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Misinformation problems will not be resolved because there are "revolving doors" between major corporations and intelligence agencies.
During the Portugal Web Summit on Thursday, lawyer and human rights activist Stella Assange, the wife of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, asserted that the European Union (EU) imposes Internet regulations under the pretext of controlling misinformation.
"The EU loves this new era of misinformation because it allows them to regulate the Internet extensively," she said, adding that the institutes and programs created to combat misinformation are not genuinely effective.
"If there were any truth to their eagerness to stop false information, then they would be the biggest supporters of WikiLeaks and would promote the WikiLeaks model as the best possible journalism. But usually, those involved in all of this are the staunchest critics of WikiLeaks because they see it as a real threat," Stella pointed out.
In addition to emphasizing that technology companies do not want to be regulated, the lawyer recalled that misinformation problems will not be resolved because there are "revolving doors" between major corporations and government intelligence agencies.
��️Stella Assange speaks at The award ceremony for Julian Assange and his Ossietzky Prize 2023 at Litteraturhuset in Oslo.
To truly combat disinformation in the contemporary world, "you need people from human rights and journalism backgrounds," she said, warning about the existence of "an entire censorship industry" built through technology of which most people are unaware. Therefore, "censorship is out of control," Stella stressed.
The activist also highlighted the significant imbalance emerging due to intermediaries regulating information that reaches people because they deem certain data "dangerous."
"Obviously, technology plays a key role, and we need many leaders in this area to push it back," Stella said, recalling that Julian Assange created an innovation that democratized information and ended the monopoly held by corporate media.
"They're keeping Julian #Assange in prison because they want to send a message, that if they can do it to someone who has won dozens of prizes for the very publications he's being prosecuted over, they can do it to anyone" @Stella_Assange Human rights lawyer and wife #FreeAssangepic.twitter.com/DmDW3y3fp6
"Who in their right mind would publish Chelsea Manning's leaks today, knowing what they've done to Julian?" Stella asked, referring to the founder of WikiLeaks, whom the United States accused of espionage and computer intrusion for exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Between 2012 and 2019, Assange was sheltered in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Subsequently, when Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno (2017-2021) revoked his political asylum, Assange was arrested and sent to the high-security prison in Belmarsh, where he is judicially fighting to prevent his extradition to the United States.
The Lisbon Web Summit is an annual event that, in its 2023 edition, brought together about 2,600 emerging companies and 70,000 people from 160 countries.
#UNGA78 | During her speech at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Honduras' President Xiomara Castro called for the release of Australian journalist Julian Assange. pic.twitter.com/27xwCppCwq