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Julian Assange and his impact on the communication processes and politics - Essay Example

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The researcher explores Julian Assange and his impacts on the communication processes and politics in the globalized world. This research presents Julian Asange’s personal and professional history, his participation in communication processes, Assange and global media, Australia and Assange etc…
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Julian Assange and his impact on the communication processes and politics
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that Julian Assange was known only as an “Australian moderator of the Legal Aspects of Computer Crime mailing list and a researcher who has written extensively about hackers” in the beginning of this century, that is, before he became a controversial celebrity who all know of. This is why calling Julian Assange, a “cypherpunk revolutionary”, Robert Manne has said, “Less than twenty years ago Julian Assange was sleeping rough. Even a year ago hardly anyone knew his name. Today he is one of the best-known and most-respected human beings on earth”. The seemingly sudden rise to the fame of this Australian individual has a socio-political context and a corresponding history. The way his actions have impacted the communication processes and the politics in the globalized world is a topic that has international implications. The geopolitics of his physical location to the ideological underpinnings of his intellectual landscape that he has extended to others through the internet represents a whole new world of possibilities- in communication, freedom, and democracy. Julian Assange has been a hacker since when the first generation of computer hackers started rewriting the laws of internet communication. In the book, Underground, written by Suelette Dreyfus, and for which Assange worked as a researcher, a hacker named Mendax was featured and this hacker really was none other than Assange himself. (Manne, 2011a, p.197). It was in 1988, that Assange became a hacker (Manne, 2011a, p.197). He formed a group called International Subversives along with two other hackers (Manne, 2011a, p.197). Dreyfus (2006-07) had described the politics of this group as “fiercely anti-establishment; their motive adventure and intellectual curiosity; their strict ethic not to profit by their hacking or to harm the computers they entered” (as cited in Manne, 2011a, p.197). Assange was a member of the free software movement, he participated in the creation of NetBSD, an open source computer operating system, and got involved with a movement called cypherpunks in 1993 (Manne, 2011a, p.203-204). The idea of WikiLeaks had been borne out of this movement (Manne, 2011a, p.203). Among the cypherpunk group of hackers to which he belonged, Assange was somewhat an exception to others (who were anarcho-capitalists) by keeping a left leaning though he is an “anti-communist” (Manne, 2011a, p.211). The basic philosophy of cypherpunks was again the issue whether:
The state would strangle individual freedom and privacy through its capacity of electronic surveillance or whether autonomous individuals would eventually undermine and even destroy the state through their deployment of electronic weapons newly at hand (Manne, 2011a, p.204).

It was rumored that a 1989 attack that was carried out “from Australia on the NASA computer system via the introduction of what was called the WANK worm in an attempt to sabotage the Jupiter launch of the Galileo rocket as part of an action of anti-nuclear activists” was the work of Assange (Manne, 2011a, p.197). A programme written by Assange was named sycophant and it allowed his hacking group to hack into the US military systems (Manne, 2011a, p.197). It was when his group hacked into the Canadian telecommunications corporation NORTEL, that his hacking was found out for the first time (Manne, 2011a, p.197). In the police action that followed, Assange was arrested in a totally devastated state of mind and admitted to a hospital (Manne, 2011a, p.198). Manne (2011a) has observed that this arrest and the time spent in jail was what shaped his politics (p.198). Suburbia Public Access Network was the next war front that Assange opened (Manne, 2011a, p.200). It was a converging point for many email lists and activist groups (manne, 2011a, p.200 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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