Show Hide image

50 People Who Matter 2011 | 40. Julian Assange

Blond bombshell-dropper.

It has been a relatively quiet year for Julian Assange, stuck under curfew in a house in Norfolk, still awaiting a decision on whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges. Nevertheless, the ripples from WikiLeaks's three big scoops of last year - the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs and the US embassy cables - continue to be felt. With typical humility, Assange claimed that Cablegate fuelled the Arab spring uprisings by making the corruption of the Mubarak and Ben Ali regimes undeniable. That might be true but it is hard to see how WikiLeaks can produce further scoops: the decision to publish the entire stash of cables, with the names of informants and activists unredacted, has alienated many past supporters, including human rights groups and five of its media partners.

Previous: 39. Simon Cowell

Next: 41. Mark Thompson

Back to list

This article first appeared in the 26 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The fifty people who matter