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.
Assange was a pioneer of the internet and helped bring it to Australia in the early 1990s. As an author, he has written that the internet is a great tool of human emancipation, but he is also one of the world’s keenest critics of the repressive uses of technology. He holds that the first value to emerge from the new global civilisation of the digital age is the right to communicate: to receive and transmit information across boundaries. Truth, he holds, should be available to all, and few people have done as much to make this a reality.