Courage our network

Writing from Jeremy

In Support of #PayPal14 Fundraising Drive

When the banks, credit card corporations and PayPal imposed a financial blockade on WikiLeaks, Anonymous fought back with the largest coordinated electronic civil disobedience sit-in in history, inspiring others to take up the banner of hacktivism.

Outgunned and humiliated on the internet, PayPal went to their allies in law enforcement who arrested over a dozen suspected Anonymous members now known as the PayPal 14. Despite never having “exceeded authorized access,” the PayPal 14 were charged under the draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for what would typically result in misdemeanor trespassing or a disorderly conduct charge for the real world protest equivalent.

In addition to the second-class citizen status of a felony conviction, PayPal demanded an artificially inflated amount owed to them in restitution, totaling approximately $80,000. To complete the dog-and-pony show, should the fourteen meet the terms of their plea agreement, the felony will transfer to a misdemeanor on their record, while still showing, for statistical purposes, a CFAA felony win for the FBI. It is an unjust public shaming ritual that has adversely affected the lives of these 14 brave individuals. The PayPal 14 alone should not have to pay a multi-billion dollar corporation for an action in which tens of thousands of us participated in, which caused no actual loss or damage.

It is unfortunate (but not surprising) that wealthy social engineers such as Pierre Omidyar pay lip service to our cause but only after plea deals have been hammered out and outrageous restitutions imposed. This allows him to gain sympathy from the public while still advancing his own financial interests – his companies can still reap the benefit of the status quo, while crushing the free speech of ordinary working people and independent publishers.

Fortunately, the PayPal 14 are not alone. Our movement is only as strong as our ability to support those who get scapegoated. The PayPal 14 should not have to take all the weight of the restitution by themselves. It could have been any one of us, and so it is on us to help raise some funds.

Please donate to the PayPal 14 to help defray the costs of the restitution!

Visit the PayPal14 website to learn more about how you can donate to their restitution fund, and be sure to follow the #PayPal14 hashtag on Twitter for announcements and updates.

Jeremy Hammond Reacts to Hector Monsegur’s “Sentencing”: Reject the NSA White Hat Sabu Ideology

In many ways, the disgusting spectacle of Sabu’s hearing was similar to mine: we were both sentenced in the same courtroom under the same judge, the outcome already predetermined with all parties reading from well-rehearsed scripts. I was condemned to the maximum prison term for having committed “mass mayhem,” while Sabu received the most lenient of all Anonymous-related sentences for embracing “good, not evil”. Hugs and high-fives all around as Judge Preska saluted Sabu for having betrayed his comrades and his ideals, preventing hundreds of cyber attacks, and helping the FBI catch their “most wanted cybercrime target”.

The government hopes the case is closed and that the public will swallow this superficial narrative that even they probably had a hard time reciting in court with a straight face. But unanswered questions remain, and they have made every attempt to prevent the evidence from being seen by the public, because it provides yet another confirmation that the US is involved in widespread hacking and surveillance operations far greater than any of the supposed crimes they lock us up for.

Prosecutors assert that Sabu’s cooperation prevent “over 300 cyber attacks,” but not once during my involvement with Anonymous were any of my attacks stopped despite the FBI’s full knowledge. To be fair, while breaking into a few targets I noticed attempts to lock their systems down, but I had owned and backdoored each target so thoroughly that they were unable to protect themselves (demonstrating the futility of the defenses of so-called security professionals). Other targets the FBI never bothered to notify at all – they sat by and watched them being owned one after another. The US Attorney only explicitly charged me with hacking a dozen or so entities, but they were well aware according to chat logs and evidence recovered from my computer that there were hundreds more that have never been publicly named. I shed no tears for these law enforcement agencies and federally contracted corporations, but I wonder how they feel about the FBI’s inability or unwillingness to protect them.

The FBI was, however, very interested in our techniques and capabilities, particularly the Plesk 0day root vulnerability. When Sabu’s beggings for a copy of the exploit were denied, he scanned the internet and identified lists of vulnerable foreign government websites which he then asked me to hack. The government reframes this blatant espionage plot in their sentencing memorandum saying that Sabu helped protect other governments from cyber attacks. Because evidence was withheld (Sabu’s interviews and statements with the FBI) or under a protective order (chat logs), it is unknown what they ended up doing with these backdoors. What is clear is that the US cyber security agenda is less interested in preventing attacks on our own soil than they are using the skills of rogue hackers to spy on valuable intelligence targets.

By aggressively prosecuting hackers who play by their own rules, they want to deter others from taking up the cause and hope future arrests will yield more aspiring cooperators. We must continue to reject excuses and justifications that make it acceptable to sell out your friends and become a pawn of cyber-imperialism. Before getting involved in hacking and direct action, you should be aware of and fully prepared for the worst case scenario if caught. But fear not, because we have a strong movement of lawyers and supporters who will have your back if you get jammed up. Sabu avoided a prison sentence, but the consequences of his actions will haunt him for the rest of his life. Not even halfway through my time, I would still rather be where I’m at: while they can take away your freedom temporarily, your honor lasts forever.

Most importantly, the government hopes these arrests will have disrupted Anonymous and deterred others from engaging in politically-motivated hacking. But Anonymous is a decentralized, leaderless movement, and reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated. CEOs and cops are still getting dox’d, websites are still being defaced, and stolen databases are still being plastered all over the internet.

Show solidarity by retaliating and escalating! Reject the NSA White Hat Sabu Ideology!

May Day 2014 Message of Solidarity with the NATO 3

Rebel greetings on this year’s May Day international worker and immigrant rights day, commemorated around the world with street marches, strikes, and sabotage against the system that oppresses and exploits us all. After the May 1, 1886 general strike in Chicago, in which workers fighting for the eight-hour day were shot by police, eight anarchist labor organizers were arrested and sentenced to death for a retaliatory bombing none of them had committed. 128 years later and the rich ruling class still maintain their wealth and power through a monopoly of violence, exemplified by the brutal repression of Occupy Wall Street and targeted prosecutions such as the NATO 3, who recently received lengthy prison sentences for yet another fabricated “bomb” plot.

True to the Chicago Police Department’s legacy, they sought to disrupt protests in advance of the 2012 NATO conference by passing city ordinances limiting free speech, spending millions on new “less lethal” crowd control technology, and sending infiltrators to entrap unsuspecting activists resulting in the arrest of the NATO 3. They hoped to demonize them as “terrorists” based on a molotov cocktail plot cooked up by the CPD itself, charges so trumped up and ridiculous even the feds wouldn’t pick it up. At trial, the jury did not go for the “terrorism” charges – a victory in itself against the post-9/11 hysteria – but they were sentenced to several years in prison anyway for possession of incendiary devices and mob action.

In sentencing the three, Judge Thaddeus Wilson lectured, “As a society, in the face of threats, we don’t wait for a building or property to be damaged … peaceful protest is not synonymous with rioting,” setting yet another precedent that you can be imprisoned for even thinking about committing a crime even if you were entrapped by an undercover cop. In crafting this spectacle, the authorities wanted send a message to protesters dictating which methods of protest are “legitimate” and if you think about crossing the line you could be charged as a “terrorist.” They hoped that Occupy Wall Street, which many wanted to brand as a “non-violent movement,” would join with the police and media denouncing those arrested for unapproved forms of resistance. It was a cheap shot, and it is terrible that our friends are having to do years behind bars so that the powerful can make a political point. Fortunately, their plan failed: most everybody rallied to support those arrested, and through solid legal defense and PR, were able to convince the jury to acquit of the most serious charges and sway the public against the prosecution.

But there were also many others supposedly on our side who would not support the NATO 3, and who continue to campaign for strict adherence to “non-violence.” They seek to purge the movement of those that refuse to be controlled and corralled. I remember during the months of preparation before the NATO conference, many heated arguments of whether Occupy Chicago would co-sign the “Chicago Principles” which had already been passed by dozens of organizations. Specifically, many dogmatic pacifists opposed embracing a diversity of tactics (in which everybody could resist against NATO in any form they feel necessary without interfering with or condemning the work of others) because they were worried “violent black bloc anarchists” would ruin “their” protest, “their” city.

Since Haymarket, anarchists have always been demonized as wild-eyed, bomb-throwing crazies, propaganda perpetuated by the ruling class to turn the workers away from the idea of a self-governing society free from bosses, police, or politicians. In reality, everyday anarchists are engaged with projects like community infoshops, feeding the homeless, books to prisoners, labor organizing, and writing zines/newsletters. In arguing for the maximum sentence in my case, both the judge and prosecution dismissed any argument that I had fought for transparency, instead scolding me for wanting to “wreak havoc” and cause “mass mayhem.” But as Bakunin once said, “The passion for destruction is a creative passion.” We do need to bring down – by force if necessary – their established power structures in order to make room for an egalitarian-free society.

There have been many examples throughout history of successful militant action, from the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, the NLF victory against the US during the Vietnam War, and even the American Revolution which this supposedly free and democratic country was founded on. The Arab Spring, which many occupations tried to recreate, was not a “non-violent movement” – they held down their occupations by throwing bottles, rocks, and molotovs at the police. In Tunisia, half the police stations were looted and burned down. And most international conferences of the rich and powerful, such as the G8, NATO and the RNC/DNC are met with riots, most notably, the 1999 World Trade Organization summit in Seattle where the black bloc not only brought attention to the devastating systemic violence of the WTO, but shut it down entirely.

Those who advocate or participate in militant direct action are often snitch-jacketed as “agent provocateurs” by pacifists who sometimes go so far as to say that the government wants us to resort to violence. Such conspiracy theories are naive and dangerous: of course the ruling powers would prefer that those they screw over only voice their anger in established reformist channels such as the courts, elections and peaceful protests. They want us predictable and non-threatening to their business as usual, which is of course the greatest everyday violence of imperialism, racism, and economic inequality.

How much longer do you expect people to stay peaceful when killer cops get away with murdering unarmed citizens from Albuquerque to Fullerton to NYC, or when the US has “kill lists” of “suspected terrorists” they can execute with drone strikes anywhere in the world, murdering thousands of innocent bystanders in the process? Why are they allowed to wage war around the world and on our own streets while we are expected to obey the ineffective doctrine of non-violence?

Yes, the NATO 3 were taken advantage of by overzealous undercover police, similar to the Cleveland 4 and the majority of “terrorism” cases (see The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, by Trevor Aaronson). But I do not believe they were as naive and stoned as their lawyers (perhaps necessarily) made them out to be. It is courageous, not crazy, to risk your freedom fighting the police. We have an obligation to expose, confront, and sabotage by any means necessary the system which oppresses and exploits us all.

We cannot allow the threat of politically motivated frame-ups to deter us from taking action ourselves or exploit differences in our movements over tactical differences. The best way to show solidarity with those caught up is to escalate and retaliate: being incarcerated, it brings me great joy to hear news of riots in the streets, corporate property being destroyed or expropriated, and government websites being hacked.

Solidarity Means Attack! Fuck the civil, let’s get disobedient!

Message of Solidarity with Bhopal Survivors

Solidarity with Bhopal Survivors

Rebel greetings! I want to voice full support for the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster in their struggle for justice against Dow, a multinational corporation that continues to do everything they can to avoid taking responsibility.

Two years ago I hacked the intelligence company Stratfor and handed over all of their private email correspondence to WikiLeaks for publishing. Amongst the revelations was proof that Dow hired Stratfor to monitor the activities of Bhopal survivor activist groups.

To add further insult to injury, Dow is now suing dozens of these activist groups for 25 million Indian rupees!

This shows how profiteering multinational corporations like Dow will abuse the courts and influence international conventions so that they can continue to attack worker conditions, fair wages and environmental regulations. The UN, of which Dow sits as a Foundation member, has turned a blind eye to this human rights disaster for 30 years.

Justice will not be found in their courts so we must bring it to them in the streets. Dow’s recent tactics of desperation shows how they are worried that these activists are succeeding in bringing attention to their crimes. We must continue to expose and confront Dow!

For more information about how you can help expose and confront Dow, visit The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America. For more information about how you can help the survivors of the Bhopal Disaster, please visit Bhopal Medical Appeal.

Bhopal activists and survivors stand in solidarity with Jeremy on the anniversary of the disaster. Photo courtesy of Bhopal Medical Appeal

Bhopal activists and survivors stand in solidarity with
Jeremy on the anniversary of the disaster.
Photo courtesy of Bhopal Medical Appeal

 

 

NO COMPROMISE WITH THE US SURVEILLANCE STATE!

We will never be satisfied with whatever reforms or promises are made about the NSA surveillance and counter-intelligence programs. The spies and liars in charge are clearly not capable or interested in “reining in the NSA”: so it’s up to us to expose and dismantle it entirely. Edward Snowden should be weary of any deals or offers from US officials, especially if they involve returning documents or limiting future disclosures. Instead he should fight to remain free outside the US’s sphere of influence and up the ante by releasing unredacted NSA operation manuals and full employee and contractor names and addresses so that they could be removed from power and held accountable.

NO COMPROMISE WITH THE US SURVEILLANCE STATE!

Greetings from Manchester, Kentucky!

Greetings from Manchester, Kentucky!

It has been a miserable chain of bus rides and holdovers through MDC Brooklyn, FDC Philadelphia, FCI Petersberg VA, and USP Atlanta GA, but I have finally arrived at my destination: FCI Manchester, a medium-security federal prison in Kentucky. It is good to be able to breath fresh air in the yard and get in the groove of doing this time.

Those who were upset about the lengthy sentence, rest easy knowing that it will not break me: I remain defiant as ever, and encourage others to turn that anger into action. The purpose of their politically motivated prosecutions is to try to deter and silence us, so it’s on us now to up the ante: to escalate the struggle, to create anarchy.

Thanks everybody for having my back.

YOURS FOR THE REVOLUTION,
JEREMY

Jeremy Hammond’s Sentencing Statement, 11/15/2013

Please note: We have redacted a portion [marked in red] upon the orders of Judge Preska.  While we believe the public has a right to know the redacted information therein, we refuse to publish information that could adversely affect Jeremy or his counsel.

Good morning. Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Jeremy Hammond and I’m here to be sentenced for hacking activities carried out during my involvement with Anonymous. I have been locked up at MCC for the past 20 months and have had a lot of time to think about how I would explain my actions.

Before I begin, I want to take a moment to recognize the work of the people who have supported me. I want to thank all the lawyers and others who worked on my case: Elizabeth Fink, Susan Kellman, Sarah Kunstler, Emily Kunstler, Margaret Kunstler, and Grainne O’Neill. I also want to thank the National Lawyers Guild, the Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee and Support Network, Free Anons, the Anonymous Solidarity Network, Anarchist Black Cross, and all others who have helped me by writing a letter of support, sending me letters, attending my court dates, and spreading the word about my case. I also want to shout out my brothers and sisters behind bars and those who are still out there fighting the power.

The acts of civil disobedience and direct action that I am being sentenced for today are in line with the principles of community and equality that have guided my life. I hacked into dozens of high profile corporations and government institutions, understanding very clearly that what I was doing was against the law, and that my actions could land me back in federal prison. But I felt that I had an obligation to use my skills to expose and confront injustice—and to bring the truth to light.

Could I have achieved the same goals through legal means? I have tried everything from voting petitions to peaceful protest and have found that those in power do not want the truth to be exposed. When we speak truth to power we are ignored at best and brutally suppressed at worst. We are confronting a power structure that does not respect its own system of checks and balances, never mind the rights of it’s own citizens or the international community.

My introduction to politics was when George W. Bush stole the Presidential election in 2000, then took advantage of the waves of racism and patriotism after 9/11 to launch unprovoked imperialist wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. I took to the streets in protest naively believing our voices would be heard in Washington and we could stop the war. Instead, we were labeled as traitors, beaten, and arrested.

I have been arrested for numerous acts of civil disobedience on the streets of Chicago, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I used my computer skills to break the law in political protest. I was arrested by the FBI for hacking into the computer systems of a right-wing, pro-war group called Protest Warrior, an organization that sold racist t-shirts on their website and harassed anti-war groups. I was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the “intended loss” in my case was arbitrarily calculated by multiplying the 5000 credit cards in Protest Warrior’s database by $500, resulting in a total of $2.5 million.My sentencing guidelines were calculated on the basis of this “loss,” even though not a single credit card was used or distributed – by me or anyone else. I was sentenced to two years in prison.

While in prison I have seen for myself the ugly reality of how the criminal justice system destroys the lives of the millions of people held captive behind bars. The experience solidified my opposition to repressive forms of power and the importance of standing up for what you believe.

When I was released, I was eager to continue my involvement in struggles for social change. I didn’t want to go back to prison, so I focused on above-ground community organizing. But over time, I became frustrated with the limitations, of peaceful protest, seeing it as reformist and ineffective. The Obama administration continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, escalated the use of drones, and failed to close Guantanamo Bay.

Around this time, I was following the work of groups like Wikileaks and Anonymous. It was very inspiring to see the ideas of hactivism coming to fruition. I was particularly moved by the heroic actions of Chelsea Manning, who had exposed the atrocities committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. She took an enormous personal risk to leak this information – believing that the public had a right to know and hoping that her disclosures would be a positive step to end these abuses. It is heart-wrenching to hear about her cruel treatment in military lockup.

I thought long and hard about choosing this path again. I had to ask myself, if Chelsea Manning fell into the abysmal nightmare of prison fighting for the truth, could I in good conscience do any less, if I was able? I thought the best way to demonstrate solidarity was to continue the work of exposing and confronting corruption.

I was drawn to Anonymous because I believe in autonomous, decentralized direct action. At the time Anonymous was involved in operations in support of the Arab Spring uprisings, against censorship, and in defense of Wikileaks. I had a lot to contribute, including technical skills, and how to better articulate ideas and goals. It was an exciting time – the birth of a digital dissent movement, where the definitions and capabilities of hacktivism were being shaped.

I was especially interested in the work of the hackers of LulzSec who were breaking into some significant targets and becoming increasingly political. Around this time, I first started talking to Sabu, who was very open about the hacks he supposedly committed, and was encouraging hackers to unite and attack major government and corporate systems under the banner of Anti Security. But very early in my involvement, the other Lulzsec hackers were arrested, leaving me to break into systems and write press releases. Later, I would learn that Sabu had been the first one arrested, and that the entire time I was talking to him he was an FBI informant.

Anonymous was also involved in the early stages of Occupy Wall Street. I was regularly participating on the streets as part of Occupy Chicago and was very excited to see a worldwide mass movement against the injustices of capitalism and racism. In several short months, the “Occupations” came to an end, closed by police crackdowns and mass arrests of protestors who were kicked out of their own public parks. The repression of Anonymous and the Occupy Movement set the tone for Antisec in the following months – the majority of our hacks against police targets were in retaliation for the arrests of our comrades.

I targeted law enforcement systems because of the racism and inequality with which the criminal law is enforced. I targeted the manufacturers and distributors of military and police equipment who profit from weaponry used to advance U.S. political and economic interests abroad and to repress people at home. I targeted information security firms because they work in secret to protect government and corporate interests at the expense of individual rights, undermining and discrediting activists, journalists and other truth seekers, and spreading disinformation.

I had never even heard of Stratfor until Sabu brought it to my attention. Sabu was encouraging people to invade systems, and helping to strategize and facilitate attacks. He even provided me with vulnerabilities of targets passed on by other hackers, so it came as a great surprise when I learned that Sabu had been working with the FBI the entire time.

On December 4, 2011, Sabu was approached by another hacker who had already broken into Stratfor’s credit card database. Sabu, under the watchful eye of his government handlers, then brought the hack to Antisec by inviting this hacker to our private chatroom, where he supplied download links to the full credit card database as well as the initial vulnerability access point to Stratfor’s systems.

I spent some time researching Stratfor and reviewing the information we were given, and decided that their activities and client base made them a deserving target. I did find it ironic that Stratfor’s wealthy and powerful customer base had their credit cards used to donate to humanitarian organizations, but my main role in the attack was to retrieve Stratfor’s private email spools which is where all the dirty secrets are typically found.

It took me more than a week to gain further access into Stratfor’s internal systems, but I eventually broke into their mail server. There was so much information, we needed several servers of our own in order to transfer the emails. Sabu, who was involved with the operation at every step, offered a server, which was provided and monitored by the FBI. Over the next weeks, the emails were transferred, the credit cards were used for donations, and Stratfor’s systems were defaced and destroyed. Why the FBI would introduce us to the hacker who found the initial vulnerability and allow this hack to continue remains a mystery.

As a result of the Stratfor hack, some of the dangers of the unregulated private intelligence industry are now known. It has been revealed through Wikileaks and other journalists around the world that Stratfor maintained a worldwide network of informants that they used to engage in intrusive and possibly illegal surveillance activities on behalf of large multinational corporations.

After Stratfor, I continued to break into other targets, using a powerful “zero day exploit” allowing me administrator access to systems running the popular Plesk webhosting platform. Sabu asked me many times for access to this exploit, which I refused to give him. Without his own independent access, Sabu continued to supply me with lists of vulnerable targets. I broke into numerous websites he supplied, uploaded the stolen email accounts and databases onto Sabu’s FBI server, and handed over passwords and backdoors that enabled Sabu (and, by extension, his FBI handlers) to control these targets.

These intrusions, all of which were suggested by Sabu while cooperating with the FBI, affected thousands of domain names and consisted largely of foreign government websites, including those of XXXXXX, XXXXXX, XXXX, XXXXXX, XXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXXXXXX and the XXXXXX XXXXXXX. In one instance, Sabu and I provided access information to hackers who went on to deface and destroy many government websites in XXXXXX. I don’t know how other information I provided to him may have been used, but I think the government’s collection and use of this data needs to be investigated.

The government celebrates my conviction and imprisonment, hoping that it will close the door on the full story. I took responsibility for my actions, by pleading guilty, but when will the government be made to answer for its crimes?

The U.S. hypes the threat of hackers in order to justify the multi billion dollar cyber security industrial complex, but it is also responsible for the same conduct it aggressively prosecutes and claims to work to prevent. The hypocrisy of “law and order” and the injustices caused by capitalism cannot be cured by institutional reform but through civil disobedience and direct action. Yes I broke the law, but I believe that sometimes laws must be broken in order to make room for change.

In the immortal word of Frederick Douglas, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

This is not to say that I do not have any regrets. I realize that I released the personal information of innocent people who had nothing to do with the operations of the institutions I targeted. I apologize for the release of data that was harmful to individuals and irrelevant to my goals. I believe in the individual right to privacy – from government surveillance, and from actors like myself, and I appreciate the irony of my own involvement in the trampling of these rights. I am committed to working to make this world a better place for all of us. I still believe in the importance of hactivism as a form of civil disobedience, but it is time for me to move on to other ways of seeking change. My time in prison has taken a toll on my family, friends, and community. I know I am needed at home. I recognize that 7 years ago I stood before a different federal judge, facing similar charges, but this does not lessen the sincerity of what I say to you today.

It has taken a lot for me to write this, to explain my actions, knowing that doing so — honestly — could cost me more years of my life in prison. I am aware that I could get as many as 10 years, but I hope that I do not, as I believe there is so much work to be done.

STAY STRONG AND KEEP STRUGGLING!

Statement by Jeremy Hammond on Sabu’s Sentencing

I write this in advance of the sentence of Hector Monsegur, aka “Sabu” – a former Anonymous comrade turned FBI informant – scheduled to take place on August 23, 2013. It is widely known that Sabu was used to build cases against a number of hackers, including myself. What many do not know is that Sabu was also used by his handlers to facilitate the hacking of targets of the government’s choosing – including numerous websites belonging to foreign governments. What the United States could not accomplish legally, it used Sabu, and by extension, me and my co-defendants, to accomplish illegally. The questions that should be asked today go way beyond what an appropriate sentence for Sabu might be: Why was the United States using us to infiltrate the private networks of foreign governments? What are they doing with the information we stole? And will anyone in our government ever be held accountable for these crimes?

Statement from Jeremy Hammond, read at August 19th fundraiser

Rebel greeting!

I hope this evening finds you all in the best of health and highest of spirit. Thanks for coming out to show support for me and Barrett Brown.

I want to shout out to all my brothers and sisters locked down, here at New York Metropolitan Correctional Center, at Brooklyn MDC, at Rikers Island, in the Tombs, at Cook County Jail in Chicago, and to all those on hunger strikes in California prisons and Guantanamo Bay.

And to Bradley Manning, Barrett Brown, Julian Assange, the Tinley Park Five, the NATO Five, Jerry Koch, and my wonderful twin brother, Jason Hammond.

Also thanks to the folks who put this event together, who have attended my court dates, who have written letters and sent books, and who went to the noise demonstrations outside the jail here. Your acts of solidarity bring us all great encouragement, inspiration, and strength during these harsh times.

Comrades, we are up against a racist capitalist power structure that wages wars, destroys the environment and spies on our every move! They lock up millions of people in cages for “crimes” that corrupt governments and multi-national corporations also commit on an everyday basis and on a greater magnitude, yet we are the criminals.

They lock us up for guns and drugs when defense contractors and pharmaceutical companies are the top traffickers.
They call us thieves when it’s Wall Street 1%ers who rob us blind, exploit our labor, evict us out of our homes, and get billion dollar bailouts.

They condemn hackers and leakers when the NSA, CIA, and FBI illegally spy on everybody, and wage cyber espionage through viruses and hacking for foreign government systems.

They put signs everywhere that say “If you see something, say something” as if their extensive surveillance camera systems aren’t, they want us to become additional eyes and ears for the police against our own neighbors.

But if you point out suspicious activities of our own government, if you leak information that should be free and public anyway, then they will follow you to the ends of the Earth to put you in prison.

Even if you simply report on these leaks, they will discredit you, subpoena you for your sources, or just put you in prison on a bunch of trumped up charges like they did Barrett Brown.

They repress us, infiltrate us, entrap us, harass our families and friends, and call us criminals, terrorists, and traitors, and break their own laws to try to stop us because we work to expose the truth.

They are scared that if people know the truth, the day will come when they will have to answer for their own crimes.
But can we trust whatever “independent review panel” they put together to investigate the NSA? After all the lies and egregious illegality, do you think any of them will be charged or do time? Will we ever be satisfied with any reforms they promise?

The answer is obviously no.

Justice can never be found in their courtrooms.

Yes, we need to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, but Attorney General Eric Holder doesn’t give a damn about prison overcrowding.

The Obama administration is not interested in any such debate about “the balance of privacy and security” because they will keep spying on everyone, regardless of public opinion, until we stop them.

The time for talk is over, it’s time for collective refusal, civil disobedience, and direct action. We must support all those who risked their freedom and lives to expose and confront the power structure, and continue the struggle until we stop these wars and the prison walls come crumbling down and we can all be together again free and equal!

Yours for the revolution,
Jeremy Hammond

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