Tomorrow, recidivist hacker Jeremy Hammond will be sentenced, and I expect that he will get the 10 years that his counsel has apparently conceded. Hammond, one of whose nicknames is not surprisingly Anarchaos, deserves to be arrested and is right where he needs to be -- in jail.
There's an enormous amount of nonsense and deliberate lies written about this case in the tech media and by biased fellow anarchists and hackers. Disregard the noise. Here's what this case is about: not letting radical thugs take away othe people's rights to freedom of association and freedom of speech.
Because that's exactly what Hammond did in hacking Stratfor -- he didn't like its views or its activities, although it is a lawful organization engaged in legitimate business and has a right to exist and thrive.
Activists covering this story claim the nonsense that Hammond and his co-conspirators claim, that somehow they've uncovered wrongdoing in the private emails of Stratfor. Again, there is no evidence whatsoever of any of this.
I remember how well Stratfor handled this hack -- they reassured their customers immediately on Facebook and didn't hide what was happening as some companies do. They let their customers fret and complain. THAT is how we know that quite a few of them were robbed -- Jeremy's little script kiddie friends whom he sicced on the private emails and credit card information of the hapless customers of Stratfor reported that their credit cards were used by the hackers to buy online games and all sorts of crap. All that propaganda about how they were "taking from the rich and giving to the poor" was so much smoke and mirrors. The reality is that they are common thugs, not special, not "indigo children" or pioneers of a new age or "whistleblowers" or anythin of the sort. They are criminals who take away the right of freedom of association of others.
It's helpful to read not the breathless and outraged tech press and alternative press on these cases, but the indictment which says:
...the defendant hacked the website of an organization he disagreed with politically and obtained information uch as the credit card numbers, home addresses and other identifying information of its members and customers.Right. He believes you can use force and destroy the property of others and expose them to harm just because you don't like their ideas.
And lest you also buy the arrant nonsense that this is all an FBI sting-operation, and entirely cooked up by the FBI (which is what Al Jazeera is reporting -- which is among the reasons why I refused to go on their show about Hammond, although they invited me to speak), read his goddamn chat logs all covered in the indictment. He indicts himself, and doesn't require any "sting". Example:
A bit later, in the same chat, referring to one specific AZDPS employee, Hammond proposed, “if we drop AZ stuff on wednesday, we might want to pull some other prank, like change the AZDPS facebook group, his online dating profile or something silly.”
For example, in a chat on December 19, 2011, Hammond said to his co-conspirators: [Hammond] I was thinking we order some servesr with them stolen CCs [Hammond] lots of servers with big hard drives [Hammond] and make four or five mirror .onions with them . . . . . .
<el che> getting servers with CCs [Hammond] it may be till the end of the mnth before the cc owner recognizes the bad charges
The prosecutors pretty much identify the problem:
Hammond’s own statements, while he was plotting and committing these attacks, demonstrate that his goals at the time were essentially to cause “mass mayhem” by destroying websites of entities he disliked, particularly related to law enforcement, and revealing stolen private information such as physical addresses, personal emails, and credit card data belonging to swaths of people remotely associated with those entities. Against this evidence, Hammond’s claim now that his various law enforcement targets “were significant to [him] as a way of protesting police brutality, overly aggressive and militaristic anti-immigration laws and practices, and the governments’ use of drones, tear gas and other weapons abroad” (Def. Mem. at 21) is, at best, beside the point.
Hammond is, after all, a repeat offender. Here's what the judge said to him when he was first charged for hacking:
I believe you when you say that you have learned. I think, also, that after you’re done serving your sentence, I would be willing to believe you if you told me that you understood precisely how damaging the democratic discourse of what you did is. I don’t know that you fully understand that now. I concede that you fully understand what you did was wrong.
But of course that's not the issue. He fully knows what he is doing, and does it deliberately; that's what anarchy is; that's why you jail anarchists who commit these crimes against all of us.
As the indictment explains:
Rather than heed the Court’s message, or even apparently reflect much on its leniency, Hammond then proceeded to undertake the same conduct the Court had cautioned against – but on a much greater scale – launching an online campaign of cyber attacks characterized by “unguided malice [and] a desire to wreak havoc.” Hammond’s history and characteristics fully support a sentence of 120 months.
Despite these harsh, cold facts of the indictment that explain the "unguided malace and desire to reak havoc" which has been Jeremy Hammond's life as a hacker, you find arrant propagandistic nonsense written in Truth-Out and Occupy (where else) claiming he's some kind of dissident:
He called on hackers in a speech at the 2004 DefCon convention in Las Vegas to use their skills to disrupt that year’s Republican National Convention. He was, by the time of his 2012 arrest, one of the shadowy stars of the hacktivist underground, dominated by groups such as Anonymous and WikiLeaks in which anonymity, stringent security and frequent changes of aliases alone ensured success and survival. Manning’s courage prompted Hammond to his own act of cyber civil disobedience, although he knew his chances of being caught were high.
Hammond became well known to the government for a variety of acts of civil disobedience over the last decade. These ranged from painting anti-war graffiti on Chicago walls to protesting at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York to hacking into the right-wing website Protest Warrior, for which he was sentenced to two years in the Federal Correctional Institute at Greenville, Ill.
“I saw what Chelsea Manning did,” Hammond said when we spoke last Wednesday, seated at a metal table. “Through her hacking she became a contender, a world changer. She took tremendous risks to show the ugly truth about war. I asked myself, if she could make that risk shouldn’t I make that risk? Wasn’t it wrong to sit comfortably by, working on the websites of Food Not Bombs, while I had the skills to do something similar? I too could make a difference. It was her courage that prompted me to act.”
The author, Chris Hedges, goes on to tell us about Hammond's political grandfathers and grandmothers:
Hammond—who has black-inked tattoos on each forearm, one the open-source movement’s symbol known as the “glider” and the other the shi hexagram from the I Ching—is steeped in radical thought. As a teenager, he swiftly migrated politically from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party to the militancy of the Black Bloc anarchists. He was an avid reader in high school of material put out by CrimethInc, an anarchist collective that publishes anarchist literature and manifestos. He has molded himself after old radicals such as Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman and black revolutionaries such as George Jackson, Elaine Brown and Assata Shakur, as well as members of the Weather Underground. -
Hey, paging Eric Raymond, creator of that "glider" symbol for the open source cult (author of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar"). You said on the page about this that you opposed people using this symbol and hacking "into other people's computers". You said that was wrong and that you'd go after such people. Well? What, they get to pick and choose political targets anyway?
Let's understand what we're dealing with here: technocommunism, even if it hides under modernistic lovely-sounding little "leaderless collectives" (they're still collectives, that means they are still coercive inevitably, and that the leaders are merely "the cadres who decide everything"):
He said he is fighting as “an anarchist communist” against “centralized state authority” and “exploitative corporations.” His goal is to build “leaderless collectives based on free association, consensus, mutual aid, self-sufficiency and harmony with the environment.” It is essential, he said, that all of us work to cut our personal ties with capitalism and engage in “mass organizing of protests, strikes and boycotts.” Hacking and leaking, he said, are part of this resistance—“effective tools to reveal ugly truths of the system.”
We need a tool to reveal the ugliness of you guys.
Twitter, Al Jazeera, RT.com are filled up 24/7 in defense of these ugly and destructive assholes. Why does no one oppose this?
Why don't computer professionals oppose it, but instead secretly root for this thug?
Note how hacking and Occupy go together -- and what was radicalizing and pushing Occupy to the hard and violent left:
Hammond spent months within the Occupy movement in Chicago. He embraced its “leaderless, non-hierarchical structures such as general assemblies and consensus, and occupying public spaces.” But he was highly critical of what he said were the “vague politics” in Occupy that allowed it to include followers of the libertarian Ron Paul, some in the tea party, as well as “reformist liberals and Democrats.” Hammond said he was not interested in any movement that “only wanted a ‘nicer’ form of capitalism and favored legal reforms, not revolution.” He remains rooted in the ethos of the Black Bloc.
I'm going to write Eric Raymond about this as he doesn't seem to be on Twitter.