via LeakSource December 29, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Faced with increasing encroachments on privacy and free speech, high-tech workers around the world should identify as a class and fight power together, said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Sunday.
In a video speech to the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) here, Assange drew parallels between the labor movements of the industrial age and the technology workers of today. As workers joined into unions to fight for better working conditions, technology workers should unite to fight government encroachments on Internet and speech freedoms, he said.
System administrators, who have access to confidential government or corporate documents, have particular ability to play a role in what he painted as a new class war, he said.
“We can see that in the case of WikiLeaks, or the Snowden revelations, it’s possible for even a single system administrator to have very significant constructive effect,” he said. “This is not merely wrecking or disabling, not going on strikes, but rather shifting information from an information apartheid system from those with extraordinary power … to the digital commons.”
Joined at this CCC talk by WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison, who helped Edward Snowden in his flight from Hong Kong to Russia earlier this year, and by digital activistJacob Appelbaum, Assange painted a picture of the coming years in near-apocalyptic colors.
“This is the last free generation,” he said. “The coming together of the systems of government and the information apartheid is such that none of us will be able to escape it in just a decade.”
Fighting this system – by leaking information, where possible, or otherwise working for the cause of transparency – was the only way to shape government systems in a positive way, he said.
“We are all becoming part of this state whether we like it or not,” he said. “Our only hope is to help determine what kind of state we will be a part of.”
Hackers and technologists should accept jobs at intelligence and other institutions, in order to bring out more documents, Assange said in his video speech.
“Go into the CIA,” he said. “Go into the ball park and bring the ball out.”