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Next Wikileaks release to target major U.S. bank

by Jorge Hernandez on November 30, 2010

As the U.S. government grapples with the most recent release of highly sensitive state documents, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes Magazine Monday that the next target of the whistleblower website will be a major American bank early next year.

"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," Assange told Forbes, comparing the anticipated leak to the Enron scandal. Assange hesitated to call the bank's actions criminal, however.

Assange told the news source that the next release will expose the "flagrant violations" and "unethical practices" of the bank's "ecosystem of corruption," which he said largely includes regular decision making.

He described the release as a "megaleak," which indicates a high volume of documents directed at more than one target. Assange added that the volume would range anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of documents, with about half relating to the private sector.

"It could take down a bank or two," he told Forbes.

Additionally, the Wikileaks founder told the news source that as the website grows in popularity, the "pipeline of leaks" will expand exponentially, resulting in a longer gap between the receiving and publishing of the information.

Assange also revealed having information on BP, pharmaceutical companies, the tech industry, environmental issues and other foreign governments, but said he hadn't had time to process all of it.

The current Wikileaks release exposed a quarter of a million classified State Department cables detailing sensitive threats to global security and unflattering accounts of world leaders.

The Obama administration is currently investigating Assange for criminal espionage, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail.

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