Recently, a series of leaks by WikiLeaks has been dominating the new cycle. From the Podesta hack, to the DNC hack, to the emails released from Hillary Clinton’s email server, the leaks are legion. But who runs WikiLeaks?
To me, WikiLeaks is just some organization that continually leaks documents of a sensitive nature that dominate the new cycle. Before I began my research, I thought Julian Assange was just another whistleblower. Like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, he was involved in some kind of whistleblowing.
In fact, WikiLeaks was founded by Julian Assange as in 2006. He is an Australian citizen who was arrested in 1994 at the age of thirteen for hacking. Even though Wikilieaks was founded in 2006, the idea began in 1999 when he registered the domain name of leaks.org. (Though, he never did anything with the domain.)
WikiLeaks and Julian Assange rose to fame after the 2010 release of material from Chelsea Manning. One of the most high profile releases was the Collateral Murder video in which they claim Iraqi citizens and journalists were killed by US forces from a helicopter. Because of the high profile nature of this release, the United States opened a criminal investigation on Julian Assange.
In 2012, Julian applied for political asylum from Ecuador and began living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Police were posted outside of the embassy to apprehend him if he attempted to escape until they were recalled in October 2015. This withdrawal was because of the enormous cost that had been incurred from staffing the post. ($12.6 million.)
In February 2016, the UN’s Working Group On Arbitrary Detention delivered a decision that Assange’s detention was arbitrary and that he should be free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy. This ruling was rejected by the United Kingdom.
At the time of this article, Julian Asange is still inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London and the criminal investigation by the United States government is still ongoing.