State Machinery For State Machines

This is an essay by Andrew Auernheimer aka Weev, a hacker who was convicted of hacking AT&T’s iPad customer information service and sentence to 41 months in prison. He mailed this essay from prison.

My name is Andrew Auernheimer. I used to believe problems could be solved with criticism and discourse in our marketplace of ideas. Three years ago I incremented an integer on a public web API and analyzed the output for all to read. It was then demanded I apologize for abusive arithmetic. I disagreed that addition could be abhorrent, so now I write this from the Special Housing Unit of a federal prison.

A lifetime ago another Auernheimer named Raoul wrote things that angered powerful people. Those people called Raoul a bad person, too. “Mischling” was their word for him. They also sent him to a prison. It was called Dachau.

Raoul’s bail and passage to America was paid by one Theodore Herzl. Herzl said only fools stay where they are hated, paying the taxes for the thugs and pogroms to destroy them. Herzl said to every Jew: Grab all your goods and crew, let us move some place new. He founded the Zionist movement.

Beyond the Biblical exodus there are success stories ancient and recent. Herodotus wrote of Teos, whose citizens mass-emigrated to found Abdera when the Persian came to enslave them. The Mormons prospered by going West until nobody was around to hate them. Unlike these examples, little besides naivete and sloth chain hackers to soil. We can work anywhere with Internet, and most can afford a yacht or jet.

Hackers need statehood. For self-preservation against ethnocidal states, for control of our destinies and for the liberties of billions.

“The innovator makes enemies of all who prospered under the old order,” wrote Machiavelli. Hatred will grow as Google replaces truck drivers with software, Khosla replaces ranching and slaughterhouses with printed protein, and ubiquitous 3D printing replaces the manufacture of everything plastic or metal. In the post-labor economy, Marxists and Keynesians are thieves and arsonists. Think anti-engineering legal sentiment is just a temporary storm? When my supervision is done in 2019, millions of dollars and a third of my life I’ll have been spent weathering it. Raoul thought the Third Reich was a passing political trend.

Hackers need statehood. For self-preservation against ethnocidal states, for control of our destinies and for the liberties of billions. No nation now protects Internet speech, privacy, and commerce rights. If but a single well-armed nation did, those rights would be a VPN or SSH session away for the whole planet. General computation and the free Internet are as important advents in human rights as the abolition of slavery. Let our electronic freedoms not sway in the shifting whims of dying governments.