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The American Wikileaks Hacker

Jacob Appelbaum

Peter Yang

On July 29th, returning from a trip to Europe, Jacob Appelbaum, a lanky, unassuming 27-year-old wearing a black T-shirt with the slogan "Be the trouble you want to see in the world," was detained at customs by a posse of federal agents. In an interrogation room at Newark Liberty airport, he was grilled about his role in WikiLeaks, the whistle-blower group that has exposed the government's most closely guarded intelligence reports about the war in Afghanistan.

The agents photocopied his receipts, seized three of his cellphones—he owns more than a dozen—and confiscated his computer. They informed him that he was under government surveillance. They questioned him about the trove of 91,000 classified military documents that WikiLeaks had released the week before, a leak that Vietnam-era activist Daniel Ellsberg called "the largest unauthorized disclosure since the Pentagon Papers."

They demanded to know where Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was hiding. They pressed him on his opinions about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Appelbaum refused to answer. Finally, after three hours, he was released.

From Rolling Stone
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