Julian Paul Assange (born 1971) is an
Australian journalist, programmer and Internet activist, best known for
his involvement with Wikileaks
, a whistleblower
website. Wikileaks was founded in 2006. Assange now sits on its nine-member advisory board, and is a prominent media spokesman on its behalf. He has also been described as the site's director and founder (although he does not use the latter term for himself), and has stated that he has the final decision in the process of vetting documents submitted to the site. Like all others working for the site, Assange is an unpaid volunteer.
Assange was the winner of the 2009 Amnesty International Media Award (New Media), awarded for exposing extrajudicial assassinations in Kenya with the investigation The Cry of Blood - Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances.
In accepting the Amnesty International Media Award 2009, Mr. Assange stated:
It is a reflection of the courage and strength of Kenyan civil society that this injustice was documented. Through the tremendous work of organizations such as the Oscar foundation, the KNHCR, Mars Group Kenya and others we had the primary support we needed to expose these murders to the world. I know that they will not rest, and we will not rest, until justice is done.
—“WikiLeaks wins Amnesty International 2009 Media Award for exposing Extra judicial killings in Kenya”.
He has also won the 2008 Economist Index on Censorship Award; and various other media awards.
Assange says that Wikileaks has released more classified documents than the rest of the world press combined:
That's not something I say as a way of saying how successful we are - rather, that shows you the parlous state of the rest of the media. How is it that a team of five people has managed to release to the public more suppressed information, at that level, than the rest of the world press combined? It's disgraceful.