Anonymous claims Stratfor hacking trial is partial, unfair

Summary:The federal judge presiding over the fate of alleged Stratfor hacker Anarchaos has had her impartiality called into question by Anonymous, after it was revealed that her husband was a victim in the same breach.

Anonymous is demanding that the judge overseeing the trial of a hacker, who is alleged to be responsible for the Stratfor breach, step down from her position.

In December last year, hackers stole information from intelligence broker Stratfor and published the information online . The information included over 50,000 credit card numbers, as well as a large number of email addresses, phone numbers, and easily cracked encrypted passwords. Over 5 million of Stratfor's emails were also sent to WikiLeaks, which went on to be known as the Global Intelligence Files.

In March, former LulzSec leader turned informant Hector Monsegur provided the FBI with information that led to the arrest of Jeremy Hammond. The FBI believed that he was one of the hackers, known as Anarchaos, behind the breach. Hammond has been held without trial since his arrest.

Last week, Hammond's pre-trial hearing took place, ruled over by Federal Judge Loretta Preska. According to The Associated Press, he was refused bail because he poses "a very substantial danger to the community."

However, members of Anonymous have since drawn attention to Judge Preska and her relationship with the Stratfor hack. Preska's husband, Thomas Kavaler, is among the victims of the breach. Kavaler's work email address at Cahill Gordon & Reindel was among the information leaked from the attack on Stratfor, matching his profile on the CG&R website.

Anonymous has since issued a statement, saying that in the interest of justice, Judge Preska must step down due to a direct conflict of interest.

"Judge Loretta Preska's impartiality is compromised by her husband's involvement with Stratfor and a clear prejudice against Hammond exists, as evident by her statements."

The Courthouse News Service reported that Preska considers Hammond's lack of regard for legal authority, as well as the length of the expected sentence liable, to make him a flight risk. This is despite Hammond's defence pointing out that he has no passport, has always appeared before court, and would agree to bail conditions that would see him barred from using a computer.

"Judge Preska by proxy is a victim of the very crime she intends to judge Jeremy Hammond for. Judge Preska has failed to disclose the fact that her husband is a client of Stratfor and recuse herself from Jeremy's case, therefore violating multiple sections of Title 28 of the United States Code," Anonymous said in a statement.

"In the interest of justice, the public, media, and defence should demand Judge Preska remove herself from Hammond's case, or if she will not, demand a superior court provide a writ of prohibition forcing her to step down.

"Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected."

Topics: Security, Government, Government : US

About

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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