WikiLeaks Founder Fires NSA Data Accusations At Google's Eric Schmidt

Book deals giving readers an inside look at some of the most influential companies in Silicon Valley have been the norm for years, but content in two that were released last week are quickly skyrocketing to the top of the New York Times' Best Seller list, creating a verbal, virtual sparring match between WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Assange's book, When Google Met WikiLeaks, found its place on bookstore shelves Wednesday, the day after Schmidt's latest book, How Google Works.

The Huffington Post reports that in June 2011, Schmidt -- Google CEO at the time -- met Assange at a cottage in England for a long conversation. Schmidt may not have expected this, but Assange would use the conversation as material for a book of his own, per HuffPo reporter Ryan Grim. The book highlights Google's cooperative relationship with the U.S. government in terms of privacy, mass surveillance and Internet freedom.



It points back to Assange's allegations that Google collaborates with the National Security Administration (NSA). Schmidt appeared on ABC News last week calling Assange "very paranoid." Schmidt said "we have taken all of our data, all of our exchanges, and we fully encrypted them so no one can get them, especially the government."

Assange describes Schmidt as one who can make "lawyerly" statements. He calls it a matter of semantics. While Google claims it encrypts everything so the U.S. government cannot get to the data, Assange tells Grim: "He said quite deliberately that Google has started to encrypt exchanges of information -- and that's hardly true, but it has increased amount of encrypted exchanges. But Google has not been encrypting their storage information."

"Google's whole business model is predicated on Google being able to access the vast reservoir of private information collected from billions of people each day," Assange explains, suggesting that if Google can access it, then the U.S. government has the legal right to access it. This is what has been going on, he said.

3 comments about "WikiLeaks Founder Fires NSA Data Accusations At Google's Eric Schmidt ".
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  1. Jay Fredrickson from Fredrickson Services Inc., September 30, 2014 at 11:39 p.m.

    Who cares if Google or the government can access this data? Who really cares, there are billions of people in the world, the odds are on your side that no harm will come of this. Unless you are engaging in illegal or unhealthy activities, then you're on you own.

  2. Brian Nakamoto from Tightrope Interactive, Inc., October 1, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.

    @Jay: Encrypted data that can only be decrypted by its owner gives one the sole choice of whether or not it's shared rather than relying on one's service providers to determine if they care to fight a subpoena (e.g. for a frivolous lawsuit). Holding the only key also helps to reduce the chance that one's stolen data can be decrypted if one's service provider is compromised.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 6, 2014 at 11:25 p.m.

    What makes you think the US is not heading for an oligarchian - totalitarian government ? See 11/4 elections.

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