• Sweden edition
 
WIKILEAKS CONTROVERSY
Assange: Swedish press freedoms 'most proven'

Assange: Swedish press freedoms 'most proven'

Published: 16 Aug 2010 14:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Aug 2010 14:56 GMT+02:00

Speaking in a series of online chats with Swedish readers in major newspapers on Monday, Assange was asked why the WikiLeaks locates its main servers in Sweden and why legislation protecting the anonymity of sources makes the country a good choice for the website.

"It is true we also use other locations, but Sweden is, so far, the most proven in practice. It is not perfect and initiatives like the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative show that others are also looking to improve on Swedish laws which have set strong examples." Assange said according to Svenska Dagbladet.

Assange said that he understood the dangers of the FRA signals surveillance law but also the advantages for Sweden in "gaining information to 'trade' with the United States and other intelligence agencies. He also claimed that the website is well versed in evading surveillance of its communications.

"Because we are routinely the target of intelligence agencies which do not obey the rule of law, our security design presumes that all incoming and going communication to our servers is monitored...We have a number of different methods to also conceal the source and destination of the communications," he said.

The controversial law, passed in October 2009, gives sweeping surveillance powers to Sweden’s National Defence Radio Establishment (Försvarets radioanstalt – FRA).

Assange, who has gained worldwide attention since WikiLeaks' publication of the so-called Afghan War Diary last month, confirmed that the website planned to release the remaining 15,000 classified documents it holds within "the next two to four weeks".

Talking to Aftonbladet readers Assange claimed that "as far as we know" no one has been harmed by the publication of the documents, and expressed defiance at US government attempts to silence him and WikiLeaks.

"Nothing stimulates the mind like a superpower trying to set into motion an extradition for espionage," he said.

Assange told Swedish readers that he started WikiLeaks to address "global injustices" that he couldn't see how to solve with "conventional journalism or human rights activism".

"The truth is all we have. If we are to get anywhere as a civilization, we must understand the world and how it operates, anything else is drifting in a dark sea," he said according to Dagens Nyheter.

The Local reported on Sunday that Assange had confirmed that WikiLeaks plans to submit a formal application this week for a Swedish publishing licence (utgivningsbevis) in order to guarantee that the website is covered by Swedish whistleblower protection laws.

Assange, in Sweden as a guest of the Association of Christian Social Democrats, highlighted the importance of the country to WikiLeaks' work during his stay.

"Sweden is vital for our work. We have had long-term support from the Swedish people and the Swedish legal system. Our servers were initially based in the United States and moved to Sweden early on in 2007," he said.

Legal experts have speculated recently that the site may not be covered by Swedish legislation shielding journalists' sources unless it obtains a publishing licence.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

15:24 August 16, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Sure Julian, you have found the chink in the freedom of press in Sweden: There is plenty of freedom of the press as long as the subject matter and stance popular with the majority of the public. Quality of reporting... well, that's a whole 'nother animal.

Since your agenda items are relatively popular in Sweden, I'm sure you have found yourself a fine partner is business.
16:30 August 16, 2010 by Audrian
Wekeleak is a champeon of freedom of speech. We should join wekeleak to fight America's exceptionalism. America's politicians' claim that America is charged to do god's wishes. It is a claim made to an entitlement to build empire and willingness to quiet those who expose its cruelity.

Like all imperialist countries before it, e.g., Spain, Portugal, Britain, Holland, Germany, France, and Soviet Union, it will decline and become a normal country. Our job is to make the transition quick and in its place build a world without war.
18:17 August 16, 2010 by dwb5555
@Audrian

How about you check the spelling, wekeleak, come on.
20:28 August 16, 2010 by locaxy
@Audrian:

Wikileaks challenges all governments. The only reason the US is usually a target is the polarised American political spectrum, the high level of transparency and the protections granted by the American Constitution.

The US is the most benevolent superpower the world has ever known. Take your hate elsewhere.
23:17 August 16, 2010 by GLO
Julian is a enemy of freedom, he hides behind the cover and seeks protection. Come out of your hole and face the world creep.
00:09 August 17, 2010 by Great Scott
Julian Assange if you live by the gun then expect to die by the gun.
00:21 August 17, 2010 by SilentLogic
write following text on youtube and find another episode of Final destination

"WikiLeaks' Collateral Murder: U.S. Soldier Ethan McCord's Eyewitness Story "
09:43 August 17, 2010 by cogito
Oh goodie. More incoherent babbling from Audrian.

@#3 dwb: check out her spelling of "champeon" as well as her "Wekeleak."

You've got to love the Left: they not only can't think; they can't spell either.
11:43 August 17, 2010 by Annaya
Julian has certainly set up the army pvt. that supplied him with the information.

He is being held and will no doubt be tried by court martial.

"As far as he knows" no Afgani or his family has been murdered by the Taliban, perhaps what he means is, "I don't care" as long as my oh-so-moral website gets traffic. In deed, he is an enemy of freedom.

I do hope that you are right, Great Scott.
Today's headlines
Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Comedian Al Pitcher has launched his new tour. Photo: www.alpitcher.com

'Swedes are funnier than they think'

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital. READ  

National
Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search
The search for the missing 'submarine' is now in its sixth day. Photo: TT

Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search

UPDATED: A press conference on the search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters revealed that the Armed Forces would be heading into a new phase on Wednesday. READ  

Lifestyle
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
The bronze replica cannon. Photo: Beth Dacey.

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden

A replica of one of the cannons present on Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship when it sank in 1628 is being tested for the first time in central Sweden. READ  

Health
Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Swine flu can spread between pigs and humans. Photo: TT

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

999
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN