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Julian Assange is an Australian journalist and political activist best known as the founder and editor-in-chief of the international whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks. Since November 2010, Assange has been wanted by the British government for extradition to Sweden under an European Arrest Warrant relating to a sexual assault investigation and currently resides inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London as a political refugee.
in December 2006, WikiLeaks was launched as a non-profit organization under the directorship of Julian Assange. Within the first year of launch, the site claimed that its database consists of more than 1.2 million documents. Assange also serves as member on the Board of Directors for the website’s parent company The Sunshine Press.
Julian Assange first rose to international prominence in April 2010 with the WikiLeaks release of Collateral Murder, a 39-minute video footage depicting the U.S. military air strikes against Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists in the district of New Baghdad in Iraq. The footage instantly sparked outrage online, followed by a national debate in the U.S. news media about the conducts of U.S. troops overseas and the role of whistleblowing and investigative journalism during wartime.
U.S. Diplomatic Cable Leaks
2010 United States Diplomatic Cables Leak refers to a series of events that took place after WikiLeaks publicly disclosed over 200,000 classified diplomatic cables originally issued by the U.S. State Department’s 300 missions overseas. The leak promptly drew harsh criticisms from the U.S. government and they pressing on the affiliates of WikiLeaks to halt their financial transactions with WikiLeaks. As a result, WikiLeaks’ server host Amazon dropped their service, while Mastercard and PayPal ceased all transactions of funds donated by the supporters of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
Operation Avenge Assange
In retaliation against the U.S.-led sanctions of WikiLeak and its editor-in-chief, an Anonymous contingent associated with Operation Payback launched several waves of DDoS attacks against various companies whom they perceived as enemies of Julian Assange that became known as Operation Avenge Assange.
The Fifth Estate
In March 2011, The Guardian and other news sources reported that DreamWorks Studio will produce a Hollywood adaptation of Wikileaks and Julian Assange based on WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website by former Wikileaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy by British journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding. Titled The Fifth Estate and envisioned as a political investigative thriller, the film will chronicle the history of the organization through the eyes of Domscheit-Berg, from its early days to the eventual fallout between Assange and Domscheit-Berg following their rise to fame.
During the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013, more details about the film and the cast were revealed through a press release, along with the first official photograph of the lead actors (shown above). Set for theatrical release on November 15th, 2013, the film is directed by Bill Condon and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) as Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and German actor Daniel Brühl as the former spokesperson of the website Daniel Domscheit-Berg. On January 28th, Assange revealed that he has obtained a leaked copy of the film script and critiqued it as a “mass propaganda attack” during a speech at the Oxford Union (shown below).
Wikipedia – Julian Assange
WikiLeaks – Main Page
Biography.com – Julian Assange
The Guardian – Who is Julian Assange? By the people who know him best
Huffington Post – Julian Assange Marks One Year Inside Ecuadorian Embassy In London