By Jennifer Baker in Revolution News – On June 20, 2015, the tech conference “Suits and Spooks” will be holding a discussion with none other than infamous snitch Sabu as their guest speaker. We want everyone to come out in solidarity with not only Jeremy, but the other members of LulzSec who were persecuted because of Sabu’s betrayal. Bring signs, noisemakers, and banners – we will hold a gathering outside of SOHO House to remind the attendees of those who are still suffering while Sabu profits from his cowardly actions. If you can’t be in the streets in NYC, join @FreeJeremyNet on Saturday, 6/20, at 2PM New York time, for a #J20ForJeremy twitterstorm. Join us to make sure Jeremy Hammond’s voice is louder than Sabu’s.
The mainstream media has devoted hundreds of articles to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour,” but it’s not devoted the same level of attention to many other whistleblowers and political prisoners, like Jeremy Hammond, no matter how sensational the facts they revealed. In November 2013, a federal court sentenced Hammond to 10 years in prison for his part in the hack of Strategic Forecasting, an Austin, Texas-based corporate intelligence agency, also known as Stratfor. Working on behalf of Lulzsec, an infamous subgroup of Anonymous, Hammond leaked 5 million private emails taken from Stratfor to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, a release that came to be known as the Global Intelligence Files, or GI Files.
New evidence backs up Jeremy Hammond’s story that he was set up by the FBI and the hack of Stratfor was not even his idea in the first place. The FBI previously claimed it was unaware of potential computer hacking until it was “too late”, but now we know that was a lie. The FBI was not only aware of the attacks, one of its informants, with their guidance, was encouraging the attacks for which Hammond was prosecuted. That informant’s name was Hector Xavier Monsegur aka “Sabu” and the person he was encouraging was Jeremy Hammond. The FBI informant received access to Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) from a hacker known as “Hyrriiya.” Hyrriiya wrote a letter for Hammond’s defense admitting that it was he who initially hacked Stratfor and then gave the info to Sabu. Sabu, with FBI support, brought the Stratfor info to Hammond’s attention and encouraged Hammond to hack the private intelligence firm. The crime for which Hammond is currently serving a ten year sentence.
Three years after WikiLeaks came to public prominence, where are we with the equation in Assange’s Conspiracy as Governance? Has it been tested and its solution enacted? As leaked documents continue to shed light on the darkness of the world, illegal wars, drone attacks, bankster heists and corporate dirty deals continue. Yet thanks to Manning, we now have a clearer picture what modern war really looks like and the extent to which the military-industrial complex has morally bankruptcy itself. Thanks to Hammond, we are more aware of the collusion of governments and corporations in a network of spying on activists. Thanks to Snowden’s NSA files, we are now only beginning to see the latent tyranny of an out-of-control surveillance state. 2013 was the year that we saw the courage of individuals who speak truth to power become truly contagious. There is no doubt that in this past year, WikiLeaks and other budding organizations have helped the world move one step closer toward a more humane form of self-governance.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressed a major gathering of computer experts Monday at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, calling on them to join forces in resisting government intrusions on Internet freedom and privacy. We play highlights from Assange’s speech, as well as the one given by Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks member who accompanied Edward Snowden to Russia. We also hear from independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum, who reveals a spying tool used by the National Security Agency known as a “portable continuous wave generator.” The remote-controlled device works in tandem with tiny electronic implants to bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what is being typed. It works even if the target computer is not connected to the Internet.
There exists a puzzling yet repeating trend among commentators, politicians, and now federal judges. It is to distinguish Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower of the Pentagon Papers (and often-hailed hero), from actors like army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and recently sentenced hacktivist Jeremy Hammond. This is notwithstanding the fact that Ellsberg vocally supports and identifies with all three. The differential treatment was first acknowledged two years ago by journalist Glenn Greenwald, responding to reports on how Manning was contrasted to Ellsberg. He called it “intellectual cowardice.” Today, the persistence of this argument highlights a continuing strategic challenge for opponents of whistleblowers of government misconduct. How can these opponents distinguish Ellsberg, a hero, from those they seek to vilify for engaging in the same character of activity?
Like a lot of pompous, insufferable people, I didn’t watch television when I was previously “out in the world,” as my fellow inmates say. And if I were being held in a regular federal facility like a normal detainee, I wouldn’t be exposed to it while incarcerated if I preferred to avoid it. This is because federal prisons (along with holding facilities where inmates await trial) are relatively humane affairs equipped with separate areas for various activities—for instance, sleeping and watching television are done in distinctly different rooms. The problem is that all the federal facilities here in the Northern District of Texas were filled up with inmates awaiting trial or sentencing when I became incarcerated. This isn’t simply because Texans are an inherently criminal bunch—although of course they are—but rather because, in addition to prosecuting actual crimes against property and persons, the federal government is also in a great big contest with the Chinese to see who can imprison the most people for bullshit non-crimes like selling drugs.
I was in federal court here Friday for the sentencing of Jeremy Hammond to 10 years in prison for hacking into the computers of a private security firm that works on behalf of the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, and corporations such as Dow Chemical. In 2011 Hammond, now 28, released to the website WikiLeaks and Rolling Stone and other publications some 3 million emails from the Texas-based company Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor. The sentence was one of the longest in U.S. history for hacking and the maximum the judge could impose under a plea agreement in the case. It was wildly disproportionate to the crime—an act of nonviolent civil disobedience that championed the public good by exposing abuses of power by the government and a security firm. But the excessive sentence was the point. The corporate state, rapidly losing credibility and legitimacy, is lashing out like a wounded animal. It is frightened. It feels the heat from a rising flame of revolt. It is especially afraid of those such as Hammond who have the technical skills to break down electronic walls and expose the corrupt workings of power.
Anonymous hacker and activist Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday. Among the services Hammond provided to those of us seeking to fight back against the security and surveillance state included key evidence in the civil suit brought by Christopher Hedges and Alexa O’Brien against Barack Obama over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act. In his sentencing statement, Hammond said: “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.” Also on the show: The 2013 Drone Summit, The UN Climate Conference in Warsaw, Poland, Fighting Tar Sands in New England, and MSNBC’s LEAN FORWARD Campaign Cozies Up To Fracking
Hammond at sentencing: “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.”