Julian Assange is considered to be the co-founder of the Wikileaks disclosure platform, which promises insight into unethical behavior by governments and businesses. However, many critics consider the 47-year-old native Australian to be a self-satisfied actor, even risking the lives of others by publishing sensitive information.
Among other things, the disclosure platform became known through the publication of explosive American documents from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Most recently, Assange has been criticized after stealing confidential emails from Democratic servers in 2016 during the hot campaign phase in the United States Wikileaks were published. This was rated as a targeted spam against the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The servers of the democracies had been cracked by Russian security hackers, according to IT security experts.
Assange was born on July 3, 1971 in the Australian Townsville in Queensland. His stepfather ran a traveling theater. After the separation of the parents he lived in different places. Early on Assange became enthusiastic about computer technology. Even as a teenager, he gained access to third-party computers, such as government agencies and companies. At 18, he married and became a father. The marriage soon broke up. At the founding of Wikileaks 2006 Assange was a central figure.
He is also controversial within the hacker scene. There was, for example, criticism of his authoritarian style of behavior and also of allegations of sexual offenses that had been brought against him in Sweden. The charge in Sweden had then been dropped, while Assange was living in the Embassy of London in Ecuador to avoid extradition. Others worship Assange as a hero and call him charismatic. During his several years asylum at the Embassy, he has also been visited by celebrities such as pop singer Lady Gaga and actress Pamela Anderson.