Feeds

Assange traveled in drag to evade gov spooks

'Can't imagine how ridiculous it was'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Julian Assange's wariness of government spooks ran so high that the WikiLeaks founder resorted to disguising himself as a woman when traveling, according to a profile published Monday by The Guardian.

As Assange's entourage moved from London to the village of Ellingham, the battered red car they rode in periodically pulled off the road with lights killed to make sure it wasn't being followed.

“You can't imagine how ridiculous it was,” James Ball, a one-time volunteer for WikiLeaks, said of the 6-foot-2-inch Assange. “He'd stayed dressed up as an old woman for more than two hours.”

The 2,700-word feature travels a fair amount of ground that by now is familiar to many. As a child growing up in Australia, the nomadic Assange attended no fewer than 37 schools, was estranged from his birth father, and as a teen took an early liking to a Commodore 64, which opened up the world of hacking. In 1991, Assange and two hacking acquaintances targeted the US military's MILNET. Assange would later claim he had total control over the network for more than two years, thanks to a backdoor he found.

He eventually pleaded guilty to 24 counts of hacking. Prosecutors said Assange's motive was “simply an arrogance and a desire to show off his computer skills.”

The profile said Assange's biological father, one John Shipton, was largely missing from his son's life until age 25.

“Later they met, with Julian discovering he had inherited his architect father's highly logical and dispassionate intellect,” The Guardian said. “One friend said Shipton was 'like a mirror shining back at Julian.'”

When Assange registered the wikileaks.org domain name in 2006, he did so under Shipton's name. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.