Jeremy Hammond is a 28-year-old political activist awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to the Anonymous conspiracy to hack the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). A longtime proponent of “hactivism,” his actions are a form of electronic civil disobedience. He believes that “people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors.”
The Stratfor emails published by WikiLeaks reveal the intricate and troubling relationship between unregulated private corporations and government agencies involved in security and intelligence. The emails show how Stratfor employs a network of paid informants that includes government employees and journalists. Some examples of the continuing revelations from the thousands of hacked emails show, that Stratfor was hired by: Dow Chemical to spy on people seeking redress for the victims of the Bhopal environmental disaster; the Texas Department of Public Safety to infiltrate the activist community of Occupy Austin, and by Coca Cola to gather intelligence on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The case against Hammond and his international co-defendants is based upon the FBI‘s use of an informant, Hector Monsegur (“Sabu”), who under FBI direction infiltrated Anonymous. So complete was its control that agents, at times, assumed the hacker’s identity. The FBI supplied the server to hold the hacked data and proposed and facilitated the hacking of hundreds of targets of its own choosing.
Sabu’s cooperation led to numerous arrests of hactivists worldwide, many who have since pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. Jeremy’s co-defendants from England and Ireland have received sentences ranging from Probation to 30 months and are not likely to be extradited to the U.S. Several have publicly renounced their actions and given lengthy statements to the authorities.
Originally facing a sentence totaling more than 35 years and additional indictments in 12 other federal jurisdictions, Jeremy pled to a single count of conspiracy under the draconian the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). On November 15, 2013, despite filing 265 letters of support from including friends, family, journalists, academics, members of the tech community, and noted whistleblowers calling for a sentence of time-served, Jeremy was sentenced to ten years in federal prison – the maximum allowed under his plea agreement.
The government celebrates the conviction of political hackers as a victory, citing “national security” in order to justify the expansion of computer crime laws and expending billions of dollars on classified cyber security operations. But, today as a result of Edward Snowden’s revelations, public opinion is turning against the NSA’s warrantless surveillance and offensive cyber war and the politically motivated prosecution of whistleblowers.
Jeremy deserves our support for his efforts to expose injustice and create a more transparent, democratic and egalitarian society.
FREE JEREMY! SUPPORT DISCLOSURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY!
This page is available for download in both Microsoft Word and PDF formats. You can also click here for a downloadable brochure about Jeremy, graciously provided by our friends at the NYC Anarchist Black Cross.