Julian Assange Advises Edward Snowden To Go To Latin America

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, speaking from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, had some advice for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Assange is uniquely qualified to speak about government secrets and what can happen when they are revealed.

"I would strongly advise him to go to Latin America," Assange told CNN's AC360 Monday night. "Latin America has shown in the past 10 years that it is really pushing forward in human rights. There's a long tradition of asylum."

Assange described Snowden as heroic, and had harsh words for the programs he helped to expose.

"The oversight of this process is done in secret. The policy is secret," Assange said.

"It's not a case of looking at a particular suspect and deciding to apply surveillance to them as we once did in the past, but rather, just bulk, arbitrary, driftnet fishing across, not just Americans, but essentially the whole of the human race."

Assange conceded that in some cases -- where there is sufficient evidence -- it is right to watch some people for some amount of time, Assange said.

However, he argued, there is no justification for keeping such programs a secret.

"No one accepted and gave Obama the mandate to engage in a worldwide surveillance program on nearly every person."

Assange sought and was granted asylum by Ecuador and has lived at the Ecuadorian Embassy since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he raped one woman and sexually molested another.

He has said he fears Sweden will transfer him to the United States, where he could face the death penalty for the work of WikiLeaks if he were charged and convicted of a crime.

He repeatedly has stated that the allegations in Sweden are politically motivated and tied to the work of his website, which facilitates the publication of secret documents.

Russia would consider granting asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

Snowden has not made any requests for asylum yet, but Peskov told Russian newspaper Kommersant, "If such an appeal is given, it will be considered."

"We'll act according to facts," he said. The Guardian reported Tuesday that the statement prompted other Russian officials to declare their support for Snowden. As the newspaper noted, the country has a poor record for human rights and free speech, but has been known to support critics of the United States.

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