Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond Sentenced to 10 Years

Dissident Voices

On November 15, 28-year-old political activist Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release at the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. This was the maximum sentence he could receive after his non-cooperating plea deal. He admitted to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act with his participation in hacking the computers of private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor).

Before the sentencing hearing, an outpouring of support came from journalists, activists and other whistleblowers recognizing his act as civil disobedience and highlighting his motives of conscience and his commitment to the public good. Jeremy Hammond’s attorneys submitted over 250 letters addressed to the Judge asking for leniency. Along with friends, family, journalists and academics, the letters included one cosigned by 17 editors and journalists from international media outlets in fifteen countries acknowledging the importance of the material provided by Hammond.


I wrote one of the letters. In it, I summed up the essence of why I support leniency for him and I quoted the ending remark of a defining 2012 Rolling Stone article, which read: “[Hammond] was an idealist who even after being jailed, kept fighting at every occasion and he never betrayed himself.”

Hammond held an ideal for true democracy, where balance of power is an essential element and leaders are held accountable and working for the people. In pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy for hacking into the computers of Stratfor, he stated that “people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors” and indicated clearly that he did what he believed was right. He revealed hidden structures of power where private corporations collude with government and where governments use corporations to hide their own egregious abuse of power and violations of the Constitution.

Read More

Recent Posts