We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, June 29, 2015

Julian Assange: The Byline Interviews, Part One [of three] – 'The God of Mass Surveillance'

Click here to access the first of three installments of the interview with Assange by Seung-yoon Lee of Byline website (British and international).

After going into some detail to describe how large data collection organizations like Google are so vulnerable to government surveillance efforts, I was particularly intrigued by Assange's lengthy response to the following question in which he explained that small organizations can frequently outmaneuver huge secret government surveillance agencies:
You have said that small organisations like WikiLeaks have an advantage, in that they don’t have the bureaucratic problems that large organisations do. Is there potential to oppose the government with micro-political organisations?
His answer reminded me of incidents which I have frequently observed outside my window in rural Washington state. I have often seen black birds attacking eagles which come too close to black birds' nests, and it is clear that the eagles are no match for these assaults. This is simply because black birds can easily outmaneuver the much larger eagles while in flight.

(Tomorrow I will post the 2nd installment of this fascinating interview.)