WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden to answer sex crime allegations after judges rejected claims that moves to return him to Scandinavia were unfair and unlawful.
Judges John Thomas and Duncan Ousely said Assange should be sent to be questioned over the alleged rape of one woman and the molestation of another in Stockholm last year.
Global News looks back at how the anti-secrecy website was formed, and at some of its major controversies.
February 8, 2007 – Site for whistleblowers exposed before launch
The secret is out about a new anti-secrecy website that hasn’t even launched yet. “WikiLeaks” says it “will be the outlet for every government official, every bureaucrat, every corporate worker, who becomes privy to embarrassing information which the institution wants to hide but the public needs to know.”
November 14, 2007- Guantanamo operating manual posted
The U.S. military’s 238-page operating manual for the Guantanamo Bay prison camp is posted on WikiLeaks, providing a glimpse of the rules for detaining suspected terrorists.
September 16, 2008 – WikiLeaks posts e-mails from Sarah Palin’s hacked account
A group known as “Anonymous” admits to hacking U.S. vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s “[email protected]” account. Following the breach, two of Palin’s e-mails, her contact list and family photos were shown on WikiLeaks. The anti-secrecy website said, “Governor Palin has come under criticism for using private email accounts to conduct government business and in the process avoid transparency laws.” The exposed e-mails backed this up.
October 9, 2009 -Let’s expose even more secrets: WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks announces its plan to enable newspapers, human rights organizations, criminal investigators and others to embed an “upload a disclosure to me via WikiLeaks” form onto their websites.
October 15, 2009 – Trafigura’s internal study published
An internal study belonging to oil trading company Trafigura makes its way to WikiLeaks. The draft report, written by scientific consultant John Minton, said Trafigura used substandard processes when treating dumped petrol in Africa. The sulphur compounds left behind could harm the health of people who come in contact with it.
October 20, 2009 – BNP membership list appears on WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks publishes 13,500 names, addresses and phone numbers of the far right-wing British National Party members and supporters. Police officers, senior military officials, doctors and professors were identified.
November 17, 2009 – Climate Research Unit’s e-mails exposed
More than 1,000 e-mails belonging to workers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit are published to WikiLeaks. The messages date back a decade and reveal scientists “engaged in tricks” – or fixed data – to add fuel to the arguments that global warming is real and man-made.
November 25, 2009 – WikiLeaks publishes 9/11 pager messages
In an effort to shed more insight on the 9/11 terrorist attacks and how the day unfolded for New Yorkers, WikiLeaks decides to publish about 573,000 pager messages that were transmitted on September 11, 2001. Many of the messages were from emergency and military personnel.
“This is a historic day … and a day that has a lot of historic questions,” said WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Schmitt. “So whatever helps to understand what happened on that day is important for everyone.”
“It’s a precise second-by-second record of how the event unfolded.”
April 5, 2010 – Leaked video shows deaths of Reuters’ Iraqi staffers
Classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters employees, was released by a group that promotes leaking to fight government and corporate corruption.
July 25, 2010 – US condemns leak alleging Pakistan spy-insurgent links
The U.S. slams the release of documents allegedly showing Pakistan’s military spy service is guiding the Afghan insurgency, a White House official said.
July 26, 2010 – Canada says leaked Afghan papers could hurt troops
The leak of U.S. military documents on the war in Afghanistan could endanger Canadian troops in that country, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon says.
Also, leaked documents pertaining to the Afghanistan war shows a Canadian military photographer who died in a 2007 helicopter crash that also killed six other NATO troops was the victim of a heat-seeking missile fired by Taliban forces.
July 27, 2010 – WikiLeaks report cites previously unknown “friendly fire” incident involving Canadians
Details surface of what appears to be a previously unknown “friendly fire” incident in 2006 in Afghanistan in which four Canadians were killed and seven were injured.
August 25, 2010 – WikiLeaks releases CIA memo on U.S. terror recruits
WikiLeaks releases a secret CIA memo warning of fallout if the United States came to be seen as an “exporter of terrorism,” given al Qaeda’s interest in American recruits.
October 18, 2010 – Sweden denies residence permit to WikiLeaks founder
Sweden has denied a residence permit to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, the whistle-blowing website. Two Swedish women have accused Assange of rape and sexual molestation.
October 23, 2010 – U.S. deserter hopes WikiLeaks documents will help him stay in Canada
A U.S. army deserter says he’s hoping the new WikiLeaks release of thousands of pages of classified documents, containing accusations of human-rights abuses during the Iraq war, will bolster his bid to remain in Canada.
October 23, 2010 – WikiLeaks says logs show 15,000 more Iraq deaths
WikiLeaks says rday its release of nearly 400,000 classified U.S. files on the Iraq war showed 15,000 more Iraqi civilians died than previously thought.
November 18, 2010 – Swedish court orders arrest of Assange
A Swedish court orders Julian Assange detained on suspicion of rape and sexual molestation, and an international warrant will be issued for his arrest, according to the judge and prosecutor on the case.
November 25, 2010 – U.S. ambassador warns Cannon of WikiLeaks’ release of diplomatic cables
U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson spoke with Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon this week regarding an impending release of classified diplomatic messages by WikiLeaks that could “create tensions” among American allies.
November 18, 2010 – WikiLeaks documents expose diplomatic secrets
The Obama administration scrambles to contain damage from the unprecedented release of confidential documents that reveal the inner workings of American diplomacy, including details about Saudi calls for military strikes on Iran and questionable intelligence-gathering practices by U.S. diplomats overseas.
The first batch of a promised 251,287 documents released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks includes candid descriptions of foreign leaders and instructions tasking U.S. diplomats — including those in Canada — with gathering detailed personal information for a directive on the United Nations.
November 29, 2010 – CSIS director court complaints exposed
A diplomatic cable prepared by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa says former CSIS director Jim Judd told a senior State Department official that Canadians and their courts had an “Alice in Wonderland” world view about security.
He said judges had tied CSIS “in knots,” making it ever more difficult to detect and prevent terror attacks in Canada and abroad.
The cable was obtained by online whistleblower WikiLeaks and posted Monday by the New York Times.
December 1, 2010 – Flanagan calls for Assange assassination
Tom Flanagan, an adviser to Canada’s prime minister, said flippantly in a television interview that Assange “should be assassinated” and that U.S. President Barack Obama “should put out a contract and maybe use a drone.”
December 1, 2010 – WikiLeaks founder being persecuted: lawyer
The lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange charged Wednesday that his client is being persecuted by Swedish authorities whose accusations of sex crimes have prompted an Interpol alert for his arrest.
December 3, 2010 – Assange wants Flanagan charged
The founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange says Stephen Harper’s former adviser, Tom Flanagan, should be charged with incitement to commit murder for suggesting he should be assassinated.
December 3, 2010 – WikiLeaks out for hours after U.S. firm pulls plug
An American company that had been directing traffic to the WikiLeaks website withdrew its services late on Thursday, making the site invisible for several hours.
December 6, 2010 – Wikileaks releases list of Canadian sites ‘vital’ to U.S.
Wikileaks has divulges a secret list compiled by Washington of key infrastructure sites in Canada and around the world that could pose a critical threat to U.S. security if they come under terrorist attack.
December 7, 2010 – Assange refused bail
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was refused bail by a British court on Tuesday after he was arrested over allegations of sex crimes in Sweden.
February 2, 2011 – WikiLeaks among nominees for Nobel Peace Prize
Anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks has been nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, said the Norwegian politician behind the proposal, a day after the deadline for nominations expired.
February 7, 2011 – WikiLeaks’ founder fights extradition to Sweden
A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said today that Swedish secrecy around rape-case proceedings and his client’s global notoriety mean there is a risk of a denial of justice if he is extradited to Sweden over sex crimes allegations.
June 25, 2011 – WikiLeaks to raise funds through dinner date with Assange
WikiLeaks is raising funds by offering eight people the chance to share a meal with controversial founder Julian Assange.
August 30, 2011 – New WikiLeaks releases cause fresh concern for sources
The accelerated public disclosure of tens of thousands of previously unreleased State Department cables by the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy organization has raised new concerns about the exposure of confidential U.S. embassy sources and is proving a source of fresh diplomatic setbacks and embarrassment for the Obama administration, said current and former American officials.
September 6, 2011 – Newspaper negligence forced publication of uncensored cables: Assange
Founder Julian Assange blasted the Guardian on Tuesday, saying the British paper’s “negligence” in publishing an encryption key to uncensored files forced his organization’s hand in publishing the secret U.S. diplomatic memos.
October 24, 2011 – In a statement on October 24, 2011, WikiLeaks said that it would stop publishing in order to focus on making money – explaining that the blockade imposed by financial companies including Visa, MasterCard, Western Union and PayPal left it with no choice.
November 2, 2011 – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden to answer sex crime allegations after judges rejected claims that moves to return him to Scandinavia were unfair and unlawful.