The world was astonished when Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, was arrested on April 11th. Assange had been living in Ecuador’s embassy in Britain for seven years, fearing he would be arrested after two WikiLeaks volunteers accused him of sexual assault. On April 11th, the Ecuadorian government revoked the asylum they had given Assange, allowing for him to be arrested.
Assange has had a number of controversies. His supporters believe him to be brave and a fighter for the truth, but his critics think that he only seeks attention and that the secrets he has published have endangered people. Not only was he involved with the release of violent Iraq war footage, but he was accused of sex crimes by two women. Assange denied these allegations and began to live in Ecuador’s embassy in Britain.
In 1995, Assange and his friend were accused of dozens of hacking activities. He was skilled enough to track the detectives tracking them, but he was eventually caught and was fined several thousand Australian dollars, escaping a prison term only on the condition that he wouldn’t commit any hacking crimes again.
WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization that publishes secret information and classified media provided by anonymous sources. WikiLeaks was founded in 2006, but the first time it was widely recognized was in 2010 when it published 90,000 classified documents on the Afghanistan war. At the time, it was considered the largest intelligence leak in US history. Since then, WikiLeaks has published many classified videos, emails, military and government documents, including around 400,000 military documents from the Iraq war.
WikiLeaks’ goal is for the government to not hold secrets from the US population. Many people like the idea of WikiLeaks, as it provides information that would otherwise be held secret, and they don’t want to feel uncertain about what the government and military does. However, some people are against it, and they see WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as traitors. They believe that the government is already doing what they can to protect us, and that we shouldn’t try to interfere with that.
Another argument that comes up is the idea of privacy. If people can’t keep anything secret, then they might start to keep their opinions to themselves. It’s hard to feel safe when classified government and military secrets are being published.
WikiLeaks is an example of how technology can create new issues. It raises questions about privacy and transparency.