The Big Issue in the North editor, Kevin Gopal, has spoken exclusively to Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange about leaked documents, Google and extradition.

BITN-1048_Page_01In the latest edition, Assange says Google “is much worse” than phone hacking.

“There are some parallels with phone hacking but the Google case is much more severe.

“Google collects the world’s data using services as bait, storing, indexing it and selling it – rather like the National Security Agency does to the US government. The Murdoch empire only hacked 5,000 people some years ago.

“The Murdoch empire got close to senior people in government and low-level police officers but there wasn’t a proper integration, unlike with Google and the NSA, where the company is very much seen as part of the defence-industrial base – a big company with vital services that are classified – as contracts going back to 2002 show.”

Assange spoke to Gopal on the phone from the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he’s been based for the last 2 years. His fall out with Google stems from an interview he did with CEO, Eric Schmidt and Google Ideas director, Jared Cohen in 2011.

It was for the book The Empire of the Mind, which ended up being endorsed by Tony Blair and Henry Kissenger. But not Assange.

“It wants a seat at the White House Situation Room because it feels – and rightly – that it is running America,” he told Gopal.

For the full interview, you can read this week’s Big Issue in the North.