Julian Assange is an Australian activist, computer programmer, and hacker who, in December 2006, founded WikiLeaks. His goal was to provide a platform where classified and sensitive documents can be posted anonymously.
Since its’ start, WikiLeaks drew a lot of attention following some major information exposed on the site, however the first major leak resulting in legal charges (against WikiLeaks) was the exposure of Swiss Bank and Julius Baer for involvement in money laundering.
In September 2008, Sarah Palin’s email account was leaked. She was the then-Republican Vice President candidate and the emails suggested that she had been using her personal email account for official business as Governor of Alaska. A year later, in November of 2009, WikiLeaks released a complete archive of text-pager recordings in the United States during September 11th, 2001.
One of WikiLeaks’ most controversial leaks happened in April 2010, as they released the video recording of a 2007 US military airstrike on Baghdad, along with the casualties from the strike. Bradley Manning (now Chelsea Manning), the American private who leaked the video and documents, was charged and arrested for violating the Espionage Act.
August 2010 saw the Swedish court issuing a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange on rape charges made by two Swedish women, who formerly worked for WikiLeaks. The warrant is postponed for November 2010. This started a major back-and-forth between Assange and the Swedish court, ultimately leading to Assange seeking asylum in Ecuador and finding temporary refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London. During this period of time, WikiLeaks halted its releases due to financial troubles.
The latest WikiLeaks release occurred in March 2017, as details on secret CIA hacking tools used to break into computers, mobile phones, and smart TVs are exposed.
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