Everyone’s familiar with WikiLeaks right? A blonde dude, the Ecuadorian embassy, cyberspace and a shit load of worrying classified documents put up online. Well that’s the bare bones of the story but it gets much more intense.
‘We Steal Secrets’ is American filmmaker Alex Gibney’s recent documentary about WikiLeaks, which is undoubtedly one of the most controversial websites that has ever existed. You’ll be pleased to know that this new film is available to all by running a quick Google search – something WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange would be chuffed about.
It’s heavy stuff but this documentary keeps you gripped from start to finish. Some of you might be reluctant to watch it incase the FBI, CIA or NSA blacklist your name — subjecting you to surveillance for the rest of your life, so I’ve taken the risk for you and here are my personal, but selective highlights.
Check out the trailer for ‘We Steal Secrets’ before you read on:
Julian Assange knows a thing or two about using the internet. He was a serious Melbourne based hacker from an astoundingly young age going under the name of ‘Mendax’ — I hear it means noble liar in Latin. As part of a hacking group called the ‘International Subversives’ it’s rumoured he played a role in creating the WANK worm.
The WANK worm reeked havoc with NASA and the US Department of Energy’s computer systems causing a lot of embarrassment back in 1989 at the tail end of the Cold War. Nobody even knew what ‘wank’ meant. Not bad for a spotty teenager eh?
WikiLeaks was created in 2006 to “build a just society based on the truth”. Julian Assange confessed that he enjoys “crushing bastards”. And that’s exactly what he sought to do with the website — although the ethical lines here are very blurred.
Disclosed information on WikiLeaks includes: illegal toxic waste dumping in Europe, corruption in Kenya, thousands of classified documents about the Afghanistan War, Guantanamo Bay files and the tragic footage of Iraqi journalists being killed by a US Apache helicopter in July 2007 — now commonly known as the Collateral Murder video.