Ever since coming out of prison helping inmates, particularly ones in solitary confinement, has consumed a large amount of my time. For weeks I have searched for Fidel Salinas's inmate number, 52306-379, on the US Bureau of Prisons inmate locator. His facility never appears. I just found out he's being shuffled around county facilities, kept exclusively in solitary confinement, and denied not only written correspondence and books but medical necessities.
So-called "Special Housing Units" are one of the worst forms of torture. There are demagogues that would like to pretend it isn't, but the empirical data is clear. Confinement in Special Housing Units causes neurological damage that is so profound you can see it on a CT scan. It atrophies your hippocampus. From the perspective of longterm effects on your life, solitary confinement is orders of magnitude worse for you than having blades shoved underneath your fingernails, or being shocked with a car battery.
Fidel Salinas did not commit a crime. He filled out a web form 44 times. For this they brought an indictment that carried a potential sentence of over four centuries in prison. Knowing full well the personal cost of fighting a federal case, when the government offered him a misdemeanor plea he did what he thought was best for his wife and daughter and took it. Because the government feels he got off too easy for the absurd crime of making forty-four HTTP GETs, he is being tortured. His brain is being maliciously damaged by terrorist thugs in a way that for the rest of his life will reduce his ability to consolidate short term memory to longterm memory and his ability to navigate spatial environments. He will be at a drastically higher risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.
Fidel Salinas is one of my luckier acquaintances. Last year I fought a case brought out of Newark, New Jersey because the FBI and prosecutors office lied and said AT&T was headquartered there so they could kidnap me at gunpoint from my birthplace of Fayetteville, Arkansas. A simple examination of Wikipedia or AT&T's SEC filings will show it is headquartered in Texas. I brook no sedition from fed scum and fought the case until the end, but you know who didn't? Lance Moore. Same US Attorney's office, same legal fiction that AT&T was in New Jersey. Where is Lance Moore now? He's fucking dead. He fucking killed himself. Jonathan James did too, and Aaron Swartz. None of these people committed any crimes and they are all dead. Some in the community simply die under mysterious circumstances or disappear. There is a pile of hacker corpses, and most of them didn't come from well connected families are are thus simply forgotten.
Beyond the sham indictments, hackers get sham trials. For example my judge, the "Honorable" Susan Wigenton, had a lawyer husband Kevin Wigenton who used a five figure amount of his client funds in escrow to pay prostitution and gambling debts. I've met disbarred lawyers in various correctional facilities that went to prison over similar cases but with four figure debts that seem downright paltry in comparison. He however did not go to prison, and has since been allowed to return to the legal profession. Oh, and guess who Kevin spent a decade working with? AT&T. Funny coincidence, that. I was tried in a court that was literally in bed with brothels, with a literal whore on the bench.
I have more friends that have had guns pointed at them by cops than ones that haven't. When you consider how fucking small the world's population of hackers is, you start to realize that the war on hackers is a real literal war. For all the US government's posturing about how say, Bashar al-Assad, is this supposedly terrible tyrant, I am typing this from a Syrian neighborhood right now and even the rare anti-Assad person here doesn't describe people disappearing or being tortured left and right. I don't know anyone of any nationality besides Palestinians that has multiple personal acquaintances that died as a result of state action. Hackers are subject to violence and death at the hands of the state at a rate that rivals the worst governments on earth.
This, of course, is all happening with the backdrop of Obama's ridiculous new hacking laws. Obama's people swear that the feds are no longer going to go after "small cases", but these new laws were written primarily under the direction of US Attorney Paul J. Fishman, who brought the indictments against Lance Moore and I, and US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, whose office brought the cases against Jonathan James and Aaron Swartz. Laws are not abstract things that are used in the vacuum of the executive. These laws mean nothing to cybercriminals, who operate out of Russia or other nations where they will never face extradition. United States Attorneys have made their interests explicitly clear. They do not care about systemic financial crime. They care primarily about politically motivated activity and business models including disruptive uses of technology. Instead of legislating new laws that clearly violate the first amendment, perhaps the President's administration could first take care of their obligations, such as compensating me for the violence that was unlawfully done to my person as a result of the lies of his employees.
A very real war is being waged against us. The government will continue to torture and murder us. They will not back down like they did to the protestors at Bundy Ranch because no event has occurred yet that makes them have any reason to fear hackers. The people of Bundy Ranch are alive today because the last time the government massacred people in the nationalist movement, someone retaliated by killing a large amount of them and their children at Oklahoma City. Unless electronic activists begin to use techniques of asymmetric warfare to defend themselves like American nationalists did, there will be more tragedies like Fidel Salinas, Lance Moore, and Jonathan James.