Image courtesy of the artist, mr_bean
The notorious troll and hacker known as Andrew “weev” Auernheimer spent 13 months in jail for exposing an AT&T security flaw. He was recently released when a federal court overturned the conviction on grounds of improper venue. Now, Auernheimer has penned an open letter to the Department of Justice in which he demands reparations for acts of “fraud” and “violence” carried out against him over the past three years. Those reparations must be paid in bitcoin (BTC), he says—28,296, to be exact. At current market value, that comes out to $13.7 million.
The bombastic letter is titled “Open letter to federal scum,” and was allegedly bcc’d to “a few hundred journalists” (including Motherboard). In it, 28-year-old Auernheimer writes that he calculated the sum owed to him based on his market value:
“My current market-determined hourly rate is 1 Bitcoin an hour. I was taken from my childhood home at gunpoint on January 18th, 2011, and I was not allowed to freely exercise my liberties as a citizen until April 11th, 2014. That's 1179 days that you used my time that I am now billing you for (I gave you a discount by not including the last day). I am owed 28,296 Bitcoins. I do not accept United States dollars, as it is the preferred currency of criminal organizations such as the FBI, DOJ, ATF, and Federal Reserve and I do not assist criminal racketeering enterprises.”
In a private chat with Auernheimer, he told me that he is “absolutely serious” about the letter, and that his market-determined rate of one BTC per hour. “That’s not an unreasonable rate,” he said, “I have peers that charge $2000 an hour.”
Auernheimer doesn’t seem optimistic about ever seeing any of the money, and told RT’s Andrew Blake the letter is more to let the government know he is still pissed about what happened to him. “I want history to record that I made an honest and public attempt to get restitution for the violence the government committed against me. Whatever I do next, I want people to know that I tried civil and peaceful resolution first,” he told RT.
Auernheimer wouldn’t comment on what he would do next.
“I’ll leave it to your imagination,” he told me.
Besides calling out FBI agents, judges, and attorneys for what he perceives as grave errors, as well as the entire federal government for declaring “war” against “We the People," Auernheimer's 1,200-word letter dictates that the reparations money sent to him will be used to build “memorial groves for the greatest patriots of our generation: Timothy McVeigh, Andrew Stack, and Marvin Heemeyer.” (McVeigh was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, Stack flew his plane into a building in Austin, Texas, and Heemeyer went on a violent rampage with a bulldozer in Colorado.)
I asked Auernheimer why he would associate himself with this violent lot, considering he hasn’t committed any acts of violence himself. He responded, “because it’s fucking hilarious to demand money from feds for a McVeigh Memorial grove,” adding “I honestly think we need to build statues of them just to piss off federal agents really.”
Not content with just trolling the government with inflammatory letters, Auernheimer apparently wants to troll them with art, too.