Seven years after launching an investigation into allegations of sexual assault brought against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Swedish Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny retired the field earlier today, formally closing her investigation. After being holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 19, 2012, Assange now has the freedom to, well, not exactly walk out a free man.
Many believe that United States government officials are eager to pick up where Sweden has now left off, with the intention of arresting and prosecuting Assange for the role of WikiLeaks in releasing mountains of stolen U.S. documents to the public. British police, who maintained all-hours surveillance of the embassy for several years after Assange first moved in, have publicly declared their intent to arrest him should he emerge.
So though he managed to wait out one government determined to punish him for his alleged crimes, Assange seems likely to embark into a whole new waiting game. Given that various versions of his story have already been put forth by Hollywood, it could be that Assange will again be tried in the court of public opinion before ever submitting himself to anyone's actual court proceedings.
There is an IT certification angle in all of fhis, we promise. Depending on your view of Assange and his stated intentions for WikiLeaks, there's an argument to be made that his persistent and systematic "hacktivism" is a noble calling being pursued to serve noble ends. Assange isn't the first hacker to use that unique skill set to serve the greater good — at least in theory — instead of actively attacking organizations and individuals.
There's even a certification for that: the popular Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential curated by U.S.-based e-commerce and cybersecurity association EC-Council. "Ethical hacking" is the practice of using the tools and methods of hackers to test security systems by essentially (in authorized circumstances) breaking and entering. (Sort of like the team from that one Robert Redford movie.)
CEH certification is no walk in the park, but it could certainly be something to work toward if you already have your Security Pro credential from TestOut Continuing Education and your Security+ cert from CompTIA. If you are interested in CEH and you'd like to learn more about the credential, then click over to CertMag.com, where there's an excellent profile of CEH certification assembled from recent Salary Survey data.