Making a Skype appearance at a technology conference in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Assange said the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s eavesdropping agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), will soon have the ability to spy on the entire planet.
“The ability to surveil everyone on the planet is almost there, and arguably will be there in a few years” as the two spy agencies double their capabilities every 18 months, Assange told the conference.
He also stated that the move will lead to a huge transfer of power from those who are surveilled upon to those who control the process.
“The world is moving into a new totalitarian world,” he added.
The remarks echoed revelations by former NSA employee Edward Snowden, who said the GCHQ was secretly accessing the network of cables, which carry the world’s phone calls and Internet traffic and has been sharing the data with the NSA.
The joint spying practices by the two agencies include interception of millions of online communications by ordinary people and eavesdropping on world leaders, Snowden had revealed.
Assange was granted asylum in Ecuador Embassy in London in June 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is accused of committing sexual crimes.
The principal founder of Wikileaks whistleblower website, however, insists that the Swedish extradition demand is a legal smoke screen to deliver him to authorities in the United States, where he is expected to face the death penalty for revealing top-secret US diplomatic and military data.