Julian Assange: Google works closely with Hillary Clinton to promote presidential campaign
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims Google is working closely with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to promote the Democratic presidential candidate.
Assange appeared via video link from the Ecuadorian embassy in London as part of the 'New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream international media' forum in Moscow.
He said: "Google is directly engaged with Hillary Clinton’s campaign" and claimed the technology giant used the US State Department on a "a quid pro quo" basis.
"Of course when she is in power… she is a problem for freedom of speech. We know what she is going to do. And she made the chart for the destruction of Libya, she was involved in the process of taking the Libyan armoury and sending it to Syria."
Assange reiterated his claims that Clinton is a "war hawk" that "seemingly" wants to start wars.
"What we have with Clinton is someone who is a hawk but who has the tools of legal interventionism, a rhetorical cover to start wars, and someone who seemingly wants to start them… From WikiLeaks’ perspective Hillary Clinton is a problem in terms of war and peace."
He also pointed out that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is now heading the Pentagon innovation board.
"Google is heavily integrated with Washington power, at personal level and at business level. Google, which has increasing control over the distribution channels,… is intensely allying itself with the US exceptionalism.
"It [Google] shows the will to use that at different levels. It will inevitably influence its audience."
The founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks added: "Google is an intensely Washington, DC-aligned company. I see a Google exit from China… It seems much more to do with Google's feeling that it is part of ‘family America’ and that it is opposed to the Chinese."
Fortune reported last year that researchers had found that "Google search rankings could potentially decide the outcome of an election".
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"Through five experiments in two countries... biased rankings in search results can shift the opinions of undecided voters by 20% or more, sometimes even reaching as high as 80% in some demographic groups.
"If Google tweaks its algorithm to show more positive search results for a candidate, the researchers say, the searcher may form a more positive opinion of him or her."
Assange also claimed that the US government can put pressure on social media site Facebook.
"The US apparatus can squeeze Facebook, Facebook squeezes your capital, you don't want to risk losing your capital so you start to adjust reportage as an individual, you start to adjust the things you say."
NSA '80 percent privatised'
During the video conference Assange said that the US National Security Agency is now '80 percent privatised'.
"There is a merger between the corporate organisations and state… 80 percent of the National Security Agency budget is privatised. The NSA is the core of the US deep state… There has been a smoothing out between the government and the corporations."
Assange has been staying at London's Ecuadorian embassy since August 2012.
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He is wanted for questioning in Sweden over a sex allegation, which he denies, but believes he will be extradited to the United States to be quizzed about the activities of WikiLeaks if he travels there.
In February a United Nations working group decided that he is being unlawfully detained. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said the Swedish and British authorities should end Assange's "deprivation of liberty" and respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement.
Melinda Taylor, part of Assange's legal team, said the UN report made clear that the WikiLeaks founder was neither a fugitive from justice, nor could he just walk out of the embassy.
She called it a "damning indictment" of the way Mr Assange has been treated.
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How might Google influence opinion?
Based on research by Dr. Robert Epstein & Ronald E. Robertson webpagefx.com examined how the tech giant might influence opinion through its search results. The findings are summarised in a series of graphics below.