Level 22

Andrew ‘Weev’ Auernheimer in his booking photo
Fayetteville Police/Handout

“How did you get caught?” I ask Darren Martyn, aka Pwnsauce, the former member of LulzSec.

“Bad Opsec. Really, really bad Opsec,” he says.

He tells me that he used to log on for his LulzSec romps using his school Internet account so it wasn’t a surprise that he got caught. It was a surprise that it took them so long. He recounts for me the day he got busted, waking up in his bed in Galway, Ireland surrounded by policemen with machine guns. He closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep; it was so surreal he assumed it must be a bad dream.

I’m in London to meet with Lauri Love, who’s been indicted for computer crimes in three separate federal district courts in the US for allegedly going on a hacking spree involving various US governmental agencies’ atrociously secured computer systems. I’m also there to see “Teh Internet is Serious Business” at the Royal Court Theater, playwright Tim Price’s frenetic fantasia of LulzSec’s rise and fall. I’m a lawyer who represents a lot of hackers, and part of the job is to know your clients and their world. Too many lawyers who take on computer crime cases have little clue when it comes to code or culture and their clients often suffer as a result. So I make it my business to know. Plus, I enjoy the transgressive nature of the scene.

Before the play the Royal Court hosted a livestreamed panel discussion moderated by anthropologist and “Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous” author Gabriella Coleman. The panel was made up of LulzSec members Kayla, Topiary, Tflow, and Pwnsauce. After the show we all mingle in the Royal Court’s basement bar.

Celebrating with everyone after the show, it strikes me that this wouldn’t be happening in the US, which treats hackers far more harshly than the U.K. does. In the US the members of LulzSec would still be in jail under inhumane conditions.

Read more: http://www.wired.com/2014/10/us-government-vs-hackers/