Four years ago, Andrew "Weev" Aurenheimer poked an easy hole in Apple's iPad security, exposed the information of 114,000 users, and embarrassed both that company and AT&T. He spent a year in prison before his sentence was tossed out, becoming a hacker hero in the process—and also, apparently, a neo-Nazi.
In a new post on The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist blog, Weev recalls what he learned from his time in prison—apparently a deep hatred of Jews, black people, and other significant portions of society—and reveals a giant swastika tattoo on his chest.
The man is known for deliberately offending as many people as possible with racism, antisemitism, and other forms of inflammatory hate speech. But for years now, it's been chalked up to his self-professed "troll" status. But the line between Hey, just trolling! and This man is an open fascist is clearly artificial one. But if your life is one big troll, it's not a troll at all; you are just a hateful, bad person:
I've been a long-time critic of Judaism, black culture, immigration to Western nations, and the media's constant stream of anti-white propaganda. Judge Wigenton was as black as they come. The prosecutor, Zach Intrater, was a Brooklyn Jew from an old money New York family.
The whole time a yarmulke-covered audience of Jewry stared at me from the pews of the courtroom. My prosecutor invited his whole synagogue to spectate.
They took control of our systems of finance and law. They hyperinflated our currency. They corrupted our daughters and demanded they subject themselves to sex work to feed their families. These are a people that have made themselves a problem in every nation they occupy, including ours. What's saddest is that we are the enablers of this problem. The Jews abused our compassion to build an empire of wickedness the likes the world has never seen.
And so on. It's not even particularly novel racism.
What separates Weev from all the eager internet bigots who commented on his Daily Stormer post is that he's a minor celebrity in the online security world; as he points out in the post, "Harvard, Stanford, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the National Assocation [sic] of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a throng of information technology experts, and the world's foremost legal expert on computer crime would end up scribing briefs in my defense." Of course, being a shitmonger doesn't mean you've broken the law, and a racist deserves equal protection (and a fair criminal defense) like anyone else—as the EFF made clear, Weev was harpooned by the truly awful Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
But Aurenheimer still enjoys a kind of outsider-insider status in the security field—he was on CNBC, in a suit! When he speaks, or rants, or raves, he's taken at least half-seriously, with whatever makes us uncomfortable thrown out as "Oh, Weev" trolling. His martyrdom protects him from anything else. And if he's going to be considered a digital hero, the lesser counterpart to Aaron Swartz, let's also remember that Andrew Aurenheimer has a very large swastika tattoo.
[Photo by Sarah Eris Torrent]