Bail denied for LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond
Hacker Jeremy Hammond won’t be leaving his jail cell any time soon.
Federal judge Loretta Preska refused to release the hacker into house arrest Tuesday at a bail hearing in Manhattan.
Hammond, also known as “Anarchaos,” has been held without bail or trial since March 2012, when he and four other members of the anonymous hacker group LulzSec were arrested thanks to information provided by hacker-turned-informant Hector Xavier Monsegur, better known as “Sabu.”
Hammond and the others are being accused of hacking private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) and turning over millions of company emails to Wikileaks. He faces 39.5 years in prison.
The news was first broken on Twitter by @sabokitty, who tweeted “#freehammond facing 39.5 years for allegedly hacking, uploading Stratfor emails #wikileaks. ‘No bail’ decision disgusting, contrary to law.”
Confirmation of Judge Preska’s decision came this morning in the form of a lengthy Facebook post written by Sue Crabtree, one of Hammond's biggest supporters and the administrator of the Free Jeremy Hammond Facebook page.
According to Crabtree, Judge Preska decided to deny Hammond bail because she felt that he was a flight risk. Preska also stated that given the hacker’s certain set of skills he posed a threat to society, going so far as to claim that he was more dangerous than an online sexual predator.
“Judge Preska and the Prosecuting Attorneys did state that Jeremy was more of a danger to the community than an online sexual predator because Jeremy has ways to hide his identity online and, pardon my sarcasm here, because Jeremy knows how to use TOR.”
TOR, short for “The Onion Router,” is a system created to provide individuals with anonymity online.
“Yes, it was said. I’m sorry folks I can’t help but wonder how many sexual predators are out there using their real names and identity while committing disgusting acts on the Internet.”
Understandably, Crabtree took exception to the way Hammond was being characterized.
“To say that Jeremy is more dangerous than an online sexual predator or a pedophile is the most vile of statements made during this hearing,” she fumed. “I am astounded that it is acceptable to provide bail to people who rape children and women and yet, a nonviolent person like Jeremy rises to a level of more dangerous than these despicable human beings.”
Attorneys for Hammond have stated that they will seek to appeal the bond hearing. At least one source is reporting that the detained hacker might not see trial until Sept. 2013.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article claimed the Facebook post describing Judge Preska's ruling was written by Hammond's mother, Rose Collins. Although Collins did write a scathing letter to the hacker collective Anonymous back in March, the author of the Facebook message was Sue Crabtree, a vocal Hammond supporter whose son is also close friends with Hammond.