[DALLAS, TX] The curious case of Barrett Brown —a freelance journalist and satirist, turned political prisoner— has captivated thousands in the lead-up to what many are calling a “show trial” slated to take place in Dallas, TX, later this year. In an open letter published this morning (and attached below), Icelandic MP, Birgitta Jonsdottir claims the charges against Brown are part of a larger “unjust war on whistleblowers, journalists, and information activists.” Brown, who has been incarcerated since September 12, 2012, is facing three separate indictments carrying a sum of 17 federal charges, each related to his work with Project PM (a crowdsourced journalism initiative aimed at shedding light on private contractors in the intelligence industry.) Brown’s charges, should he be sentenced to them consecutively, have him facing 105 years in Federal prison.
At the core of these charges is an argument that Brown’s alleged conduct of linking to, and editorialized upon, documents leaked by others to an unrelated 3rd party is tantamount to the leaking itself and henceforth constitutes a criminal violation of fraud and abuse. This controversial contention has triggered a groundswell of support from press freedom foundations and activists that see Brown’s case as a canary in the coal mine of permissible internet speech. From occupying recent monologs in the popular Netfilx political series, House of Cards, to charming readers of his popular column in D Magazine, it feels like everyone is talking about Barrett Brown (and rightfully so). Whether or not this attention will translate into a successful challenge to the charges against him remains to be seen, but what is undisputed is that in the weeks, months, and possibly years ahead, Barrett Brown needs our solidarity. You can learn more about how to support Brown HERE as well as donate to his defense fund HERE.
[NEW YORK, NY] A collective of projection artists and activists lit up the bleak walls of The Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC Brooklyn) last night with visually arresting images and messages proclaiming solidarity with jailed political activist Jeremy Hammond. The artists’ stunning action, which captured the attention of prisoners and administrators alike, comes two weeks after the 28 year old activist was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of 1984. Hammond’s sentence, handed down on November 15th, follows his May 28, 2013 plea of guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). The hack and the subsequent publishing of millions of exfiltrated Stratfor emails has sparked a global conversation into the unregulated operations of private intelligence firms and their frequent extralegal activities.
» Demonstrators from the In our Hearts Collective brought instruments, pots and pans, and their voices to make noise loud enough to be heard within the walls of the detention center. The Illuminator projected messages of solidarity on the bleak walls of the prison. “Free Jeremy Hammond!”, “Solidarity with all Hacktivists!” and images of the infamous Anonymous Guy Fawkes mask lit up the night. Additional images are posted below.
Shortly after his sentencing at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York, Jeremy Hammond was transferred from the Metropolitan Corrections Center (MCC) on Park Row in Manhattan to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn where he awaits designation by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to an institution where he will serve the majority of his sentence.
[NEW YORK, NY] Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old political activist, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). The Ceremonial Courtroom at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York was filled today with an outpouring of support by journalists, activists and other whistleblowers who see Jeremy Hammond’s actions as a form of civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.
Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple
The hearing opened with arguments as to what sections of the court record will remain redacted after sentencing. While Jeremy’s attorneys initially erred on the side of caution in previous memorandums and kept large pieces of the record redacted, both the defense and prosecution agreed this morning that many of the sections should now be made available for public view. The prosecution, however took stiff exception to portions of the court record being made public that indicate victims, specifically foreign governments, that Jeremy allegedly hacked under the direction of Hector “Sabu” Monsegur, the FBI informant at the helm of Jeremy’s alleged actions. Judge Preska ordered that the names of these foreign governments remain sealed.
[NEW YORK, NY] Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old political activist, will be sentenced Friday, November 15 at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York [500 Pearl St, The Ceremonial Courtroom on the 9th Floor] after pleading guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). An outpouring of support by journalists, activists and other whistleblowers in the run-up to the sentencing hearing has focused on Jeremy Hammond’s actions as civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.
Jeremy Hammond’s attorneys have submitted a sentencing memorandum on his behalf asking for a sentence of time served, a call supported by 5,000 people in petitions hosted by Change.org and Demand Progress. Additionally, over 250 letters addressed to the Judge from friends, family, journalists, academics, the tech community, and prominent whistleblowers have been included with the memorandum. Among these is a letter cosigned by 17 editors and journalists representing international media outlets in fifteen countries with a combined audience of 500 million people.
VIEW EXCERPTS OF LETTERS OF SUPPORT HERE
[New York, NY] In federal court this morning, Internet activist Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty to publicizing internal emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor through Wikileaks.
Icelandic Parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir reads a message of solidarity to Jeremy Hammond outside of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City
Hammond pleaded guilty as part of a non-cooperating plea agreement to one violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which carries up to ten years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for September 6, 2013. He has been jailed for 15 months without bail at the Manhattan Correctional Center in New York City, has been denied family visits, and held for weeks in solitary confinement.
“Jeremy has taken responsibility for what he’s done, but he should not face such a harsh sentence for an act of protest from which he did not personally benefit,” said Hammond’s twin brother, Jason Hammond. “I’m glad he’s moved one step closer to freedom but today I’m asking for the judge to consider a sentence appropriate to what is nothing other than a non-violent political protest.”
Jason Hammond is circulating an online petition calling for Jeremy to be sentenced to time served and released. You can read & sign the petition at Change.org HERE.