WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange sits on stage in front of a live audience in the USA – after using technology to ‘escape’ from the confines of his bolt hole.
The controversial freedom of speech campaigner made a dramatic appearance by HOLOGRAM – during which he claimed he’d been the victim of a plot to portray him as “a Bin Laden-type character.”
Assange’s comments were broadcast to the Nantucket Project think tank in Massachusetts last night from inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been holed up since June 2012.
The event was organised from inside the embassy by London-based British billionaire Alki David, whose company Hologram USA owns the technology which made the transmission possible.
Assange, 43, who is wanted in the USA after millions of intelligence documents were leaked online, used the platform to hit out at US-authorities for their treatment of him and Chelsea Manning (the US solder convicted of espionage).
He told the audience: “I’m very pissed off. About the torture of Chelsea Manning, the banking blockades against me, the effect on my family and staff.
“But being really, really pissed off—you can use that as a fuel—to help you keep going, and to see a situation clearly.”
Assange claimed he had been the victim of “a Neo-McCarthyist attempt to turn me into a Bin Laden-type character.”
Assange also used the event, during which he was interviewed by film-maker Eugene Jerecki. to criticise search engine Google, the subject of his new book.
Assange said: “As a researcher, I’m all too aware of what people are now calling Google blindness, that the information you can’t find on the internet doesn’t exist.
“Google is not ‘a play room of ideas’ as it wants to portray itself and it’s not ‘a different kind of company’. It’s not that. It’s a normal company.
“(But) unlike normal companies it is engaged in a very ambitious project that is not normal…to gather as much info as possible on people, store it, index it and use it to and sell advertising. And it’s very easy for the National Security Agency to get its fangs into that.
”Google should be broken up. If it were the 1970’s it would be broken up. It’s far more powerful than AT&T was.”
The event was broadcast to the USA on Sunday evening (UK time). Earlier in the day Assange posed for a photograph inside the embassy with organiser Alki David.
Alki said: “Julian was in a pensive mood, but he spoke really intelligently and made some very salient points.”
You can view video of the event here: