This film dramatizes the rise of WikiLeaks through the work of Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his first collaborator Daniel Berg (Daniel Bruhl). The pair establish a network of file servers and volunteers throughout Europe using Berg's contacts and Assange's "untraceable" algorithm.
The first major leak dramatized is the uncovering of alleged illegal activities by the Julius Baer bank in Switzerland. Other leaks depicted in the film include illegal killings by the Kenyan Police, the list of names in the right-wing British National Party, pager messages sent during the 9/11 attacks and the 7/12/07 Baghdad airstrike video that killed two Reuters employees.
The climax of the film centers around the leaks by Bradley Manning, the disclosure of thousands of U.S. Diplomatic Cables and the trove of Afghan War Documents containing details of the U.S.- Afghan War that were never publically released. Assange and Berg fight about the uncensored release of this information and the unintended consequences and danger to lives that the un-redacted, un-edited release will cause. Berg leaves the organization, disabling the WikiLeaks servers in the process.
The film ends with the dismissal of Sarah Shaw (Laura Linney) from her U.S. Administration post and Assange, now hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London under threat of extradition to Sweden for a rape warrant and further legal consequences in the U.S, claiming that WikiLeaks continues to exist and that the events depicted in any movie about WikiLeaks will be inaccurate.
Thanks Evil Ed!