Tag Archive: leaks

Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for ‘merely linking to hacked material’

barretbrownThe journalist and former Anonymous member says of prison term and fine in statement: ‘They’re sending me to investigate the prison-industrial complex’

From The Guardian

In a rebuke to a legion of online supporters and what the journalist and one-time member of Anonymous called a “dangerous precedent”, Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison by a federal judge in Dallas on Thursday.

Brown’s backers from across the web had hoped he would be able to walk free with his 31 months of time served for what they insist was “merely linking to hacked material”. But the 33-year-old, who was once considered something of a spokesman for the Anonymous movement, will face more than twice that sentence. The judge also ordered him to pay more than $890,000 in restitution and fines.

In a statement released after his sentencing, Brown was sarcastically upbeat: “Good news!” he wrote. “The US government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.” (more…)

Beyond Whistleblowing

edFrom Crimethinc.

Citizenfour is just the latest expression of public fascination with the figure of the whistleblower. Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden—the whistleblower defects from within the halls of power to inform us about how power is being misused, delivering forbidden information to the people like the holy fire of Prometheus.

But can the whistleblower save us? Is whistleblowing enough? What limitations are coded into a strategy of social change based around whistleblowing, and what would it take to go beyond them?

Certainly, whistleblowers look good compared to the institutions they expose. Faith in authorities of all stripes is at an all-time low, and for good reason. In a news clip in Citizenfour, we see Obama claim to have ordered an inquiry into the NSA before Snowden’s revelations surfaced, petulantly implying that he was Snowden before Snowden. The President calls cynically for a “fact-based” discussion—when the only useful source of facts has been the illegal leaks of the man he is decrying. It is difficult to imagine a starker contrast between courage and cynicism.

Yet it’s one thing to unmask tyrants—it’s another thing to depose them. (more…)

How the Surveillance State Changes Our Everyday Lives

 “Mass surveillance is the elegant oppression, a panopticon without bars. Its cage is... behind the eyes—in the mind.” Under authority's gaze, many people become smaller, more obedient, less daring.

Under authority’s gaze, many people become smaller, more obedient, less daring.

From Vice/ By Molly Crabapple

George Orwell’s 1984 opens with Winston Smith carving out a pocket of privacy by crouching in a corner of his apartment where the telescreen—and thus Big Brother—can’t see and writing a diary entry. These days, that Stalin-inspired nightmare seems quaint.

We carry our personal telescreens around with us, and take it for granted that if someone wants to watch us, they can.There is nowhere to hide, even in the Hong Kong hotel room where Laura Poitras filmed Edward Snowden talking to Glenn Greenwald about the revelations about the NSA the whistleblower unleashed on the world. At one point in Citizenfour, Poitras’s film about the surveillance state and Snowden, an impatient Snowden yanks the hotel phone’s plug from the wall. All VoIP phones can be bugged, he explains, tossing away the cord. The NSA could know what he ordered from room service.

Much of Citizenfour was shot over the eight days that Poitras and Greenwald spent with Snowden. In contrast to the gray poverty of 1984‘s Oceania, the documentary’s dystopian setting is sleekly modern. Poitras shoots NSA data centers, Occupy Wall Street privacy training sessions, and the posh no-placeness of the business-class hotel. Snowden proves what the two journalists already suspected and, thanks to him, we all now know: The US government is spying on everyone. He then trains them in the cumbersome feints with which they might evade its gaze. (more…)

Jeremy Hammond Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison

jeremyhammondFrom Huffington Post

NEW YORK — Convicted hacker Jeremy Hammond was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for stealing internal emails from the global intelligence firm Stratfor.

During the hearing, he claimed in a defiant sentencing statement that his acts were meant to expose the truth and that he hacked foreign government websites at the behest of an FBI informant.

“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,” Hammond said in a prepared statement provided to HuffPost Live. “I took responsibility for my actions, by pleading guilty, but when will the government be made to answer for its crimes?” (more…)

Lawyers in Stratfor leak case present letters of support ahead of sentencing

Anonymous-activists-prose-006From The Guardian

Hundreds of letters defending Jeremy Hammond, who is facing 10 years in prison for email leaks, call for lenient sentence

Lawyers acting for Jeremy Hammond, the Chicago-based hacktivist facing up to 10 years in prison for releasing internal emails from the private intelligence agency Stratfor, have lodged 265 letters of support with the federal judge who will determine his sentence on 15 November.

The letters call on judge Loretta Preska of the US district court for the southern district of New York to show leniency towards 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. They include 36 submissions from leading data experts and freedom of information campaigners. (more…)

Letters urgently needed for Jeremy Hammond

jeremyhammondFrom NYC Anarchist Black Cross

Jeremy Hammond, who is being held right here in NYC, has an upcoming sentencing date. In preparation for that, his support crew is urging folks to write letters requesting leniency from the judge. NYC ABC, in turn, are asking you to help Jeremy and his supporters. Historically, pre-sentencing letters have proven to persuade judges’ opinions in that they show how much support someone has and how valuable they are to their communities. Jeremy deserves to be free NOW, so whatever you can do to encourage Judge Preska to do the right thing, please do it. And don’t forget to pack the courtroom on Friday, November 15th, the day on which Jeremy will be sentenced.

From freejeremy.net:
“We are currently collecting letters of support to ask Judge Loretta Preska for leniency in sentencing.

You can find the template below, or you can download it in either Microsoft Word or PDF formats.

The deadline for submitting these letters is October 15, 2013. (more…)

Hacker who led Anonymous-sponsored hacks against police agrees to plea deal

CabinCr3wFrom arstechnica

A member of “CabinCr3w,” an Anonymous splinter group, has agreed to a plea bargain with federal prosecutors, according to court documents newly made available on Tuesday.

John Anthony Borell III of Toledo, Ohio (also known as @ItsKahuna) had been charged last year for using SQL injections to attack the websites of various law enforcement and public agencies., including the Utah Chiefs of Police, the Salt Lake City Police Department, and the City of Springfield, Missouri.

According to Borell’s plea deal (PDF), which was signed on April 15, 2013, he agreed that his actions violated a section of federal law addressing computer fraud, that he will serve 36 months in prison, and that he will have to pay nearly $230,000 in restitution to the various institutions that he hacked. The 22-year-old is slated to appear before a federal judge in Utah on August 21, 2013, who is expected to give final approval to the plea bargain.

The law appears to be catching up to Anonymous activists in recent weeks and months. Earlier this month, a 26-year-old Kentucky man named Deric Lostutter outed himself as KYAnonymous and provided a written account of an FBI search on his property in Winchester, Kentucky in April 2013. That search stemmed from online activism pertaining to the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. Lostutter’s search marks the latest in a string of occasions where Anons have been caught and unmasked and have pleaded guilty for their actions.

‘I am Chelsea Manning,’ says jailed soldier formerly known as Bradley

 

From The GuardianBradley Manning

The US soldier who was sentenced as Bradley Manning on Wednesday plans to undergo hormone therapy and has asked to be recognised as a woman.

In a statement on Thursday Manning said she would like to be known as Chelsea E Manning and be referred to by female pronouns.

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” she wrote.

“I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.” (more…)

Manning sentenced to 35 years; eligible for parole after 8 years

22manning3-articleInlineFrom the New York Times:

A military judge on Wednesday sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, a gigantic leak that lifted the veil on military and diplomatic activities around the world.

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Pfc. Bradley Manning was escorted into a courthouse for sentencing on Wednesday in Fort Meade, Md.

The sentence is the longest ever handed down in a case involving a leak of United States government information to be reported to the public. Private Manning will apparently be eligible for parole in slightly more than eight years.

In a two-minute hearing on Wednesday morning, the judge, Army Col. Denise R. Lind, also said that Private Manning would be reduced in rank from private first class to E1, a lower rank of private and the lowest rank in the military. She said he would forfeit all pay and would be dishonorably discharged. She did not impose a fine. (more…)