Julian Assange: Is the WikiLeaks Whistle-blower 2010’s Person of the Year?

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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Updates, Dec. 1 – Exclusive video of Assange saying Hillary Clinton should resign; the full transcript of TIME’s Assange interview, and never-before-seen footage of Assange talking with TIME about politics and privacy: “Of course there are legitimate secrets, but…

There was a time that diplomatic dissension remained behind closed doors.

No matter how much ire international governments display, the damage has been done. Sunday marked the arrival of another quarter-million dispatches via WikiLeaks.org. The online portal has planted Julian Assange as the mastermind behind government misconduct reaching the forefront of public consumption.

(See the 10 most shocking leaks ever.)

Assange’s exploits have cemented him as a candidate for TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year — so much so that past TIME 100 honores went out on a limb to explain why he was their choice. “For better or for worse, Julian Assange has changed the accessibility to knowledge of the two wars that involve the U.S., within a matter of months,” said Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks. “He has also put journalistic integrity on a knife-blade edge: What is the responsibility of the journalist to make public or keep private?”

(See more 2010 Person-of-the-Year nominations from past TIME 100 honorees.)

More than 80,000 readers have cast their vote for Assange. Make your voice heard for any one of our candidates by voting at TIME.com. Or, talk about all the highlights in person at one of our 40 meetup locations around the globe.

(See TIME’s Q&A with Julian Assange.)