Hammond plead guilty to the charged, lowering his potential sentence from the 35 year maximum to 10. "Yes I broke the law, but I believe sometimes laws must be broken in order to make room for change…. I still believe in hacktivism as a form of civil disobedience."
Hammond, along with other members of the group, Anonymous, stole over 60,000 credit card numbers and used them to make donations to non-profits. Additionally, they published hundreds of thousands of emails and customer data relating to Stratfor's clientele. The emails suggest that the security firm was to be paid a hefty sum to track hacktivist groups and infiltrate their ranks.
The US government rigorously pursued the maximum sentence on the grounds that Jeremy was a repeat offender. "While he billed himself as fighting for an anarchist cause, in reality, Jeremy Hammond caused personal and financial chaos for individuals whose identities and money he took and for companies whose businesses he decided he didn't like… he was nothing more than a repeat offender cybercriminal who thought that because of his computer savvy he was above the law…”
Hammond, a member of Antisec, had hundreds of supporters. The US District Court hearing his case and Judge Loretta Preska received over 250 letters backing Hammond. The Electronic Frontier Foundation similarly voiced their support for a lesser sentence.
Hammond is just the latest prosecution effort of various governments around the world to clamp down on "cyberterrorism" and internet crime.