WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Wants
To Spill Your Corporate Secrets


In a rare interview, Assange tells Forbes that the release of Pentagon and State Department documents are just the beginning. His next target: big business.
Early next year, Julian Assange says, a major American bank will suddenly find itself turned inside out. Tens of thousands of its internal documents will be exposed on with no polite requests for executives’ response or other forewarnings. The data dump will lay bare the finance firm’s secrets on the Web for every customer, every competitor, every regulator to examine and pass judgment on.

(For the full transcript of Forbes’ interview with Assange click here.)

When? Which bank? What documents? Cagey as always, Assange won’t say, so his claim is impossible to verify. But he has always followed through on his threats. Sitting for a rare interview in a London garden flat on a rainy November day, he compares what he is ready to unleash to the damning e-mails that poured out of the Enron trial: a comprehensive vivisection of corporate bad behavior. “You could call it the ecosystem of corruption,” he says, refusing to characterize the coming release in more detail. “But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest.”
This is Assange: a moral ideologue, a champion of openness, a control freak. He pauses to think—a process that occasionally puts our conversation on hold for awkwardly long interludes. The slim 39-year-old Wiki­Leaks founder wears a navy suit over his 6-foot-2 frame, and his once shaggy white hair, recently dyed brown, has been cropped to a sandy patchwork of blonde and tan. He says he colors it when he’s “being tracked.”
“These big-package releases. There should be a cute name for them,” he says, then pauses again.
“Megaleaks?” I suggest, trying to move things along.
“Yes, that’s good—megaleaks.” His voice is a hoarse, Aussie-tinged baritone. As a teenage hacker in Melbourne its pitch helped him impersonate IT staff to trick companies’ employees into revealing their passwords over the phone, and today it’s deeper still after a recent bout of flu. “These megaleaks . . . they’re an important phenomenon. And they’re only going to increase.”
He’ll see to that. By the time you’re reading this another giant dump of classified U.S. documents may well be public. Assange refused to discuss the leak at the time FORBES went to press, but he claims it is part of a series that will have the greatest impact of any WikiLeaks release yet. Assange calls the shots: choosing the media outlets that splash his exposés, holding them to a strict embargo, running the leaks simultaneously on his site. Past megaleaks from his information insurgency over the last year have included 76,000 secret Afghan war documents and another trove of 392,000 files from the Iraq war. Those data explosions, the largest classified military security breaches in history, have roused antiwar activists and enraged the Pentagon.
Admire Assange or revile him, he is the prophet of a coming age of involuntary transparency. Having exposed military misconduct on a grand scale, he is now gunning for corporate America. Does Assange have unpublished, damaging documents on pharmaceutical companies? Yes, he says. Finance? Yes, many more than the single bank scandal we’ve been discussing. Energy? Plenty, on everything from BP to an Albanian oil firm that he says attempted to sabotage its competitors’ wells. Like informational IEDs, these damaging revelations can be detonated at will.

mirino di Julian Assange

Por Anna.Mazzone, Panorama

Dopo gli eserciti e la diplomazia, adesso è il turno delle banche. In un’intervista in esclusiva per Forbes, il padre di WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, anticipa nuove rivelazioni-choc su una “grande banca” mondiale e prevede un nuovo scandalo globale, modello Enron.
Ricercato dall’Fbi, additato come “criminale” da Hillary Clinton, latitante per la Giustizia svedese che lo accusa di stupro ai danni di due giovani donne, Julian Assange, nel pieno della tempesta scatenata dalle ultime rivelazioni di WikiLeaks sui cablogrammi segreti della diplomazia Usa, tira fuori l’ennesimo jolly dalla manica. L’annuncio questa volta fa tremare il mondo dell’alta finanza: nel mirino dell’organizzazione-corsara del 39enne australiano, che presto potrebbe diventare un apolide, ci sarebbero infatti “una o forse due grandi banche“.
Nell’intervista di due ore con il giornalista di Forbes Andy Greenberg rilasciata l’11 novembre scorso a Londra, Assange mette, dunque, nel mirino le organizzazioni economiche. La sua strategia sembra essere chiara: distruggere l’ordine mondiale precostituito, si tratti di documenti riguardanti le strategie militari, i commenti e le analisi dei diplomatici per la Casa Bianca o, per l’appunto, le strutture finanziarie. “L’impatto non è grande come quello delle due guerre” (in Afghanistan e in Iraq ndr), dice Assange, ma potrebbe “far venire giù una o due banche“, con una nuova crisi in tutto il mondo.
“E’ una banca americana?“, chiede Andy Greenberg. “Sì“, è la laconica risposta del ricercato numero 1 del momento. “La più grande banca americana?”, lo incalza il giornalista. No comment, risponde il fondatore di WikiLeaks. Secondo le anticipazioni, le nuove rivelazioni dovrebbero essere diffuse all’inizio del 2011.
L’intento di Assange è chiaro: “Si potrà lanciare uno sguardo vero e approfondito nei comportamenti delle banche al livello esecutivo e ciò stimolerà inchieste e riforme, credo“. Insomma, Julian Assange non sembra lasciarsi intimorire dalle “taglie” che pendono sulla sua testa e sta già preparando il suo nuovo colpo in canna, pronto a inaugurare all’insegna di WikiLeaks anche l’anno che verrà.