Julian Paul Assange ( /əˈsɒnʒ/ ə-sonzh; born 3 July 1971) is an Australian publisher, journalist, computer programmer and Internet activist. He is the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website and conduit for worldwide news leaks, with the stated purpose of creating open governments. Assange was a hacker in his youth, before becoming a computer programmer. He has lived in several countries and has made public appearances in many parts of the world to speak about freedom of the press, censorship and investigative journalism.
Assange serves on the WikiLeaks advisory board. WikiLeaks has published material about extrajudicial killings in Kenya, toxic waste dumping in Côte d'Ivoire, Church of Scientology manuals, Guantanamo Bay procedures, and banks such as Kaupthing and Julius Baer. In 2010, WikiLeaks published Iraq War documents and Afghan War documents about American involvement in the wars, some of which was classified material. On 28 November 2010, WikiLeaks and its five international print media partners (Der Spiegel, The New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian and El País) began publishing U.S. diplomatic cables.
Assange received a number of awards and nominations, including the 2009 Amnesty International Media Award for publishing material about extrajudicial killings in Kenya and Readers' Choice for TIME magazine's 2010 Person of the Year.