The internet has changed from an apathetic space into a political battlefield

All is not well in Technology Land. The normally ebullient mood at the annual SXSW Interactive conference is darker this year, weighed down by concerns about the prying eyes of governments. A keynote address by WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange over the weekend captured this growing unease.

Speaking to a packed audience via video conference, Assange contrasted the relative comfort of his confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy in London with the plight of prisoners around the world. But for nearly two years he has essentially been in prison.