SXSW
3:20 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Julian Assange to Speak at SXSW Interactive (Update)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will speak via satellite at SXSW Interactive in March. In a rare public interview, Assange will discuss the "pervasive spread of surveillance, advantages and abuses of the digital age, and the future of democracy," according to a statement from the festival. 

Assange will speak with Benjamin Palmer of New York-based web marketer The Barbarian Group at 11 a.m. on Mar. 8, the second day of the Interactive portion of the festival. 

Palmer told KUT that his conversation with Assange at South By will be more of a conversation about the future of the Internet and international communication, and less of a formal interview. 

"This is where everyone that's inventing all the next platforms goes to kind of hear thought leadership, you know?" Palmer said. "And I feel like Julian's point of view — where the Internet has come from, where it's going and what's generally happening — is a really important conversation to have at a place like South By Southwest."

Assange recently condemned American surveillance programs on UK public radio, saying law enforcement was trying to obtain "god-like" knowledge of its civilians, the Guardian reported. Assange has been living in an Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past year. Ecuador granted him asylum, but if he leaves the embassy, he faces arrest. 

The full line up of speakers can be viewed on the SXSW website.