Jeremy Hammond

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Jeremy Hammond
BornJeremy Hammond
(1985-01-08) January 8, 1985 (age 29)
Chicago, IL
RelativesJason Hammond (Twin Brother)
Jeremy Hammond (born January 8, 1985) is a political activist and computer hacker from Chicago. He was convicted and sentenced[1] in November 2013 to 10 years in US Federal Prison for hacking the private intelligence firm Stratfor and releasing the leaks through the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.[2][3][4] He founded the computer security training website HackThisSite[5] in 2003.[6]



Hammond was raised in the Chicago suburb of Glendale Heights, Illinois, with his twin brother Jason.[5][7] Hammond became interested in computers at an early age, programming video games in QBasic by age eight, and building databases by age thirteen.[5][8] As a student at Glenbard East High School in the nearby suburb of Lombard, Hammond won first place in a district-wide science competition for a computer program he designed.[5] Also in high school, he became a peace activist, organizing a student walkout on the day of the Iraq invasion and starting a student newspaper to oppose the Iraq War. His high school principal described Hammond as “old beyond his years”.[5]


Hammond attended the University of Illinois at Chicago on a full scholarship. In the spring of 2004, during his freshman year, he pointed out a security flaw on the computer science department’s website to department administrators, offering to fix it.[6] For pointing out the flaw, Hammond was called before the department chair and ultimately banned from returning for his sophomore year.[5][8]


Jeremy, along with brother Jason, has had a lifelong interest in music, performing in numerous bands through the years. Before Jeremy's arrests, they were both actively performing in the Chicago ska band Dirty Surgeon Insurgency.[8]


Hammond worked as a Mac technician in Villa Park, Illinois.[6] He also worked as a web developer for Chicago-based Rome & Company. His boss at Rome & Company wrote in 2010 that Hammond is "friendly, courteous and polite and while we suspect he has a low tolerance for corporate posturing, he has never demonstrated any contempt for business in the workplace”.[9]


Computer security[edit]

Hammond founded the computer security training website HackThisSite at age 18, during the summer after his high school graduation.[6] The website describes itself as “a non-profit organization that strives to protect a good security culture and learning atmosphere”.[10] In its first two years the site got 2.5 million hits and acquired 110,000 members and a volunteer staff of 34.[6] As of September 2013, the website has a user base of over 1,800,000.[11] "Jeremy is one of the best, most helpful guys I have ever talked to", wrote HackThisSite user Brandon Perry of Texas. "He is a good guy that only taught ethical hacking".[6]
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 Convention and its supporters.[6][12]

Arrests and criminal history[edit]

Marijuana arrests[edit]

Hammond was arrested for possessing marijuana in November 2004 and December 2010.[13][14][15]

RNC 2004[edit]

During the 2004 Republican National Convention protest activity in New York, Hammond was arrested during a "drum-banging protest".[4][6][16]

Occupy Wicker Park[edit]

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.[17]

Anti-Nazi protesting[edit]

Jeremy was arrested along with 25 others for protesting Neo-Nazi groups at the National Socialist Movement's December 10, 2005 rally in Toledo, Ohio.[5][18][19] A total of 25 people were arrested for violations relating to a court injunction that barred public gatherings (meant to protect the Neo-Nazis from protesters).[18][20]

Chicago Pride Parade[edit]

Jeremy pleaded guilty to battery for getting into an altercation with anti-gay protesters and police while marching in a gay pride parade.[21] Jeremy's lawyer, Melinda Power, attributed the melee to "anti-gay protesters" who "attacked her client" at the annual Chicago Pride Parade on June 28, 2004.[21][22]

Protest Warrior[edit]

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 the computer system of Protest Warrior, a group that aggressively targeted anti-Iraq War activists.[5] Based on information and chat logs provided by cooperating witnesses,[6] Hammond was indicted on June 26, 2006, for "hacking into a politically conservative website and stealing its computer database including credit card information".[4] 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 were assessed based on $500 per credit card, for each of the 5,000 credit card numbers in Hammond's possession, despite the fact that no money had been spent.[5] Hammond served his prison term at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) of Greenville, Illinois, a medium-security facility.

Protesting Holocaust Denier David Irving[edit]

On March 25, 2010, Hammond was arrested for taking part in a confrontation with Holocaust denier David Irving. Wearing black masks, five people had stormed the Edelweiss restaurant in Norridge, Illinois, and "threw glasses and kicked over chairs" to drive out Irving's guests[23] during which another restaurant patron was struck by a bottle.[24]

Olympic protest[edit]

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.[25][26] 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.

Stratfor case[edit]

On March 5, 2012, Hammond was arrested by FBI agents in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago[16][27][28] for actions related to the 2012 Stratfor email leak. The indictment was unsealed the following day in the Lower Manhattan federal district court.[29][30] He is one of six individuals from the United States, England and Ireland indicted.[31][32]
The arrests were largely due to cooperation of a witness known online as Sabu.[33][34] Fox News in Manhattan was first to break the story based on "access to Sabu's handlers"[35] of three arrests "on two continents", a sealed federal indictment for six, and a "separate indictment" for Hammond.[36][37][38] The story was later confirmed by other news agencies when the court papers were unsealed.[39][40]
The case is being prosecuted by the office of Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.[34][41] Hammond is represented by Elizabeth Fink,[42] "a firebrand attorney"[43] with the National Lawyers Guild who won a settlement of $8 million against the Government of New York[44] for ex-inmates of the Attica Prison riot.[45]
In November 2012, after being held for eight months without trial, Hammond was denied bail by Judge Preska, who warned that he could face life imprisonment for the Stratfor leak.[46][47]
In February 2013, the defense filed a motion asking presiding Judge Preska to recuse herself from the case on the basis that Preska's husband, Thomas Kavaler, had an email address released in the Stratfor disclosure and works with Stratfor clients that were affected by the hack. Hammond’s legal team stated that Kavaler’s status “as both a victim of the alleged crimes of the accused and an attorney to many other victims creates an appearance of partiality too strong to be disregarded, requiring disqualification”.[48][49] On February 21, 2013, Judge Preska denied the request for recusal because her husband did not recall subscribing to Stratfor's mailing list and the only information released was his publicly available work e-mail address.[50]
After pleading guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Hammond was sentenced on November 15, 2013, to the maximum of ten years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.[51] He is currently serving his sentence in FCI Manchester in Manchester, Kentucky.[52]


Among the public figures who have spoken in support of Jeremy’s release are Daniel Ellsberg Pentagon Papers, Yes Men activist Andy Bichlbaum, journalist John Knefel,[53] Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times journalist Chris Hedges,[54][55] Bhopal activist Saif Ansari,[56] Center for Constitutional Rights President Emeritus Michael Ratner,[57] journalist Alexa O’Brien, National Lawyers Guild Executive Director Heidi Boghosian[58] Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir,[59][60] and past Weather Underground members Bill Ayers Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Education ( ret.) at University of Illinois at Chicago, and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University, as well as Northwestern University philosophy professor Peter Ludlow.[61]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up ^ Poulson, Kevin. Wired, November 15, 2013. "Anonymous Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison"
  2. Jump up ^ Free Jeremy.Net
  3. Jump up ^ Perlroth, Nicole. New York Times, March 12, 2012. "Inside the Stratfor Attack"
  4. ^ Jump up to: a b c Patel, Milan. Federal Bureau of Investigation, March 06, 2012. Archived at the Chicago Tribune. "Jeremy Hammond federal hacking complaint"
  5. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i Luman, Stuart. Chicago Magazine, July 2007. "The Hacktivist"
  6. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i Hayes, Christopher. Chicago Reader, August 15, 2005. "But Can He Hack Prison?"
  7. Jump up ^ "The Rise and Fall of Jeremy Hammond: Enemy of the State". 
  8. ^ Jump up to: a b c "Chicago hacking suspect a genius without wisdom, mom says", March 7, 2012, Chicago Tribune
  9. Jump up ^ "Chicago man accused in international hacking bust", March 6, 2012, Chicago Sun-Times
  10. Jump up ^ HackThisSite.Org Bill of Rights
  11. Jump up ^ HackThisSite.Org
  12. Jump up ^ Hammond, Jeremy. DEF CON 2004, Las Vegas. "Electronic Civil Disobedience"
  13. Jump up ^
  14. Jump up ^ Chicago Sun-Times |url= missing title (help). 
  15. Jump up ^
  16. ^ Jump up to: a b Anderson, Nate. March 2012. "Stakeout: how the FBI tracked and busted a Chicago Anon"
  17. Jump up ^ Chicago Independent Media Center. September 13, 2005. "9/12 Pirate Parade turns into a spontaneous Reclaim the Streets action with an Arrest"
  18. ^ Jump up to: a b Toledo Blade, December 12, 2005. "Court date delayed for 25 suspects"
  19. Jump up ^ Brooks, Michael. Cleveland Independent Media Center, December 21, 2005. "Arrested Protesters Speak Out About Toledo Police"
  20. Jump up ^ National Press Photographers Association, December 11, 2005. "Three Photojournalists Arrested Covering Nazi Rally"
  21. ^ Jump up to: a b Coen, Jeff. Chicago Tribune, June 29, 2004. "3 people are charged in clash at gay parade"
  22. Jump up ^ Baim, Tracy. Windy City Media Group, June 30, 2004. "400,000 at Pride, Anti-Gays Spark Protests, Arrests"
  23. Jump up ^ Norridge Sun-Times, December 7, 2009. Archived from Norridge Harwood Heights News at "Holocaust denier sparks tension at Edelweiss"
  24. Jump up ^ Jarvis, Greg. December 23, 2010. "Masked Men Storm Restaurant Hosting Neo-Nazi Author, Patron Hit in Face"
  25. Jump up ^ CBS Chicago, November 29, 2010. "Protesters Who Burned Olympic Banner Get Probation"
  26. Jump up ^ ABC Chicago, November 29, 2010. "Chicago Olympic protestors sentenced for mob action"
  27. Jump up ^ Goudie, Chuck. ABC7 Chicago, March 6, 2012. "Chicagoan charged in international cyber attacks"
  28. Jump up ^ Lighty, Todd and Wailin Wong. Chicago Tribune, March 6, 2012. "Chicago man, 27, charged in cyber attack"
  29. Jump up ^ Docket Report - "U.S.A. v. Ackroyd et al."
  30. Jump up ^ Esposito, Richard, Aaron Katersky and Pierre Thomas. ABC News, March 6, 2012. "LulzSec 'Leader' Turns on Fellow Hacktivists"
  31. Jump up ^ "Superseding Indictment (May 2, 2012)"
  32. Jump up ^ Bright, Arthur. Christian Science Monitor, March 8, 2012. "Jeremy Hammond, alleged to be 'Anarchaos'"
  33. Jump up ^ Sengupta, Somini. New York Times, March 6, 2012. "Arrests Sow Mistrust Inside a Clan of Hackers"
  34. ^ Jump up to: a b United States Department of Justice, March 6, 2012. "Six Hackers in the United States and Abroad Charged for Crimes Affecting Over One Million Victims"
  35. Jump up ^ Anderson, Nate. Ars Technica, March 6, 2012. "LulzSec leader "Sabu" worked with FBI since last summer"
  36. Jump up ^ Winter, Jana., March 6, 2012. "EXCLUSIVE: Infamous international hacking group LulzSec brought down by own leader"
  37. Jump up ^ Winter, Jana., March 6, 2012. EXCLUSIVE: Inside LulzSec, a mastermind turns on his minions"
  38. Jump up ^ Winter, Jana., March 6, 2012. "EXCLUSIVE: Unmasking the world’s most wanted hacker"
  39. Jump up ^ Estes, Adam Clark. The Atlantic Wire, March 6, 2012. "FBI Says LulzSec Hacker Kingpin Was an Informant"
  40. Jump up ^ Ball, James. The Guardian (UK), March 6, 2012. "LulzSec court papers reveal extensive FBI co-operation with hackers"
  41. Jump up ^ Hurtado, Patricia and Michael Riley. Bloomberg, March 6, 2012. "Hackers Charged in Crackdown on LulzSec, Anonymous Groups"
  42. Jump up ^ Winter, Jana., March 15, 2012. "LulzSec-linked hacker who threatened to burn White House appears in court"
  43. Jump up ^ The Economist, September 23, 2011. "A bloody day in New York: The Attica prison uprising"
  44. Jump up ^ Tully, Tracey. New York Daily News, January 5, 2000."Ex-attica Inmates Get $8m In Riot Suit"
  45. Jump up ^ Ratner, Michael. The Nation, September 12, 2011. "From Attica to Pelican Bay"
  46. Jump up ^ "Anonymous hacker behind Stratfor attack faces life in prison", 23 November 2012,
  47. Jump up ^ "Chicago man denied bail before NYC hacking trial", November 21, 2012, Chicago Tribune
  48. Jump up ^ "Jeremy Hammond's legal team seeks judge's recusal"
  49. Jump up ^ "Judge Rules No Evidence to Disqualify Her from Hearing Case of Alleged Stratfor Hacker Jeremy Hammond"
  50. Jump up ^ Tim Phillips, "Anarchist Hacker Jeremy Hammond’s Sentencing Postponed Until Mid-November", Activist Defense, July 26, 2013.
  51. Jump up ^ Ed Pilkington, "Jailed Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammond: 'My days of hacking are done'", The Guardian, November 15, 2013.
  52. Jump up ^ FreeJeremy.Net
  53. Jump up ^ "Jeremy Hammond support rally at Judge Preska's recusal hearing"
  54. Jump up ^ Hedges: Jeremy Hammond Exposed State's Plan to Criminalize Democratic Dissent. The Real News, 16 November 2013.
  55. Jump up ^ Chris Hedges (17 November 2013). Feeding the Flame of Revolt. Truthdig. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  56. Jump up ^ "Jeremy HammoEduca Conference", November 29, 2012, NYC
  57. Jump up ^ "Michael Ratner statement of support (edited transcript)"
  58. Jump up ^ "National Lawyer's Guild Press Release"
  59. Jump up ^ "April 10, 2013 court date recap"
  60. Jump up ^ "Icelandic Lawmaker Birgitta Jónsdóttir on Challenging Gov’t Secrecy from Twitter to Bradley Manning" April 8, 2013,
  61. Jump up ^ "The Real War on Reality"

External links[edit]