WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spoke out in strong support of NSA leak source Edward Snowden during an interview with Britain’s SkyNews Monday. “Edward Snowden is a hero who has informed the public about one of the most serious events of the decade,” Assange said, “which is the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state.”
Sitting beside ally John Perry Barlow, Assange described the type of surveillance conducted by governments in conjunction with large technology companies as “something that I and many other journalists and civil libertarians have been campaigning about for a long time. It is very pleasing to see such clear and concrete proof presented to the public.”
Snowden is currently believed to be in Hong Kong, where he is attempting to avoid extradition to the United States. As someone who has also spent time avoiding authorities by holing up in Ecuador’s London embassy, Assange had some advice for Snowden. “He is in a very serious position,” Assange said, noting that some of the same rhetoric that was used against him and WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning is now being applied to Snowden.
Saying he has “no doubt” that the U.S. will direct very “serious and aggressive” action towards Snowden, Assange urged other countries to “line up and give their support to him.” He encouraged everyone to “go to their local politicians and press and demand they step forward and offer Mr Snowden asylum in their country. It will be telling to see which countries genuinely protect human rights and genuinely protect the privacy of the public.”
In another interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company, Assange revealed that he has “had indirect communication” with Snowden, but declined to offer further specifics.
Watch video below, via SkyNews:
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