Assange judged people on their `usefulness`: Book

Leaked excerpts of a book suggest WikiLeaks founder is a power obsessed man.

Melbourne: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a power obsessed man who always judged people on their "usefulness", according to leaked excerpts of a tell-all book by a WikiLeaks defector.

Assange`s former colleague, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, in his book set for release in 16 countries, said the "chaotic" WikiLeaks cannot protect its sources and accuses Assange of being economical with the truth.

Domscheit-Berg, along with others, left WikiLeaks in September complaining that Assange was autocratic and the organisation was becoming excessively secretive.

The book excerpts were revealed today in `The Australian` newspaper.

"Julian had made a huge impression on me. This lanky Australian was someone who didn`t let anyone boss him around or stop him from pursuing his work. He was also well read and had strong opinions about a number of topics," the book said.

His book says Assange always judged people on their "usefulness", however he defined that category in a given situation.

"In his eyes, even particularly gifted hackers were idiots if they didn`t apply their talents toward a larger goal. Even back then I thought that his uncompromising personality and extreme opinions, which he would simply spit out undiplomatically, would put him at odds with a lot of people," it added.

"I didn`t ask myself then whether his behaviour was normal or not. For me, Julian Assange was not only the founder of WikiLeaks but also the hacker known as Mendax, a member of the famous International Subversives, one of the greatest hackers in the world, and the co-author-researcher (with Suelette Dreyfus) of Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession from the Electronic Frontier, a highly respected book among connoisseurs," the author wrote.

The book said Assange did not have a fixed address, and he often crashed at other people`s places.

"At the end of 2008, Julian came to Wiesbaden and lived with me for two months. This was typical of him. He didn`t have a fixed address, crashing instead at other people`s places."

"Usually, all he carried with him was his backpack with his two notebook computers and a bunch of cell-phone chargers, although he could seldom find the one he needed.”

"He wore several layers of clothing. Even indoors, he wore two pairs of pants - though I`ve never understood why - and even several pairs of socks," it added.

PTI

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