Julian Assange to open Berlin media confab

Wikileaks founder to speak via satellite from Blighty

BERLIN — Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will hold the keynote speech at this year’s International Media Congress in Berlin, which runs Sept. 5-6.

Assange, who remains under house arrest in the U.K. pending a court decision on whether to extradite him to Sweden on allegations of sexual assault, is to give the speech live via satellite.

Assange will discuss the future of the digital public sphere, transparency and their significance for the world.

The embattled journalist and Internet activist is currently fighting extradition to Sweden and has claimed that it could lead to a further extradition to the U.S. if he’s charged with crimes related to Wikileaks’ release last year of secret U.S. diplomatic cables , a move that enraged Pentagon and U.S. State Department officials and embarrassed diplomats around the world.

The International Media Congress is part of Berlin’s annual week-long [email protected] confab, which also includes the IFA, the biggest consumer electronics trade fair in the world.

According to organizers, this year’s confab is more international and future-oriented than in previous years and will be more devoted to start-ups and the integration of innovation, science and research.

The event’s theme this year — ”Digital is now! Opportunities and Risks Facing the Content and Media Industries in the Age of Digitalization” — will run through all presentations and podium discussions, said Elmar Giglinger, managing director of the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, which is organizing the confab.

Other keynote speakers include Bernd Neumann, Germany’s federal commissioner for media and culture, and Mathias Doepfner, CEO of the Axel Springer media group.

Also attending as speakers and panelists will be David Rowan, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine UK, ZDF program director Thomas Bellut, Rene Schuster, CEO Telefonica Germany, and Daniel P. Glasner, head of Groupon in Central Europe.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118040210?categoryid=4076&cs=1&cmpid=RSS|News|LatestNews

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