WikiLeaks and the tech industry: What's coming?

Julian Assange hints at pending revelations in Forbes interview

Amid all the outrage and furor over the release by WikiLeaks of millions of U.S. State Department diplomatic cables -- and the potential release next year of data from a major U.S. bank -- organization founder Julian Assange dropped a tantalizing hint of a tech industry revelation in an interview with Forbes.

[ Related: WikiLeaks' next target is top US bank ]

Here's Assange speaking with Forbes's Andy Greenberg, who is asking him if WikiLeaks plans more data drops involving other industries beyond banks: Greenberg: Let’s just walk through other industries. What about pharmaceutical companies? Yes. To be clear, we have so much unprocessed stuff, I’m not even sure about all of it. These are just things I’ve briefly looked at or that one of our people have told me about. How much stuff do you have? How many gigs or terabytes? I’m not sure. I haven’t had time to calculate. Continuing then: The tech industry? We have some material on spying by a major government on the tech industry. Industrial espionage. U.S.? China? The U.S. is one of the victims. This seems a little confusing. Assange says a major government was spying on the tech industry -- which I'd interpret as spying on a tech company or companies -- yet he goes on to say that the "U.S. is one of the victims." Well, last I checked the U.S. wasn't a tech company. Does Assange mean that one of the victims was a tech company based in the U.S.? That's not the same thing. Is he referring to the latest WikiLeaks revelations about China's Politburo launching a massive hacking operation against Google's computer systems in December 2009? Maybe, but that information is already out there. If anyone has any informed guesses, or even groundless speculation, feel free to weigh in below.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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