WASHINGTON -- Julian Assange is wasting little time while shut inside Ecuador's embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder has recently released a book called Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet. The book consists chiefly of the transcript of a conversation between Assange and three others. In a nod to openness, he has chosen not to offer the ebook version on Amazon. Instead, the book is being sold exclusively on reKiosk, a self-described uncensored portal.
In a way, reKiosk is a perfect fit for Assange. The site operates like an open-source version of Amazon. "If amazon.com is like a Walmart, reKiosk is like a covered bazaar," reads a statement on the site, which notes that it's comprised of "a network of user-curated digital storefronts where anyone can sell music, books, and other digital files, of their own designs or of someone else's."
Assange's book, which was released in late November, explores the Internet's possibilities both to expose or enforce corruption, as a tool for more open communication and for government surveillance. In an excerpt posted on Salon, Assange argues "we now have increased communication versus increased surveillance."
Assange would know. He has been holed up at the embassy for months in an attempt to avoid questioning on allegations involving sexual assaults in Sweden. Ecuador had granted Assange asylum in August. But law enforcement authorities say he will be arrested if he tries to leave the embassy. Assange fears that if he does leave the embassy, he risks being brought to the U.S to face espionage charges.
His circumstances seem to have influenced his book. In an introduction also available online, Assange wrote, "This book is not a manifesto. There is no time for that. This book is a warning."