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Hacker Jeremy Hammond today pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in connection with the 2011 breach of Stratfor.
"Jeremy has taken responsibility for what he’s done, but he should not face such a harsh sentence for an act of protest from which he did not personally benefit," Hammond's twin brother Jason Hammond said in a statement. "I’m glad he’s moved one step closer to freedom but today I’m asking for the judge to consider a sentence appropriate to what is nothing other than a non-violent political protest."
"There were numerous problems with the government’s case, including the credibility of FBI informant Hector Monsegur," Hammond wrote in a separate statement. "However, because prosecutors stacked the charges with inflated damages figures, I was looking at a sentencing guideline range of over 30 years if I lost at trial. "
"Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites," Hammond added. "Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right."
Hammond noted that he has already been in prison for 15 months, including several weeks in solitary confinement, with no visits or phone calls allowed from family or friends. "This plea agreement spares me, my family, and my community a repeat of this grinding process," he wrote.