him work, one discovers a gifted, ultra-efficient professional: once he begins
a project, he dedicates himself to it completely, night and day, to the point
of exhaustion. … When asked what exactly he does, Assange's response is long,
but precise: 'I'm an activist, journalist, a software programmer and expert in
cryptography, specializing in systems designed to protect the defenders of
Below is an excerpt from the
portrait that Le Monde Magazine, in its December 25 edition, dedicated
to Julian Assange:
Tall, thin and elegant,
Julian Assange, founder and chief of WikiLeaks, first of all strikes his
interlocutors as a talented speaker with a deep and sober voice, who knows how
to conduct himself with rigor, humor, emotion - but also sarcasm. Watching him
work, one discovers a gifted, ultra-efficient professional: once he begins a
project, he dedicates himself to it completely, night and day, to the point of
When asked what exactly he
does, Assange's response is long, but precise: "I'm an activist,
journalist, a software programmer and expert in cryptography, specializing in
systems designed to protect the defenders of human rights." WikiLeaks, a
site dedicated to disclosing confidential documents, is the fruit of his unique
mélange of skills, acquired over the course of an uncommon life.
Born in 1971 in a small
Australian city, Julian Assange had a nomadic childhood, because his mother
traveled non-stop across the country. As an adolescent, he discovered computer
networks and became a hacker and activist for freedom of expression on the
Internet. As a result of taking risks, he was arrested and charged with piracy,
but escaped with a fine.
TOWARD FULL TRANSPARENCY
His private life has been
equally turbulent. At age 18, he set up housekeeping with a young woman. The couple
had a child, but separated soon later. Julian Assange then launched a legal battle
for custody of the child that transformed him into a crusader against social
services in Australia.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
At the same time, he began
studying math and physics, before returning to computing. He became a
programmer and then created one of Australia's leading Internet service
providers. During this time, he began to travel the world and discover
countries where freedom of speech didn't exist. He came back convinced that
full transparency is the most effective weapon for combating tyranny.
In 2006, he founded
WikiLeaks, a site so encrypted and secure that it allowed users to expose scandal
while remaining anonymous. He very quickly succeeded in gathering around him a
small global army of volunteer geeks and journalists.
By early 2007, WikiLeaks was
ready. Within months, he vaunted to unexpected international success. The life
of Julian Assange is like a seesaw. First he became a permanent globe-trotter, and
then a planetary media star. In 2010, the scale of his crusade changed, when he
revealed military and diplomatic secrets belonging to the United States. Since
he's attacking the leading world power, his life has become enormously complicated.
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