Internet activist Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder and director, began the infamous website in 2006. A sixteen year-old Austrailian-born Assange, lived his life as vagabond hacker and was Australia's most wanted hacker by the time he was twenty when he was first charged with 31 counts of hacking and related crimes. Today, Assange has been quoted as the “internet’s freedom fighter” and “one of the most intriguing people in the world” by the media.
The following is a brief outline since the birth of Wikileaks.org:
December: Wikileaks.org launches as an international not-for-profit website media organisation, by Sunshine Press, which provides classified government documents from anonymous sources. In the same month, the first classified document published an order of an assassination of government officials from Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a Somalian political figure.
August: Documents are published about the family corruption of former Kenyan leader, Daniel Arep Moi.
November: US army protocol, the Standard Operating Procedures for Delta Camp, at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is published.
April: Church of Scientology’s 612 page secret document is released and Wikileaks is contacted to remove the document. Instead Wikileaks gives a warning about attempts to suppress the material and then publishes thousands of more pages while calling the organisation a “cult.”
September: Sarah Palin’s email addressed is hacked into by the group Anonymous and her emails are published. November: Far-right wing British National Party’s (BNP) membership of over 13,000 members, which included government officials and police officers, is published. Police officers are not allowed to have membership in a political party and few police personnel were reprimanded. 2009
January: Wikileaks releases 600 internal UN reports some of which were marked as “strictly confidential.” Telephone recordings of the The Peruvian oil scandal “Petrogate” were also published – making front page of five major South American newspapers. March: A list of websites that would be banned as part of a legislative bill in Australia is released. The list receives mixed reactions from the public. November: Several documents and email correspondence from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of a major university in England, the email controversy known as “Climategate.” The documents revealed misconduct within the science community.
Also in November, 9/11 pagers messages that belonged to US government officials were released by intercepting the National Security Agency (NSA).
April: Video footage of a 2007 Baghdad US airstrike showed the death of Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists is released.
July: Ninety-two thousand classified documents are released on the Afghanistan war dating from 2004 to 2009, although 15,000 of the documents of yet to be released.
October: The Iraq war logs, 400,000 documents, are released and show that the US consistently ignored reports of torture by foreign military personnel in Iraq.
December: Wikileaks releases thousands of diplomatic cables that cause a pandemonium in the international diplomatic community which is scrambling redress some foreign relations that have soured.