The 28-year-old pleaded guilty earlier this year to participating in the Anonymous hack of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). Hammond, a longtime Chicago political activist, garnered no personal financial gain from the hack; he has consistently maintained that he acted in what he believed to be the public interest. The revelations of the Stratfor hack uphold his claim: It is indeed in the public interest to know that Dow Chemicals paid a private security firm to follow and low-level harass individuals fighting for recognition and restitution for the Bhopal disaster; it is of public interest too that the Coca Cola company employed Stratfor to spy on PETA activists, that the Department of Homeland Security used the firm to spy on Occupy activities. These details all came out of the Stratfor hack. Our context is such that the intelligence firm’s activity is supported and upheld by the law, Hammond’s work to reveal it is punished with a ten year sentence.


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