The Anonymous hacker who earlier this year pleaded guilty to conspiracy and hacking charges regarding breach of Strategic Forecasting, will spend the next 10 years in prison.
Jeremy Hammond also admitted leaking information stolen in this hack, as well as breaking into computer systems of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, FBI’s Virtual Academy, Vanguard Defense Industries, and several more defense companies and law enforcement organizations, and stealing and leaking confidential information store in them.
Police arrested Hammond in March 2012, along with several LulzSec and Anonymous members, and the FBI had then revealed they managed to discover their real-life identities and to connect them to the crimes by using 28-year old LulzSec leader Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka “Sabu,” as an informant.
Hammond underwent sentencing Friday by Loretta Preska, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, before a courtroom full of journalists and activists that came to support him.
Before his sentence, Hammond read a prepared statement in which he 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,” and that he felt he had an obligation to use his skills to expose and confront injustice, give that the peaceful protests he was involved in the past did nothing to change any of the things he wanted to change.
He also stated again that Sabu, under the direction of the FBI, provided information about possible targets they should attack, and among them were also websites belonging to foreign governments (the identities of which the judge ordered redacted).
“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,” he said. “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.”
Hammond has already served 18 months in federal detention, and will be eligible for parole in four years. In addition, after his release, he will also have three years of supervised release.