Andrew Auernheimer (weev) wrote,
Andrew Auernheimer

Hackers: chip in for legal defense, or live in a world without it.

Some hackers donate to legal advocacy organizations out of self-interest. They think that when they get indicted these legal organizations will be there to help them. Then they get indicted, and suddenly find that nobody is there to help them. The big advocacy organizations you donated to are not going to take your case to trial.

This isn't meant to be a criticism of organizations like the EFF. It's just a fact. Their charter urges them to push law and policy. They aren't there to bring your case to trial. If your case does not create new law they will have little interest in it. Even if it does, you may decide it is in your best interests to plea out like Fidel Salinas did. Until you have already finished trial and are slated for appeal, they will not be there to help you.

It feels like ages ago since I was indicted. After meeting with upwards of a hundred attorneys I had resigned myself to running my case pro se, representing myself. I had only met a single competent attorney who understood the legal issues at hand in the case. They wanted a six figure sum to do it. After several years of nonstop federal harassment, I had not a dime to my name left. I went to Zuchotti Park and started trolling passerby with an inflammatory sign about ZOG. As a result I met Tor Ekeland.

Tor was the second attorney I met that had a reasonable understanding of computer crime law. He was broke too but said he'd do it for free. I ended up bringing in some donations and business, remaining probably the only hacker client of his that ever showed a hint of profit. After coming to personal understanding of how fucking draconian the legal system surrounding computer "crimes" is, he's helped in nearly a dozen more cases since then that I know of, even when the press wasn't interested or they incurred big losses on him and his firm.

Tor's is the one law firm that consistently helps hackers around the world when they desperately need it. Nobody else wants to. Nobody else will. There's a handful of attorneys that understand computer crime law in the world and hardly any of them will get out of bed for less than a thousand dollars an hour. How many of them will take your case to trial to make sure arguments are preserved for appeal?

Tor is running out of money. I gave him some in appreciation for his continued work, but I live on a Slavic salary. I make less than US minimum wage. There's only so much I can do, and I'm certainly not capable of keeping his doors open right now.

Those doors are at risk of closing to us. If they do, you will have no options when they come for you. You will have to do what everyone did before Tor came along, which is take a terrible plea deal "negotiated" by a public defender who does not care about you and has no desire to help you. That plea deal will destroy the rest of your life. Or you might choose to kill yourself like Moore and Swartz did after they went to personal and family friends who were attorneys begging for help and were told to get lost. Those that refused to answer Swartz's call for help like Lawrence Lessig are unfathomably well funded. Tor answers as many calls as he can at great personal cost to himself, yet is tragically starved for resources.

If Tor does not keep doing what he does for hackers, every person that uses the Internet is poorer for it.

Help him keep his doors open or nobody will have your back when they come for you:

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