Assange vows Google, US election leaks as WikiLeaks turns 10

The man behind the whistleblowing site, Julian Assange, says "I feel sorry" for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Controversial website WikiLeaks began spilling secrets 10 years ago, and it's not done yet.

In coming weeks, the site is set to publish documents related to Google, the US presidential election and more, according to controversial founder Julian Assange.

A video showing the top 10 leaks on the site today opened a press conference marking the 10th anniversary of the whistleblower site, in which time it has published 10 million documents. Assange promised new information every week for the next 10 weeks, related to Google, military operations, arms trading and mass surveillance. He also promised that all documents related to the US presidential election would be published before the vote on November 8.

Assange denied reports that he intended to harm the campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, although he did describe the reaction to leaks of Democratic emails as "neo-McCarthy-esque hysteria."

Asked if he had any affinity for Clinton's Republican rival Donald Trump, Assange said, "I feel sorry for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They are two people that are tormented by their ambitions."

The WikiLeaks domain name was registered on October 4, 2006, and the site published its first document on December 28. "A decade ago, we knew a lot less about the world's leaders and institutions," says the top 10 video. "We knew only what they wanted us to know." Then, the video tells us, came WikiLeaks.

The not-for-profit site came to prominence by publishing classified documents relating to the detention of prisoners by the US in Guantanamo Bay, military operations in Afghanistan and NSA surveillance of world leaders. Among the documents made public by WikiLeaks were millions of military and diplomatic files revealed by US soldier Chelsea Manning, currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for the leak.

The countdown also includes a leak of thousands of emails from the Democratic National Party relating to the current presidential election.

Addressing journalists at today's press conference in Berlin via video link, Assange pledged to create "an army" to defend the controversial site against outside pressure. "WikiLeaks needs to change in order to survive and thrive," he said. "We have engaged in a new project to recruit people across the world to defend our publications...We are going to need an army."

You can find out more by following @wltaskforce and @communitywl on Twitter.

Assange has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. He is avoiding extradition to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault allegations, as well as to the US, where the government is seeking prosecution related to WikiLeaks publications. A WikiLeaks legal representative described Assange as a "thorn in the side" of US politicians, claiming that he cannot be treated impartially if he leaves the embassy.

Although a UN panel on human rights recently called for his release, Assange seems likely to remain inside the embassy for the foreseeable future.

Asked about his condition after four years inside the building, Assange said he would make an interesting case study in research on vitamin D deprivation.