Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London on rape charges

December 7, 2010

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been a wanted man for a while now, and not just for the thing he’s now been arrested for in London.

I would assume everyone reading this is well aware of what Wikileaks is, but for those who aren’t: Wikileaks is an organization which publishes documents obtained from anonymous sources. These documents are often of a sensitive nature, which is why they weren’t in the public domain before being leaked to the site.

Wikileaks has been around for four years now, but it’s only really been this year that it has become mainstream news fodder. Last week the site published U.S. diplomatic cables which revealed masses of information about international relations. This leak followed in the wake of leaks related to the Afghan war and the Iraq war earlier in the year.

These leaks have led many politicians and government authorities to condemn Assange as a criminal who should be arrested. In the U.S. there’s been an almost hysterical reaction to the leaks, and Assange is probably best not traveling there anytime soon.

Today saw Assange arrested on an entirely different matter, with him having been accused of “unlawful coercion, sexual molestation, and rape” by two women he is alleged to have met on a business trip to Sweden in August 2010. The Swedish authorities issued an international arrest warrant, and Assange arranged to be formally arrested in a London police station this morning. He will appear in court later today.

This is obviously a personal matter, and a serious offense to be accused of. But with Wikileaks very much in the news, and Assange himself being described as a criminal for his part in these serious security breaches, I’m afraid everything that happens to him is fair game.

The fact is that no matter what happens to Assange, Wikileaks isn’t going to disappear quietly, despite American efforts to shut it down. Wikileaks has a very wide net capable of keeping things running, as witnessed by the fact that there are currently 355 mirrors for the site across the Web. Assange’s personal issues aren’t going to knock Wikileaks out.

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