When Google Met WikiLeaks

Julian Assange. Or (www.orbooks.com), $16 (320p) ISBN 978-1-939293-57-2
The WikiLeaks publisher's latest book presents a response to The New Digital Age by Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. Much of the text consists of a transcript of the interview Assange did for Schmidt and Cohen in 2011 for their book while being held under house arrest in England. Over its course, Assange stresses the need for anonymity for "non-powerful organizations" and transparency for "powerful organizations" and humanity's common "intellectual record." He also dismisses the supposed damage done by WikiLeaks' release of information as a "rhetorical trick" in a way that some people may find overly flip. Reflecting back on the interview, Assange calls it the best he's ever given, and certainly the lengthy talk will give readers a strong if not altogether appealing impression of all three men. Assange's critical comments in the non-interview sections, about Google's cooperation with government intelligence agencies, won't come as a revelation to anyone who's followed news reports about the PRISM program. But he does provide copious footnotes for the claims he makes. While the book may feel like it's treading old ground, it should appeal to anyone interested in a more transparent future. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/08/2014
Paperback - 223 pages - 978-1-944869-11-3
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