LulzSec hacker sentenced to 10 years in jail for leaking Stratfor emails

LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release this morning for a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, reports the Guardian. Hammond pled guilty in May for having broken into the private security firm Stratfor’s computers and leaking their emails to WikiLeaks, and has since been awaiting sentencing. In an interview with the Guardian, he says that a long sentencing is a “vengeful, spiteful act” by the government. “They have made it clear they are trying to send a message to others who come after me. A lot of it is because they got slapped around, they were embarrassed by Anonymous and they feel that they need to save face.”

The documents Hammond leaked detailed private companies’ surveillance of activists across the globe by — something that his family has previously referred to as an act of nonviolent protest. To that end, Hammond has drawn upon the images of both Aaron Schwartz and Chelsea Manning to explain his actions. He’s also the latest hacker to be convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a controversial law that’s grown from a tool to prevent serious hacking into a catchall to prosecute what many consider to be far less harmful acts “They are widening the definition of what is covered by the act and using it to target specifically political activists,” Hammond tells the Guardian.

In a statement read at his hearing today, Hammond also draws a lot of attention to the role of Sabu — the leader of LulzSec who became an FBI informant — in his hackings. Hammond says that Sabu was working with the FBI since before the two of them met, and that Sabu actually introduced him to Stratfor and encouraged him to hack various other targets. According to the Guardian, Hammond suggests that he was manipulated. He told the court that his hacking days are behind him now, but nonetheless, he stands by much of his actions: “I still believe in the importance of hacktivism as a form of civil disobedience.”

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