"In many organizations, leaking is viewed as something that is unethical because it involves a change of loyalty between the person inside the organization and something outside the organization. We say principled leaking is when the person inside the organization defects in their behavior to humanity. That is, they break the rules that are inside the organization and they obey the rules of society--so, those rules of justice, generosity, and courage they pursue."
Julian Assange in interview with the Resist Network on June 1, 2008
Photo Linked From: http://wikileaks.org/w/images/thumb/180px-Julian_Assange.jpg
Born in Australia to a touring theatre family, Julian attended 37 schools and 6 universities. As a teenager he became Australia's most famous ethical computer hacker. Later, in the first prosecution of its type, he defended a case in the supreme court for his role as the editor of an activist electronic magazine.
He was instrumental in introducing the internet to Australia and co-founded Australia's first free speech ISP. He also founded the 'Pickup' civil rights group for children. A prolific programmer and consultant for many open-source projects and his software software is used by most large organizations and is inside every Apple computer.
He was the co-inventor of 'deniable cryptography' a system used protect human rights workers from torture. He studied mathematics, philosophy and neuroscience. He has broken stories in most major venues, travelled extensively and has been a subject of several books and documentaries. He is also the co-author of Underground published by Random house.
"Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact. Our interface is identical to Wikipedia and usable by all types of people. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources."
"We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies. All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information. Historically that information has been costly - in terms of human life and human rights. But with technological advances - the internet, and cryptography - the risks of conveying important information can be lowered. "
February 18, 2009, Wired article, "Wikileaks Forced to Leak Its Own Secret Info." When someone submitted email addresses of previous Wikileaks donors as a leak to Wikileaks, Wikileaks made the decision to post them, saying that perhaps that person meant to test their principles.
Toronto Globe and Mail's Ivor Tossell writes about Wikileaks. You have to be a subscriber or pay to read the article, but the blog Wikileads breaks down key tenets of the article:
"Wikileaks is one of the first fully post-national organizations produced during the Internet age. Meaning Wikileaks operates outside the legal, geographical and technological constraints of any one country (or any group of countries). It makes its own rules, based on its own moral code, and it has set itself up so that no single nation can shut it down."