Before his links to the world were cut by his Ecuadorian hosts,
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
gave an interview on how technological advances are changing
He said global
surveillance will soon be totally unavoidable.
The interview was provided to RT by organizers of the
World Ethical Data Forum in
Assange, who is currently
stranded in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with no outside
communication except with his legal team, has a pretty grim outlook
on where humanity is going.
He says it will soon be
impossible for any human being to not be included in global
databases collected by governments and state-like entities.
being born now… is the last free generation. You are born and
either immediately or within say a year you are known globally.
Your identity in one
form or another - coming as a result of your idiotic parents
plastering your name and photos
all over Facebook or as a
result of insurance applications or passport applications - is
known to all major world powers."
"A small child now in
some sense has to negotiate its relationship with all the major
It puts us in a very
different position. Very few technically capable people are able
to live apart, to choose to live apart, to choose to go their
own way," he added.
"It smells a bit like
totalitarianism - in some way."
The capacity to collect
and process information about people has been growing exponentially
and will continue to grow fast, he stated.
With advancements in
applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to big data, the next
logical step is coming.
"Look at what
Google and Baidu and Tencent
and Amazon and Facebook are doing.
They are basically
open-cut harvesting the knowledge of humankind as we express it,
when we communicate with each other… This classical model, which
people in academia call 'surveillance capitalism'… has changed
It's a really very important and severe economic change. Which
is to take the surveillance capitalism model and transform it
instead into a model that does not yet have a name, an 'AI
model'. Which is to use this vast reservoir to train Artificial
Intelligences of different kinds.
This would replace
not only intermediary sectors - most things you do on the
internet is in a sense more efficient intermediation - but to
take over the transport sector, or create whole new sectors."
Assange also predicted
that the scale of hostile activities through cyberspace will see a
breakout point as soon as AI is trained to sufficiently automate
"There is no border
[online]. It's 220 milliseconds from New York to Nairobi. Why
would there ever be peace in such a scenario?" he said.
are creating their own borders using cryptography. But the size
of the attack surface for any decent-sized organization, the
number of people, different types of software and hardware it
has to pull inside itself means that it is very hard to
I don't think it's really possible to come up with borders that
are predictable enough and stable enough to eliminate conflict.
Therefore, there will
be more conflict..."