Just days after his conviction and three-year prison sentence were overturned, hacker Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer delivered a bold message on HuffPost Live: "Come bring it, federal government."
A New Jersey jury convicted Auernheimer in 2012 of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after he exposed a security flaw on an AT&T website, giving him access to the personal information of more than 100,000 iPad users. Prosecutors won their case by arguing that Auernheimer is an attention-seeking hacker who broke federal law by disclosing the security hole to a reporter at the gossip site Gawker.
Then last week, a federal appeals court dismissed the conviction, deciding that Auernheimer should not have been tried in New Jersey because the state has no connection to the case. Auernheimer was in Arkansas at the time and AT&T's servers were in Texas and Georgia.
Weev told HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri that it's "relatively likely" he'll be tried again in a different jurisdiction, but he refuses to take steps to avoid another trial.
"At this point, I've sacrificed three years of my life to overturn this unjust law, and I didn't do this to get a venue decision," he said. "The government should come litigate again. I'll risk prison again to do this once more. It's a terrible law."
Auernheimer spent about half of his incarceration in solitary confinement, he said. The isolation was partially prompted by him calling a service from the prison's telephones that allowed him to record messages that were uploaded to the audio-sharing site SoundCloud, which he contends was within his free speech rights.
"They want me to sit down and shut up while they seditiously attack my rights and the rights of everybody else by proxy," he said.
The hacker added that the corrections staff made him suffer in other ways, including depriving him of gluten-free meals despite having celiac disease, a digestive disorder.
'I'M NOT RUNNING'
Auernheimer is presently out on bail, but he said he feels no temptation to flee.
"Indict me. Indict me. I'm not running," he said. "This is my country. I love this place, and if I have to sacrifice personally to maintain the freedoms of Americans, I will."
He added that his ultimate goal is to use his case to prompt a repeal of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Critics say that the outdated legislation criminalizes a wide range of benign online activity, like violating a website's terms of service that few people have the time or expertise to read.