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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Freed After US Plea Deal (Full Details Inside)

    Julian Assange, the cryptic founder of WikiLeaks who has spent the past several years in legal purgatory within the Embassy of Ecuador, is now a free man. Just when things looked bleakest, Assange made a bit of an odd agreement with the US Department of Justice, and ended up pleading guilty to unauthorized access to a classified US government network (and nothing else). The move marks the end of a years-long legal fight and enables Assange to go home to his native Australia.

    WikiLeaks rose to fame when it began posting hundreds of thousands of U.S. military and diplomatic documents leaked by former intelligence analyst score Chelsea Manning in 2010. The documents published sensitive information on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, diplomatic cables and detainee assessments at Guantanamo Bay. The unprecedented release of classified information generated global controversy, and began a worldwide conversation about government transparency, national security, and the power of individuals in the computer age.

    The US government deemed the leaks a matter of national security and attempted to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act. He was also facing up to 330 years in a US jail and extradition orders were moving ahead. But fearing a politically motivated trial, Assange went into hiding in London’s Ecuadorian embassy for seven years. Refusing to leave the embassy, he also turned into an emblem of his resistance to forces much greater than himself.

    He had also been seized by British forces in England last year and held in a high-security jail ahead of expected extradition. Assange protests On 11 April 2019, Journalists and free-speech organizations condemned the arrest of Assange, insisting he was being prosecuted for having published leaks that exposed US war crimes. But his detractors argue that Kennedy needlessly put lives on the line by leaking classified information.

    The plea deal brokered by Assange’s legal team represents a huge turnabout in the case. Though all the details are under seal, that Assange faces only a single charge – how minor a crime can it be to have drawn such ferocity against you from the US government? What exactly his sentence will be is not known, but it will be relatively short, after allowing for the time already done in the UK. This represents a real opportunity for Assange to get on with his life and even bring WikiLeaks back.

    But the story is not without some nagging concerns. The case is simple: Did Assange serve as an exemplar of transparency, as he and his fans claim, or did he violate national security with wild excess? But the debate is still raging. Whatever one thinks of this debate, the Assange case has exposed the fraught consequences of government secrecy in an age of digital media and highlighted how much more precarious public accountability is today with so few independent voices left.

    While Assange is now free to step outside the UK embassy that has been his home for the past year, the case against him harkens back to perennial questions about freedom of the press and where whistleblowing ends. The world waits, along with a good deal of relief and some unease, for news that this episode has really ended the WikiLeaks saga or is only another dramatic moment in a tale that isn’t ready to end.

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