- Julian Assange
- Net Worth : $400,000 ( £300,000 )
- Change : $-2,925 - % -0.7 (Last Updated: 11.24.20 )
- Computer Programmer
In 1993, Assange was technical adviser to the Victoria Police Child Exploitation Unit and was also instrumental in creating Australia’s Suburbia Public Access Network.
After studying mathematics and physics at several Australian Universities, he ran a computer security website called Best of Security (1996), delved into cryptography (1997), and co-founded his first company Earthmen Technology (1998).
In 1999, Assange registered leaks.org and exposed a patent granted to the National Security Agency that August for voice-data harvesting technology.
Assange launched WikiLeaks in 2006, appointing himself editor-in-chief. WikiLeaks began publishing classified, anonymous information and by 2015 had become “a giant library of the world’s most persecuted documents”. However, WikiLeaks came into prominence after publishing classified information furnished by former US Army personnel Chelsea Manning, prompting an FBI manhunt for Assange.
Although a majority deemed his activities “illegal”, Assange had some support that included the Presidents of Brazil, Ecuador and Russia, besides the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai, film-maker John Pilger, linguist/activist Noam Chomsky, producer/director Oliver Stone, among others.
In 2010, he signed a $1.3 million deal for his autobiography. However, while in Sweden that August, working as a columnist for Aftonbladet, Assange got embroiled in a rape case, which dogged him to Britain calling for his extradition after being reopened. With the British Supreme Court too ruling against him, Assange jumped bail and sought asylum in London’s Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.
In 2016, he agreed to surrender to the US provided Manning “received clemency and was released immediately”, but Manning’s sentence was only commuted by President Obama in 2017.
The Swedish rape case was dropped against Assange on May 19, 2017, nonetheless investigation could recommence if Assange landed in Sweden before August 2020.
Assange’s awards include: Economist New Media Award (2008), Amnesty International UK Media Awards (2009), TIME Person of the Year, Reader’s Choice (2010), Sam Adams Award (2010), Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal (2011), Martha Gellhorn Prize (2011), Walkley Award (2011), Voltaire Award for Free Speech (2011), Big Brother Awards Hero of Privacy (2012), Global Exchange Human Rights Award, People’s Choice (2013) and Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts (2013).
He has contributed to Suelette Dreyfus’ book Underground (1997), and authored Cypherpunks (2012), When Google Met WikiLeaks (2014), and The WikiLeaks Files (2015).
Producing the documentary films Collateral Murder (2010), Mediastan (2013) and The Engineer (2013), apart from hosting the TV show The World of Tomorrow (2012), he is also featured in the documentaries The War You Don’t See (2010), Citizenfour (2014), The Yes Men Are Revolting (2014), Terminal F/Chasing Edward Snowden (2015) and Risk (2016).