- The night before the #Antisec raids went public (and the knowledge that Sabu was working with the FBI), Jeremy Hammond* contacted me via private message on the cryto IRC network where (one of) the #Antisec channel(s) resided. This in itself was not out of the ordinary. In the previous months, we had collaborated in various ways on #Antisec operations. But this time was not like the others.
- He always had a way of keeping himself collected and saying what needed to be said without looking like a distraught mess. This time, though, he spoke with urgency. He said that he was going to be starting a new job soon and that he needed further help with future #Antisec releases. I was excited to help him, but something did not seem right. We had protocols for this sort of thing for a reason. He provided me with a list of targets. I was given IP addresses and even the specific vulns that could be exploited on each of them to gain access to the systems. I told him that I would "look into it later" and immediately grew paranoid. More than usual. I didn't even do so much as to PING any of the IPs. I ditched the list and resumed feeling uncomfortable about the situation.
- The next morning, I drove to work with a sick feeling in my stomach. I was afraid but I could not be entirely sure what was going on or if there really was anything to worry about. Even if there was a problem, I had prepared for it. Most of my close personal IRL friends knew that I had grown more worrisome over the previous months. I told them on more than one occasion how I felt that soon I would need to go on the road and disappear for a while. It was only a hunch. I received a phone call while opening at work. It was a friend of mine from the internet calling to tell me the news that Sabu was an FBI snitch and that a handful of my compatriots had been arrested. In that moment I experienced clarity, fear, sadness, and anger all at once.
- I finished up my opening shift at work with a heaviness in my chest. I told my boss that the time had come and that I needed to leave. She knew what I meant. We were close and I trusted her. She knew that on any given day I could disappear and that the day of my return would be unknown. She wished me luck and I left. I half expected there to be police and feds at my house when I got home, but there were none. I returned to the internet to see what the extent of the damage had been. Much of the rest of that day is a blur.
- I was contacted by someone that Sabu had introduced me to months earlier. At this point, I assumed that he was simply an extension of Sabu and the FBI. I will never forget what he said. "He says that you need to disappear." I didn't ask who "He" was. I knew what that meant. At least, I thought I did. It seemed to me that Sabu was attempting to warn me about something. I hated to think that my friend (Sabu) could really have been working with the FBI and the idea that he was trying to help me relieved me in some way. I already had a go bag prepared, so I grabbed it and left my house.
- Using an assumed identity I took a train across the country. Over the next months I traveled thousands upon thousands of miles. I've never been in so many buses, trains, and taxis. I stayed with close friends from the internet. My funds were tight, but I am not a needy person, so it lasted pretty well. I was lucky to have a free place to sleep everywhere I went, and I will never forget what all of those people did for me during this time. Despite their help and kindness, I had never felt so alone. I had spent time away from my friends and family before, but this felt different. I was not sure of when I could return and that fact alone played games with my heartstrings. I felt the distance and it always seemed to grow.
- I may have felt alone, but this did not stop me from learning from everyone that I came across during that journey. At the end of the second month on the road I was fully invigorated by my interactions with these people. I once again remembered why it was that I stood against a corrupt government. I was just as connected to every random person as I am to my family and friends. And with that realization came another.
- I had been tricked. I wasn't sure if I deceived myself or if that was the FBI's plan from the moment Sabu's "friend" contacted me. When they told me "You have to disappear" I took it to mean that I was in danger. But all at once I knew what they actually meant was, "You have to stop being a problem." I had thwarted their repeated attempts to entrap me. They had nothing on me and I had plenty on them.
- So here I am, one of the few members of #Antisec to not end up behind bars. Take from this what you will. It is meant to be a warning. A warning not just for fellow activists, but a warning to the federal government and the entities that have wormed their way into power. I have fear in my heart, yet I know it's nothing compared to the collective fear you feel when people like myself escape your traps and live on free to fight against you.
- - jihad
- * It wasn't actually Jeremy Hammond talking to me. He had already been arrested. These sorts of raids typically don't go public the day they happen. The feds try to collect as much data and compromise as many systems and people as they can before they let the news out. Thanks to recent documents that have leaked, I know that what they tried to do to me through Jeremy was actually what Sabu was doing to him all along.
#Antisec, Jeremy Hammond, Sabu, and Me
a guest Apr 30th, 2014 10,665 Never
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