WikiLeaks editor Assange to publish book about future of the internet

9 Oct 2012

Julian Assange, founder and editor of WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, has penned a new book about the internet entitled ‘Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet’ that will be released in November.

It is understood that the text of the book is largely based on the transcript of an interview Assange conducted for an episode of his TV show World Tomorrow, which was broadcast on Russian state-funded channel RT.

The interviewees, listed as co-authors, are Jacob Applebaum, Jeremie Zimmermann and Andy Müller-Maguhn. The book is being published by US-based OR Books and it will be published as a paperback in November for US$14 and as an e-book for US$8.

Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse

According to the publicity for the book on OR Books’ website, the world balances on a knife edge between freedom and anarchy wrought by state surveillance and the ‘Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse’ – drugs, terrorism, pornography, and money laundering.

“The harassment of WikiLeaks and other internet activists, together with attempts to introduce anti-file-sharing legislation, such as SOPA and ACTA, indicate that the politics of the internet have reached a crossroads.

“In one direction lies a future that guarantees, in the watchwords of the cypherpunks, ‘privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful’; in the other lies an internet that allows government and large corporations to discover ever more about internet users while hiding their own activities. Assange and his co-discussants unpick the complex issues surrounding this crucial choice with clarity and engaging enthusiasm,” OR Books says on its website.

In August, Ecuador granted asylum to Assange, the founder of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, eight weeks after he took refuge in its London embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden. Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning over alleged sex crimes.

Assange has been adamant in his belief that extradition to Sweden will only result in him being handed over to US authorities keen to strike back over the Afghanistan military and diplomatic cables that were leaked to WikiLeaks and published by the site online in 2010.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years