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Freedom of speech
(Just watch what you say)
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Two years ago, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was being widely hailed as a hero and a champion of free speech and freedom of the press.WikiLeaks exposure of corruption on the part of Iceland’s biggest banks led to investigations and prosecutions. The same thing happened with the exposure of injustices and corruption on the part of oil magnates in Peru, the publication of material documenting extrajudicial killings in Kenya, and a report of toxic waste dumping on the African coast.Assange was awarded the 2010 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence.In September 2010, Assange was voted as number 23 among the "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010" by the British magazine New Statesman. In their November/December issue, Utne Reader magazine named Assange as one of the "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World".In November he was leading in the poll for Time magazine's "Person of the Year, 2010"Then WikiLeaks began releasing a massive trove of “secret” U.S. State department diplomatic cables, which seem to mostly consist of messages in which high ranking government officials say rude things about the leaders of other countries.These messages seem to amount to a lot of grade-school gossip and name-calling.Suddenly WikiLeaks is under attack from all sides.The website is struggling to stay online just days after Amazon pulled the site from its servers following political pressure.The U.S. State Department has blocked all its employees from accessing the site and is warning all government employees not to read the cables, even at home.Swedish authorities are seeking Assange for questioning related to allegations of sexual assault on two women.Assange and his supporters have denied the accusations, calling them part of an elaborate plot to silence WikiLeaks.