Exclusive: Wikileaks’ Julian Assange Talks Politics and Privacy — “Of Course There Are Legitimate Secrets, But…”

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Julian Assange was interview in London by TIME on July 27, 2010.

In never-before-seen footage of a recent TIME interview with Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder and Person of the Year candidate discusses why information is so essential to good governance and how he sees his role at the whistle-blowing website. Video after the jump.

Back in July–well before the latest cablegate leak, Assange’s suggestion that Hillary Clinton resign (check out his full Clinton exchange with TIME), or the rumors of a possible future financial sector leak–Assange sat down with TIME to discuss what he does at Wikileaks (“What I do is try and keep this ship going in the proper direction”), his broader views of government secrecy (“Of course there are legitimate secrets”), and his beliefs in good governance (“There cannot be good governance unless there is good information”).

As an added bonus, Assange even discusses his personal likes–though the fact that he enjoys intellectual combat and cryptography isn’t really much of a leak.

Also during his July sit-down, Assange glanced through TIME’s list of the most important information leaks of all time — a list that included Wikileaks. You can watch his assessment of history’s biggest leaks here.