Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had an English countryside visit from Google chairman Eric Schmidt in June of 2011. The details of said meeting were described in Assange’s new book, When Google Met Wikileaks. Schmidt and Assange debated current different opinions on how technology can help solve them.
Schmidt reached out to the notorious Wikileaks founder and the appointment was set. Assange was under house arrest and the persecution of Wikileaks was well under way. Schmidt brought with him his girlfriend Lisa Shields, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a US State Department think tank. Later in the meeting two more State Department cronies, masked as Google associates arrived. The meeting was no-nonsense and down to business, cloaked with all the niceties and friendly formalities.
Assange spoke of the use of the internet and technology as a means of liberation and free expression. Schmidt’s perspective appeared to be more supporting of US foreign policy objectives and the internet’s ability to connect foreign markets. The connection made by Assange, that the meeting was more than meets the eye and was quite possibly arranged by the State Department came some time later.
In an attempt to contact Hillary Clinton, Assange phoned the State Department. After speaking with Clinton’s senior legal advisor, he was told his call would be returned. The call was never returned, however, an email from Lisa Shields arrived, confirming the request. “While WikiLeaks had been deeply involved in publishing the inner archive of the US State Department, the US State Department had, in effect, snuck into the WikiLeaks command center and hit me up for a free lunch” Assange states in his new book. Assange concluded that the meeting, which was one fourth Google and three fourths State department, was little more than a back the Obama Administration.
Assange asserts the conclusion that Google has grown into a “big bad” mega-corporation integrally connected to the US Government and its security agencies. Assange refers to Google as a legally operating corporate version of the NSA. The relationship between Google and the NSA goes back several years, to when Google teamed up with the security agency after the Chinese hacking incident. Google servers were hacked by the Chinese and as a result of the cooperation during the incident, Google agreed to turn over information on consumers including email addresses, physical locations, ip addresses and more. The acquisition of this information does not require a warrant under the NSA’s Prism program. For more information on the Prism program, please see the video link below.
Once upon a time, we feared the government’s intrusions into our privacy. I don’t believe that in our worst Orwellian nightmare, could we have imagined that we would become a society that willingly and eagerly handed over not only our personal data, but our hopes, dreams and experiences through social media and the internet. Through companies like Google, the government no longer needs to dig or investigate us, as we hand them everything they need every time we update our status.
NSA Prism video “Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying”: