Tag Archive: wikileaks

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…)

In Support of #PayPal14 Fundraising Drive by Jeremy Hammond

anonymous_freeanons_paypal14From New York City Anarchist Black Cross/ by Jeremy Hammond

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. (more…)

Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison, Jeremy Hammond Uses Allocution to Give Consequential Statement Highlighting Global Criminal Exploits by FBI Handlers

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

From the Sparrow Project

[NEW YORK, NY]  Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old political activist, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor).  The Ceremonial Courtroom at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York was filled today with an outpouring of support by journalists, activists and other whistleblowers who see Jeremy Hammond’s actions as a form of civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.

The hearing opened with arguments as to what sections of the court record will remain redacted after sentencing. While Jeremy’s attorneys initially erred on the side of caution in previous memorandums and kept large pieces of the record redacted, both the defense and prosecution agreed this morning that many of the sections should now be made available for public view. The prosecution, however took stiff exception to portions of the court record being made public that indicate victims, specifically foreign governments, that Jeremy allegedly hacked under the direction of Hector “Sabu” Monsegur, the FBI informant at the helm of Jeremy’s alleged actions. Judge Preska ordered that the names of these foreign governments remain sealed.

Jeremy’s lead counsel, Sarah Kunstler, who is 9 months pregnant and due to give birth today, delivered a passionate testimonial as to the person that Jeremy is, and the need for people like Jeremy during our changing socio-political landscape.  She was followed by co-counsel, Susan Keller, who wept as she recalled her experiences reading the hundreds of letters from supporters to the court detailing the Jeremy Hammond’s selflessness and enthusiastic volunteerism.  She pointed out that it was this same selflessness that motivated Jeremy’s actions in this case.  She closed her testimony by underscoring that, “The centerpiece of our argument is a young man with high hopes and unbelievably laudable expectations in this world.”

Susan was followed by Jeremy Hammond himself, who gave a detailed, touching and consequential allocution to the court.  The following is Jeremy’s statement to the court.  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 effect Jeremy or his counsel.


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…)

Twitter engineer, UConn security analyst among 13 indicted for ‘Operation Payback’

freeanonsFrom The Verge

Some of the men indicted last week for allegedly taking part in the scores of denial-of-service attacks launched by hacktivist group Anonymous in 2010 don’t fit the stereotype of a pajamas-wearing teen hacker causing havoc from mom’s basement.

For example, The Verge has learned that defendant Phillip Simpson is a 28-year-old IT professional who works for a test-preparation service. Anthony Tadros, 22, is a student at the University of Connecticut, who ironically once worked as a security analyst for the school, according to his LinkedIn profile. Geoffrey Commander is 65 years old. And then there’s Ryan Gubele, a 27-year-old who is a former contract employee for Amazon. In June, Gubele began working as a site reliability engineer for Twitter — and is currently still employed there.

Last week, the US Department of Justice alleged in a 28-page indictment that Gubele and the other 12 defendants helped Anonymous, the hacktivist collective, disrupt or cause the collapse of web sites operated by Bank of America, MasterCard and multiple global antipiracy groups. Some of the companies were attacked for refusing to process donations made to WikiLeaks, the group that published leaked US diplomatic cables. Others came under fire for supporting antipiracy efforts. Anonymous dubbed the DDoS campaign Operation Payback. (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…)

‘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…)