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Crime The Courts

Jeremy Hammond of LulzSec Pleads Guilty To Stratfor Attack 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the overcharging-wins-another-court-case dept.
eldavojohn writes "After facing 30 years to life imprisonment and pleading not guilty to charges last year, Jeremy Hammond has pleaded guilty to his alleged involvement in Anonymous' hacking of Stratfor. The self proclaimed hacktivist member of LulzSec, who has compared his situation to that of the late Aaron Swartz, explained his reasoning in his plea: 'Today I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline. During the past 15 months I have been relatively quiet about the specifics of my case as I worked with my lawyers to review the discovery and figure out the best legal strategy. There were numerous problems with the government's case, including the credibility of FBI informant Hector Monsegur. However, because prosecutors stacked the charges with inflated damages figures, I was looking at a sentencing guideline range of over 30 years if I lost at trial. I have wonderful lawyers and an amazing community of people on the outside who support me. None of that changes the fact that I was likely to lose at trial. But, even if I was found not guilty at trial, the government claimed that there were eight other outstanding indictments against me from jurisdictions scattered throughout the country. If I had won this trial I would likely have been shipped across the country to face new but similar charges in a different district. The process might have repeated indefinitely. ... I did what I believe is right.'"
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Jeremy Hammond of LulzSec Pleads Guilty To Stratfor Attack

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  • by Jawnn (445279) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:12PM (#43843457)
    Charge someone that you know is guilty of one thing with a ridiculous array of charges that you know he is not guilty of, on the chance that he'll take your plea "deal" and avoid the possibility of being convicted (wrongly) on the BS charges.
    Sounds rather like patent trolling.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:15PM (#43843487)

      The reason it sounds like patent trolling is more because it sounds like extortion. They leveraged the law to force him to plea. If he hadn't he could have spent years going around the country until someone convicted him. I don't know much about him or if he deserves his conviction or not but that seems like a flaw in the justice system that should be fixed.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        ... that seems like a flaw in the justice system that should be fixed.

        Yes, yes it is. No, no it will not be. TPTB like it that way.

        • Recently, Anonymous decided to target the English Defense League by publishing the personal details of its members online, in the wake of that group's protests over the Woolwich jihad murder. I'm a South Asian myself, and I find that Anonymous' blatantly sectarian political bias puts them outside of the realm of social justice. They're just a bunch of Left-wing punks with their own glaring ethnic biases coupled with crooked vigilanteism.

      • by the computer guy nex (916959) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:29PM (#43843659)

        The reason it sounds like patent trolling is more because it sounds like extortion. They leveraged the law to force him to plea. If he hadn't he could have spent years going around the country until someone convicted him. I don't know much about him or if he deserves his conviction or not but that seems like a flaw in the justice system that should be fixed.

        They have evidence he broke the law on numerous occasions. A murderer being charged for multiple murders isn't a loophole.

        • Even if this is true (that they have bulletproof evidence), given the fact that this tactics is often used against people who later turn out to be innocent, it ought to be banned in general anyway.
        • by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @06:19PM (#43845109)
          This is a false equivalent and is really kind of over simplifying the issue.

          It's more like someone being charged with multiple murders in several jurisdictions, along with:
          1 count of aggravated assault for each murder,
          1 count of battery for each murder,
          1 count of kidnapping for each murder count
          1 count of reckless driving,
          1 count of improper disposal of a body,
          1 count of improper storage of human remains,
          3 counts of use of a firearm during the commission of a crime (because you had 3 guns),
          1 count of taking a body across state lines
          All this on top of the multiple murder charges you're already facing. Now substitute murder with "violation of CAFA" and change the violent charges to fraud charges.

          I think you get the point. The charges get stacked in such a ridiculous manner and if you're found guilty of even one you're still going to go to jail for something and the juries are so hopelessly confused that they don't have much of a choice but to usually just do an all or nothing. Prosecutors offer deals that seem minor to the potential 300 year sentence your facing. It is abuse of power and exploitation of the system by the people within the system.
        • by tlambert (566799)

          They have evidence he broke the law on numerous occasions..

          So... basically, like any civil disobedience act, like Brown v. Board of Education http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education [wikipedia.org] in which an existing and socially unconscionable law was disobeyed, ultimately leading to the end of segregation and the doctrine of "Separate But Equal", right?

          A murderer being charged for multiple murders isn't a loophole.

          A singular act should result in a singular charge. It's very common for prosecutors to "stack charges", not only so they can threaten consecutive service of penalties in order to coerce a confession, but also t

        • by similar_name (1164087) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @07:10PM (#43845445)

          A murderer being charged for multiple murders isn't a loophole.

          It's not a loophole, it's a flaw. For several reasons. Among them;

          If the suspect is truly guilty of the charges then they should serve their time. Why are we letting criminals get away with serving so much less than they should simply because they plead guilty?

          Studies show that a great number of innocent people will plead guilty in the plea bargain process. Students were paired with actors to perform a task. They affirmed they would not cheat before the study. Since the other 'student' was an actor, it was fully known whether the person was guilty or not. Many innocent people plead guilty when they are told they can fight the charge of cheating and risk expulsion from school or plead guilty and write an essay.

          The only benefit argued by proponents of the plea bargain is that it helps speed up the judicial process for backlogged courts. I don't agree that's even a benefit. If courts are backlogged perhaps we should reassess what we criminalize and prosecute rather than speeding up the conviction process.

          • If the suspect is truly guilty of the charges then they should serve their time. Why are we letting criminals get away with serving so much less than they should simply because they plead guilty?

            Now define the duration of "their time".

            Hammond has spent 15 months in jail already, and will probably get a "time served" sentence, or maybe a little more. If the judge is feeling like being a real dick, he might give him 5-8 years.

            So, if the "time" is 10 years for a crime, why on earth should a prosecutor have the ability to stack up charges such that he might spend the rest of his life in jail? Is wasting a week of the court's time worth the rest of someone's life? This is plain and simply abuse of t

            • I think we agree then. Plea bargains are a bad idea. Either they reduce valid charges or they use ridiculous charges to pressure someone into pleading guilty. Either way, no one wins.
      • by g0bshiTe (596213)
        He probably does, I know he's already served 2 years in Federal for hacking, prior to this as well as multiple arrests for protesting.
      • by shentino (1139071) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @04:28PM (#43844199)

        It's only a flaw if you're a member of the public.

        If you're part of the establishment it's a feature.

      • Re: I don't know much about him or if he deserves his conviction or not but that seems like a flaw in the justice system that should be fixed.

        Fucked up legal system takes away the judging power from the judiciary.

        It's not so much a flaw but instead a way for those in power to maintain their consolidated hold on power. This discretionary power held by the Attorneys General (of the States of our United States of America and of the Federal Districts of these United

    • by waspleg (316038)

      You're correct. It is. The only part that is incorrect is the "new strategy" part; this isn't a new tactic.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      This is not, by any means, a new strategy. Bad defense attorneys have been able to identify this tactic and get erroneous charges thrown out quickly for many years. The kid is simply trying to shift blame.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I do have to point out that his statement is rather blatently self-justification and self-serving. Yes, indeed, he sounds like a sweet-well intentioned innocent, and the evil government is the villain, when he tells the story.

      • by tnk1 (899206) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:56PM (#43843903)

        Yes, there is certainly some self-serving element. I think he's probably guilty of something as well.

        However, consider if you actually felt that you were innocent, and I don't mean "activist innocent", I mean you didn't actually do anything illegal. If the government decided that they wanted you in jail, they'd just have to start stacking charges on you and get you up to 30 years or so. Then you have to decide if you can win or not, charge by charge, AND you have to decide if you can pay for it.

        The problem is, it is *way* too easy for the government to use this tactic, and tactic is what it is. It is tantamount to forcing a plea of guilty despite the fact that prosecutors are not sure that they could win the case. Instead of the search for truth, it becomes bullying of the worst form.

        All I can say is: think twice about doing anything where you will end up on the wrong side of an Assistant US Attorney. Their job is to convict you, and they will not hesitate to use overkill to do it.

        And for the rest of us.... think about how to make this go away. It is an understatement to say that it won't be easy to do, but in an age of increasing Federal presence, it is critical that these processes are firmly under control or there will be serious trouble going forward.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          If an activist is committing some form of civil disobedience. Then it is in their interest to demonstrate to the public that it is a problem by fighting it in court to the best of their abilities.

          This guy is just in trouble and wants off easy. Not saying he may not have some ideas that are good but he's outside of my scope. I'm uninterested in how he thinks he's going to do anyone or himself any good.

          I would not compare him t Aaron Swartz.

        • by Chas (5144)

          Ah. FUD!

          If da gub-mint wants to put ya in jail, you is goin' ta jail! They gonna fight dirty!

          Yes! The Evil Military Industrial Complex Will Punish You! FNORD!

          This isn't about some fantasy of an innocent guy framed by The Man here. This is a scumbag, repeat-offending CRIMINAL who got caught because he couldn't NOT brag about how "elite" he was.

          Jeremy DOES "feel innocent". Because in Jeremy's World, Jeremy does no wrong. Jeremy is "misunderstood". Jeremy knows better than anyone else. Because only Je

    • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:40PM (#43843749)
      I know the guy, from his activity at HackThisSite from long ago, I doubt these are trumped charges or multiples intended to get him on one. He has been charged and has server 2 years already for hacking back then it was for stealing a database with over 5000 credit card accounts in it. I wouldn't doubt this as well.
      http://it.slashdot.org/story/12/11/23/233208/stratfor-hacker-could-be-sentenced-to-life-says-judge
      http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/05/14/232217/lulzsec-member-pleads-not-guilty-in-stratfor-leak-case
      Jeremy has a long history of run ins with the law, I doubt this will be his last. I distanced myself from both him and the site years ago due to his volatile political stance and open opinions on hacktivism.

      For a site that was touted as a safe place to learn computer and internet security it was obviously a recruiting ground for hacktivism.
    • by Necroman (61604)

      It is much easier for a prosecutor to throw a bunch of charges at someone and hope for some them to stick. The US's double-jeopardy prevents a defendant to be tried for the same crime twice. Where exactly the line is for what is considered double-jeopardy isn't always clear, so the prosecutor has a better chance of getting a conviction if they change someone with all possible crimes they are guilty of from the start.

      If you want top stop the state from throwing a bunch of changes at someone, double-jeopard

      • Part of the problem (part!) Is the ability for blatantly guilty criminals to get off. So in the past theh HAD to stack charges to get a conviction. See John Gotti Sr a la "the teflon don." He was blatantly guilty, used witness intimidation and threats, and was a horrible human being overall. It still took 4 trials. Or vinny the chin, or any number of mobsters. Sure they committed far worse crimes, but the fundamental problem was the same. To be fair I have no idea how to balance it.

        • by TapeCutter (624760) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @07:42PM (#43845649) Journal
          This reasoning has never sat well with me, it's common knowledge the mobsters were in bed with the newly formed FBI during prohibition and had many high ranking "friends" throughout the judicial system for decades. A more likely explanation for the failure to convict is that the non-stick mobsters had their hands up the arse of the court, Sicily has a long history of the same problem. Mobsters don't adhere to the principle of a fair trial and will only come unstuck when they are confronted with an authority they can not intimidate (eg: the IRS). If you want to see a more extreme example of mobsters usurping authority, look no further than the drug lords of Mexico.

          At the end of the day, one of the fundamental principles of western law is that it is better to allow the guilty to keep their freedom than it is to deny freedom to the innocent. This of course assumes all trials are fair trials (to both sides).
      • Plea bullying (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TapeCutter (624760) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @06:52PM (#43845335) Journal

        As others have said, if a lot of the charges were indeed bogus, a defense attorney should have been able to get them thrown out.

        If they are bogus they should not be there in the first place, according to a thousand years of western law it is not ok to throw "bogus" legal obstacles and distractions at the (presumed innocent) defendant.

        A significant part of the problem is that (US) prosecutors are judged by the number of convictions they obtain rather than the quality of the charges they lay. When implemented this becomes pile up 10 charges, plea bargain guilty for one, bingo another brownie point on the prosecutors score card, collect enough points and you are moved up a rung on the judicial career ladder..

        The US simply takes plea bargaining to the extreme and turns it into plea bulling, in the same way Fred Phelps takes free speech to the extreme and turns it into harassment. Other nations seem to be able to (largely) avoid plea bullying whilst still leaving the option of a plea bargain open to the defendant.

        US law is firmly rooted in English common law and yet a random person in the UK (or indeed all of the EU) is ~7X less likely to be incarcerated, and the figures don't look that much better when comparing the US to China. The main reason for the imbalance is that the US has 500K prisoners from the drug war alone, the EU with nearly twice the population has a total of 600K prisoners for ALL crimes.

        There is no sane explanation for these glaring differences other than "culture".

    • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:51PM (#43843845)

      You moron...

      "Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites"

      He even admitted his guilt in TFA.

      So establishing his guilt, yes the sentence is way out of proportion with the crime, and yes this is a tactic way too often used by prosecutors to "scare" a defendant into a plea bargain. The problem here is the underlying law allowing for the possibility for a 30 year conviction, while it seems like DA is doing their job in an unjust manner, they are doing their job within the confines of the law. Best option is still to not get caught.

      • The best option is to not to break the law. The second best thing not to do is brag about it to your online buddies if you do violate the law. And the 3rd best option is to start realizing that it is becoming damn hard to hide your online footprint if some law enforcement agency really wants to track your ass down.

        • by zzsmirkzz (974536)

          The best option is to not to break the law.

          Since there are more laws on the books than any one person could learn or know, in addition to the volumes of judgements interpreting and/or refining them, this is not a practical option for most. Not breaking the law requires knowing the law. Not getting caught, does not. Therefore, the best option is to not get caught (whether intentionally breaking the law or not). Basically, your best option is not to tell anyone anything about or make records of; what you have done, are doing, or plan to do in the futu

          • by Synerg1y (2169962)

            He knew exactly what he was doing, maybe not the full extent of the consequences, but he should've known he was breaking at least some law and creating some sort of repercussion. Going public to his friends is where he f'ed up. So you statement:

            Basically, your best option is not to tell anyone anything about or make records of; what you have done, are doing, or plan to do in the future.

            Is best applied to things somebody is unsure of, in which case it is very good advice. It does however go against social human nature, so I'm pretty sure some people are just incapable of it, but then again those people usually aren't looking for trouble either.

          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            Not breaking the law requires knowing the law.

            Haven't you ever heard "ignorance of the law is no excuse"?

            This case would seem to be easily covered by "don't take what isn't yours."

            • by ganjadude (952775)
              The issue with that is that there are SOO many laws, its damn near impossible to not break at least a few every single day
              • by Chas (5144)

                Again,

                Jeremy is INTIMATELY familiar with this particular law. Having broke the same exact law, in the same exact way, and getting 2 years in jail for it about 5 years ago.
                Hell, he even started these shenanigans WHILE HE WAS ON PAROLE!

          • I'm not religious, but the best option is the golden rule. If you can't follow this simple rule when you think nobody is watching then your moral compass needs some adjustment. When you do fuck up (and you will because everybody's moral compass wobbles) the best option is to come clean and (if possible) make a genuine attempt to recompense your victim, if nothing else your genuine remorse will be taken into account when you're sentenced.

            Of course if you have strong sociopathic tendencies the golden rule
          • by Chas (5144)

            Actually, Jeremy should know this law fairly well.

            It's the same law, and the same set of circumstances, that got him tossed in lockup in Greenville, IL for 2 years back in 2007.

            And Jeremy's constitutionally INCAPABLE of not getting caught.

            He WANTS people to know how "l33t" he is. That's what actually GOT him caught this time. He couldn't shut up and wound up blathering enough facts about himself to an informant to get ID'ed and then monitored for a sting.

      • by Shoten (260439)

        You moron...

        "Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites"

        He even admitted his guilt in TFA.

        So establishing his guilt, yes the sentence is way out of proportion with the crime, and yes this is a tactic way too often used by prosecutors to "scare" a defendant into a plea bargain. The problem here is the underlying law allowing for the possibility for a 30 year conviction, while it seems like DA is doing their job in an unjust manner, they are doing their job within the confines of the law. Best option is still to not get caught.

        Um...you have to admit your guilt in part of a plea agreement. Calling him a moron for admitting he's guilty when he's pleading "guilty" is kind of ironic, don't you think?

    • by Tom (822) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @04:22PM (#43844143) Homepage Journal

      It's not new in the least.

      It's a standard feature of the legal system. You can claim many things, they can even be mutually exclusive, and the court case is there to check which ones hold up.

      It applies to both sides, as well. Defendants routinely claim that a) they didn't do it, b) they were intoxicated when doing it and c) it was an accident. The geek in you winces that these can not all be true, so how can you claim them all - but to a lawyer, that's not even worth mentioning.

      • by vux984 (928602)

        Defendants routinely claim that a) they didn't do it, b) they were intoxicated when doing it and c) it was an accident.

        I don't think people claim intoxication as a defense much anymore. But that's beside the point.

        Defendants routinely simply refute every statement made against them. That doesn't necessarily imply a contraction.

        In any case that's not quite the right characterization.

        It's more like the prosecution will charge:

        You were there.
        You stabbed him.
        You intended to kill him.

        And the defense counters:
        He

      • by crossmr (957846)

        This sounds like an SNL skit
        What are the charges?
        Everything
        everything?
        yes. Everything
        including...?
        then go on to read through a list of really weird outdated laws

    • it's more than that: it's actually a criminal offense, known in the U.S. as "Assault by Lawyer". if you repeatedly sue someone, for example, such that they are made bankrupt by the legal fees of doing nothing more than defending themselves, it's actually a criminal offense. could someone please get word to this guy's legal team about this please?

  • by moonwatcher2001 (2710261) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:20PM (#43843543)

    " the government claimed that there were eight other outstanding indictments against me from jurisdictions scattered throughout the country"

    How can they claim this without giving the person a list?

    • Re:Lies? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:39PM (#43843735) Homepage Journal

      Because Habeus Corpus is dead. Murdered in an attempt to "be tough on crime." I think these convictions will do very little to deter other anonymous splinter groups.

      Reminder that what this guy leaked that he's being prosecuted for: The company stratfor was using their government sponsored spying program to also spy on companies in order to provide Goldman Sachs with insider information through a foreign owned subsidiary, in order to dodge US insider trading laws.

      Then the government arrests him, and not them.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        stratfor was also breaking the rules of credit card conduct.

        was stratfor ever fined for it for damages? fuck no.

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      They can claim anything they want (not always, but often). You shouldn't necessarily believe them if they don't provide evidence, though.

  • by D1G1T (1136467) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:23PM (#43843583)
    The more I read about what these guys were doing--and I mean the stuff they've admitted to, not just been accused of--the more I think they are getting what they deserve. Breaking into someone's network to get at information that the public should know is political. Breaking into someones network and racking up charges on personal credit card numbers is criminal. They're like the idiots that smash store windows during street protests.
    • The more I read about what these guys were doing--and I mean the stuff they've admitted to, not just been accused of--the more I think they are getting what they deserve. Breaking into someone's network to get at information that the public should know is political. Breaking into someones network and racking up charges on personal credit card numbers is criminal. They're like the idiots that smash store windows during street protests.

      I agree they are not the good guys. But I also think it's important to mete out justice based on who was doing what. I hope in street protests when windows are smashed that the vandals are correctly identified and brought to justice. Similarly, I hope they find who are responsible for the credit card thefts [rt.com] but it appears Hammond is not and there are reports he did not benefit personally from this intrusion:

      Barrett Brown of Dallas, Texas is expected to stand trial starting this September for a number of charges, including one relating to the release of Stratfor subscribers’ credit card numbers. He faces a maximum of 100 years in prison.

      More here [dallasobserver.com].

      • by Chas (5144)

        Whether or not Hammond benefited PERSONALLY from the hack is IRRELEVANT.

        If you break into a home or business, and take nothing, you're STILL guilty of breaking and entering.

        In this case, he DID take those credit card numbers. So it's even more clear-cut than that.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:46PM (#43843813)
      "Good guy" and "bad guy" status is not as mutually exclusive as you might think. The "idiots that smash store windows during street protests" sometimes organize to do something more productive, things you'd consider to be more "political."

      The Boston Tea party: Some hooligans in the US in Boston dressed up as native Americans and dumped the tea cargo into the harbor. That was vandalism. It wasn't to protest just one thing either, there were multiple issues the protesters were upset about. I suspect that were something similar to happen today, Fox would give them the same treatment they gave the occupy wall street movement. "It's vandalism! And what are they even upset ABOUT? They can't even tell us that (at least not in few enough words to fit on a bumper sticker.)"

      Anyway, they can be thieves and window smashers and still have valid political motivations. And what they've done is illegal no matter what their motivations.
    • 30 years though? I could go into a 7-11 - shoot the clerk and rob the store and get less time.

      • by Chas (5144)

        Okay. Go into 7-11. Shoot the clerk and rob the store.

        Now do your time.

        Now repeat the same offense.

        You're going to go away for LONGER this time.

        Jeremy basically broke into a business' server and stole credit cards (and did time for it) previously.

        So he's now being charged as a repeat offender.

    • They broke into a company that was handling credit card transactions and was poorly secured. Stratfor would have done well to invest in some decent sysadmins years ago.

      Even worse, in their eyes, Stratfor had discounted Barrett Brown and the claim that anonymous would bring down the Mexican cartels as wishful thinking fantasy (which it indeed was).

      Then, they found all sorts of "spook speak" in emails and convinced themselves that they had found their way into something more secret than the CIA, NSA, DEVGRU a

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:24PM (#43843597)

    Unlike the LulzSec crew, Swartz was not politically motivated and did not do anything "black hat". Comparing the two sets of CFAA charges are like comparing someone who got a speeding ticket to someone who got a DUI, since they're both moving violations.

  • Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:37PM (#43843721) Journal

    I wonder when Stratfor is going to be prosecuted for engaging in corporate espionage? Never, because most Fortune 500 companies and government intelligence agencies rely on this private corporation to know what is going on in the world. Can we say "too big to fail?"

    • by Grashnak (1003791)

      Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of everyone, in every government intelligence agency, laughing at you.

    • by kmcrober (194430)

      It is not true that "most Fortune 500 companies and government intelligence agencies rely on this private corporation to know what is going on in the world." Stratfor is a small company that does some private consulting, not some kind of global anti-CIA.

      Stratfor will be prosecuted for corporate espionage when it commits corporate espionage. Stop trying to substitute drama for analysis.

      • Look guys, the Project Manager for the CIA/NSA/FBI/NRO/DOD program to buy intelligence from Stratfor has come onto Slashdot! Please, don't audit me Bro!

  • by yayoubetcha (893774) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @03:56PM (#43843899)

    Number of people indicted and tried in the largest banking and financial market manipulation in history: 0

    That leaves plenty of time for going after hackers.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday May 28, 2013 @04:25PM (#43844183)

    So, inflating charges is one thing, but I guess I have a much bigger problem with the idea that the government can buffer some of the inflated charges for later and keep you in a state of permanently accused and tried. I've heard of this for serial killers, where they only bring 1/2 of the cases in one block in case they don't get the conviction or the convict is released at a later date. I have no clue how you address this, but it sounds like a horrible precedent. A really unscrupulous DA could trickle out charges one at a time and keep you in court for life for all kinds of offenses.

    Slightly OT, but I just watched a movie called American Violet about disreputable DAs in Texas who were piling on charges with sometimes innocent poor people, getting them to plead out under the threat of YEARS in prison, then collecting money from the Feds for successful drug convictions.

  • Taking Hammond's crime, his criminal history, his messed-up psychology, and the altruistic component of his motivation all into account. . . this looks like a fair resolution to me.

    I hope Hammond learns his lesson THIS time. I feel sorry for him, he's really smart and really a moron at the same time. He could to a lot working within the law.

    Feds could've ripped his guts out. Maybe THIS federal prosecutor thinks a little more about justice and a little bit less about winning.

  • I briefly conflated "Jeremy" and "Hammond" to mean two of the Top Gear presenters, and I almost had a heart attack. I really need to stop watching that show...
    • by Chas (5144)

      Some say, his pants put themselves on.
      He was once clocked, doing eighty, in reverse, on the loo!
      Whatever, he's our guest witness today.
      And he's called, THE STIG!

  • ... there be laws against fabricating problems for profit that otherwise would not exist?

    Exposing such should not be criminal, but honored and rewarded.

  • by Chas (5144)

    As noted here earlier this month, three young hackers in Britain convicted of similar charges relating to the Stratfor hack received sentences that pale in comparison to what Hammond faces and highlight the U.S.’ overreach when it comes to cybercrime prosecutions. The longest sentence handed down in the U.K. cases carried a maximum of 15 months jail time. Meanwhile, as Hammond expressed in a statement Tuesday, he could have faced 30 years in prison were he to have been found guilty at trial. His supporters and legal team are now asking his presiding judge to hand down a sentence far less harsh than the possible 10 years his plea agreement can carry.

    Uhm. How is this overreach?

    This is NOT his first CFAA violation. He did 2 years in federal lockup previously for THE EXACT SAME CRIME several years back?

    Worse, he started this little shindig while still on parole from the first offense!

    Not to mention other convictions for assault and battery, theft, assaulting a police officer, etc.

    This guy isn't a hero. He's not a crusader. He's not a moral compass. Hell, he hasn't actually even done anything ORIGINAL. His basic idea, steal a bunch of credit cards an

  • Reading about all these news about :-

    1. the US government secretly tapping the telecoms system
    2. raiding AP offices to uncover whistleblowers without warrant
    3. the excesses of the Patriot Act
    4. the its-not-torture-if-theyre-the-bad-guys excuses
    5. creating prisons outside US territory (eg Guantanamo) so that they're not subject to US laws/human rights
    6. agressive DOJ enforcement against freedom fighters like Aaron while bankers who destroyed the economy get away scot free by agreeing to "defer" their bonuses
    7. using drone

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