The mainstream media has devoted hundreds of articles to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary “Citizenfour,” but it’s not devoted the same level of attention to many other whistleblowers and political prisoners, like Jeremy Hammond, no matter how sensational the facts they revealed.
In November 2013, a federal court sentenced Hammond to 10 years in prison for his part in the hack of Strategic Forecasting, an Austin, Texas-based corporate intelligence agency, also known as Stratfor. Working on behalf of Lulzsec, an infamous subgroup of Anonymous, Hammond leaked 5 million private emails taken from Stratfor to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, a release that came to be known as the Global Intelligence Files, or GI Files.
The emails revealed that Stratfor gathers intelligence on behalf of private corporations while also sharing sensitive information with local and federal law enforcement. For example, the company spied on The Yes Men for Dow Chemical, after the activists publicly humiliated Dow on behalf of survivors of the 1984 Bhopal, India, disaster that killed thousands. At the same time, Stratfor collaborated with the Texas State Troopers to infiltrate Occupy Austin during the first months after the group’s formation in October 2011.