The Busy Life of Julian Assange

February 3, 2012

For more on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, watch our 2011 film WikiSecrets.

For someone who’s been under house arrest at a secret location in England, Julian Assange has been maintaining a pretty high profile.

This week, Assange has been at Britain’s Supreme Court arguing that he should not be extradited Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault. He lost an earlier appeal in November, so this is Assange’s last chance to prevent extradition. A verdict in the case is expected in the next couple of weeks.

Assange also recently sat down for an in-depth interview with Rolling Stone, covering topics as diverse as the Justice Department’s investigation into WikiLeaks, his volatile relationship with one-time partners at The Guardian and The New York Times, Karl Rove’s connection to his extradition, the “hundreds” of women who want to marry him and his own reputation (“I don’t think I have a massive ego. I just am firm at saying no.”). He also offered a subtle critique of Michael Hastings’ interviewing skills:

“You use two recorders,” Assange says, looking at the digital recorders I’ve put down on the small coffee table. “I usually use three.”

His attention to the Q&A process may soon pay off: WikiLeaks recently announced its plans to start a talk show consisting of “in-depth conversations with key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world.” A state-run Russian television station won first broadcast rights; its first episode is slated to air this March.

And then there’s The Simpsons. Yes, Julian Assange will lend his voice to the show’s 500th episode airing Feb. 19, and will be featured as the character “Julian Assange.”

Last but certainly not least: Fox News is reporting that WikiLeaks is trying to house its servers in international waters to prevent “in an attempt to evade prosecution from U.S. law enforcement.” A possible location? The one and only “Sealand,” a floating WWII-era antiaircraft platform off the coast of England. The platform’s owners have declared it a sovereign state (recognized by no other sovereign state), and for years a group of technical renegades tried to turn it into an offshore data house. It’s really an amazing and slightly unbelievable story; take some time to read Wired’s 2000 profile of the floating digital oasis.

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