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Julian Assange came to international attention as the founder of the whistle-blowing Web site, Wikileaks.
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Born on July 3, 1971, in Townsville, Australia, Julian Assange used his genius IQ to hack into the databases of many high profile organizations. In 2006, Assange began work on Wikileaks, a Web site intended to collect and share confidential information on an international scale. The information his organization released earned him strong supporters and powerful enemies. For his efforts,
"If journalism is good, it is controversial, by its nature."
"It is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abusers, and when powerful abusers are taken on, there's always a bad reaction. So we see that controversy, and we believe that is a good thing to engage in."
the internet activist earned the Time magazine "Person of the Year" title in 2010. After arriving at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in June 2012, seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden, Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorean government in August 2012.
Journalist, computer programmer and activist Juliam Assange was born on July 3, 1971, in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Assange had an unusual childhood, as he spent some of his early years traveling around with his mother, Christine, and his stepfather, Brett Assange. The couple worked together to put on theatrical productions. Brett Assange later described Julian as a "sharp kid who always fought for the underdog."
The relationship between Brett and Christine later soured, but Assange and his mother continued to live a transient lifestyle. With all of the moving around, Assange ended up attending roughly 37 different schools growing up, and was frequently homeschooled.
Assange discovered his passion for computers as a teenager. At the age of 16, he got his first computer as a gift from his mother. Before long, he developed a talent for hacking into computer systems. His 1991 break-in to the master terminal for Nortel, a telecommunications company, got him in trouble. Assange was charged with more than 30 counts of hacking in Australia, but he got off the hook with only a fine for damages.
Assange continued to pursue a career as a computer programmer and software developer. An intelligent mind, he studied mathematics at the University of Melbourne. He dropped out without finishing his degree, later claiming that he left the university for moral reasons; Assange objected to other students working on computer projects for the military.
In 2006, Assange began work on Wikileaks, a Web site intended to collect and share confidential information on an international scale. The site officially launched in 2007 and it was run out of Sweden at the time because of the country's strong laws protecting a person's anonymity. Later that year, Wikileaks released a U.S. military manual that provided detailed information on the Guantanamo detention center. Wikileaks also shared emails from then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin that it received from an anonymous source in September 2008.
In early December 2010, Assange discovered that he had other legal problems to worry about. He had been under investigation by the Swedish police since early August, in connection with two sexual assault cases. After a European Arrest Warrant was issued by Swedish authorities on December 6, Assange turned himself in to the London police.
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