The last we heard of notorious troll and hacker Andrew "Weev" Aurenheimer, he was partying in New Jersey before being sentenced to three and a half years for his role in hacking AT&T. But being locked in federal prison has not completely silenced him.
Information is a drug for Aurenheimer, the 27-year-old hacker and troll was unfairly nuked under the over-broad Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for accessing public information on AT&T's server. Like any addict getting his fix, Auernheimer's been busily trading data in and out of prison, to the rising annoyance of his federal minders.
At first, Auernheimer used the prison email system to Tweet his rants via a friend on the outside. Then his email access was cut off last month.
I am now quite popular in my unit, someone has a Rolling Stone issue with a picture of me in it.— Andrew Auernheimer (@rabite) April 8, 2013
Then he managed somehow to post a few recordings to his Soundcloud account, complaining that his email had been cut off. In one, he promoted a Kickstarted documentary about himself (which, disclosure, I was interviewed for). In another, he recounted a bizarre dream he had while he had a fever: "I had this dream while I was in this fever. I walked to the apex of this mountain, I walked to this blindingly bright area…" He said he was going to join a D&D game, and seemed as cocksure and strange as the last time I met him before he went to prison.
Prison officials did not like this, according to Auerneheimer's lawyer, Tor Ekeland. They put him in administrative segregation, a punitive measure where his movements and communications are highly restricted. Ekelund visited Auernheimer this weekend with some friends at the minimum security prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, where he's serving his time.
- Since April 30, 2013, he has been in “Administrative Segregation.” Part of this time was in solitary, but most of it has been spent in a roughly 10 x 10 cell with one cellmate. He is only allowed out for 15 minutes at a time 3 times a week for showers. Prisoners in “Administrative Segregation” are held in the “Special Housing Unit,” commonly referred to by its acronym “SHU.”
- He was told by the prison authorities that he was under investigation for “abusing the telephone”. This was a direct response to Weev using his telephone privileges to post messages to Soundcloud. He was told that promoting a Kickstarter campaign on Soundcloud for a documentary someone was doing on him was a threat to the institution. Previously, his prison email privileges were suspended.
As far as I can tell Aurenheimer still has snail mail access. I'm sure he'll find some way to use that to piss prison officials off, too. But his biggest chance for revenge remains his appeal, which has lined up legal heavies like George Washington University Law Prof. Orin Kerr and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Prison hasn't managed to kill of Weev the Troll, but it's clear Auernheimer is beginning to feel the effects of prison. In an email to security researcher Shane MacDougall this month, he wrote:
I miss everyone, also food and sunlight. I was hoping people would send m tweets and news articles about me but nobody has. Has the Internet forgotten about me or am I still a hot topic?