Austin, Texas (CNN) -- From his sanctuary in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, with roughly a dozen police officers outside, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Saturday that everyone in the world will be just as effectively monitored soon -- at least digitally.
"The ability to surveil everyone on the planet is almost there and, arguably, will be there in the next couple of years," said Assange, speaking via Skype to a large audience at the South by Southwest Interactive festival here.
He said the U.S. National Security Agency has become a "rogue agency" with too much power, even suggesting that President Barack Obama would be toppled politically if he attempted to disband the agency.
"They would come up with all of this dirt (on Obama)," he said. "Congress may impeach him ... a criminal act would come to light."
Assange described activist groups like WikiLeaks as freedom fighters in an age when governments have occupied what should be their citizens' private online space.
"Now that the Internet has merged with human society, the laws of human society should apply to the Internet," he said.
He said that because governments keep so much information secret, citizens don't have a complete picture of what is happening
"We're all actually living in a world that we don't understand," he said. Assange called it a "fictitious representation of the world," an illusion in which "the true nature of government power structures is obscured.
"We're walking around constantly in this fog."http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/08/tech/web/julian-assange-sxsw/index.html?iid=article_sidebar