Hacker Jeremy Hammond Faces Up To 10 Years in Prison

Credit: WikicommonsCredit: WikicommonsProsecutors are pushing for the 10 year maximum sentence for Jeremy Hammond, who is accused of large-scale hacking crimes against a private intelligence firm. Hammond will be sentenced this Friday.

Hammond pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, one of three charges brought against him in 2012 in the U.S. District Court Court for the Southern District of New York. He and four other members of the hacking network Anonymous were accused of hacking and leaking emails from the private intelligence company Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor).

Hammond turned the documents over to Wikileaks for publication. The emails contained information about the Stratfor itself, including potential insider trading and domestic spying, as well as information about international affairs and individuals, such as Julian Assange and Osama bin Laden.

Although the judge overseeing the case initially suggested that Hammond could face life imprisonment, the 28-year-old hacker made a plea deal for a 10 year maximum. His co-defendants, who were located and tried in the UK, received comparatively lenient sentences. The harshest was roughly two and a half years in prison; the lightest was 200 hours of community service.

Hammond, who created HackThisSite, which hosts hacking simulations, and has committed numerous controversial hacking campaigns, like his one against conservative pro-war group Protest Warrior, has people divided. Some believe him to be a serious criminal. Others consider him an anti-war hacktivist hero. Wired reports on the prosecution's stance:

Contrary to the picture he paints of himself … Hammond is a computer hacking recidivist who, following a federal conviction for computer hacking, went on to engage in a massive hacking spree during which he caused harm to numerous businesses, individuals, and governments, resulting in losses of between $1 million and $2.5 million, and threatened the safety of the public at large, especially law enforcement officers and their families

On the other hand, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation suggest that Hammond's actions “benefit the public good.” They are among 265 groups and individuals that have written to the judge in defense of Hammond. EFF contends that the punishment Hammond faces outweighs the crime, and that the hacker's motivation should be considered. It “is a crucial fact,” EFF explains “actions were not done out of malice or intent to gain financially, but with an eye towards revealing uncomfortable truths about the private intelligence industry.”

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  • Metazoan||

    and threatened the safety of the public at large, especially law enforcement officers and their families

    SHES ON FULL BULLSHIT

    but I wonder what his apparent previous hacking conviction was...not that it relates to the malfeasance of the military-industrial complex, but I am curious.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So he's a vandal with a history of vandalism. If it were just this charge I'd say 2 years but with the previous criminality, he should absolutely be thrown in the slammer for 10. Fuck this guy and fuck the EFF for defending based on 'the public good' whatever the hell that is.

    PS: Why wouldn't StratFor encrypt its emails? Why would anyone want to spy on StratFor, essentially a clearinghouse for gossip? I'm guessing this 'expose' will be as lame as everything else WikiLeaks has done.

  • Metazoan||

    Fuck this guy and fuck the EFF for defending based on 'the public good' whatever the hell that is.

    Yeah, it annoys me when the EFF goes beyond defending privacy and actively supports internet vandalism.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    EFF is about the age where advocacy organizations decay into donation-soliciting machines.

  • Almanian!||

    I dunno. Two time loser? Yeah, I get 10 years.

    SO DID HE! Hah!

    I'm torn by my hatred of the spy/warboner/defense/intelligence complex, and my also-hatred of hackers who fuck up shit that's not theirs, even for a nobel cause...while I support guys like Snowden doing what he did. I think it's the fact that Hammond hacked a private company. Hack the government to expose shit - I'm frankly OK with that.

    I haz a confuse - fuck him anyway, but I hope he gets out in 4 years.

  • Almanian!||

    "nobel cause" - heh heh...

  • Cytotoxic||

    He hasn't exposed dick all except his own moral degeneracy. Don't has a confuse have HATE instead!

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Some of us moral degenerates are politically libertarians for a perfect world, but personally are on a trajectory toward no longer giving a shit about anyone or anything, and due to numerous life circumstances don't have much energy left to care all that much about being a perfect libertarian. That's why they call it "degenerating".

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Companies that do oppressive dirty work for the government, have no right to network security. Fuck them.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That's some great libertarian thinking right there in an age where government has so much leverage over business.

    Stratfor and Protest Warrior did nothing of the sort btw.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I guess you're right. I don't need any of the businesses that do do things of the sort. So fuck them.

  • playa manhattan||

    WTF is "potential insider trading"?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    On the other hand, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation suggest that Hammond's actions “benefit the public good.”

    Sheesh, with an ends-justify-the-means attitude like that you'd think they'd be NSA's bosom buddies.

  • ||

    I hate having to agree with Tulpa, but that struck me as well.

    “actions were not done out of malice or intent to gain financially, but with an eye towards revealing uncomfortable truths about the private intelligence industry.”

    With property crimes, they don't become any less a crime due to motive. Mugging somebody to get money to feed your kid is still mugging, and you still deserve to be punished for it. It's a real slippery slope when you get into intentions justifying certain crimes.

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