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Assange on Secrecy, China, and Wikileaks' Growth

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Julian Assange

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks

Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

"Secrecy is important for many things," said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a recent interview with Time via Skype. Managing editor Richard Stengel had just asked him whether there were instances when secrecy could be an asset in diplomacy or global affairs.

WikiLeaks has, of course, grabbed headlines the world over by making public U.S. diplomatic cables that were supposed to stay private and secret, embarrassing the State Department as well as leaders around the world. But secrecy has its place, said Assange. "We keep secret the identity of our sources, as an example, take great pains to do it." But, he said, secrecy "shouldn't be used to cover up abuses."

Asked if he wanted to expose the secret dealings of China and Russia the way WikiLeaks has done with America, Assange said, "Yes, indeed. In fact, we believe it is the most closed societies that have the most reform potential." He sounded heartened, if not overwhelmed, by the response to the megaleak so far. "The media scrutiny and the reaction are so tremendous that it actually eclipses our ability to understand it."

From Time

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