Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

Julian Assange has been making waves recently for publishing thousands of secret military documents related to the Afghan war, via the site he created, WikiLeaks.

Some of the most recent controversial entries posted on WikiLeaks include alleged killings of innocent Afghan civilians by the American forces; US government concerns regarding the possibility of their Pakistani intelligence aiding the Taliban; even the disturbing “collateral murder” video wherein a US helicopter crew is seen gunning down a group that included two Reuters journalists in Iraq.

In the June issue of the New Yorker, it was said that Assange was born in northeast Australia in 1971 where, until he turned 15, he and his mother moved from one house to another 37 times. Since this nomadic life made it hard for him to have regular schooling, he educated himself at libraries and later on learned to program on PCs.

While programming became second nature for him, it was turned into hacking when he started to go online via the Internet. He was arrested in 1991 and charged with more than 30 criminal counts related to his hacking. Facing as many as 10 years in prison, Assange struck a deal wherein he just have to pay a fine.

In recent interviews, Assange calls what he does as “scientific journalism.”

“Journalism should be more like science,” Assange told The Guardian. “As far as possible, facts should be verifiable.”