New York: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has warned of releasing "encrypted keys" containing large amount of secret information, if the whistleblower website is permanently shut down.
Assange, was speaking to CBS News's "60 Minutes" at a country house in England where he is under house arrest waiting for an extradition hearing, which will determine whether he is sent to Sweden to be questioned on sexual assault charges.
"There are backups distributed amongst many, many people, 100,000 people and all we need to do is give them an encrypted key and they will be able to continue on," Assange said.
"If a number of people were imprisoned or assassinated, then we would feel that we could not go on, and other people would have to take over our work, and we would release the keys," he said.
Last year, WikiLeaks, an online whistleblower organization published hundreds of thousands of classified material on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as diplomatic cables that put the spotlight on backdoor meetings among US officials and their counterparts in different countries.
Since then, the US government has been trying to nab and prosecute Assange for espionage but no specific charges against him have been framed.
The former Australian hacker has argued that all the actions taken by his organization are protected under the First Amendment that protects free speech in America.
When questioned about the material on Bank of America, Assange did not confirm or deny but simply said, "I won't make any comment in relation to that upcoming publication". At the same time, Assange said that he didn't mind making these big banks 'squirm'.
Last year, he said that WikiLeaks would be releasing documents on a US bank.
Soon after, Bank of America's shares fell after Assange said that WikiLeaks had information on America's largest bank.
"We have all these banks squirming, thinking maybe it's them," he said.
The WikiLeaks founder, who did not discuss the allegations of sexual assault that have been levied against him, has previously said these charges are false.