Irreverent Hacker's Jail Cell Amplifies His Activism


Wikimedia Commons/Weev

Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer in 2010

Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, the hacker who released hundreds of thousands of iPad owners' email addresses, is live-tweeting his 41-month jail term.

Auernheimer has remained unapologetic about the offense, telling Business Insider that all he did was access a public and unsecure Web server — an action which, if the prosecution's logic is followed, would make all Internet users criminals.

IDIFTL means I Did It for The Lulz, which is a reference to trolling, i.e. performing stunts and other actions in hopes of provoking a response, which he plans to continue doing.

The topics of the tweets span from the breakfast in Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) to railing on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which both he and fallen hacktivist Aaron Swartz were prosecuted for violating.

The CFAA penalizes "the unauthorized access of a computer or someone who exceeds their authorized access," and has come under scrutiny since Swartz committed suicide after two years of aggressive prosecution.

Privacy expert Jordan Kovnot told WYNC that the 1984 amendment is considered by researchers to be outdated, and the language of the law "can be interpreted very broadly by prosecutors."

It seems that Auernheimer's criticisms of the law — the new version of which appears to be even stricter — are being amplified as he serves time for breaking it.

The Internets seem to approve.

To get a better idea of how revered "weev" is in the cyber community, check out this interview of Auernheimer published by Information activist Asher Wolf.