WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaking during a
teleconference from Ecuador's embassy in central London.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, holed up in London's
Ecuadorian embassy for nearly six months, played down concerns
about his health today, saying he enjoyed being at the centre
of the legal and diplomatic storm.
Assange, 41, whose website angered the United States by
releasing thousands of secret diplomatic cables, took
sanctuary in Ecuador's embassy in June, jumping bail after
exhausting appeals in British courts against extradition to
Sweden for sexual assault allegations.
Ecuadorian officials have said the former computer hacker is
suffering from a chronic lung ailment as a result of his long
stay in the embassy.
Dressed in a dark suit and white shirt fastened with
silver-coloured cufflinks in the shape of a 'W' and an 'L',
Assange showed no outward sign of health problems.
"The confinement, the circumstances are obviously difficult,"
was all Assange would say when questioned about his health by
"I rather enjoy being swept away in the storm of it all. You
only live once so it's important that we do something that is
meaningful with our time," he said.
He is said to be living a cramped life inside the modest
diplomatic mission. He eats mostly take-out food and uses a
treadmill to burn off energy and a vitamin D lamp to make up
for the lack of sunlight.
The whistleblower said he has used his time at the embassy to
focus on his work, including a book "Cypherpunks" in which he
warns that the growing amount of personal data we store
online could render society a "slave to the internet".
Speaking in a gilt-corniced conference room, accessed via an
entrance hall decorated with a beaming portrait of Ecuadorian
President Rafael Correa, Assange spoke vehemently about the
dangers of cyber-surveillance by governments and private