Australian Julian Paul Assange became known worldwide as a politically active journalist and spokesperson for the WikiLeaks revelation website. He repeatedly published secret documents revealing human rights violations or war crimes because he believed that the public should be told.
He has been honored with awards such as the Economist Index on Censorship Award and the Amnesty International Media Award. Since its inception, the transparency and freedom of information on the Internet is again highly discussed.
Assange was born July 3, 1971 in Townsville, Queensland, the son of a traveling circus family. After separation of the parents followed frequent changes of residence, and the visit to many different schools. At the University of Melbourne he studies physics and math without graduating.
Believing that all information should be accessible to everyone, he joined the hacker group "The International Subversives" and became active under the pseudonym "Mendax". Many arrests, charges, house searches, and suspended sentences were for Assange, now married and the father of a son, the consequences.
Financed with donations through the launch of WikiLeaks in 2006, he became a public speaker and co-founder. Other secret documents, which were particularly damaging to the US government, were made accessible to the world.
The government now views Assange as a threat to its national security, and is publicly viewed by its politicians as a terrorist to be prosecuted.
US authorities have been investigating internationally since June 2010 for crimes involving the procurement and distribution of NATO secret documents.
Since August 2010, Assange has now disappeared in Sweden, is running a warrant for attempted rape, sexual harassment and coercion. Assange confesses innocent, expressing the suspicion that it is a conspiracy on the part of the US against him and fears the extradition.
In December 2010, Assange is in London, arrested and released on bail. He is currently under house arrest, awaiting further trial appointments and writing on his autobiography, which will be released April 2011 under the name "Julian Assange - The Man Who Changes the World".