Julian Assange is an Australian activist and journalist, who is best known as the founder of WikiLeaks, the secret-spilling website that gained international attention in 2010 by publishing U.S. military and diplomatic documents allegedly leaked by U.S. Army private first class Bradley Manning. A highly controversial figure alternately characterized as a hero and a villain, Assange is at the vanguard of a new generation of activists and journalists who are using technology to shine a light on abuses perpetrated by governments worldwide.
Since late 2010, Assange has been wanted by Swedish authorities in connection with a sexual assault investigation that he maintains is politically motivated. Since June of 2012, Assange has sought refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has received diplomatic asylum, in order to avoid being extradited to Sweden by British authorities. Assange has publicly stated that he believes the U.S. government wants to prosecute him in connection with the Manning case. In December 2010, Assange appeared on the cover of TIME.