Last Wednesday, I was filming weev, Andrew Auernheimer, on abandoned railroad tracks in Brunswick Brooklyn when he read a tweet from his attorney, Tor Ekeland, which informed him that his indictment was dismissed, making him a free man. "Victory, I am free!" Fist up in the air, he laughed. Last week, Aurenheimer was released after serving 14 months in federal prison.
Earlier this week, the third circuit federal appeals court dismissed his conviction, deciding that Auernheimer should not have been tried in New Jersey because the state has no connection to his case. In other words, the case was dismissed on procedural grounds, not on the merits.
Auernheimer was convicted 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 email addresses of more than 140,000 iPhone users. He was so sure he had not violated a law that he publicized his exploit and gave high profile email addresses, including that of then Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to Gawker, an online publication.
Since Aurenheimer's sentencing, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Harvard Law School, Stanford University Law Clinic, as well as a good chunk of the tech community agree that no law was violated.
Said Aurenheimer, "I have instructed the best legal team money can't buy not to raise the double jeopardy defense. I am willing to go to prison again to win this case on the merits and overturn the CFAA."
Aurenheimer, 17 pounds thinner than before his prison stint due to the severe conditions of his incarceration, makes the media rounds with The Hacker Wars, the soon to be completed film about hacktivists, the criminalization of dissent and the security surveillance state.