November 30, 2010, 2:06 PM — WikiLeaks has said its next release of confidential information from whistleblowers will be on a large US bank, likening the scale of unethical practices found to that exposed in the Enron trial.
Julian Assange, the site's founder, said in an interview with Forbes magazine that big business would receive the same scrutiny that the website had meted out to governments.
The bank involved was engaging in "flagrant" rule breaking and "unethical" behaviour, Assange said. It has not yet been named.
The release of data on the bank, expected early next year "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," he said.
Assange likened the release to the documents exposed in the trial of managers at former energy firm Enron. "When Enron collapsed, through court processes, thousands and thousands of emails came out that were internal, and it provided a window into how the whole company was managed. It was all the little decisions that supported the flagrant violations."
However, Assange said it may be premature to claim the leaks demonstrate criminal behaviour. But he added that "it's also 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."
The technology industry will also be examined, he said. "We have some material on spying by a major government on the tech industry. Industrial espionage." No more details were given.
Pharmaceutical companies, for a long time the target of campaigners who say some overprice drugs and conduct dangerous trials in Africa and elsewhere, will also see their data exposed, alongside that of energy companies, Assange said.
Wikileaks also has "lots" of information on the BP oil spill, which is currently being sifted through, Assange said. But he said that much of the data on the spill may already be available. Official documents created by the US Oil Spill Commission have suggested that BP ignored the results of safety critical software to save time before the disastrous spill.