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Julian Assange

Julian AssangeAKA Julian Paul Assange

Born: 3-Jul-1971 [1]
Birthplace: Townsville, Australia

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist [2]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Hacker, Journalist

Nationality: Australia
Executive summary: Founder of Wikileaks

Computer programmer and secretive hacker Julian Assange is the public spokesman for Wikileaks, an online publisher of classified documents, founded in December 2006. The site's funding is shadowy, its staff unpaid; it claims to be propagated on twenty separate servers worldwide, making it difficult to muzzle. According to Assange, the site's key collaborators know each other only by initials which might or might not represent their true names.

In its first few years, the site's major scoops included an operations manual from the US prison at Guantanamo, emails hacked from Sarah Palin's Yahoo account, interoffice communications from climate researchers at the University of East Anglia, secret Scientology texts. Their biggest media splash came in April 2010 with the release of Collateral Murder, a first-person video of American soldiers killing Reuters journalists from a gunship over Baghdad. It was followed over the next few months by several large leaks, coordinated with major newspapers, of American military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, and a slow leak of 250,000 classified American embassy cables.

Wikileaks is believed to have received more than a quarter of a million classified embassy cables from a 22-year-old soldier, Chelsea Manning, who was casually outed after confiding in ex-hacker Adrian Lamo in May 2010, then convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison. In 2010, Wikileaks published a secret American intelligence document assessing the perceived risk the site presents to US national security. Assange has said that the site's occasional technical difficulties are a consequence of on-line attacks launched by US operatives.

Beginning in 2010, Assange battled extradition to Sweden, where he faces charges of rape and sexual assault, charges he claims are "without basis". On 30 May 2012, he lost an appeal before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, leaving his extradition a near certainty. A few weeks later, on 19 June 2012, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has since remained.

[1] Per Interpol "wanted" notice, 30 November 2010.

[2] Per OkCupid profile.

Mother: Christine Assange
Father: John Shipton (per court documents, Assange has never met his father)
Wife: (m. 1989, div., one son)
Son: Daniel (b. circa 1987)
Daughter: (b. 2006)

    University: University of Melbourne (attended, 2000s)

    Wikileaks Founder and Director (2006-)
    Economist Index on Censorship Award (2008)
    Amnesty International Media Award (2009)
    Aftonbladet (Sweden) Columnist (2010)
    Hacking pled guilty to 21 charges (1991)
    Rape Sweden (arrest warrant issued, 2010)
    Inmate Wandsworth Prison, London, England (Dec-2010)
    Granted Asylum by Ecuador (Jun-2012)
    Australian Ancestry
    Irish Ancestry
    Scottish Ancestry

    Citizenfour (10-Oct-2014) · Himself

Author of books:
Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness, and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier (1997, with Suelette Dreyfus)

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