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Julian Assange, Founder of Wikileaks
(b. July 30, 1971)
Julian Paul Assange (born July 3, 1971) --is an Australian activist and computer hacker best known as the founder of WikiLeaks. Julian Assange is currently (as of 12.04.10) wanted on an international arrest warrant for sex crimes allegedly committed in Sweden.
Julian Assange was born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia in 1971. parents ran a touring theatre company. In 1979, his mother, Christine, remarried; her new husband was a musician who belonged to a controversial New Age group led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne.
In 1987, at the age of 16, Assange began his career as a computer hacker, hacking under the name "Mendax" (derived from a phrase of Horace: "splendide mendax," or "nobly untruthful"). Assange and two other hackers formed a group called International Subversives.
As a result of his hacking, in 1991, the Australian Federal Police raided Julian Assange's home in Melbourne. He was charged with hacking into computers belonging to an Australian university, the Canadian telecommunications company Nortel, and other organizations. In 1992, he pleaded guilty to 24 charges of hacking into computer systems. After the 1991 raid and his arrest, his girlfriend left him, taking his son, Daniel.
He worked on several open-source, and free software projects before founding WikiLeaks in 2006. Assange wrote two essays in 2006 establishing the philosophy behind WikiLeaks:"To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not."
In his personal blog he also wrote,"the more secretive or unjust an organisation is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. ... Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance."
Since 2006, WikiLeaks publicly released material documenting extra-judicial killings in Kenya, a report of toxic waste dumping on the African coast, Church of Scientology manuals, Guantánamo Bay procedures, the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrikes video, (also, see below). and material involving large banks such as Kaupthing and Julius Baer among other documents.
On November 28, 2010, WikiLeaks began releasing more than 251,000 American diplomatic cables, mostly unclassified but including many labelled "classified" or "secret." The release of information that was never intended for public viewing generated some embarrassing moments for the U.S. Government and created some problems for American allies. For example, some diplomatic documents indicated that many Arab governments secretly agreed with the Israeli position that Iran is a significant threat, and that the United States needed to take strong action to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapons capability from developing.
On 20 August 2010, Swedish authorities began an investigation of allegations that Julian Assange had raped a woman in Enköping on the weekend of August 14, 2010 after a seminar, and two days later had sexually harassed a second woman he had been staying with in Stockholm.
On November 24, 2010, Assange lost a legal in Sweden, and is under arrest in absentia and has an arrest warrant out in his name. On November 30, 2010, the international police agency Interpol issued a "red notice" against Assange on behalf of Sweden for questioning on allegations of "sex crimes."
Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny filed charges of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion against Julain Assange.
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Christine Assange --Mother