nettime's_dumpster_diver on Sun, 17 Nov 2013 05:47:19 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> claimed excerpts from Jeremy Hammond's sentencing statement

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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

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

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

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 XXXXXXX, XXXXXXXX,
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

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

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.


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     [ ]

Sabu also supplied lists of targets that were vulnerable to "zero day
exploits" used to break into systems, including a powerful remote root
vulnerability effecting the popular Plesk software. At his request,
these websites were broken into, their emails and databases were
uploaded to Sabu's FBI server, and the password information and the
location of root backdoors were supplied. These intrusions took place in
January/February of 2012 and affected over 2000 domains, including
numerous foreign government websites in Brazil, Turkey, Syria, Puerto
Rico, Colombia, Nigeria, Iran, Slovenia, Greece, Pakistan, and others. A
few of the compromised websites that I recollect include the official
website of the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Internal Affairs Division of
the Military Police of Brazil, the Official Website of the Crown Prince
of Kuwait, the Tax Department of Turkey, the Iranian Academic Center for
Education and Cultural Research, the Polish Embassy in the UK, and the
Ministry of Electricity of Iraq.

Sabu also infiltrated a group of hackers that had access to hundreds of
Syrian systems including government institutions, banks, and ISPs. He
logged several relevant IRC channels persistently asking for live access
to mail systems and bank transfer details. The FBI took advantage of
hackers who wanted to help support the Syrian people against the Assad
regime, who instead unwittingly provided the U.S. government access to
Syrian systems, undoubtedly supplying useful intelligence to the
military and their buildup for war.

All of this happened under the control and supervision of the FBI and
can be easily confirmed by chat logs the government provided to us
pursuant to the government's discovery obligations in the case against
me. However, the full extent of the FBI's abuses remains hidden. Because
I pled guilty, I do not have access to many documents that might have
been provided to me in advance of trial, such as Sabu's communications
with the FBI. In addition, the majority of the documents provided to me
are under a "protective order" which insulates this material from public
scrutiny. As government transparency is an issue at the heart of my
case, I ask that this evidence be made public. I believe the documents
will show that the government's actions go way beyond catching hackers
and stopping computer crimes.

Jeremy Hammond

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     [ ]

     Brazil.  Turkey.  Syria.  Puerto Rico.  Colombia.  Nigeria.
     Iran.  Slovenia.  Greece.  Pakistan.  Where the FBI, via Sabu,
     sent Hammond

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