Lauri Love is facing extradition, and potentially torture in U.S. prisons, if he is extradited from the U.K. for allegedly taking part in an Anonymous hacking operation in retaliation for the death of Aaron Swartz. On Wednesday, I appeared on Black Tower Radio to discuss the Love case, along with my coverage of the Green Party Convention and the need for electoral reform. I also briefly discussed an upcoming article for The Establishment about how veterans treat themselves with cannabis.
Lauri Love, an alleged British hacktivist, faces extradition to the U.S. over charges of supporting deceased programmer and activist Aaron Swartz.
In an interview with MintPress News, Naomi Colvin, a U.K.-based campaigner for the Courage Foundation, which supports hacktivist and whistleblower political prisoners, says Love could suffer a similar fate to Swartz if he’s extradited.
“There’s a blatant and rather unpleasant irony in that for allegedly protesting against the prosecutorial conduct and coercive plea bargaining that took place in Aaron Swartz’s case, he’s now facing exactly the same kind of treatment himself,” Colvin told us.
I didn’t officially attend SXSW 2012, but it was the first year I got into the convention center.
I had been invited to share my experiences with Anonymous at a panel about the documentary “We Are Legion” which played at the film festival. I had plenty to share — most notably, Anonymous helped us identify Austin Police officer Jason Mistric after he threatened me with pepper spray on the night Occupy Austin got evicted from its encampment in 2012.
Of course, the city had likely evicted our camp in order to make sure we weren’t cluttering up the city hall steps when Southby came to town, so what came next felt somewhat appropriate. After the panel, I gathered with two other occupiers that had found their way into the convention center and Mic Checked a speech by George Friedman, the CEO of Strategic Forecasting, a corporate intelligence agency which had helped infiltrate and spy on Occupy along with other activists groups, and helped send political prisoner Jeremy Hammond to prison.
Of course, security soon got involved.
In what’s become an annual tradition, activists gathered in downtown Austin on Friday to celebrate the birthday of a political prisoner and hacktivist nearly forgotten and ignored by the mainstream media: Jeremy Hammond.
In 2012, Hammond, along with other members of the Anonymous-associated group Lulzsec, hacked millions of emails from the servers of the Strategic Forecasting, also known as Stratfor, a private intelligence corporation located in the city, and leaked them to WikiLeaks, where they became known as the “Global Intelligence Files.” Among other revelations contained in the emails, the files showed that Stratfor had been spying on activists on behalf of corporations like Dow Chemical and working with the Texas State Troopers to infiltrate Occupy Austin.
For Leah Burris, an organizer from Prison Abolition and Prison Support (PAPS), an Austin-based group which organized the protest on Hammond’s birthday, the worst thing about Stratfor is that they are supported by our tax dollars in addition to their corporate clients. “What I wish people know most about them is that basically our government is giving Stratfor money that we give them to spy on us.”
According to reports from supporters on social media, Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials moved imprisoned journalist Barrett Brown into solitary confinement last week.
Brown is an outspoken and controversial journalist who worked closely with Anonymous during the peak of that movement in the early years of this decade. The government noticed this collaboration and targeted Brown for prosecution during their campaign against the hacktivist group Lulzsec, a high-profile subgroup of Anonymous, which also resulted in the imprisonment of political prisoner Jeremy Hammond.
Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison in January. In addition, he must pay about $800,000 in restitution to Strategic Forecasting, the corporate intelligence agency based in Austin, Texas, that was a target of Lulzsec hacking.
Jeremy Hammond has spent two birthdays in captivity now since his conviction, but his friends have promised to celebrate each one. As with many political prisoners, his supporters send him cards, but they’ve also invented a new tradition: turning his birthday party into political protest against his enemies.
Hammond was sentenced to a decade’s imprisonment in November 2013 for his part in the hack of Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based private intelligence agency. As part of LulzSec, an infamous collective from the Anonymous movement, Hammond liberated 5 million emails and the credit card numbers of Stratfor’s clients, which included government and military officials. The emails became part of a searchable archive on Wikileaks called the Global Intelligence files, while Anonymous used some of the credit card numbers to charge donations to charity.