Jeremy Hammond of the hacktivist group Anonymous has pleaded guilty to hacking into the private intelligence firm Stratfor, the FBIand other institutions. Hammond says his goal was to shed light on how governments and corporations act behind closed doors. Some five million Stratfor emails ended up on the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, shedding light on how the private intelligence firm monitors activists and spies for corporate clients. In a statement, Hammond said he accepted the plea deal in part to avoid an overzealous prosecution that could have resulted in at least 30 years in prison. He has already served 15 months, including weeks in solitary confinement. Joining us from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says Hammond’s prosecution comes as part of a wider crackdown "on effective political activists and alleged journalistic sources."
Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of disclosing a trove of government documents and cables to WikiLeaks, is set to go on trial next week. Manning has already pleaded guilty to misusing classified material he felt "should become public," but has denied the top charge of aiding the enemy. Speaking from his refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange calls Manning’s case "a show trial ... to terrorize people from communicating with journalists and communicating with the public." Assange also discusses his own legal status as he continues to evade extradition to Sweden. Assange fears that returning to Sweden would result in him being sent to the United States, where he fears a grand jury has secretly indicted him for publishing the diplomatic cables leaked by Manning.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy last year to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sex assault and rape allegations. He fears that Sweden will agree to extradite him to the United States. On Tuesday, Ecuador’s foreign minister accused the British government of trampling on Assange’s rights by refusing to allow him to travel to Ecuador, which granted him political asylum almost a year ago. Joining us from the embassy, Assange addresses what he calls "attacks on all fronts against WikiLeaks," from a monetary embargo involving some of the world’s largest financial firms to a new Hollywood documentary on WikiLeaks, "We Steal Secrets." Assange also discusses a little-known meeting he held in June 2011 with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We air an excerpt of audio recording from that meeting. Check back soon for our extended interview with Assange.