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WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy
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WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  633 ratings  ·  86 reviews
A team of journalists with unparalleled inside access provides the first full, in-depth account of WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange, and the ethical, legal, and political controversies it has both uncovered and provoked.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by PublicAffairs (first published 2011)
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"Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste
Peter Miller
I'm not telling you what I think of this book, because it's a secret. However, it really was a Lady Gaga CD. Allegedly.
Sharp, systematic, chronological narrative that focuses on the effects of WikiLeaks’ whistleblowing activities, from a global political perspective. Much space devoted to succinct descriptions of the leaked documents and their impact on international relations and government policy. Written from a relatively detached "outsider’s" point of view and based on verifiable information, with little of the sensationalized personality profiling and gratuitous speculation that afflicts many biographies- l ...more
This very well written book from the Guardian journalists who worked with WikiLeaks to break the story gives a lot of interesting backstory to the cables, the alleged leaker Bradley Manning (who so far has been the real innocent victim of all this - a disillusioned kid from the bible belt who only joined the Army to please a father who disowned him after he revealed he was gay) and of course Julian Assange (who comes out of this a much more human creature, full of foibles - such as the 'Aussie c ...more
The book gives a good overview of the Wikileaks situation to date. Its more of a blatant attempt bythe Guardian to cash in on the Julian Assange drama one feels, rather than an attempt to give a heretofore unseen side of the Wikileaks story.

Most of the book deals with the documented story of Wikileaks, only more analytically and with a level of perspective that has built up over the ensuing months. It also takes a bit of a dim view of Assange himself and one can sense a clear vein of arrogance t
Akshat Upadhyay
The book in itself is very informative. It chronicles Assange's childhood, his relationship with his mother and her lovers, his random quirks, his idiosyncrasies, his misbegotten notion of being the sole progenitor of Wikileaks et al. The authors, both of them respected journalists at the Guardian, dealt with Assange publicly and therefore, can give a much more explicit and extensive view of his personality and thought process.

Wikileaks was meant to be launched as a user modified platform for c
I couldn't put this down. A fascinating expose by London Guardian reporters into Assange's personality and the process of releasing the Afghanistan, Iraq, and diplomatic logs to the public. Goes into great detail about the Swedish rape charges.
Joy H.
Jan 16, 2015 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
I watched the movie, "The Fifth Estate" via a DVD from our public library. The film was adapted from this book and some others (see below). I was mainly interested in seeing the actor Benedict Cumberbatch who played the part of Julian Assange.
IMDb page:

Below is a summary about the movie from my library catalog:
"Summary: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg team up to become underground watchd
Irene Niessen
I started reading this book a few years ago and somehow never finished it. The whole Snowden affair made me want to pick it up again and I do not regret it. To start with, it is a nice piece of juicy journalism. More importantly, it shows us there is no such thing as a public secret. For me it is not so much the content of what is revealed by whistleblowers like Snowden and Assange that suprises me. It is the extent to what governments go through in order to keep it quiet. And it is so unnecessa ...more
Amador Cardenas
WikiLeaks is a very informative story about how the website WikiLeaks came to be a controversial site. His site included various videos and accounts from soldiers in Afghanistan, at the time, these videos being posted on Youtube were making front page news. Everybody found out about the civilian casualties in Afghanistan, its not all about our "Hero's".If you don't already know what WikiLeaks is then this will be an interesting story about the hacker who created it.

Julian Assange the man behin
Catherine White
Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy is a first hand account into the Wikileaks release of the Afghanistan, Iraq, and diplomatic logs to the public.

Despite the bias of the journalists against Bradley Manning, it is an informed account of the relationship between Bradley Manning and Julian Assange; and The Guardian and Wikileaks.

The writers (who were the journalists in collaboration with Julian Assange) present themselves and The Guardian as moral guardians who educated Julian Assang
This book written by editor and war correspondent in Guardian leading UK Newspaper. The style of writing bit close to spy novel rather than fact finding with such exciting characters and chronologies. I found it very helpful to explain the rise of Julian Assange from humble hacker into stardom of free information. It looks deeper to the core of democracy and secrecy. Do Government has a right to keep secret? Who has the accountability to public or even to the world?

Julian Assange undoubtedly be
A fascinating and enjoyable read. I've read a bit about Assange and there is plenty more detail here to round out the portrait of this unusual and compelling individual. Alongside the story of the leaks and the individuals involved of course are the cables themselves. It really is fascinating to get a glimpse into the world of international diplomacy and what goes on inside the embassy and behind the bland smiles. The long appendices with some of the juicier and more interesting leaked cables ar ...more
An interesting insight into the secretive world (no pun intended!) of WikiLeaks and especially of its founder, the enigmatic Julian Assange. This book gives some of the background story of Assange, his unusual upbringing and entry in the world of "hacktivism" in the 1990s and examines his motivation for seeking to make the secrets of the wealthy and powerful open to public scrutiny. The book also goes in to the connected story of Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning and why that young US soldier was wi ...more
An interesting but not a riveting read.
Julian comes across as an intelligent man, driven by a fractured childhood. A gifted hacker who, by serendipitous circumstances crosses paths on the internet with a troubled young US Army private, who unbelievably had access to reams of sensitive military and diplomatic traffic.
This book, written under the auspices of The Guardian, gives us a shallow view of a silly imbroglio that by all rules of statecraft, should have never happened.
As is normal in today'
I would recommend this book to other people because for one it is written very well and also because it opened my understanding of of how the government keep so much secret even though it should be shared with the public. For instance i learnt after reading the book that a hacker by the name of Julian Asange had hacked information and gotten hold of military footage of an Apache Helicopter killing innocent civilians in Afgahnastan. Afterwards i searched it up on google and sure enough they defin ...more
Eminently readable account of Assange and the Wikileaks saga from the Guardian hacks who worked with him on the release of much of the leaked US material into the public domain. Assange is a divisive figure of course, but you may finish this feeling sorry for his helper, the US marine Bradley Manning. He can look forward to years in jail while the authors point out that State Department got over the disclosures remarkably quickly and even Assange has scored a book deal. The key US cables are at ...more
Richard Thompson
Assange is an interesting character. The WikiLeaks concept is a good one, but it seemed obvious that just dumping a lot of data onto the Net is not a useful thing; you need to sort and edit and analyze and then, arguably, the information is not longer "free".

Interestingly, the subject of information (freedom of and access to, cryptography, information and meaning, networks...) has been a major focus of three books (each of which I happened upon indepentently and an in a diffent context) that I h
Не устаю удивляться, насколько психологически изломаны и отличаются от "среднего члена общества" те, кто выполняют очень нужные обществу функции, вполне искренне "ложащиеся на амбразуру".
Иметь в друзьях Маннига или Ассанжа очень мало кому захочется, но общество функционирует в том числе благодаря тому, что они есть.
Что касается самой книжки, написана она неплохо, сказывается журналистский опыт авторов. Я вначале сомневался, не может ли такой толстенький томик оказаться щедро "разбавленным водой"
Rob Bailey
A fascinating insight into the workings of WikiLeaks and the story which created the myth of Julian Assange. Written as part-biography, part-thriller, part-textbook it is an essential read for anyone interested in the future of investigative journalism and the power of citizen journalism on the internet. Yet it also reveals the naivety of Assange... how he struggled with the ethical questions raised by the leak of the diplomatic cables and his fraught relationship with traditional media. If he w ...more
Stuart Berman
Fascinating biography of Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks story through February 2011. The authors work for the Guardian and present credible and detailed accounts of Assange and his story and don't hesitate to comment on his narcissism. The book does a very fair job discussing the rape charges brought against Assange by two Swedish women which Assange and his supporters see as a form of conspiracy or at least opportunism when in reality Assange refuses to see his own actions for what they were, ...more
Rui Cordeiro
Reading this book I've found a kind of positive image or aura created around Julian Assange by the two authors and being both journalists, they should have avoided to create a strong approach the way they did it because this way they are showing that they feel empathy to the main character when they should present a more neutral writing. Maybe their main segment of potential readers are supporters of Wikileaks, trying this way to create a semi-bookseller by selling them a friendly book. One good ...more
2013, updated edition

Dramatic, compelling and well written, but has 3 minor flaws: several chapters in the middle read like they have been written separately then merely cobbled together, rather than properly edited; the book seems to take an awkward stance on rape 'as the term is understood by many'; and, most seriously of all, Chelsea Manning is too often omitted from the narrative.
Actually borrowed this book two weeks ago from the library, and I must indeed say the authors did a pretty good job in detailing us the life and works of this hacker-cum-journo-gone molester-gone celebrity, another reason to rally behind the man of the moment Julian Assange and the idea of free access of information! Keep it up the guardian veterans...
Reads like a thriller suspense novel. But what was interesting is the collaborative journalism that was going on prior to the publication of the Afghan, Iraq and Embassy logs. That made for an interesting read. Reveals a lot about the dynamics and the inner-workings of top publications in the world. I would recommend it for media studies.
Elliot Richards
A fascinating read, I thought it provided a balanced account of WikiLeaks, and of Assange as somewhat aloof, arrogant and gregarious. The back room accounts of international newspaper hand wringing was equally riveting to read. The included referenced cables in the appendix is a good finishing touch.
Chiefly, I think this book now suffers from being out-of-date; the story ends with Assange being released on bail pending his extradition hearing, and so obviously lacks anything about his subsequent flight to the Ecuadorean embassy, nor Manning's trial, sentencing and change of gender. It does, however, provide interesting insight into the lead-up to and background of the "biggest leak in history".
In particular, I would have been interested to see some commentary on the subsequent Snowden leak
Steven Yenzer
I found WikiLeaks strangely uninformative. I didn't feel like I had a particularly deep understanding of the situation from its coverage in the news -- in fact, I hadn't even read many of the articles produced by these leaks. But Leigh's account didn't shed too much additional light on the WikiLeaks saga, or at least, it didn't seem to.

Perhaps it suffered from the same problem as the WikiLeaks "Cablegate" release -- an overwhelming amount of information with no compelling central narrative. Wiki
Covers Wikileaks from the point of view of the Guardian. The story is split between Assange and Manning and mostly covers Wikileaks after they had approached the major newspapers. Daniel Domscheit-Berg's book is a much more interesting read.
I have no idea how to rate this book fairly. I don't know what parts of it i genuinely believe in. But i'm insanely interested in the described events and it was worth reading.
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