Anonymous, WikiLeaks Hacker Gets 10 Years in Prison |

Anonymous, WikiLeaks Hacker Gets 10 Years in Prison

Dennis Faas's picture

A hacker who carried out cyber-attacks on behalf of Anonymous and then shared stolen information with WikiLeaks has been sentenced to ten years in prison. The sentence was handed down in a New York City courtroom late last week.

Jeremy Hammond may be one of the world's best-known hackers. For years he worked with both Anonymous and WikiLeaks to expose what he believed was government and big business corruption.

One of his most famous (or infamous) attacks involved acquiring millions of emails sent between global intelligence company Stratfor and its many big-name clients, such as Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola.

Stratfor Emails Reveal Gov't, Business Spying

Those messages revealed that Stratfor had been hired by private firms and government agencies to spy on various activist organizations, including Occupy Austin and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Eventually, Hammond was arrested and charged for his hacking activity. Originally he faced a sentence of thirty-five years in prison, but after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Hammond's jail term was cut by more than two-thirds.

"Yes I broke the law, but I believe sometimes laws must be broken in order to make room for change," Hammond admitted. "I still believe in hacktivism as a form of civil disobedience." (Source:

Supporters Enraged by Lengthy Sentence

Many of Hammond's supporters had hoped for an even shorter sentence. Over the past few months the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has received 250 letters and a 4,000-name petition pressing the authorities to credit Hammond for time served and then release him.

One of Hammond's most vocal supporters is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that lobbies for digital rights and greater transparency on the web.

"We're very disappointed," noted EFF attorney Hanni Fakhoury. "We think 10 years is way too long."

Hammond agrees. He recently called the sentence a "vengeful, spiteful act," and said "a lot of it is because they got slapped around, they were embarrassed by Anonymous and they feel that they need to save face." (Source:

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