May 17, 2013
(AFP Photo / Warren Allott)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has poignantly stated that the very
sovereignty of Latin American and Caribbean nations has been compromised by
a reliance on U.S.-based telecommunications.
Speaking via videoconference to an audience at Uruguay’s University of the
Republic, Assange pointed to Latin America’s dependency on hardware and
traffic handling by the United States as a source of vulnerability to
monitoring by overzealous intelligence agencies, including
The world-famous whistleblower has been living
in Ecuador’s London embassy for the past year under the auspices of
“The penetration of the internet in all
facets of society, substituting traditional mail and telephone and even
physical interaction between individuals has placed in the hands of the
U.S. information provided by telecoms for the majority of humanity,”
said the author of “Criptopunks,” his latest book to be published.
Assange pointed to the growing prevalence of
social networking and products offered by
companies such as Google as another potential concern for Latin
“The countries of Latin America are
uploading profiles of their citizens, unknowingly, in computer systems
within huge servers in California, controlled by Google, Facebook, Yahoo
These are directly or indirectly controlled
by mechanisms, both legal or otherwise, via intelligence services of the
United States and peripheral organizations,” he said.
The remarks made by Assange to his audience in
Montevideo, were published widely by many Spanish-language newspapers in the
region, and included what seemed to be a veiled jab at recent revelations
that the U.S. Department of Justice had conducted
surveillance on the Associated Press.
Students of the Psychology Faculty in Montevideo
attend a teleconference with
WikiLeaks founder, Australian Julian Assange,
who is presently a refugee at
the Ecuadorean embassy in london,
on May 15, 2013 in
(AFP Photo / Miguel Rojo)
The government of the U.S.,
“has not demonstrated scruples in following
its own laws in intercepting these [phone] lines to spy even on its own
citizens,” remarked Assange.
He added that in the U.S. there,
“did not exist” laws that impeded the U.S.
from “spying on citizens of foreign countries.”
Security Agency “receives and processes” millions of
communications, according to Assange, and the agency boasts a budget
“greater than the FBI and the CIA combined.”
Assange warned the audience in Montevideo that, with the
use of Google,
Facebook and other new trends, there’s a
massive privacy threat, to an extent that would have only been the stuff of
science fiction not long ago.