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kayla
We recently got a chance to speak with Ryan Ackroyd, aka Kayla. Ackroyd was arrested in September of 2011 along with other members of LulzSec. He was released last month after serving 10 of the 30 months in which he was sentenced. Here is what Ryan had to say:

FreeAnons: So you were recently released. Could you tell us when and what are the terms of your release?

Ryan Ackroyd: I was released in February on Home Detention Curfew (HDC) which means that I have to wear an electronic tag and be home for 19:00 every night. I was supposed to be released before Christmas but they “lost my paperwork” and I had to start it allover again…

FA:  For those unfamiliar with your case would you like to explain that in your own words?

RA:  Back in 2011 I was arrested for my involvement in the attacks orchestrated by Anonymous, Lulz Security (LulzSec) and Operation Anti-Security. I was sentenced in 2013 to 30 months in prison of which I served 10 months. I am currently on TAG and have to abide by the rules of probation until 2015 when the sentence is complete. I have been handed a Serious Crime Prevention Order by the court which prevents me from using encryption which allows hidden volumes, Virtual machines or from deleting my web history. Once I have saved enough money for legal I intend to fight this SCPO in court.

FA: And how do you feel about the way the whole thing transpired?

RA: I knew I was going to get caught but I never thought that I would get stabbed in the back. Sabu didn’t have much information about me, he knew nothing about me personally but he was still able to log our conversations. The media have overplayed Sabu’s snitching role, the most to come from Sabu was a few chat logs, at least in my case. I am not angry at Sabu I am just disappointed, he took it to a whole new level just to save himself and now he has joined the ranks of Lammo etc, I wondered why 2600 gave him a shell account on 2600.

FA:  We have seen some pretty harsh sentences handed down in hacking cases being tried under the CFAA. On the other side of things we are seeing warrant-less surveillance out of control with the three letter agencies like the NSA. What are your thoughts on this?

RA:  I find it shocking that people do more prison time for sharing a link than people who commit crimes such as rape. The government are afraid of hackers, they know hackers are the types of people they cannot defend their secrets against so they aim to cage us all up while using the same “illegal” tactics as we do.

FA:  The recent leaks coming from Edward Snowden document the use of much the same methods hackers use to facilitate a lot of this surveillance. Malware, Viruses, etc. Do you think these agencies should be allowed to employ the same methods they are locking away others for in the name of national security?

RA:  Of course not, they should be held to account for breaking the laws they impose but who’s going to do it? Don’t expect any of them going to jail for it thats all I can say.

FA: From an outside perspective, some may believe that Anonymous has slowed down operations quite a bit and that the string of arrests of Anonymous members has forced many into hiding.
What do you think the current state of Anonymous is and where do you see it going in the future?

RA:  I couldn’t tell you the current state of Anonymous at this stage, I’m still reading up on nearly 3 years of internet. I seriously doubt that our arrests had any major impact. We were only a few cogs in thew wider machine that drives Anonymous, there are many, many more than just us.

FA:  Hector “Sabu” Monsegur is due in court again this coming Friday. (April 4th 2014) We have seen a pattern of delays in his sentencing that would lead many to believe he is still cooperating with the Feds. Do you think we will ever see a day when Sabu is sentenced?

RA:  To be honest, he is an outed FBI informant. Prisoners do not like snitches and that is a fact I have seen with my own eyes inside of prison. I doubt Sabu will do any prison time, he’s being rinsed for all the information he has possibly to make it worth the courts dropping all charges against him. Thats probably why it’s taking so long.

FA:  Do you believe that he is still out there cooperating and there is a potential for more arrests as a result?

RA:I believe so yes, they will be using him to penetrate all kinds of groups talking people with skills in to hacking a set up box in order to take the “main players” out of the game completely.

FA:  Were you able to keep up with the Jeremy Hammond case and what were your thoughts on that?

RA:  There wasn’t much news about it on TV here in the UK, here in UK prisson cells you do have a TV and I did hear a few things. I have only recently been able to read more in to it, there’s a lot to read.

FA:  Jeremy, in his statement to the courts, spoke of members of Anonymous being used to target foreign government targets. This was later redacted. We know that Jeremy and others were led by Fed handlers to many of these targets and that the Feds supplied them with both vulnerabilities and servers. Do you think this borders on entrapment?

RA:  Yes it does, if it can be proven and thats the problem.

FA: So, you are probably playing internet catch-up at the moment I would imagine. Anything you missed out on up until now that you have found particularly interesting?

RA: I am still living in 2011, The internet moves too fast, there is a lot for me to catch up on that is for sure.

FA: Is there anything you would like to say to the people out there?

RA: Keep your cards close to your chest and beware those trying too hard to be your friend.

We are happy to have you home Ryan. Stay frosty!

Jeremy Hammond has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. The statement Jeremy read at the hearing today, November 15th 2013, is available below. We are filled with regret for the decision handed down by Judge Preska and offer our sincerest condolences to Jeremy’s family. We stand in solidarity with Jeremy’s friends, family and supporters but above all we stand in solidarity with Jeremy Hammond. We will never forgive. We will never forget.

Note: As indicated, below is Jeremy’s issued statement of November 15, 2013. However, it was redacted, by order of Judge Preska. Below it, there is another Hammond statement that outlines what was in the redacted material. A source indicates it is Jeremy’s words from a previously unpublished text. We have obtained it from @ioerror pastebin link.

Good morning. Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Jeremy Hammond and I’m here to be sentenced for hacking activities carried out during my involvement with Anonymous. I have been locked up at MCC for the past 20 months and have had a lot of time to think about how I would explain my actions.

Before I begin, I want to take a moment to recognize the work of the people who have supported me. I want to thank all the lawyers and others who worked on my case: Elizabeth Fink, Susan Kellman, Sarah Kunstler, Emily Kunstler, Margaret Kunstler, and Grainne O’Neill. I also want to thank the National Lawyers Guild, the Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee and Support Network, Free Anons, the Anonymous Solidarity Network, Anarchist Black Cross, and all others who have helped me by writing a letter of support, sending me letters, attending my court dates, and spreading the word about my case. I also want to shout out my brothers and sisters behind bars and those who are still out there fighting the power.

The acts of civil disobedience and direct action that I am being sentenced for today are in line with the principles of community and equality that have guided my life. I hacked into dozens of high profile corporations and government institutions, understanding very clearly that what I was doing was against the law, and that my actions could land me back in federal prison. But I felt that I had an obligation to use my skills to expose and confront injustice—and to bring the truth to light.

Could I have achieved the same goals through legal means? I have tried everything from voting petitions to peaceful protest and have found that those in power do not want the truth to be exposed. When we speak truth to power we are ignored at best and brutally suppressed at worst. We are confronting a power structure that does not respect its own system of checks and balances, never mind the rights of it’s own citizens or the international community.

My introduction to politics was when George W. Bush stole the Presidential election in 2000, then took advantage of the waves of racism and patriotism after 9/11 to launch unprovoked imperialist wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. I took to the streets in protest naively believing our voices would be heard in Washington and we could stop the war. Instead, we were labeled as traitors, beaten, and arrested.

I have been arrested for numerous acts of civil disobedience on the streets of Chicago, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I used my computer skills to break the law in political protest. I was arrested by the FBI for hacking into the computer systems of a right-wing, pro-war group called Protest Warrior, an organization that sold racist t-shirts on their website and harassed anti-war groups. I was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the “intended loss” in my case was arbitrarily calculated by multiplying the 5000 credit cards in Protest Warrior’s database by $500, resulting in a total of $2.5 million.My sentencing guidelines were calculated on the basis of this “loss,” even though not a single credit card was used or distributed – by me or anyone else. I was sentenced to two years in prison.

While in prison I have seen for myself the ugly reality of how the criminal justice system destroys the lives of the millions of people held captive behind bars. The experience solidified my opposition to repressive forms of power and the importance of standing up for what you believe.

When I was released, I was eager to continue my involvement in struggles for social change. I didn’t want to go back to prison, so I focused on above-ground community organizing. But over time, I became frustrated with the limitations, of peaceful protest, seeing it as reformist and ineffective. The Obama administration continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, escalated the use of drones, and failed to close Guantanamo Bay.

Around this time, I was following the work of groups like Wikileaks and Anonymous. It was very inspiring to see the ideas of hactivism coming to fruition. I was particularly moved by the heroic actions of Chelsea Manning, who had exposed the atrocities committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. She took an enormous personal risk to leak this information – believing that the public had a right to know and hoping that her disclosures would be a positive step to end these abuses. It is heart-wrenching to hear about her cruel treatment in military lockup.

I thought long and hard about choosing this path again. I had to ask myself, if Chelsea Manning fell into the abysmal nightmare of prison fighting for the truth, could I in good conscience do any less, if I was able? I thought the best way to demonstrate solidarity was to continue the work of exposing and confronting corruption.

I was drawn to Anonymous because I believe in autonomous, decentralized direct action. At the time Anonymous was involved in operations in support of the Arab Spring uprisings, against censorship, and in defense of Wikileaks. I had a lot to contribute, including technical skills, and how to better articulate ideas and goals. It was an exciting time – the birth of a digital dissent movement, where the definitions and capabilities of hacktivism were being shaped.

I was especially interested in the work of the hackers of LulzSec who were breaking into some significant targets and becoming increasingly political. Around this time, I first started talking to Sabu, who was very open about the hacks he supposedly committed, and was encouraging hackers to unite and attack major government and corporate systems under the banner of Anti Security. But very early in my involvement, the other Lulzsec hackers were arrested, leaving me to break into systems and write press releases. Later, I would learn that Sabu had been the first one arrested, and that the entire time I was talking to him he was an FBI informant.

Anonymous was also involved in the early stages of Occupy Wall Street. I was regularly participating on the streets as part of Occupy Chicago and was very excited to see a worldwide mass movement against the injustices of capitalism and racism. In several short months, the “Occupations” came to an end, closed by police crackdowns and mass arrests of protestors who were kicked out of their own public parks. The repression of Anonymous and the Occupy Movement set the tone for Antisec in the following months – the majority of our hacks against police targets were in retaliation for the arrests of our comrades.

I targeted law enforcement systems because of the racism and inequality with which the criminal law is enforced. I targeted the manufacturers and distributors of military and police equipment who profit from weaponry used to advance U.S. political and economic interests abroad and to repress people at home. I targeted information security firms because they work in secret to protect government and corporate interests at the expense of individual rights, undermining and discrediting activists, journalists and other truth seekers, and spreading disinformation.

I had never even heard of Stratfor until Sabu brought it to my attention. Sabu was encouraging people to invade systems, and helping to strategize and facilitate attacks. He even provided me with vulnerabilities of targets passed on by other hackers, so it came as a great surprise when I learned that Sabu had been working with the FBI the entire time.

On December 4, 2011, Sabu was approached by another hacker who had already broken into Stratfor’s credit card database. Sabu, under the watchful eye of his government handlers, then brought the hack to Antisec by inviting this hacker to our private chatroom, where he supplied download links to the full credit card database as well as the initial vulnerability access point to Stratfor’s systems.

I spent some time researching Stratfor and reviewing the information we were given, and decided that their activities and client base made them a deserving target. I did find it ironic that Stratfor’s wealthy and powerful customer base had their credit cards used to donate to humanitarian organizations, but my main role in the attack was to retrieve Stratfor’s private email spools which is where all the dirty secrets are typically found.

It took me more than a week to gain further access into Stratfor’s internal systems, but I eventually broke into their mail server. There was so much information, we needed several servers of our own in order to transfer the emails. Sabu, who was involved with the operation at every step, offered a server, which was provided and monitored by the FBI. Over the next weeks, the emails were transferred, the credit cards were used for donations, and Stratfor’s systems were defaced and destroyed. Why the FBI would introduce us to the hacker who found the initial vulnerability and allow this hack to continue remains a mystery.

As a result of the Stratfor hack, some of the dangers of the unregulated private intelligence industry are now known. It has been revealed through Wikileaks and other journalists around the world that Stratfor maintained a worldwide network of informants that they used to engage in intrusive and possibly illegal surveillance activities on behalf of large multinational corporations.

After Stratfor, I continued to break into other targets, using a powerful “zero day exploit” allowing me administrator access to systems running the popular Plesk webhosting platform. Sabu asked me many times for access to this exploit, which I refused to give him. Without his own independent access, Sabu continued to supply me with lists of vulnerable targets. I broke into numerous websites he supplied, uploaded the stolen email accounts and databases onto Sabu’s FBI server, and handed over passwords and backdoors that enabled Sabu (and, by extension, his FBI handlers) to control these targets.

These intrusions, all of which were suggested by Sabu while cooperating with the FBI, affected thousands of domain names and consisted largely of foreign government websites, including those of XXXXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXXX, XXXXXX, XXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXXXXXX and theXXXXXX XXXXXXX. In one instance, Sabu and I provided access information to hackers who went on to deface and destroy many government websites in XXXXXX. I don’t know how other information I provided to him may have been used, but I think the government’s collection and use of this data needs to be investigated.

The government celebrates my conviction and imprisonment, hoping that it will close the door on the full story. I took responsibility for my actions, by pleading guilty, but when will the government be made to answer for its crimes?

The U.S. hypes the threat of hackers in order to justify the multi billion dollar cyber security industrial complex, but it is also responsible for the same conduct it aggressively prosecutes and claims to work to prevent. The hypocrisy of “law and order” and the injustices caused by capitalism cannot be cured by institutional reform but through civil disobedience and direct action. Yes I broke the law, but I believe that sometimes laws must be broken in order to make room for change.

In the immortal word of Frederick Douglas, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

This is not to say that I do not have any regrets. I realize that I released the personal information of innocent people who had nothing to do with the operations of the institutions I targeted. I apologize for the release of data that was harmful to individuals and irrelevant to my goals. I believe in the individual right to privacy – from government surveillance, and from actors like myself, and I appreciate the irony of my own involvement in the trampling of these rights. I am committed to working to make this world a better place for all of us. I still believe in the importance of hactivism as a form of civil disobedience, but it is time for me to move on to other ways of seeking change. My time in prison has taken a toll on my family, friends, and community. I know I am needed at home. I recognize that 7 years ago I stood before a different federal judge, facing similar charges, but this does not lessen the sincerity of what I say to you today.

It has taken a lot for me to write this, to explain my actions, knowing that doing so — honestly — could cost me more years of my life in prison. I am aware that I could get as many as 10 years, but I hope that I do not, as I believe there is so much work to be done.

STAY STRONG AND KEEP STRUGGLING!

Text from a previously unpublished statement which seems to clarify above redactions:

“Sabu also supplied lists of targets that were vulnerable to “zero day exploits” used to break into systems, including a powerful remote root vulnerability effecting the popular Plesk software. At his request, these websites were broken into, their emails and databases were uploaded to Sabu’s FBI server, and the password information and the location of root backdoors were supplied. These intrusions took place in January/February of 2012 and affected over 2000 domains, including numerous foreign government websites in Brazil, Turkey, Syria, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Nigeria, Iran, Slovenia, Greece, Pakistan, and others. A few of the compromised websites that I recollect include the official website of the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Internal Affairs Division of the Military Police of Brazil, the Official Website of the Crown Prince of Kuwait, the Tax Department of Turkey, the Iranian Academic Center for Education and Cultural Research, the Polish Embassy in the UK, and the Ministry of Electricity of Iraq.

Sabu also infiltrated a group of hackers that had access to hundreds of Syrian systems including government institutions, banks, and ISPs. He logged several relevant IRC channels persistently asking for live access to mail systems and bank transfer details. The FBI took advantage of hackers who wanted to help support the Syrian people against the Assad regime, who instead unwittingly provided the U.S. government access to Syrian systems, undoubtedly supplying useful intelligence to the military and their buildup for war.

All of this happened under the control and supervision of the FBI and can be easily confirmed by chat logs the government provided to us pursuant to the government’s discovery obligations in the case against me. However, the full extent of the FBI’s abuses remains hidden. Because I pled guilty, I do not have access to many documents that might have been provided to me in advance of trial, such as Sabu’s communications with the FBI. In addition, the majority of the documents provided to me are under a “protective order” which insulates this material from public scrutiny. As government transparency is an issue at the heart of my case, I ask that this evidence be made public. I believe the documents will show that the government’s actions go way beyond catching hackers and stopping computer crimes.”

Freeanons has received much support of late, which we deeply appreciate.
It comes on the heels of Lulzsec sentences in the U.K., handed down this past Thursday. We have been following these cases closely, as well as Jeremy’s Hammond’s related case in the Southern District of New York. Ryan Ackroyd was sentenced to a 30 month sentence of which he is expected to serve 15 months. Jake Davis, 20, was sentenced to two years in a juvenile facility. Mustafa Bassam received a 20 month sentence which was suspended for two years, as well as 300 hours of community service. In the meantime, Jeremy still waits for trial. He has now been incarcerated for 14 months, having been denied bail on exceedingly spurious grounds.

This past week we have seen Anonymous arrests in Italy, as well. We urge support for these Anons. We have also been reminded that there are two sets of pending cases in Spain, one from 2011, which can be read about here, and another from 2012 related to Operation Unmask. Freeanons.Org operates with the help of a very dedicated core group of activists and channel administrators, some of whom have been in our channel day and night for well over a year. While we try to support every arrested Anon, there are many, many Anons who now face persecution from their governments. Our support system works best when an indicted or jailed Anon, or group of Anons, has a focused support group dedicated to raising money and awareness to his or their particular cause. That is why Jeremy Hammond and Barret Brown’s cases have remained in the public eye. Our goal at Freeanons.Org now is support this kind of localized effort, and offer advice, when needed, as to setting up donation sites and media campaigns run by the arrested Anon’s friends, family, or community, as well as to give money and promote media for Anons in cases where this is not possible. So we encourage people to form these localized support groups for cases across the globe, and contact us for any help needed in the effort. We want to promote these individual efforts.

Whether a donation is one dollar or a thousand dollars, we are heartened equally by both the effort, and the words, like these, that have accompanied the donations since our inception:

bonne chance à tous…que le cosmos soit avec vous…

This is a thank you to the brave people who have taken a stand on behalf of Americans and world citizens, alike. May your struggle right now not be in vain. But know it does not go unappreciated.

Solidarity from xxxxxxxx, KY!

This money is intended to help Eric Rosol. We do not forget.

Finally way to help as I am a mom and grandmother that is not computer savvy but I do know how to click the confirm button! I will also be visiting the store. Keep up the amazing work! You’re are only hope!!

Your work is truly appreciated. Only wish I could do more to help. It may not be much but I hope is usefull to you. Thank you for your courage and guidance in opening our eyes to so much uglyness. I will donate as I’m able. Rest assure is from my heart. United we will become stronger.

Solidarity, bros

Please use this donation however you think is best. I understand all dont have a support network so use it where needed. Thanks

#semperfi

Hope togethter we can free anons much love!

I wish I could do more. I will be back to donate again when possible.

keep up teh good find #DDG

“Legion: For we are many.”

good luck with this. Wish I could give more. xox

this time, for LulzCart, pl0x

Money for Lulzcart to get to court

God Speed Brothers and Sisters

I wish it could have been more, but I’m lucky to be able to do this. We have to protect each other.

Thanks ya’ll.

Keep up the great work! Thank you! Anonymous- Holder can kiss our Yankee arses!

Good luck 🙂

NO MATTER WHAT ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ REMAIN STANDING

You guys have my support, I know it’s not much but hopefully everything counts. Wish I could do more for you guys, keep doing what you’re doing!

Bless them

Its not much but i wanted to give something. anonymous is the voice of the people you are me,her,him,we are legion we are everyone, THANKYOU to those who fight.thank you to those who disobey. keep on, keeping on…

This is just some of the correspondence and well-wishes we’ve received over the past long and difficult months, and it’s these words, finally, that keep us going. Thank you all.

The Anonymous Solidarity Network: FreeAnons in the UK!
We will not forget Ashley Rhodes (Elite), Christopher Weatherhead (Nerdo), Jack Davis (Topiary), Ryan Ackroyd (Kayla) and all arrested Anons in United Kingdom and around the world.

The Anonymous Solidarity Network exists to provide legal, financial and moral support for activists facing prosecution for involvement, alleged or otherwise, in Anonymous actions. The use of information networks to perform community acts of protest is neither a crime nor an act of conspiracy and should not be prosecuted as such. We believe that information is power and that the power should always belong to the People. We dedicate ourselves and our resources to helping activists combat injustices of law arising from the fight for freedom of information and positive social change.

In cooperation with information and cyber-activists, legal advisors, and the People, the Anonymous Solidarity Network acts to advance the cause of Anonymous through organizing public awareness programs, campaigning charitable efforts and providing legal assistance. Inspired to action by the unjust prosecution of our friends and family, the Anonymous Solidarity Network strives tirelessly to implement the critical initiatives required to advance, commemorate and preserve the activism of Anonymous and the cause of freeing Anonymous activists from unjust prosecution.

The storm has yet to pass and what ships remain out at sea are desperately seeking refuge from the relentless waves of prosecution but there is one ship sailing towards, not away from, these troubled waters. We are the Anonymous Solidarity Network. We are a collective of Anons and the friends and family of Anons facing prosecution for alleged involvement in Anonymous activities. Our ranks are not exclusive and we have no leaders. Any can join us and all are welcome to contribute to our direction. For us to continue our voyage, however, we need your support. We need you to board our ship and to set sail with us.

Raynaldo Rivera surrendered to U.S. authorities on the 28th of August in Phoenix, Ariz. six days after a federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned an indictment charging him with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.

Raynaldo is a 20 year old computer science student from Tempe, Ariz. and an accused LulzSec hacker known, allegedly, as “wildicv,” “neuron,” and “royal.” If convicted, Raynaldo faces up to 15 years in prison.

The indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, accuses Raynaldo and “co-conspirators” of stealing information from Sony in May and June of last year. The indictment accuses Raynaldo of having cooperated with the attack, having helped to post confidential information onto LulzSec’s website and announce the attack via the LulzSec Twitter account.