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Julian Assange
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    (July 3, 1971- )
    Born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia
    Computer programmer and hacker
    Spokesperson and editor-in-chief of Wikileaks
    Notable leaked documents include 'Colateral Murder' and the 'Afghan War Diary'
    Arrested in London after Ecuador removed asylum status (April 11, 2019)
    He was arrested and pleaded guilty to 24 counts of computer hacking (1992).
    He describes himself as 'extremely cynical.'
    He said he is 'living in airports these days.'
    For several years, he refused to confirm his age, which seems kind of hypocritical from a guy exposing everyone else's secrets.
    'The Atlantic' commented, 'Assange's tendency to believe that he is one step away from being thrown into a black hole hinders, and to some extent discredits, his work.'
    British intelligence officer Daniel Yates said of the Afghan War Diaries, 'The logs contain detailed personal information regarding Afghan civilians who have approached NATO soldiers with information. It is inevitable that the Taliban will now seek violent retribution on those who have co-operated with NATO.'
    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed that his group would search through the documents to find the identities of Afghanis who cooperated with US forces.
    An arrest warrant for him was issued by Sweden on charges of rape and molestation (August 20, 2010).
    WikiLeaks made headlines once again when sensitive information from diplomatic cables was leaked to the public (November 29, 2010).
    The Swedish arrest warrant was cancelled within hours, with the chief prosecutor stating, 'I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape,' and Assange calling the allegations 'a smear campaign.'
    He said that he withheld 15,000 Afghan War Diary documents so that the names of 'innocent parties who are under reasonable threat' can be removed before their release.
    He and Wikileaks won an Amnesty International New Media Award for an expose of extra-judicial assassinations in Kenya (2009).
    He works for Wikileaks as an unpaid volunteer.
    After noting that Wikileaks had released more classified information than the rest of the world's press combined, he said, 'That shows you the parlous state of the rest of the media. How is it that a team of five people has managed to release to the public more suppressed information, at that level, than the rest of the world press combined? It's disgraceful.'
    Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said that Assange 'is serving our democracy and serving our rule of law precisely by challenging the secrecy regulations in this country.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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