” he said.
> Mass surveillance is already being implemented not only by major world
> powers, but also by some medium and small-sized countries, he added.
> “The Five Eyes intelligence arrangement [of Australia, Canada, New
> Zealand, the UK and the US]… is so evasive in terms of mass
> surveillance of domestic and international telecommunications that
> while some experts can achieve practical privacy for themselves for
> limited number of operations… it’s gone for the rest of the
> populations,” the WikiLeaks founder stressed.
> International terrorists are among those “experts” capable of making
> their communications invisible for security agencies, he added.
> Privacy “will not be coming back, short of a very regressive economic
> collapse, which reduces the technological capacity of civilization,”
> Assange said.
> “The reason it will not come back is that the cost of engaging in mass
> surveillance is decreasing by about 50 per cent every 18 months,
> because it’s the underlying cost that’s predicated on the cost of
> telecommunications, moving surveillance intercepts around and
> computerization and storage – all those costs are decreasing much
> faster at a geometric rate than the human population is increasing,”
> he explained.
> Mass surveillance and computerization are “winning” the competition
> with humanity and human values and they’re “going to continue to win
> at an ever-increasing rate. That’s the reality that we have to deal
> with,” the WikiLeaks whistleblower added.
> The focus should now switch from defending privacy to understanding
> what kind of society will be built in these new, changed conditions,
> he said.
> The WikiLeaks founder reminded the panel of the historic examples of
> East Germany and other societies, in which people adapted to living
> under the scrutiny of the authorities.
> “If you look at societal behavior in very conformist, small, isolated
> societies with reduced social spaces – like Sweden, South Korea,
> Okinawa in Japan and North Korea – then you’ll see that society
> adapts. Everyone becomes incredibly timid, they start to use code
> words; use a lot of subtext to try and sneak out your controversial
> views,” he said.
> According to Assange, the modern world is currently moving “towards
> that kind of a society.”
> Privacy is among values “that simply are unsustainable… in the face of
> the reality of technological change; the reality of the deep state
> with a military-industrial complex and the reality of Islamic
> terrorism, which is legitimizing that sector in a way that it’s
> behaving,” he stressed.
> Assange encouraged those present on the panel as well as the general
> public to “get on the other side of the debate where it’s going” and
> stop holding on to privacy.
> The panel discussion was part of an RT conference titled 'Information,
> messages, politics:The shape-shifting powers of today's world.' The
> meeting brought together politicians, foreign policy experts and media
> executives from across the globe, among them former director of the US
> Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn, the Green Party’s Jill
> Stein and former vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the
> OSCE, Willy Wimmer.

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