Jeremy Hammond, a former member of the hacking network Anonymous who has become a cause célèbre for hacktivists, civil libertarians and those concerned about the rights of whistleblowers, is a gifted young computer programmer who is currently spending a decade in prison. His crime? Leaking information from the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, information which revealed that Stratfor had been spying on human rights activists at the behest of corporations and the U.S. government.

In a non-cooperating plea deal, Jeremy pled guilty to one count of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Despite lodging nearly 265 letters of support calling on judge Loretta Preska to show leniency, Jeremy was sentenced to the maximum allowed under his plea agreement.

Since March of 2012, Jeremy has been cut off from his friends and family, and punished with extensive stays in solitary confinement – treatment normally reserved for the most egregious offenses. He did nothing for personal gain and everything in hopes of making the world a better place and he needs our support now more than ever. Please visit this website often to learn how you can help!

Statement from Jeremy Regarding His Plea

Today I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline.

During the past 15 months I have been relatively quiet about the specifics of my case as I worked with my lawyers to review the discovery and figure out the best legal strategy. There were numerous problems with the government’s case, including the credibility of FBI informant Hector Monsegur. However, because prosecutors stacked the charges with inflated damages figures, I was looking at a sentencing guideline range of over 30 years if I lost at trial. I have wonderful lawyers and an amazing community of people on the outside who support me. None of that changes the fact that I was likely to lose at trial. But, even if I was found not guilty at trial, the government claimed that there were eight other outstanding indictments against me from jurisdictions scattered throughout the country. If I had won this trial I would likely have been shipped across the country to face new but similar charges in a different district. The process might have repeated indefinitely. Ultimately I decided that the most practical route was to accept this plea with a maximum of a ten year sentence and immunity from prosecution in every federal court.

Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.

I have already spent 15 months in prison. For several weeks of that time I have been held in solitary confinement. I have been denied visits and phone calls with my family and friends. This plea agreement spares me, my family, and my community a repeat of this grinding process.

I would like to thank all of my friends and supporters for their amazing and ongoing gestures of solidarity. Today I am glad to shoulder the responsibility for my actions and to move one step closer to daylight.

Jeremy Hammond