Jeremy Hammond (born December 1985) is a political activist from Chicago charged in a criminal complaint with crimes relating to the December 2011 hack of Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor).He is the founder of the computer security training website HackThisSite, created in 2003 following his graduation from Glenbard East High School.
On March 5, 2012, Hammond was arrested by FBI agents in Bridgeport, Chicago ahead of an indictment unsealed the following day in the Lower Manhattan federal district court. He is one of six individuals from the United States, England and Ireland indicted, due to a cooperating witness known online as Sabu.
Fox News in Manhattan was first to break the story based on ”access to Sabu’s handlers” of three arrests ”on two continents,” a sealed federal indictment for six, and a ”separate indictment” for Hammond. The story was later confirmed by other news agencies when the court papers were unsealed.
The case is being prosecuted by the office of Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Hammond is represented by Elizabeth Fink, ”a firebrand attorney” with the National Lawyers Guild who won a settlement of $8 million against the Government of New York for ex-inmates of the Attica Prison riot.
Local profiles of Hammond by the Chicago press describe him as ”connected to anarchist groups planning G8 and NATO protests,” ”a lanky 27-year-old poster boy for anti-capitalist ‘hacktivists‘”and ”a rock star to anarchists and cyberterrorists worldwide.” Supporters describe him as ”one of the few true electronic Robin Hoods” in reference to a phrase by Hammond from a 2007 profile.
On November 29, 2010, Hammond was sentenced to 18 months probation and 130 hours of community service for mob action, by Cook County Judge Joseph Kazmierski. Hammond along with five others had been arrested on September 29, 2009 for tearing down a Chicago 2016 banner at Daley Plaza and burning it to protest the Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The state attorney for Cook County pressed charges for felony mob action, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, and misdemeanor resisting a police officer.
On March 25, 2010, Hammond was sentenced to four days in the Cook County Department of Corrections, for taking part in a confrontation with the controversial Holocaust writer David Irving. Five Chicago residents, Hammond included, pleaded guilty to one count each of disorderly conduct on March 24, 2010 at Rolling Meadows Court House before Judge Edward Pietrucha. Wearing black masks, the five had stormed the Edelweiss restaurant in Norridge, Illinois and ”threw glasses and kicked over chairs” to drive out Irving’s guests during which another restaurant patron was struck by a bottle.
On December 7, 2006, Hammond was sentenced to two years in federal prison and three years’ probation after pleading guilty to charges of breaking into a computer system ”and obtaining information”. Based on information and chat logs provided by cooperating witnesses, Hammond was indicted on June 26, 2006 for ”hacking into a politically conservative website and stealing its computer database including credit card information.” At his sentencing hearing, the court heard that he was motivated by politics and not personal gain. Prosecutor Assistant U.S. attorney Brandon D. Fox said, ”While Jeremy Hammond tried to make this about politics, we wanted to make this about what actually occurred, that he stole credit cards.” Charges of 2.5 million dollars in damages was assessed based on $500 per credit card, for each of the 5000 credit card numbers in Hammond’s possession. Prosecutors had sought up to the maximum 5-year prison term (Title 18 Section 1030 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) and said they wanted Hammond immediately jailed for violating bail by failing two recent drug tests and being arrested on disorderly conduct charges. U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel disagreed with the prosecutors’ recommendations, instead allowing Hammond to surrender to prison on January 3, 2007 for a two-year term; ordering a payment of $5,250 in fines and restitution; and imposing a three-year probation agreement prohibiting Hammond’s involvement with hacker and anarchist groups until 2011. Hammond served his prison term at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) of Greenville, Illinois, a medium-security facility.
In 2005, Hammond was sentenced to one year’s probation for misdemeanor battery to a police officer. Three Chicago residents, Hammond included, accepted a plea agreement where one count each of aggravated battery was reduced, while charges for resisting arrest and misdemeanor reckless conduct were dropped. Prosecutor Assistant US State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti had told Circuit Judge Colleen Hyland that during a protest melee, police intervened when Hammond threw a bottle of ”red liquid” (later identified as a plastic Gatorade bottle) at an officer. Defence lawyer Melinda Power attributed the melee to ”anti-gay protesters” who ”attacked her three clients and other members of Chicagoland Anarchist Network” at the annual Chicago Pride Parade on June 28, 2004.
Originally from Glendale Heights, DuPage County, Hammond’s political activism began at Glenbard East High School, where he persuaded school administrators to allow a 100-person student march in protest of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Hammond was first arrested in 2003 while at the University of Illinois, ”for spray painting BRING THE WAR TO UIC on a campus wall.” His second arrest was in 2004, for possession of marijuana.Hammond’s third arrest, at the 2004 Chicago Pride Parade, led to his first court sentence.
During the 2004 DEF CON event in Las Vegas, Hammond delivered a talk that encouraged ”electronic civil disobedience” as a means of protest against the annual Republican National Conventionand its supporters.
During the 2004 Republican National Convention protest activity in New York, Hammond was arrested for the fourth time ”during a drum-banging protest.”
During a march initiated by University of Illinois students on September 12, 2005, Hammond was arrested when police intervened after twenty marchers occupied Wicker Park‘s Damen and Milwaukee traffic intersection.
En route to the National Socialist Movement‘s December 10, 2005 rally in Toledo, Ohio, Hammond and two other Chicago protesters were arrested for contempt of court and detained at Lucas County Jail pending arraignment at the Toledo Municipal Court. A total of 25 people were arrested  for violations relating to a court injunction that barred public gatherings. The injunction, signed by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Thomas J. Osowik on December 9, 2005, was intended to prevent a recurrence of the October 2005 Toledo Riot.
Between 2003 and his 2007 incarceration, Hammond was arrested ten times on charges of disorderly conduct and property damage during protests.
- ^ Perlroth, Nicole. The New York Times, March 12, 2012. ”Inside the Stratfor Attack”
- ^ a b c Patel, Milan. Federal Bureau of Investigation, March 06, 2012. Archived at the Chicago Tribune. ”Jeremy Hammond federal hacking complaint”
- ^ a b c d e f Luman, Stuart. Chicago Magazine, July 2007. ”The Hacktivist”
- ^ a b c d e f Hayes, Christopher. Chicago Reader, August 15, 2005. ”But Can He Hack Prison?”
- ^ a b Anderson, Nate. March 2012. ”Stakeout: how the FBI tracked and busted a Chicago Anon”
- ^ Goudie, Chuck. ABC7 Chicago, March 6, 2012. ”Chicagoan charged in international cyber attacks”
- ^ Lighty, Todd and Wailin Wong. Chicago Tribune, March 6, 2012. ”Chicago man, 27, charged in cyber attack”
- ^ Esposito, Richard, Aaron Katersky and Pierre Thomas. ABC News, March 6, 2012. ”LulzSec ‘Leader’ Turns on Fellow Hacktivists”
- ^ a b Bright, Arthur. The Christian Science Monitor, March 8, 2012. ”Jeremy Hammond, alleged to be ‘Anarchaos'”
- ^ Sengupta, Somini. The New York Times, March 6, 2012. ”Arrests Sow Mistrust Inside a Clan of Hackers”
- ^ a b United States Department of Justice, March 06, 2012. ”Six Hackers in the United States and Abroad Charged for Crimes Affecting Over One Million Victims”
- ^ Anderson, Nate. Ars Technica, March 6, 2012. ”LulzSec leader ”Sabu” worked with FBI since last summer”
- ^ Winter, Jana. FoxNews.com, March 6, 2012. ”EXCLUSIVE: Infamous international hacking group LulzSec brought down by own leader”
- ^ Winter, Jana. FoxNews.com, March 6, 2012. EXCLUSIVE: Inside LulzSec, a mastermind turns on his minions”
- ^ Winter, Jana. FoxNews.com, March 6, 2012. ”EXCLUSIVE: Unmasking the world’s most wanted hacker”
- ^ Estes, Adam Clark. The Atlantic Wire, March 6, 2012. ”FBI Says LulzSec Hacker Kingpin Was an Informant”
- ^ Ball, James. The Guardian (UK), March 6, 2012. ”LulzSec court papers reveal extensive FBI co-operation with hackers”
- ^ Hurtado, Patricia and Michael Riley. Bloomberg, March 6, 2012. ”Hackers Charged in Crackdown on LulzSec, Anonymous Groups”
- ^ Winter, Jana. FoxNews.com, March 15, 2012. ”LulzSec-linked hacker who threatened to burn White House appears in court”
- ^ The Economist, September 23, 2011. ”A bloody day in New York: The Attica prison uprising”
- ^ Tully, Tracey. New York Daily News, January 5, 2000.”Ex-attica Inmates Get $8m In Riot Suit”
- ^ Ratner, Michael. The Nation, September 12, 2011. ”From Attica to Pelican Bay”
- ^ Goudie, Chuck. ABC7 Chicago, March 6, 2012. ”Intelligence Report: Who is Jeremy Hammond? Chicago man charged in major hacking case”
- ^ a b Janssen, Kim, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Rummana Hussain and Dan Rozek. Chicago Sun-Times, March 6, 2012. ”Chicago man accused in international hacking bust”
- ^ Lighty, Todd and Stacy St. Clair, March 7, 2012. ”Chicago hacking suspect a genius without wisdom, mom says”
- ^ Tarm, Michael. Associated Press, March 6, 2012. ”Chicago ‘anarchist’ accused in major hacking bust”
- ^ Thayer, Spencer. March 6, 2012. ”Legal Defense Fund for Jeremy Hammond”
- ^ a b c CBS Chicago, November 29, 2010. ”Protesters Who Burned Olympic Banner Get Probation”
- ^ ABC Chicago, November 29, 2010. ”Chicago Olympic protestors sentenced for mob action”
- ^ Lutz, B. J. NBC Chicago, October 1, 2009. ”Six Charged With Mob Activity”
- ^ Whitney, Craig A. Chicago Sun-Times, March 26, 2010. Archived at ”5 sentenced following Edelweiss incident with Holocaust denier”
- ^ Norridge Sun-Times, December 7, 2009. Archived from Norridge Harwood Heights News at ”Holocaust denier sparks tension at Edelweiss”
- ^ Jarvis, Greg. December 23, 2010. ”Masked Men Storm Restaurant Hosting Neo-Nazi Author, Patron Hit in Face”
- ^ a b O’Connor, Matt. Chicago Tribune, December 8, 2006. Archived at Chicago Independent Media Center. ”Hacking leads to prison sentence”
- ^ Geovanis, Chris. Chicago Indymedia, June 30, 2004. ”Gay Pride Parade Marred by Anti-Gay Attacks, Arrests of Gay Rights Activists”
- ^ a b Coen, Jeff. Chicago Tribune, June 29, 2004. ”3 people are charged in clash at gay parade”
- ^ Baim, Tracy. Windy City Media Group, June 30, 2004. ”400,000 at Pride, Anti-Gays Spark Protests, Arrests”
- ^ Small, Sarah. Lombard Spectator, March 8, 2012. ”Alleged hacker has long history of activism”
- ^ Edman, Catherine and Harry Hitzeman. Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 21, 2003. ”Students walk out of class”
- ^ Hammond, Jeremy. DEF CON 2004, Las Vegas. ”Electronic Civil Disobedience”
- ^ Chicago Independent Media Center. September 13, 2005. ”9/12 Pirate Parade turns into a spontaneous Reclaim the Streets action with an Arrest”
- ^ a b Toledo Blade, December 12, 2005. ”Court date delayed for 25 suspects”
- ^ Brooks, Michael. Cleveland Independant Media Center, December 21, 2005. ”Arrested Protesters Speak Out About Toledo Police”
- ^ National Press Photographers Association, December 11, 2005. ”Three Photojournalists Arrested Covering Nazi Rally”