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[liberationtech] Hammond Banned from using Cryptography

Shava Nerad shava23 at
Wed Nov 20 18:33:52 PST 2013

On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 7:54 PM, Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb
<ei8fdb at>wrote:

> On 20 Nov 2013, at 22:17, Shava Nerad <shava23 at> wrote:
> > IANAL, but it seems to me that if the judge does not call the lawyers
> into chambers for consultation, there is no period of commentary on
> sentencing, or adjustment period.
> IAANAL, so you’ll have to explain the significance of what this means?

So, as a non-lawyer, this is my understanding -- the judge can call the
defense and prosecution into their "office," (chambers) optionally, to
discuss sentencing.  I don't think this is done when there is a plea
bargain though.

The plea bargain is settled before the courtroom is entered, and the plea
of guilty is declared before the court.  Then the evidence is given and the
judge is supposed to honor the plea bargain, but is not under obligation
legally to do so to the exact letter?

Although it seem so...

I don't know if the supervised non-crypto thing was part of the plea
bargain though -- it's my impression, although I haven't looked into it,
that this was tacked on by the judge as a fillip after the fact.  It must
have been in the plea bargain though, from what I'm reading...?

So...was it left in there to make it look insane?


> > If the plea is innocent, then the sentence can be appealed through a
> trial at a higher court -- however, Hammond opted due to the rather
> excessively abusive CFAA law which would have put him away for 35 years for
> a guilty plea for ten years.  This means he had to live with the judge’s
> ruling which had this “side car" of court supervised idiocy tagged on --
> which actually made me immediately think that the judge had read up on
> Kevin Mitnick's trial and was trying to sound like he knew something he
> didn't.
> Wait, if he read up on Mitnick’s trial and thought he understood…no let’s
> not go there..
Yeah, iknowright?  He wanted to sound sophisticated perhaps and like he was
acting on precedent, in a find judicial tradition of nearly exactly two
decades of cybercriminal law.

I know exactly how long ago it was because I was there when Kevin was
apprehended.  I was, unfortunately, the last person he tried to social
engineer before the feds caught him.  I had no idea who it was at the time
telling me that our student email servers were painfully insecure at
UNC/Chapel Hill and for a reasonable cash fee, perhaps they could be more
secure, or otherwise...  But Kevin had the atrocious luck to contact me
when we had several federal agencies in my machine room investigating a
warez ring hovering over me.

> > Couldn’t stick with the ten years, had to piss on it, pardon my
> crudeness.
> Don’t follow.

It's an American idiom, referring to the territorial mammal ethology of
marking territory by peeing on boundaries.  I assume the judge was handed
the plea bargain of a ten year sentence, and tacked on the
supervised-years-without-encrypted-access as his "mark" on the plea

So, rather than going with what he was given, he had to be a male mammal
and make it "his" like a tom cat.

I am violating my usual nonviolent guidelines and being rude and
contemptuous in my old age -- my crone years, perhaps the pain management
on my infirmities wearing me down (I did manage the anti-surveillance march
in DC in a wheelchair, but it was a challenge...).

I am reminded of Tiamat in the old myths, who grew weary of her children's
noise.  As a grow older, I see young people hungry for reform, and I as an
elder find myself out of sorts with my entrenched peers.  I want better
ways to go to the younger folks and feed them what I know through a
firehose, before it's too late.  Alas, it got Tiamat offed by her children,
who wanted to rule her grandchildren and tax them in peace.

This seems to be the story of civilization.


Shava Nerad
shava23 at
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