Assange's book warns over internet slavery

27.11.2012 - 16:44

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who used the web to promote freedom, has now published a book which defines the web as "the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen."

Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the internet is the title of the book and its introduction was written in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault claims during five months.

The 192-page book was published on 26 November, in digital and print form, and Assange calls it a "watchman's shout in the night" warning that the net can either free us or enslave us, but stated that it's not a manifesto.

In October, the Australian internet activist, announced his intentions to publish a book, based on the transcript of an interview conducted earlier in the year with three fellow "cutting-edge thinkers" on the web, and broadcasted on the Russian state-controlled TV channel RT.

"Within a few years, global civilisation will be a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible. In fact, we may already be there”, the book says.

His personal experiences have influenced the way he sees the world now and this change is patent in the book's introduction, where he says: "While many writers have considered what the internet means for global civilisation, they are wrong … They are wrong because they have never met the enemy … We have met the enemy."

Julian Assange's “book-fellows” are Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesman for the French citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net,  Jacob Applebaum, a US-based computer security expert, and Andy Müller-Maguhn, a leading German hacker.

Zimmermann told the Guardian that the book covers issues like data protection,  corporate influence over politics, transparency, copyright enforcement and child pornography, among others.

The Holywood director  Oliver Stone called Cypherpunks "gripping, vital reading", and journalist John Pilger, a supporter of Assange, describes it as "above all, a warning to all".