Anonymous Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday after releasing millions of emails relating to private intelligence firm Stratfor.
Hammond was arrested in 2012 during an international raid and he eventually pleaded guilty to one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) over the 2011 hack. He was sentenced at a federal court in Manhattan.
The information Hammond gathered was later published by WikiLeaks, and raised civil liberties concerns that Stratfor had been hired by private companies and government authorities to monitor political protesters.
Hammond’s arrest came after information was passed to the FBI by Hector Xavier Monsegur, also known as Sabu, who was once the leader of Anonymous-affiliated group Lulzsec and a respected hacktivist, but it later emerged that he was an FBI informant.
Speaking to the Guardian the day before his sentencing, which he expected to be lengthy, Hammond said the sentencing was a “vengeful, spiteful act” and said it was clear that his prosecutors were “trying to send a message” to others like him.
“A lot of it is because they got slapped around, they were embarrassed by Anonymous and they feel that they need to save face,” he said.
Hammond also expressed anger that FBI informant Sabu had, he claims, actively suggested to him “foreign targets to hit” before his arrest.
The 28-year-old told the Guardian: “It is kind of funny that here they are sentencing me for hacking Stratfor, but at the same time as I was doing that an FBI informant was suggesting to me foreign targets to hit.
“So you have to wonder how much they really care about protecting the security of websites.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Voice of Russia, an Anonymous representative said the group stood behind Hammond and said the group had “never forgotten” about Sabu.
“He has kind of dropped beneath the radar,” said the hacktivist. “Obviously we have never forgotten about him, I mean who could?
"But I do not even currently know his whereabouts. I know he went into protection and has fairly pretty disappeared off the radar as far as I know, and was talking about doing something about him about six months ago and now.”
Hammond was one of a number of Anonymous hacktivists currently facing charges in the US.