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By Bruce Sussman
Mon | Apr 15, 2019 | 8:03 AM PDT

When officials arrested Julian Assange on a hacking charge last week, he made headlines around the world. Again.

But those headlines, and many of the stories, left out some really interesting facts about the WikiLeaks founder.

Here are three things you may not have heard about in his headline-grabbing arrest.

1. Cracking a password

The exact language U.S. prosecutors are using against him in the hacking indictment comes down to this: Assange offered to help U.S. government data leaker Chelsea Manning with a password that was standing in her way of getting more information.

"On or about March 8, 2010, Assange agreed to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on United States Department of Defense Computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network, a United States government network used for classified documents and communications...."

This is tied to a "Jabber" chat conversation between the two:

"On or about March 8, 2010, Assange requested more information from Manning related to the password. Assange indicated that he had been trying to crack the password by stating that he had 'no luck so far.'"

2. Second time around

This is the second time investigators have arrested Assange on hacking charges. The first time was in the 1990s in Australia, after he hacked Nortel and allegedly some U.S. government and Australian networks as well.

The Guardian has a nice write up on what happened:

"He pleaded guilty in Melbourne's Victoria County Court to 24 counts of hacking. The prosecution described Assange as 'the most active' and 'most skilful' of the group, and pressed for a prison sentence. Assange's motive, according to the prosecution, was 'simply an arrogance and a desire to show off his computer skills.' The judge agreed and accepted his guilty plea but did not give him any jail time."

3. Reality television

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson held a YouTube press conference on the most recent arrest and proclaimed that Assange is the victim here.

"The new and unexpected thing that came into light within the last few days, is that Wikileaks uncovered an extensive spying operation against Julian Assange within the Ecuadorian Embassy. It entails a total invasion of privacy of Mr. Assange. Julian Assange has been living in a sort of Truman Show type situation in the embassy, it was a total invasion of his privacy."

"The Truman Show" movie starred Jim Carrey as Truman, whose life was part of a TV set where a live broadcast of his every move is captured by hidden cameras. And about the livestream: guess who posted the Assange arrest press conference. Russia Today, the Russian-owned news network that loves making fun of Western nations. Here is the livestream:  

So there you have it, three things about the WikiLeaks founder's arrest you may not have gotten just from the headlines.

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