TEDGlobal 2010

Updated: Surprise speaker at TEDGlobal: Julian Assange in Session 12

Posted by: Emily McManus

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At the start of Session 12 of TEDGlobal 2010, Chris Anderson announced a mystery guest. “There’s a site some of you may know, called WikiLeaks.” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange steps onstage for a surprise appearance at TEDGlobal 2010, in a Q&A with Chris.

We learned how WikiLeaks works: “We’re using state-of-the-art encryption and anonymizers to get information. And we get submissions by mail, regular postal mail. If we happen to find out the identity of a source, we destroy that information.”

[Corrected quotes from TED's official transcript follow] Chris asked about the recent controversy over leaked diplomatic cables. (WikiLeaks has tweeted that it was not given the documents.) Chris asks: “If you did receive thousands of U.S. embassy diplomatic cables …” Assange replies: “We would have released them. Yeah.”

Why? “Because these sort of things reveal what the true state of, say, Arab governments are like, the true human-rights abuses in those governments. If you look at declassified cables, that’s the sort of material that’s there.”

Watch now on TED.com: Julian Assange’s Q&A with Chris Anderson. (To see the clickable interactive transcript, click on the small red text to the right of the player window that says “Open interactive transcript.”)

After he spoke, Assange spoke briefly to attending press. Some reports:

Forbes: “Julian Assange of Wikileaks Surfaces in Oxford”

CNN.com: “WikiLeaks founder: Site getting more ‘high caliber’ disclosures”

Design Mind: “Julian Assange of WikiLeaks: Troublemaker or Hero?”