Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, who is currently serving jail time for exposing an AT&T security hole, got an in-person visit from his lawyer Tor Ekeland on Sunday. The four-hour-plus drive out to the Pennsylvanian penitentiary from his Brooklyn offices was mandatory for Ekeland, as the prison has denied him access to his client since he was placed in solitary confinement for unconfirmed reasons weeks ago.
Ekeland, accompanied by two of weev’s female friends who tweeted the experience under #weevroadtrip, learned he was sharing a 10x10 cell in solitary with a cellmate, and is let out three times a week for a 15-minute shower. And that’s it. Ekeland called this treatment “odd for someone convicted of a non-violent computer crime” in a phone interview today, and “a bit draconian” as it appears “[weev] is being punished for his speech.”
Reasons for the “administrative detention”—what the prison is calling solitary confinement—are still unclear. Normally, inmates are put into housing like weev’s if they have started a fight in the prison, but weev did no such thing. Ekeland spoke to his client in a visitation booth separated by glass, with communication only audible through telephone, “like in the movies.”
The penitentiary also threatened to relocate weev regularly, in order to disrupt communications with friends, as well as rooming him with gang members and terrorists if he tries to communicate with the outside world via Internet again. weev tweeting and posting messages to SoundCloud is not illegal, but disrupts the federal government’s goal of weev quietly carrying out his prison sentence and thus fading from public memory.
Even more troubling than the “administrative detention,” threats, and limited access to letter-writing materials and stamps: the prison is not serving weev gluten-free meals. weev has special dietary needs as he has Celiac’s disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that causes him to have an adverse reaction to gluten. Ekeland learned his client has gone to see the prison doctor, but his diet has not changed. The food his friends brought weev was not allowed, nor was weev able to keep any of the notes his friends brought him.
Some highlights from #weevroadtrip:
Nicole Powers, who was originally denied access to weev because she was not wearing a bra, eventually made one with the help of a stranger in the parking lot. The whole thing adds additional absurdity to an already absurd case. Ekeland called the prison’s actions“fanning the flames,” but internet folk would call it “feeding the trolls.”
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