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Factbox - Who is Julian Assange?

Here are some facts about Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks website, which is dedicated to leaking confidential information to the public:

india Updated: Dec 03, 2010 18:19 IST

Here are some facts about Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks website, which is dedicated to leaking confidential information to the public:

PERSONAL LIFE

-- Assange was born in Townsville, Australia, in July 1971, to parents who were involved in theatre and travelled frequently. Assange's mother runs a puppet theatre.

-- In his teens, Assange gained a reputation as a sophisticated computer programmer.

-- In 1995 he was arrested and pleaded guilty to hacking. He was fined, but avoided prison on condition he did not reoffend.

-- In his late 20s, he went to Melbourne University to study mathematics and physics.

-- Assange, already completely grey-haired at a young age, has no permanent home and is often seen carrying a rucksack, moving from city to city and staying with friends in countries from Iceland to Kenya.

-- He is described by those he has worked with as highly intelligent, determined, intense and at times paranoid.

-- He is known for being highly secretive. It has been reported that he carries several mobile phones and at one point believed he was being followed.

-- Authorities in Sweden, where Assange spends much of his time, are seeking to have him detained to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct made by two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers. He denies any wrongdoing.

WIKILEAKS WEBSITE

-- Assange began WikiLeaks in 2006, creating a web-based "dead letter drop" for would-be leakers.

-- His has five full-time staff, several dozen active volunteers and 800 part-time volunteers. Assange says he has received hundreds of documents and does not have enough resources to go through all of them.

-- Assange says he thinks there is still a place for investigative journalism and hopes that WikiLeaks can complement traditional media.

-- He says that WikiLeaks has never compromised a source.

-- Assange is an avid user of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter and is known for his sometimes sharply worded tweets. WikiLeaks' pages have some 300,000 to 400,000 followers.