Julian Assange has come out with yet another verbal attack on the US, this time warning that Latin American nations are at risk of losing their sovereignty due to their dependence on American telecommunications technologies and companies.
The WikiLeaks founder issued his warning during a videoconference at the University of the Republic in Montevideo, Uruguay, stating that Latin American countries’ reliance on the US for its internet hardware and traffic was a huge vulnerability. He pointed out the countries were leaving themselves open to wide-scale monitoring by US intelligence agencies like the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency (NSA).
RT News quotes Assange as saying:
“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 US information provided by telecoms for the majority of humanity.”
Assange specifically warned against the rise of social media sites and VoIP services provided by US companies such as Google and Skype. He said that Latin American nations were unwittingly loading profiles of their citizens onto American-controlled servers in the US state of California which could easily be accessed by the US government.
“These servers are directly or indirectly controlled by mechanisms, legal or otherwise, via intelligence services of the US and its peripheral organizations,” continued Assange.
Assange’s remarks come just days after it was revealed that the US Justice Department had secretly gained access to the private telephone records of the Associated Press news service. Referring to this, Assange said it was just the latest example of the US demonstrating no scruples in breaking its own laws to spy on American citizens. Moreover, he added that there are currently no existing laws in the US that prevent that country from spying on foreign citizens.
Assange stated that he was particularly concerned over the capabilities of the NSA, an organization with a budget far greater than that of the FBI and CIA combined, which is capable of listening into millions of communications every day. He finished his outburst by claiming that this kind of security threat would have been “the stuff of science fiction” just a few years ago.