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The man behind Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for many months to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, and now he's also running a campaign for office from there as well.
As we discussed in the Crowded Room a few months ago, the rumors that Assange's family and friends in Australia were working to create a Wikileaks political party and put together the necesarry filings to put him on the ballot for Senate in the state of Victoria have reportedly come to fruition, according to the Australian press.
The Wikileaks Party hasn't been officially registered with Australian authorities yet, and it's not completely clear what the party platform will be, outside of a few comments Assange made to the press in December, saying that the party would adopt "WikiLeaks' objectives of promoting openness in government and politics, and it would combat growing intrusions on individual privacy."
Wikileaks also represents the shadowy side of the crowdsourcing movement, functioning at its height as a leak repository to shed sunlight on all sorts of confidential and controversial documents. Wikileaks also served as part of the inspiration for the growth of the loose-knit hacker group Anonymous that has attacked or infiltrated the servers of a laundry list of government entities and corporations.
Polls show that Assange has a decent shot at winning the seat, but it's not clear he would be able to actually assume office, given his current legal troubles. Assange says if he wins, but is unable to serve, another Wikileaks Party nominee will take his place.
- Eric Mack is Managing Editor for Crowdsourcing.org. He has covered business, technology and politics for more than a decade for major outlets including CNET, CBS, AOL, NPR, Wired, and the New York Times. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter and Google+. Also be sure to follow Crowdsourcing.org on Twitter and join our Crowdsourcing community on Google+.