Early next year, a major U.S. bank will find itself in the same public relations fire storm as the State Department and the Pentagon, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes in an interview released yesterday.
A day removed from embarrassing the U.S. State Department with the biggest diplomatic document dump in history, Forbes' Andy Greenberg posts an interview with Assange and discovers WikiLeaks isn't just concerned with government secrecy and malfeasance. The private sector is on the chopping block next.
Asked by Greenberg what percentage of WikiLeaks' documents relate to the private sector, Assange responded "About fifty percent."
It's impact? "I mean, it could take down a bank or two," the former hacker tells Greenberg.
Describing the forthcoming financial leak, Assange says "It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume."
Assange likens the release to the "Iraq War Logs" his organization disclosed in late October. While the Iraqi war documents did unearth abuses, its real value he says was providing "the full spectrum of the war."
In the U.S. bank leak, WikiLeaks will disclose the "ecosystem of corruption," he says, describing the information as similar to the Enron e-mails. "[I]t’s... all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it."