Founded by Assange in 2006, WikiLeaks came to international prominence in 2010 with the release of more than 250,000 top-secret cables leaked from the US State Department. The results of this were far-reaching indeed, exposing human rights violations and covert operations. WikiLeaks and Assange have never been far from the spotlight in the intervening years, hitting the headlines again and again, especially with regards to Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance disclosures and Assange’s ongoing legal battles.
To coincide with the release of a definitive new book on the State Department cables, The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire, Assange will discuss the historical significance of that release and what the cables reveal about the United States as a 21st century superpower. Join Julian Assange, host Andrew Fowler and the Wheeler Centre for a riveting discussion on secrets, surveillance, imperialism and justice.
Julian Assange is the face of WikiLeaks, the headline-making publishing organisation famous around the world for releasing secret information from corrupt governments, unaccountable corporations, occupying militaries and secretive international trade deals.
Founder, philosopher, CEO, editor-in-chief and original financier, Assange's name is synonymous with the WikiLeaks project, and both have made an enduring impact during the organisation's ten year publishing history.
In a series of high profile journalistic publications over the last five years, Assange has forced transparency and accountability on some of the key institutions of US power, from the Pentagon to the US State Department. WikiLeaks' work has enriched the historical record and become a key resource for hundreds of thousands of investigative journalists in every country in the world. In spite of a severe and ongoing retaliatory effort by the US Justice Department WikiLeaks continues to publish, in 2015 exposing secret international trade treaties and illicit surveillance conducted against France and Germany by the US National Security Agency.
Andrew Fowler is an award-winning investigative journalist and a contributing reporter for ABC's Foreign Correspondent and Four Corners programs. He has been chief of staff and acting foreign editor of the Australian newspaper and a reporter with SBS Dateline and Channel 7, as well as heading up the ABC's Investigative Unit. His latest book is The War on Journalism.
Andrew began his journalism career in the early 1970s covering the IRA bombing campaign for the London Evening News. He first interviewed Julian Assange for Foreign Correspondent in early 2010 and went on to write the bestselling book, The Most Dangerous Man in the World, which has been translated and published in countries as diverse as China, South Korea, USA, Russia, Indonesia, Romania and Taiwan.
The Most Dangerous Man in the World was described by Daniel Ellsberg (whistle-blower of the Pentagon Papers) as ‘a gripping thriller. By far the best account of Julian Assange's motives and the talents that make him so dangerous' and by Geoffrey Robertson QC as ‘the most balanced, fair and factual account yet published of a saga much misrepresented in the media'.
Andrew's original ABC program about Assange and WikiLeaks won the New York Festival Gold Medal and he has subsequently interviewed Assange in October 2011 and July 2012. Andrew Fowler currently spends his time between Paris and Sydney.