The two discussed technology, WikiLeaks and the controversial use of the Patriot Act
WikiLeaks has posted a transcript of a secret meeting held between Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Julian Assange in 2011. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ideas for an upcoming book that is to be published this month.The leak is conveniently timed, since the publishing date of “The New Digital World” is only a few days away and the new information is sure to increase the hype around the title.
As it was mentioned before, the five-hour meeting took place in 2011, while Assange was under house arrest in England.
Over the length of the interview, the two discuss topics regarding technology, but they don't limit themselves to this theme. Instead, they go on and talk about the Bitcoin concept as seen by Assange, but also about his rising fame among women.
When they reach WikiLeaks topic, Schmidt asks Assange to answer criticism about the damage the website caused ever since it was released, but says that "they" are sympathetic to his side of the story.
Later on, the Australian WikiLeaks founder also finds similarities between the site’s flow of unfiltered information to Google’s YouTube, a service giving its users full power over the contents of their videos up until publishing.
Assange even says that he wouldn’t mind a leak from Google on all data requests made under the Patriot Act. Among other important features, the document allows authorities to breach the right to privacy of those suspected of terrorism.
Under this act, authorities can request private information regarding the contents of some accounts, which are otherwise confidential. Numerous invocations of the Patriot Act are considered controversial as they often include lists of people not connected with any terrorist cells.
On this topic, Schmidt, who criticizes the data requests made under the Patriot Act by calling them “non-transparent,” says that such a leak would be illegal.