WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange On Apple's Censorship Policies

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a Q&A session on SBS Dateline's website the other day, and came out with some quotes particularly relevant to the Australian tech media.

The quote above was Julian responding to the question from Gizmodian Jonathan: "Apple are being heavily criticised for censoring it's platforms - is it appropriate for private companies who control mainstream platforms to censor? How can we stop this?"

But he also had some sage like advice to the media's seeming lethargy to criticising the government's proposed filter. A viewer named Marty asked: "Do you think there are any ways we can make internet censorship a bigger issue, half the people don't even know about it, and so is isn't having the attention it deserves." To which Julian responded:

"The media deserve a lot of blame. Newspapers, magazines, TV and old-school journalists must be made to understand that as all their content goes online it wall fall under a national, centralized, secret, unaccountable, real-time censorship system."

You can check out the entire Q&A session over on Dateline's website.

[DatelineThanks Jonathan!] Image credit: Flickr User New Media Days



    very interesting.

    Stupid questions will get stupid answers I guess.

    Attempt #2 - This time without the irony please.

    As for content & censorship, it would greatly help if media could redirect the issue from being presented as "good old corporations just trying to protect themselves from filthy cheapskates stealing from them" to "private organisations with purely monetary interests trying to control not only the market, but ultimately people's right to free information, free speech and privacy"

      Apple don't allow people to install applications Apple does not approve on their platform, that is it.

      You are not prevented from browsing whatever webpages you want to on the that platform (the government wants to do that). You are also not prevented from purchasing a laptop, or something else that is more open.

      I find it an interesting leap. Apple is far from being able to control the market in the way you think they can. Actually there isn't any company that can do that.

      There's far too much competition, if Microsoft started to filter out webpages and content? People would switch to Linux, Solaris, or an Apple computer.

      Make no mistake, you don't have to worry about companies, they're competing each other for your dollar. Worry more about the government controlling what you can watch or say. You don't have to buy an iPad, or iPhone.

        microsoft have jumped on the bandwagon with windows phone 7, their app store will be just as strict as Apple's

        and we don't have complete freedom on the net either because neither will support flash.

        I mean sure, I suppose I could buy android. but you know what would have been better?

        if Apple hadn't been major dicks, restricting their stuff, encouraging MS to do the same, (by simple fact that it does mean more money), and we could choose between 3 open platforms that could compete against each other on practical functionality, as opposed to only having one to choose from... they set the precedent, they showed that it could work, that consumers are willing to put up with more crap and hence more for the bottom line. fact of the matter is, we are worse off because of apple. on the other hand, without apple everything would be ugly and impossible to use... personally I'd prefer everything ugly and open, but don't for a second think, like everybody seems to, like Jobs suggests, that one needs the other! you can make a pretty, user-friendly device that is open! Windows 7 and OSX have come damn close!

        Matt, most people like stability and ease of use.

        Jailbroken iPhones are a perfect example of how bad 'open' is. Unstable rubbish. Not a good quality for a Phone.

        It's maintaining the quality and integrity of their platform. It's also providing a solid software distribution model for developers. Face it, most people only want 'open' so they can steal stuff.

        Daniel, jailbroken iPhones are unstable because they're hacked by enthusiasts, not because "open" is a pipe dream. You only need to look at the Android platform to see how "open" can succeed.

        yeah, jailbroken iphone vs android would be a good example of the differences between "open" and "open source"

        though even that is a bit harsh to open source projects in general. something not above board like jailbreaking will always attract a less professional feel, not to mention that they are constantly fighting against Apple who try to stop them at every turn. oh... and whats this? Giz giving us an article telling us that we should jail break our ipads due to all the awesome stuff we can do? surely all the Giz guys can't be wrong?

        I'll admit that making something 'open' as high quality as something 'closed' is hardER, but it is FAR from the impossibility most Windows->Mac converts think it is. again, just look at android.

        oh, and just FYI: after developing on a wide range of iPhone OS platforms, I'll say that the iPhone OS is FAR from the polished Gem it could be! closed doesn't guarantee awesomeness and open doesn't mean it will be any worse.

    What is up with
    No updates since the collateral murder vid went up, surely they made their fund-raising targets in the following days?

    Ridiculous, he is implying Apple has control over the editorial content of the News apps. When in reality they are more of less copies of the web/print papers of which Apple has no control, and never will. The only censorship is nudity, which doesn't concern me of the papers I am interested in. (And any REAL papers IMO)

      David, that's not at all what he's implying. The iPad is feted as the saviour of newspapers and print media - and it might be, in the short term.

      In the longer term, Apple will maintain control of the pricing and distribution of newspapers and print media and could effectively cut off their access to the reading public simply by killing their app. Apple have demonstrated that they're capable and willing to do this almost at random in the past, and there's no reason they can't do it again.

      First they came for the pornographers....


    No he's not. He's talking about how Apple carefully manages the news cycle around its products, responds extremely strongly to criticism from journalistsm, and how tech journos tend to drink the kool-aid unquestioningly.

    In other words the tech press doesn't apply critical analysis to Apple 'news' in his mind.

    And he's right, it's not Apple's fault per se, but plenty of tech sites mindlessly regurgitate Apple's spin.

      No, he's not talking about that at all.

    That non-antialiased font reminds me of Apple's good old days :)

    the media is the reason why there are wars in iraq and afghanistan too.. scared spineless copy/pasters, not an ounce of integrity.

    Media do not make wars, politicians make wars and the lies to support their wars. Iraq is about control of oil, in fact most are 'American ' made wars are about controlling wealth through lies, assasinations and trade sanctions. America's alies simply are jackals they comin later sniffing America's arse and eat from the leftovewr 'slops'.

    Whilst many are moaning about Wikileaks [funnily the loudest are politicians], Wikileaks clearly demonstrates the lies and corruption that most goverments [politicians] are involved in. They are first class crimials and their defence forces are their mindless zombies.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now