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When Google Met WikiLeaks presents the story of Assange and Schmidt's encounter. Both fascinating and alarming, it contains extensive, new material, written by Assange specifically for this book, providing the best available summary of his vision for the future of the Internet.The book also includes an edited transcript of the conversation with Schmidt in which Assange outWhen Google Met WikiLeaks presents the story of Assange and Schmidt's encounter. Both fascinating and alarming, it contains extensive, new material, written by Assange specifically for this book, providing the best available summary of his vision for the future of the Internet.The book also includes an edited transcript of the conversation with Schmidt in which Assange outlines the way WikiLeaks works and why it is so significant for governments and corporations. What emerges is the clearest and most sophisticated picture of the philosophy behind WikiLeaks to date.Assange proposes a radical overhaul of the naming structure of the Internet, one which would revolutionize the way information is accessed. By coupling the intellectual content of a document to its online name—doing away with the haphazard URL system—Assange outlines a potential future for the Internet that would make it faster and much more difficult to censor.In contrast, Schmidt’s contribution equates progress with the geographic expansion of Google, supported by the US State Department. In cutting prose, Assange denounces this world-view as "technocratic imperialism" and offers a stringent critique of its methods, goals and effects.These are vital counterpoints for anyone interested in where the Internet—and by extension human civilization—is heading. The difference between the paths taken by Assange and Schmidt was illustrated subsequently by their responses to the Snowden disclosures: while WikiLeaks aided the whistleblower's escape, Google scrambled to manage a public relations backlash after the revelation that it had taken money from the NSA to process spying requests from the US government.In June 2011, the North and South poles of the Internet came together in the English countryside for an historic dialogue. This extraordinary book tells the story of that unlikely encounter, and its significance for us all....

Title : When Google Met Wikileaks
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781939293572
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 223 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

When Google Met Wikileaks Reviews

  • Roman
    2019-04-20 02:53

    A chilling, scrupulously documented book that exposes Google's close ties with the U.S. government (including the NSA and State Department) and the tech company's dystopian vision for a "new world order". It buries the lie that Google is a benign corporation run by a group of extremely wealthy but essentially well-intentioned libertarian tech geeks who "do no evil". The bulk of this short book is a transcript of a 2011 interview Julian Assange gave to Eric Schmidt and a few of his fellow Google higher-ups believing them to be friends of Wikileaks' mission. Basically Schmidt and co. lied to Assange's face (as the transcript shows) pretending to be Wikileaks supporters and pumping him for information about the organization. Schmidt and Google Ideas head Jared Cohen reveal their true colours in their 2013 book 'The New Digital Age' and Assange realizes he's been played. He discusses the book's main points, e.g. a world where Google plays the role of a quasi-government, and the lies and half-truths perpetuated about Wikileaks by the Google duo. The book is written in a clear, mostly jargon-free style although the discussion between Assange and Google does gets very technical at times. A glossary is provided for those unfamiliar with the "under the hood" workings of the internet. One thing that stands out is how thoroughly referenced and researched this book is. Assange's points are powerful and compelling and paint a disturbing picture of the power and influence enjoyed by Google and other Silicone Valley heavyweights at the highest levels of the American government.

  • Gabit
    2019-03-22 04:19

    At one point in the book Assange mentions that a new kind of journalism, which will be based on citations as in science, is necessary. This book, though merely a transcript of a conversation, is superbly/scientifically referenced and demonstrates Assange's commitment to "doing things". Must read for anyone who is interested in the past, present and future of the internet. Assange has a lot more things to say from his asylum than we do from our offices.

  • Michal
    2019-04-13 03:12

    How about reading a book nearly nobody wants to endorse?It could mean that the book is:A) Very very very poor and uninteresting.B) It is actually so revealing for the digital media world that online publishers are afraid of supporting it by adding it to their online store repertoire.(Including a missing Kindle version in Amazon Shop and the paper version that has the front cover "adjusted" to a completely different, uninteresting looks (and price) than what Julian had wished for*(?))If B looks more plausible to you than A, you should try the book and try to find out and figure what in it could possibly be so scary for these publishers. You will not be disappointed.The most encouraging thing is that trough being totally honest and by providing direct, unmoderated answers to his interviewers Assange, together with numerous references he provides appears very consistent and very devoted to his values as a through and honest journalist. That makes him truly unique and the content of the book highly technically valuable also for future generations of computer programmers.Assange shows a combination of an analytic mind, high IQ and moral back bone so thick that a number of powerful people still bear scars and bruises from trying to break it. He is a one man army of truth against thousands and thousands of people coined by George Carlin as “not stupid but full of shit” and he comes out (intellectually) as a winner on and on and on. He reminds me of an old experiment in game theory where different types of independently invented tactics were clashed in a computer program to see which one could win against others most often in the prisoner’s dilemma game (the results were later disseminated in a publication by Robert Axelrod). The experiment surprisingly revealed that the "nice" (non-retaliating and cooperating in nature) tactics kept winning while the complex "nasty" (non-cooperative and trickery tactics) kept losing in the long run.[2][Or see “Alexrod's Tournament”](Also quite accidentally in line with the Wikileaks story a complex "unnamed" tactics was submitted anonymously, probably by some people from the intelligence services and was shown to be, in fact, one of the worst in that game back then!) The conclusion (against all initial expectations) was that there can be a natural way in which what we perceive as 'good' (with a little bit of tit-for-tat like this book itself) can win against the 'evil'. Both the old experiment and Assange and his Wikileaks have a similarly heartwarming effect. For that he deserves proper recognition he has yet to receive.[1]the true front cover can be viewed in the .PDF file version of the book obtained from OR books - an independent book outlet:http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/when-g...[2]Richard Dawkins, "The selfish Gene".

  • Sudheer Madhava
    2019-03-24 02:05

    I highly recommend reading this book. The efforts of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to drag modern civilization away from sliding into an Orwellian nightmare deserve widespread praise and support. While the reading is slightly technical at times, there is no denying the fact that this is among the clearest insights into how large and universally familiar corporations like Google and powerful governments collude and use lies, threats and deceit against those trying to expose them of their manipulative misdeeds against their consumers and citizens. The audacity of Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen in twisting facts and misquoting Julian Assange from a recorded interview in their book "The New Digital Age" only heightens ones understanding of the sense of impunity that these Google folks carry.

  • Soham Chakraborty
    2019-04-07 01:17

    [Initial review - more to be added later]Before we start, please indulge in this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPr...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTV_V...We have read books that cause hairs stand on end, we have read books where reading the book seems like an act of sheer thrill and excitement. We have also read books where the protagonist's life story causes the reader to look at the sky and wonder 'now, this fella is onto something'. Now what happens when you read a book that makes hairs stand on end, cloud thoughts with awe and respect for the protagonist, and more importantly, what happens when all of the above are done for the good of human kind and human civilization. Well, to know that, you have to read 'When Google Met Wikileaks' by Julian Assange. He could be the smartest person on earth. Yes, there are many contenders, but he very well, could be 'The smartest'. This book shows why. Now, let's play a game. Suppose, you stay at Egypt. The year is 2011. Your government is run by Hosni Mubarak. For all the right reasons, your population has come to the streets to protest. Government and military are hounding the rebels, incriminating them, killing them, persecuting them. So what do you do? You take a step back, take a deep breath, talk to your fellow rebels and friends, make a plan and execute the plan. But you cannot go out in fear of persecution. Then how would you talk and know the situation and plan the plan? Simple. You talk to them over phone or SMS or Internet. But, Mubarak is bad. Government has cut off the phone lines, cut off the Internet, they have almost obliterated those services. And even if you talk, nobody except your partners should know that you are talking. How do you talk?Assange made a prototype, a small, UDP encrypted, peer to peer (P2P), flood network. Just like a flood which takes all possible paths in its way, a flood network reaches all of the hosts (computers or mobiles) in a network. UDP is a protocol used in network communications, TCP being another. But UDP is very small and therefore, you can send connections to a very large number of hosts, in a very short time span. But like in Egypt, the connected hosts are not talking to each other (when you read this review in Goodreads, you are reading from your local system and this review is somewhere else, therefore somewhere the hosts are talking so that you can read) and therefore you need a way for the computers to talk for the people to talk. With this flood network, you can do 'hole punching' (tricking the firewall or blocking software) and let the computers talk. So it doesn't need any big network or tons of computers. You get a phone and do this. You teach others to do this.In Egypt and in Turkey and in countries during Arab Spring, this happened. This is not fiction. Technology caught the Kenyan dictatorship and overturned it. Wikileaks and Assange played a crucial, very crucial role in Tunisian politics and elections. Assange brought US and Pentagon to its knees. It brought the misdeeds of UK and GCHQ in open daylight. It showed the collateral murder, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons, fictitous stories of Iraq war. It showed how the indigenous people in Africa are being trampled by western corporations. It showed how governments, state actors, businesses subvert everything. They kill (Aaron Swartz), torture (Chelsea Manning), persecute (Jake Appelbaum), financially weaken (Assange) adversaries. Yet, Arab Spring happened. Yet, Occupy Wall Street happened. Yet, Tunisian election happened. And lastly, Edward Snowden happened. So apart from Assange's prototype, what did the rebels do in Egypt? THey hacked Toyota in Cairo, took over their satellite uplink and used it to connect to an ISP called Noor Group - who famously didn't give in to Mubarak - and ran their own DNS servers to get out of Egypt and provided communications inside Egypt. All of these things happened inside a war-torn, poverty-stricken, African nation with no help from anyone. Do we call this success? If yes, then human civilization and progress and humanity need these successes. Does Google help here? No. Does Facebook help here? No. Does Amazon help? Does Microsoft help? No and no and no and no and no. Twitter atleast tried to help, willingly or unwillingly. So who helped? Seemingly the cesspools of Internet helped. Sites like 4chan and reddit helped. Sites like wikileaks helped. If so, then why, Eric Schimdt gets to lecture us on human civilization and ways to take it forward? Why not Assange? Why not Snowden? After all, this video was brought out by wikileaks - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPr...But technology aside, this book is also a revolutionary document with respect to the journalistic principles advocated by Assange. He argues that misinformation spreads rapidly and since miscreants are often incentivized to spread misinformation, the risks are higher. As Thomas Jefferson had said, “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”Therefore, Assange argues for scientific journalism. Like in peer reviewed scientific publications, the no of citations lend an aura of scrupulousness to an argument, every news report, should also come with the original citations and clearly mention the sources where they can be obtained. Then a reader can go and read the sources and corroborate and finally decide for herself. It will be contradictory to the the modern day Goebbels.Assange argues that historically wars, most of the wars, happened due to lies. So one might come up and say, 'That's really bad to know that wars happen due to lies'. However, doesn't this argument also say 'From another perspective, if we practice truth, we will not have wars.' And we can practice truth only in a just society. In this context, the definition of a just society is not limited to crime and punishment or egalitarianism, but it covers processes, frameworks and regulatory mechanisms of state as well. We can think of something absolutely trivial. Say, taxation. I will take example from my own country. If I go out for a dinner, I pay service tax, which is levied on the bill. The rate of service tax is 14.50%. But, service tax is taxed on 40% of the bill, not the total bill. On top of that, Value Added Tax or VAT is an entity specific to each state of the union. The calculation turns interesting when alcoholic beverages are considered. They are taxed at 20% of the amount paid to buy them. So if I drink a glass of scotch and eat a stake, and my bill is X rupees, then the tax on food is ((x-y)/0.4)*14.50 and tax on alcohol is y*0.2 and VAT is (whatever_percentage * x). We assume y to be the bill of alcohol. There is another fascinating thing called service charge, which is restaurant specific. And then again, service tax can only be taxed in AC dining restaurants. You see the entire taxation structure on a simple dining bill is uselessly and inexplicably complicated. But does it really need to? Why bureaucratic processes are laced with so many intertwined layers of complexity that to an ordinary citizen, it may look like an wild abstraction? In countless pieces of legislation, we see repetition of this. The logic is simple. If information can be buried under locks, then to open them, we need keys and if those keys aren't easy to obtain, then investment on the keys wouldn't be economically viable and hence, cannot be replicated at scale. This book is entirely conversational and the CEO and executive chairman of Internet behemoth Google, looks like an insignificant entity, who I hope and wish, will be remembered only in the footnotes of humanity, if at all. The future is on us. Shall we protect and proceed with the legacy of Assange or shall we move with the Zuckerbergs and Schimdts. Only time will tell.

  • Duncan
    2019-04-07 03:00

    This is a small book but it offers plenty of room to look into the sophisticated mind of Julian Assange. To read it is like removing a brick from an enormous clock tower and peering through to watch the writhing mass of glistening wheels and cogs turn overhead in mesmerising synchronisation. While the main focus is his meeting with Eric Schmidt, I think the three essays that accompany this book - Beyond Good And "Don't Be Evil", The Banality Of "Don't Be Evil", and Deliver Us From "Don't Be Evil" - are outstanding examples of stylish, intelligent prose. He is a gifted essayist, it should be said, but what should be said more often is how terribly misunderstood he is, and by extension Wikileaks. This little book smashes the many large misconceptions that continue to circulate globally, and it seems endlessly, about Assange and Wikileaks. I recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about one of the true political and technological interventions of recent years - Wikileaks - and its founder; an organisation that prompted Robert Manne to remark in his essay The Cypherpunk Revolutionary that "There are few original ideas in politics. In the creation of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange was responsible for one".

  • Mat
    2019-04-19 05:14

    When Google CEO Eric Schmidt turned up to meet WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, he brought several people with him who were connected to the US government."The delegation was one part Google, three parts US foreign-policy establishment," Assange writes in his latest book, When Google Met WikiLeaks. "But I was still none the wiser."The three were Schmidt's then-partner Lisa Shields, a vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations; Scott Malcomson, a long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and Jared Cohen, who had moved to Google after serving under Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton at the US State Department."It was not until well after Schmidt and his companions had been and gone that I came to understand who had really visited me," writes Assange. "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 centre and hit me up for a free lunch..."To their credit, I consider the interview perhaps the best I have given. I was out of my comfort zone and I liked it." Schmidt was visiting the WikiLeaks founder in 2011 ostensibly to interview him for a book on the future of technology while Assange was under house arrest in Norfolk. Assange writes that as their conversation wore on, "I began to think of Schmidt as a brilliant but politically hapless Californian tech billionaire... "I was wrong."When Schmidt's book was eventually published, it showed just how far in bed he was with US government. "There was nothing politically hapless about Eric Schmidt," writes Assange. "I had been too eager to see a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast. But that is not the sort of person who attends the Bilderberg conference four years running, who pays regular visits to the White House, or who delivers 'fireside chats' at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Schmidt’s emergence as Google’s 'foreign minister' — making pomp and ceremony state visits across geopolitical fault lines — had not come out of nowhere; it had been presaged by years of assimilation within US establishment networks of reputation and influence."It is this background that gives the subsequent transcript of their conversation a sinister twist. Schmidt relentlessly needles Assange for more and more technical details of how WikiLeaks operates - and its technological ambitions for the future. Assange obliges him, appearing to hesitate only once, when he pauses to tentatively say: "I don’t know how technical I can get."Schmidt replies: "Please."The talk does get intensely technical, to the extent that readers may find they lose the thread of the conversation unless they flip back and forth between the transcript and the extensive footnotes. Assange is effusive, but Schmidt replies more often than not with the bland, but telling, "interesting, very interesting". At one point he seems to become self-conscious of this, saying: "I keep asking questions — I’m just curious." But he seems to snap out of it quickly, going on to ask: "When you speak with a staff member, would it typically be on the phone or in person?"Readers may get the impression that Assange would have been far more guarded if he knew then what he knows now. "Eric Schmidt," he writes, "was born in Washington, DC, where his father had worked as a professor and economist for the Nixon Treasury..."Long before company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Schmidt in 2001, their initial research upon which Google was based had been partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)..."In 2008, Google helped launch an NGA spy satellite, the GeoEye-1, into space. Google shares the photographs from the satellite with the US military and intelligence communities..."In 2012, Google arrived on the list of top-spending Washington, DC, lobbyists — a list typically stalked exclusively by the US Chamber of Commerce, military contractors, and the petrocarbon leviathans. Google entered the rankings above military aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, with a total of $18.2 million spent in 2012 to Lockheed’s $15.3 million. Boeing, the military contractor that absorbed McDonnell Douglas in 1997, also came below Google, at $15.6 million spent, as did Northrop Grumman at $17.5 million..."In autumn 2013 the Obama administration was trying to drum up support for US airstrikes against Syria. Despite setbacks, the administration continued to press for military action well into September with speeches and public announcements by both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. On September 10, Google lent its front page—the most popular on the internet—to the war effort, inserting a line below the search box reading 'Live! Secretary Kerry answers questions on Syria. Today via Hangout at 2pm ET.'..."Google’s real power as a drone company is its unrivalled collection of navigational data. This includes all the information associated with Google Maps and the locations of around a billion people. Once gathered, it should not be assumed that this data will always be used for benign purposes. The mapping data gathered by the Google Street View project, which sent cars rolling down streets all over the world, may one day be instrumental for navigating military or police robots down those same streets..."Since the beginning of 2013, Google has bought nine experimental robotics and artificial intelligence companies and put them to work toward an undeclared goal under Andy Rubin, the former head of Google’s Android division..."Google’s development in recent years has seen it expand its surveillance enterprise by controlling mobile phones and tablets. The success of Google’s mobile operating system, Android, launched in 2008, has given Google an 80 percent share of the smartphone market. Google claims that over a billion Android devices have registered themselves, at a rate now of more than a million new devices a day..."As Google’s search and internet service monopoly grows, and as it enlarges its industrial surveillance cone to cover the majority of the world’s population, rapidly dominating the mobile phone market and racing to extend internet access in the global south, Google is steadily becoming the internet for many people. Its influence on the choices and behaviour of the totality of individual human beings translates to real power to influence the course of history..."If you want a vision of the future, imagine Washington-backed Google Glasses strapped onto vacant human faces—forever."In the footnotes, Assange has a warning for those who concentrate on government, rather than corporate surveillance."There is an uncomfortable willingness among privacy campaigners to discriminate against mass surveillance conducted by the state to the exclusion of similar surveillance conducted for profit by large corporations," he writes. "At the individual level, many of even the most committed privacy campaigners have an unacknowledged addiction to easy-to-use, privacy-destroying amenities like Gmail, Facebook, and Apple products. As a result, privacy campaigners frequently overlook corporate surveillance abuses. When they do address the abuses of companies like Google, campaigners tend to appeal to the logic of the market, urging companies to make small concessions to user privacy in order to repair their approval ratings. There is the false assumption that market forces ensure that Silicon Valley is a natural government antagonist, and that it wants to be on the public’s side—that profit-driven multinational corporations partake more of the spirit of democracy than government agencies. Many privacy advocates justify a predominant focus on abuses by the state on the basis that the state enjoys a monopoly on coercive force... This view downplays the fact that powerful corporations are part of the nexus of power around the state, and that they enjoy the ability to deploy its coercive power, just as the state often exerts its influence through the agency of powerful corporations. The movement to abolish privacy is twin-horned. Privacy advocates who focus exclusively on one of those horns will find themselves gored on the other."When it did eventually surface last year, Schmidt's book featuring his interview with Assange, called The New Digital Age, "was not a serious attempt at future history", writes Assange. "It was a love song from Google to official Washington."The book misquoted Assange, twisted his words and misrepresented his arguments. In doing so, it also warned its readers that “greater transparency in all things” is “a dangerous model”. Clearly, it's an ethic Schmidt lives by. Here are some other quotes that jumped out at me: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.It was Cohen who, while he was still at the Department of State, was said to have emailed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to delay scheduled maintenance in order to assist the aborted 2009 uprising in Iran.WikiLeaks had always been a guerilla publisher. We would draw surveillance and censorship in one jurisdiction and redeploy in another, moving across borders like ghosts. But at Ellingham I became an immovable asset under siege. We could no longer choose our battles. Fronts opened up on all sides. I had to learn to think like a general. We were at war.Schmidt’s dour appearance concealed a machinelike analyticity. His questions often skipped to the heart of the matter, betraying a powerful nonverbal structural intelligence. It was the same intellect that had abstracted software-engineering principles to scale Google into a megacorp, ensuring that the corporate infrastructure always met the rate of growth. This was a person who understood how to build and maintain systems: systems of information and systems of people. For a man of systematic intelligence, Schmidt’s politics—such as I could hear from our discussion—were surprisingly conventional, even banal. He grasped structural relationships quickly, but struggled to verbalize many of them, often shoehorning geopolitical subtleties into Silicon Valley marketese or the ossified State Department microlanguage of his companions.Jared Cohen could be wryly named Google’s “director of regime change.” In 2011, the Alliance of Youth Movements rebranded as “Movements.org.” In 2012 Movements.org became a division of “Advancing Human Rights,” a new NGO set up by Robert L. Bernstein after he resigned from Human Rights Watch (which he had originally founded) because he felt it should not cover Israeli and US human rights abuses.This is the impenetrable banality of “don’t be evil.” They believe that they are doing good. Caught red-handed last year making petabytes of personal data available to the US intelligence community through the PRISM program, Google nevertheless continues to coast on the goodwill generated by its “don’t be evil” doublespeak. Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has.[P]art of the resilient image of Google as “more than just a company” comes from the perception that it does not act like a big, bad corporation. The New Digital Age is a startlingly clear and provocative blueprint for technocratic imperialism.[A]ll over the world publishing is a problem. Whether that is through self-censorship or overt censorship.[P]robably the most significant form of censorship, historically, has been economic censorship, where it is simply not profitable to publish something because there is no market for it. I describe censorship as a pyramid. On the top of the pyramid there are the murders of journalists and publishers. On the next level there are legal attacks on journalists and publishers... There are very few people who are murdered, there are a few public legal attacks on individuals and corporations, and then at the next level down there is a tremendous amount of self-censorship. This self-censorship occurs in part because people don’t want to move up into the upper parts of the pyramid—they don’t want to come under legal attack and coercive force, they don’t want to be killed. That discourages people from behaving in a certain way. Then there are other forms of self-censorship motivated by concerns over missing out on business deals, missing out on promotions. Those are even more significant because they are lower down the pyramid.Bitcoin instead has an algorithm where anyone can be their own mint. ...there is a lot of computational work required in order to do this. That work algorithmically increases as time goes by. So the difficulty in producing Bitcoins becomes harder and harder and harder. That is built into the system... it enforces scarcity. Scarcity will increase as time goes by. What does that mean for incentives for going into the Bitcoin system? It means that you should get into the Bitcoin system now. You should be an early adopter because your Bitcoins are going to be worth a lot of money one day.On the day of the conversation, Bitcoin had risen above the US dollar and reached price parity with the Euro. By early 2014 it had risen to over $1,000, before falling to $430 as other Bitcoin-derived competing crypto-currencies started to take off. WikiLeaks’ strategic investments in the currency saw more than 8,000 percent return in three years, seeing us through the extralegal US banking blockade.The killer application is not lots of voice. Rather, it is chat rooms. Small chat rooms of thirty to a hundred people—that is what revolutionary movements need. I think that the instincts human beings have are actually much better than the societies that we have.The period of peak earnings for the average wage in the United States was, what, 1977? Then certain things happened. Those people who were altruistic and not too concerned about finances and fiscalization simply lost power relative to those people who were more concerned about finances and fiscalization, who worked their way up in the system. Certain behaviors were disincentivized and others were potentiated. That is primarily, I believe, as a result of the technology that enables fiscalization... it sucks people into a very rigid fiscalized structure... I say that free speech in many Western places is free not as a result of liberal circumstances but rather as a result of such intense fiscalization that it doesn’t matter what you say. The dominant elite doesn’t have to be scared of what people think, because a change in political view is not going to change whether they own their company...I often say that censorship is always cause for celebration. It is always an opportunity because it reveals fear of reform. It means that the power position is so weak that you have got to care what people think.A journalist for the Nation, Greg Mitchell, who has also written about us, wrote a book about the mainstream media called So Wrong for So Long. And that title is basically it. Yes we have these heroic moments with Watergate and so on, but actually, come on, the press has never been very good. It has always been very bad. Fine journalists are an exception to the rule. When you are involved in something yourself, like I am with WikiLeaks, and you know every facet of it, you look to see what is reported about it in the mainstream press and you see naked lie after naked lie. You know that the journalist knows it’s a lie; it is not a simple mistake. Then people repeat lies and so on. The condition of the mainstream press nowadays is so appalling I don’t think it can be reformed. I don’t think that is possible. I think it has to be eliminated, and replaced with something that’s better.I have been pushing this idea of scientific journalism—that things must be precisely cited with the original source, and as much of the information as possible should be put in the public domain so that people can look at it, just like in science so that you can test to see whether the conclusion follows from the experimental data. Otherwise the journalist probably just made it up. In fact, that is what happens all the time: people just make it up. They make it up to such a degree that we are led to war. Most wars in the twentieth century started as a result of lies amplified and spread by the mainstream press. And you may say, “Well that is a horrible circumstance; it is terrible that all these wars start with lies.” And I say no, this is a tremendous opportunity, because it means that populations basically don’t like wars and they have to be lied into it. That means we can be “truthed” into peace. That is cause for great hope.Complexity is harder. I think that is a big problem. When things become open they tend to become more complex because people start hiding what they are doing—their bad behavior—through complexity. An example is bureaucratic doublespeak. Things get bureaucratized and everything becomes mealymouthed. That’s a cost of openness. In the offshore sector you see incredible complexity in the layers of things happening so they become impenetrable... On the other hand, complex systems are also hard to use. Bureaucracies and internal communication systems that are full of weasel words and ass covering are inefficient internal communication systems. Similarly, those tremendously complex offshore structuring arrangements are actually inefficient. Maybe you’re ahead when the tax regime is high, but if the tax regime is 3 percent, you’re not going to be ahead at all; you’re going to be choked by the complexity.You can’t whisper to the coalface. You can’t have the president whispering to the coalface because the coalface is too big. You can’t have the president whispering to the intermediaries because then you end up with Chinese whispers and that means your instructions aren’t carried out. So if you take information off paper, outside of the electronic or physical paper trail, instructions decay. And that’s why all organizations of any scale have rigorous paper trails for the instructions from the leadership. But by definition if you are trying to get a lot of people to do something you are going to have to have instructions, which means there is always going to be a paper trail.I believe the most effective activists are those that fight and run away to fight another day, not those who fight and martyr themselves. That’s about judgment — when to engage in the fight and when to withdraw so as to preserve your resources for the next fight.There are 900,000 people in the United States with top-secret security clearances at this moment.Not even Collateral Murder made us into a worldwide name. It made us into a US household name. All these things started to stack up by the end of the year. Really it was the Pentagon’s attack against us, and the Swedish sex case, funnily enough, that made us into a worldwide household name with 84 percent name recognition worldwide.[Eric Schmidt:] I fundamentally believe that disinformation becomes so easy to generate, because complexity overwhelms knowledge, that it’s in people’s interest, if you will, over the next decade, to build disinformation-generating systems. This is true for corporations, for marketing, for governments, and so forth.[Assange:] If it’s true information we don’t care where it comes from. Let people fight with the truth, and when the bodies are cleared there will be bullets of truth everywhere, that’s fine.

  • Aravind Vivekanandan
    2019-04-02 23:18

    The best portions in the book are the ones in which Assange talks about an overhaul of the URL naming system and replacing it with one in which the tampering of information will be more difficult, the discussions on the physical and ethical consequences of 'total publishing' and the preface by Assange where he challenges the 'benevolent tech empire' image that Google puts on. The talks about how the internet affected the uprisings in the middle east and the need for decentralisation in internet governance following the Orwellian revelations of the Snowden affair appears superficial and there are better sources to read from about these issues that have paramount importance. It also seems a bit hypocritical that Assange has edited the conversation (he adds that he has not tampered with the essence). For someone who advocates complete transparency, it would have been better to publish the text in its original form and let the readers decipher the message by themselves.

  • Enso
    2019-04-14 05:12

    This was a little bit of a slog. It is largely a transcript of a meeting over a day by Eric Schmidt of Google, Julian Assange of Wikileaks, and some other parties that came with Schmidt. It was published as a rebuttal to what Assange saw as a self-serving use of this interview and its transcript by Schmidt in his recent manifesto of the coming years and technology. Assange felt that what he was told the interview about was predicated on falsehoods and went wound up in print was effectively half-truths, at best. Reading this book, I would tend to agree. That said, this book is effectively just a transcript of that discussion with a lot of explanatory footnotes, a reprint of Assange's review of the questionable book from the New York Times, and a few closing remarks. For those interested in cybersecurity, wikileaks, hacktivism, and the like, it is worth reading but it isn't a well thought out and argued end to end text really.

  • Catherine
    2019-04-08 01:56

    Despite the extensive gloss (often more than half the page!), I still struggled to understand the engineering and computing in this book, so I can't really comment on the technical aspects. However, getting an inside to the philosophy and goals behind Wikileaks was really fascinating. Assange comes across as a very intelligent, inspiring, and altruistic figure, which is very different to all the pictures I've seen painted of him (traitor, rapist, etc). Very interesting insight to two organisations which are shaping our culture... not sure I can give up my Android phone, although this book made me think that perhaps I ought to.

  • Hrishikesh
    2019-04-12 05:54

    Engaging. Rewarding. But the adjective I'd use above all else - stimulating. Will be putting up a detailed thought-note on the blog, as and when possible. It's not a very long book - on a good day, would've taken an hour or so. The single most profound essay that I've read so far is Vaclav Havel's "Power of the Powerless". This book is definitely not an equivalent, but would be in the same league - at least if it were not for the apologetic note that is struck in the concluding notes.On a light note, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Julian Assange and Noam Chomsky were BFFs - at least, as far their views about the US State Department went!

  • Sambasivan
    2019-03-26 04:15

    Intellectually stimulating discussion between Eric Schmidt and Jukian Assange (who was under house arrest). Extremely topical issues on what is the people's right to know about things and how far one can go to make this possible. Julian Assange has been a crusader of sorts in this mission, where for him, it appears that the end justifies the means even if there is collateral murder. Though I may not personally agree with this ethos, nevertheless a well argued book both from the technical as well as philosophical perspectives.

  • Luca Conti
    2019-03-30 22:58

    interesting point of view about Google

  • bitmaid
    2019-04-17 22:01

    Julian "Master Shit-Stirrer" Assange is one of the most articulate living figures I have ever come across. His thoughts are lucid and easy to follow. I would remember all the examples he used in the interview, the pyramid of censorship, Stanford in the 70s, simulated annealing etc. What more can you ask for in a deep & wide conversation?While JA is answering all the questions with (mostly) well reasoned words, Eric Schmidt is busy looking like an arrogant retard. I can't believe that at the time of the interview, ES :1. Does not understand Tor2. Does not understand magnet links3. Does not understand bitcoinThe arrogant part is subtle such as telling JA to run his 20-people empire while commanding, what, 10,000 people himself?Does this guy even know what blockchain is? Holy Hell. This alone is enough to convince me that Google is wayyy past its former self. Seriously how the hell do they put someone like that in charge of the world's largest technology company- not to mention, Jared Cohen, a policy wonk at the helm of Google Ideas (now Jigsaw)?Google/Alphabet no longer has sympathy for the young people who are willing to bend or break rules for what they perceive as justice. The company itself has aged like a person and no longer appreciates progress. What I can't stand the most is they would even go so far as to make some of the technically inclined yet independent people into "cyber-terrorists", equating some of coding bootcamps to terrorist training cells. It's not the malice it's the retardation. HOW THE HELL DO YOU HAVE A CODING BOOTCAMP THAT IS A CYBER-TERRORIST TRAINING CELL! It's like they are insinuating that terrorists use special terrorism programming language. Everybody uses the same programming languages you retard! A terrorist can use what he learned in college/by himself/from any legit channel to jailbreak all sorts of shit! What defines a terrorist is not the technology he possesses but the intention! In which case the computer part of the computer camp does not matter! As if there isn't already a lack of people who want to learn codes, the world's biggest technology company has to spread discouraging message like this.JA amplified warnings of the "empire state of mind" and Google's desire to gain political power - from collaboration to collusion. However, none of that is surprising if you look at how Google Maps started off from Keyhole, a state's surveillance product. As Google deviates from the Californian startup culture, there are many others who don't aspire to become the central power's accomplice. But this is a main point of the book and I get it.This book gives you a very good idea of the values behind WikiLeaks, its underlying technical philosophies, etc. but perhaps more importantly, and it's a tad disturbing for me- JA's personal "temperance". Yeah, he would use that word. Now, Eric Schmidt may be a tad ignorant at the time of interview, but what he lacks in knowledge he made up in well-founded paranoia. When they asked what if technology will enable mass manufacturing and distribution of misinformation- a very legitimate concern if you ask me- Julian Assange simply attributed triumph of the truth to goodness in humanity. Essentially, that's what it is. The interviewers thought some kids are bad, Julian Assange said nah, they are good and want to prove it. This strong faith in humanity is NOT what I expected at all. Then he went off a little unhinged, saying he doesn't necessarily care about a battle with casualties as long as everybody fought with bullets of truth. Pretty vivid, eh? And then I recalled earlier he observed that lies usually led people to war. And he magically concludes that if that's the case, then truth might lead people to peace. Think about it. There is no actual logic in the last statement. He's certainly trying, with WikiLeaks, but a whole bunch of stuff in there contradicts itself. So I'm glad he published the whole transcript. JA as a person definitely deserve some of the criticism, and paranoia, like I said he's a master shit-stirrer- but none of the criticism and paranoia prescribed by ES & Co. Anyway it is a really an enlightening read. Just... one... more... thing.Les femmes dans la littératureThe greatest move LS made was to spill water on the laptop. The Catalan woman.It's so embarrassing. God it's so embarrasing.

  • Jared Levine
    2019-03-23 04:18

    It's hard to craft a review of this book, without fear that google will increase its surveillance of me.Often times, I am skeptical of the internet. I feel often that there is a corporate underpinning to mega-sites like Google, that has to be tied to power in the real world, a power which intertwines itself with the political sanctions that dominate the "free" world. I no longer feel a sense of privacy at all when browsing the internet. I often feel forced to navigate in the world as part of a statistic, stripped of my humanity. Julian Assange delivers his vision for the future of the internet with perfect clarity. We as a people deserve our own privacy-- we deserve to have access to a transparent government, and to the powers that influence it. Julian (and other techno-radicals like Anonymous) help rectify my faith in the internet. The largest portion of this book is a transcription of a conversation between Julian and Eric Schmidt (the CEO of Google), and several of Eric's cronies. The scale on which these figures in conversation operate makes an almost surreal reading experience. To see Google, a company who's logo is deeply ingrained into our collective consciousness, embodied as a singular person in conversation with one of the truest rebels in the contemporary time is wild. The conversation is mostly Eric and Co. probing Julian's intellect as part of their research for their forthcoming book. It's easy enough to follow (thanks to the meticulous footnotes), and believe it or not, its pretty entertaining. Reading the transcription of the conversation with hindsight, knowing how Eric and Co. skew the conversation and embellish it to push their corporate/capitalistic agenda in their book is so shameful. The accompanying essays included are incredibly sharp and provide very clear reasons for the purpose of the book--to counter the gross overlook in Eric Schmidt's book. In the process, makes it clear to the reader that Google is not the friendly giant of the internet, and it makes sure to enlighten the reader to the extent in which our government is entangled with most facilities on the internet. Some of the technological jargon was hard to comprehend at times, though as stated before, the footnotes are meticulously crafted. There was no point in reading this where I felt Julian or the folks at OR books were trying to stump the reader with the intricacies of technology. Long live Julian Assange! Freedom for Julian Assange!

  • Rolland
    2019-04-15 22:56

    There is no denying that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are important, even transformative, figures in our modern techno-driven world. In many ways, Assange embodies the disruptive capability of the internet; by creating a haven and megaphone for whistleblowers and revealing secret digital information, he has built a reputation as a renegade and threat to state power.When Google Met Wikileaks is Assange's book on his encounter and conversation with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and three of Schmidt's companions as they ostensibly do research on emerging technology trends for their book The New Digital Age. Assange later views the encounter through a darker lens, seeing Schmidt and others as extensions of U.S. state power.It is hard not to be impressed with the intellect and articulateness of Assange in the conversation. He is undeniably a genius, both in his technical knowledge and his vision for a self-sustaining movement against state secrets and abusive state power. In fact, at times the book veers toward the technical in ways that were beyond my ability to fully grasp. But what was most interesting was hearing directly from Assange his vision of the world and WikiLeaks' role in it. He speaks with the precise, detached and linear logic of a physicist, yet applies that logic to human systems. Says Assange: "I saw that human beings are basically invariant... But what they know can be affected in a nonlinear way... Therefore, you can change the behavior of many people with a small amount of information. The question then arises as to what kinds of information will produce behavior which is just and disincentivize behavior which is unjust?"Clearly he sees his role as restoring some level of justice against corrupt and abusive power, and even preventing people from being duped into state-sponsored war. But he doesn't see traditional journalism as an ally in that. Echoing the contempt and distrust of the press made popular by Trump in this election cycle (2016), he says: "The condition of the mainstream press nowadays is so appalling I don't think it can be reformed... it has to be eliminated, and replaced with something better." And he is the man to do that. At times I found Assange to be an inspiring purist, with a utopian outlook that views existing structures as irredeemable. He welcomes instability and disruption as agents of change, and opportunities to start anew. But honestly, I found the author's views on power strangely simplistic, even naive. To Assange, those in power engage in secrecy because their actions would be opposed by the public if known. Meanwhile, when non-powerful organizations engage in secrecy it is legitimate: "they need it, because they are powerless." An approach to power and privacy seems to me to be more nuanced, more situational than this, but for Assange it's just that simple: might makes wrong. Google, long heralded as expanding information and bolstering democracy through open information, has become too big, too powerful. The U.S. government, often envied for its separation of powers and championing of freedoms, is actually an enemy of freedom. At times his world view is just that stark.Assange believes that "in practice, releasing information is positive to those engaged in acts that the public supports and negative to those engaged in acts that the public does not support... so it creates disincentives for organizations that create unjust plans or engage in unjust acts." But what if things are not so simple? What if secrecy is not to hide unpopular views or methods but instead to protect oneself against adversaries? And what if a party doesn't want their information revealed, even if the public might support it, due to a desire for anonymity, privacy, or any other reason? Assange doesn't seem to address the issue of agency as an ideal, and how revealing secrets - hacked information - without permission strips self-determination from actors, good and bad.When asked if he can point to positive outcomes, Assange credits himself with several global achievements, including fomenting the Arab Spring, changing the outcome of the Kenyan election in 2007, and the "liberalization of the publishing environment." He admits pride in affecting leadership change in entire countries. Two years after this book, those ambitions continue. Now, in the context of the U.S. presidential election (2016), his role has moved beyond whistleblowing to making available stolen Democratic Party emails and data from hackers that, most experts surmise, are Russian state-sponsored. Abetting these hacks, especially given the widespread crushing of dissent within Russia, makes it hard to conclude unbiased adherence to his principles. Assange frames the actions of WikiLeaks as somehow neutral - providing much-needed transparency - but there is nothing neutral about his target selection. He is clearly looking for U.S. regime change, and to exercise a personal vendetta against the current U.S. leadership, and perhaps Hillary Clinton herself. In this context, I wonder if he has departed from his principles and become too proud of his pulling the strings - of exercising disruptive power - to the point of been corrupted by the very same unaccountable power he once opposed. While another of Assange's achievements has been to advance a tamper-proof system of document authentication, he admits that the focus is about verifying documents, "not about verifying facts." He takes no responsibility for misinformation, and expects that this will become one of the main challenges of technology-based data. Documents can be authentic yet false. In a moment during that conversation, Jared Cohen, coauthor with Schmidt of The New Digital Age, takes the perspective of information consumers, and foretells what has become a central challenge to U.S. citizens today:"[F]aced with more noise... the question isn't whether human beings prefer truth over fiction but whether or not they can find the truth and tell it from the fiction."Whether WikiLeaks truly helps citizens in that respect remains to be seen.

  • Saravana Kumar
    2019-04-10 23:19

    Before reading this book, I thought Julain Assange is some half-nut hacker who went rogue. How wrong was I! I have never met or heard of a wo/man with such a deep philosophical reasoning behind what s/he does. Assange is a scientific rebel- the scientist who goes out, does something and most importantly knows what he does. I loved the style in which the book was written, citing every bit of information back to the source. In the book, he argues for scientific journalism and that is what this book is- a scientific-journalistic piece. The technical details given about how he keeps WikiLeaks running is simple. I am not a computer scientist and I am able to understand and appreciate his genius.Julian Assange is nothing short of a superhuman and this book can be a gateway to understanding his work.

  • Ian Drew Forsyth
    2019-04-05 01:18

    I couldn't finish reading the transcript, it just wasn't as interesting as Assange's overall take on Google at the start and other supplementary material. Main gist as I saw it: Google is in bed with aggressive US Foreign Policy and Surveillance Valley wants to become their own sort of branch of empire. "Don't be evil" is just Orwellian doublespeak.

  • Ravibhushan Kumar
    2019-04-06 05:53

    References provided within the books are very useful.

  • gnarlyhiker
    2019-04-17 00:11

    helluva read.recommend documentary: Risk by Laura Poitras (2017)

  • Vinod Kumar Dasari
    2019-03-31 03:19

    Simply Deliver us from "Don't be Evil"

  • Roslyn Ross
    2019-03-22 06:14

    Didn't expect much from this book, but it was fantastic. Super interesting. Always figured Google was most likely evil by now and yup ... but I had no idea just how evil. Fascinating.

  • Kalin
    2019-04-20 06:15

    Now I'll be struggling with the irony that most of my activities rely on Google products. ;)

  • Ed Summers
    2019-03-26 01:16

    This book is primarily the transcript of a conversation between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt (then CEO of Google) and Jared Cohen for their book The New Digital Age. The transcript is also available in its entirety (fittingly) on the Wikileaks website along with the actual audio of the conversation. The transcript is book-ended by several essays: Beyond Good and "Don't Be Evil", the Banality of "Don't Be Evil" (also published in New York Times) and Deliver us from "Don't Be Evil".Assange read The New Digital Age and wasn't happy with the framing of the conversation, or the degree to which his interview wasn't included, and so When Google Met Wikileaks was Assange's attempt to reframe the discussion in terms of the future of publishing, information and the Internet. In particular Assange takes issue with Schmidt and Cohen's assertion that:The information released on WikiLeaks put lives at risk and inflicted serious diplomatic damage.Schmidt and Cohen offer no source for this bold assertion, and in a note they equate Wikileaks with minimally enabling espionage, again with no citation. Assange makes the case that Wikileaks is actually in the business of publishing and journalism, not secretly selling information for private gain. I think Assange does this, but more importantly, he presents a view of the future of the Internet, and how Wikileaks presages it, that is actually interesting and compelling, and heavily footnoted, with URLs, many of which are archived at archive.today.The most interesting parts of the book center on what Assange calls the Naming of Things:The naming of human intellectual work and our entire intellectual record is possibly the most important thing. So we all have words for different objects, like "tomato." But we use a simple word, "tomato," instead of actually describing every little aspect of this god damn tomato...because it takes too long. And because it takes too long to describe this tomato precisely we use an abstraction so we can think about it so we can talk about it. And we do that also when we use URLs. Those are frequently used as a short name for some human intellectual content. And we build all of our civilization, other than on bricks, on human intellectual content. And so we currently have system with URLs where the structure we are building our civilization out of is the worst kind of melting plasticine imaginable. And that is a big problem.Transcript of secret meeting between Julian Assange and Google CEO Eric SchmidtThis particular section goes on to talk about some really interesting topics: such as the effects of right to be forgotten laws, DNS, Bittorrent magnet URIs, how not to pick ISPs, hashing algorithms, digital signatures, public key cryptography, Bitcoin, NameCoin, flood networks, and distributed hash tables. The fascinating thing is that Schmidt is asking Assange for these details to understand how Wikileaks operates; but Assange's response is to discuss some general technologies that may influence a new kind of Web of documents. A Web where identity matters, where documents are signed and mirrored, republished and resilient.Assange has been largely demonized by the mainstream press, and this book humanizes him quite a bit. It's hard not to think of him in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London (where he will have been for 1500 days tomorrow) quietly adding footnotes to the transcript, and archving web content. OR Books role in printing this content on paper, for bookshelves everywhere is another aspect to this process of replication. Hats off to them for putting this project together.

  • tout
    2019-04-06 22:03

    There were a lot chunks, especially in the beginning part before the interview where google's relationship to the government is discussed that were very interesting. The rest, mostly the interview between Assange and google people (mostly Eric Schmidt), was often interesting on a technical level, but their conversation was for the most part superficial or with too much baggage. While the existence of Assanges and Snowdens are cool, they don't often have the most interesting overall analysis. Assange himself is coming from a kind of extreme end of liberalism, and enlightenment thinking (even if he does think in some way he's anti-state and anti-capitalist). One could conclude within his framework that the world would be a better place if we just had more information and greater, more democratic access to it. This is clearly not the case. The issue seems to be the disjunction between knowledge and power. Liberalism allows one to say almost anything (look at the idiotic marches for newpapers to be obscenely racist in France as a patriotic right against its consequences for example), so long as this is not (at least knowingly) tied to power relationships and very real consequences. So what is at stake should not be as much the information, which there is already too much of, but living.

  • Mohanakumaran
    2019-04-19 00:13

    Fascinating conversation- incredibly well annotated. Must read if you care about the actual implications of 'free speech' and censorship as it stands today for the body politic.Most important book I've read all year."How do you know if you’ve won?JA: It’s not possible to win this kind of thing. it is a continuous striving that people have been doing for a long time. Of course, there are many individual battles that we win, but it is the nature of human beings that they lie and cheat and deceive. Organized groups of people who do not lie and cheat and deceive find each other and get together. Because they have that temperament, they are more efficient, because they are not lying and cheating and deceiving each other. It is a very old struggle between opportunists and collaborators. I don’t see that going away. I think we can make some significant advances and perhaps it is the making of these advances and being involved in that struggle that is good for people. The process is part of the end game. It’s not just to get somewhere in the end; rather, this process of people feeling that it is worthwhile to be involved in that sort of struggle, is in fact worthwhile for people."

  • Alex S
    2019-04-05 02:56

    Given its late I'll be brief.The discussion of wiki leaks and Google, what both stand for and what each understands the other to be, is very interesting. Wiki leaks considers itself an agent of change, whereas Google believes that Wiki leaks should leave the brokerage of such power to the state. Perhaps both ideas have their merits and demerits.It gives a very interesting insight into how Assange views the world. Some of the theories, e.g. that the propagation of disinformation is not efficient or at least is not likely to out weight genuine information, is perhaps more open to challenge, and ES does exactly this in a rather cognisant manner. Other ideas hold more water, e.g. That the introduction of systemic corruption in a system may equally introduce systemic inefficiency.Probably would consider it an essential read if you want to learn more about how Wikileaks views the world and its place within that system. It's hard to deny that Assange is eloquent in exposition, even if in part it is difficult to agree with some of the conclusions drawn.

  • Malachy
    2019-04-17 05:23

    Excellent book. And inspiring to see the kind of courage demonstrated by WikiLeaks and their ilk. And even more inspiring to see that, despite the behemoths and disturbing budgets of US and other intelligence agencies, we have smart people fighting back, shoving unwanted transparency down the throats of the world's major government bullies (the US, Britain and China, among others). A bonus for anyone of a technical bent is that the book provides a basic overview of the kind of cat and mouse games that Wikileaks and their kind are playing with governments from a technology standpoint. Oh - and, yea, - Google. Assange claims, and the transcription of their talk seems to confirm in some way (given that Eric Schmidt makes not one single commentary to indicate any of his own concerns about US government security policy), that the whole exercise was basically organised by the US State Department in order to fish out any valuable information that can be exploitedin their on-going dual.http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/2/...

  • Vince
    2019-04-18 00:23

    This is an excellent book. It's mainly a transcript of a conversation between Julian Assange and senior representatives of google. That may not sound doesn't particularly interesting but both the conversation itself and the context provided are fascinating. The main point of the book is to show the hopeless entanglement of google - one of the largest companies and stores of human data - with security state apparatus. The google representatives are at least partially blind to the extent of this intermingling of agendas and that is the most chilling aspect of this report. To me, the real message is to show how our modern political-economic-social-technological structure rests on a core of global power plays by modern warlords. The glint of hope provided is that future iterations of the ideas that generated wikileaks might provide a shift to move the mechanisms of power out from the shadows.

  • Suhrob
    2019-03-23 02:19

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed this.The book is a collection of a few essays by Assange explaining his stance on Google's policies and the circumstances of his meeting with Schmidt.The main part is then the transcript of the discussion, which surprisingly focuses on the technical side of Wikileaks and online security/privacy. It is Assange explaining Schmidt and co. how things work. The political discussion is brief and it is extended in the essay parts.The political analysis is important (and remember - this was before Snowden).The technical discussion understandable and interesting.There is even a scene, as if made for a movie adaptation (in that it is so stereotypical): a glass is spilled and Assange quickly whisks away Schmidt's notebook to save it. Schmidt's girlfriend comments at his incredible instinct to protect the computer.Recommended.