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Inside Julian Assange's office

Go inside a scale replica of the controversial WikiLeaks founder's tiny office to find out what a five-year confinement might feel like.

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Richard Trenholm
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1 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

This office looks like any other, but it's a scale re-creation of the tiny London room where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been in self-imposed exile for almost five years, since June 19, 2012. 

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2 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Artists Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo created this scale replica of Julian Assange's office after visiting him in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. They say it's a perfect re-creation of the space where the WikiLeaks founder has lived and worked for five years.

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3 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

I visited the faux office earlier this year when it was exhibited at Liverpool, England, art centre FACT. Through the windows I could see people bustling about while music drifted in. Unlike Julian Assange, I could leave at any time. 

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4 of 25 Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

Ecuadorian Embassy

Seen here guarded by a British police officer, this is the actual Ecuadorian Embassy building in London where Julian Assange has lived and worked for five years. The embassy takes up just the ground floor and has no outdoor space.

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Assange steps outside only when addressing the media from a tiny balcony at the Ecuadorian Embassy. 

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6 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Julian Assange can only interact with the world through a computer. Back in the replica office in Liverpool, I tried to get a sense of the isolation that comes with being confined in a room this size.

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7 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Thanks to this equipment, the WikiLeaks founder influences a world he cannot physically interact with.

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8 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

An aging silver MacBook labeled "Twitter." Artists Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo claim to have meticulously recorded and reconstructed every detail of Assange's 43-square-foot sanctuary. 

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9 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

A meeting room table and chairs fill the office, which next will be displayed at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland. On the table are papers that include emails from the US government.

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10 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

A copy of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" displayed casually next to a glass of whiskey.

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11 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Folders arrayed on the bookshelves labeled "Iraq," "Scientology," "Snowden" and "Sweden." Who knows what secrets they hold... 

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12 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

An Anonymous mask gazes down of photos showing Julian Assange and Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm exchanging messages to one another from their respective confinements. Svartholm has been in prison in Sweden and Denmark on hacking and fraud charges.

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13 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

The view from Julian Assange's desk, snacks and all.

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14 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

A jumble of primitive Samsung and Nokia feature phones, presumably burners, sit on the mantlepiece. 

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15 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Like many of the books and films in the office, 1969 satire "Putney Swope" tells the story of an individual standing up to authority.

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16 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Books about Richard Nixon and the Black Panther protest movement join maverick works by authors like James Joyce, Irvine Welsh, Slavoj Žižek and Quentin Tarantino. 

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17 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Among the DVDs is Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining," about a man going mad from isolation.

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18 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Official papers fill the room. 

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19 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

From this tiny room in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Julian Assange continues to oversee WikiLeaks. 

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20 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Julian Assange has made it his mission to pull back the curtain and expose those in power, but his ties to Russia make some worry about the extent of WikiLeaks' influence.

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21 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

A train map and cinema ticket are stark reminders of the things Julian Assange, a father of two, cannot do.

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22 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Cables snake across the room to stacks of computer equipment. 

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23 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Nestled behind the desk is an oxygen mask, in case of fire -- or even a gas attack.

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24 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

In a psychological assessment released by WikiLeaks, Julian Assange said he no longer noticed the clutter.

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25 of 25 Richard Trenholm/CNET

A room of one's own

Fixed to one cream-colored wall, a fantasy of escape. After only a few hours between these four walls, I knew the feeling.

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