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Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. The firm’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed within the foreign-policy agenda of the world’s largest superpower.
—Google, whose logo is imprinted on human retinas almost six billion times each day, has made petabytes of personal data available to the US intelligence community
—In 2008, Google helped launch an NGA spy satellite, GeoEye-1. It shares the photographs from the satellite with the US military and intelligence communities
—In 2010, NGA awarded Google a $27 million contract for ‘geospatial visualization services’
—In 2012, Google arrived on the list of top-spending Washington lobbyists
In June 2011, Julian Assange received an unusual visitor: the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt. For several hours the besieged leader of the world’s most famous insurgent publishing organization and the billionaire head of the world’s largest information empire locked horns. For Assange, the liberating power of the Internet is based on its freedom and statelessness. For Schmidt, emancipation is at one with US foreign policy objectives and is driven by connecting non-Western countries to American companies and markets. When Google Met WikiLeaks presents the story of the Assange–Schmidt encounter.
Julian Assange is the publisher of WikiLeaks. He has received numerous awards as a journalist and has authored hundreds of investigations relating to corruption, war, and the surveillance industry. Prior to founding WikiLeaks, Assange specialized in developing encryption software. Julian Assange received political asylum in 2012 as a result of the ongoing US Department of Justice probe into WikiLeaks. He is currently living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London under the protection of the government of Ecuador. He is the author of Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet and other books.
‘To be sure, When Google Met WikiLeaks is a vital book, an admirably direct and clear-eyed attempt to make sense of the modern-day privacy and freedom of speech debates’—The Sunday Guardian
‘For those interested to know how present-day geopolitics, surveillance, censorship and publishing (if not foreign policy itself) are being shaped by the gods of the internet, this is recommended reading’—The Telegraph
‘In When Google Met Wikileaks, Assange makes a case for the dark net by suggesting that the open web site we all know best has sinister intentions’—The Independent
‘The most important accomplishment of the book may be the connection Assange establishes between the Google Politic and the ambitions set loose in Digital Age’—Prague Post
‘A fascinating conversation with one of the most far-sighted thinkers in technology. Assange is consistently ahead of the curve’—Edward Snowden
‘Assange has one of the sharpest technological brains there is; the Schmidt transcript demonstrates how much stronger his grasp of the web is than even Google’s executive chairman’—Rosie Kinchen, The Sunday Times