is currently serving a
double life sentence for operating a website.
became the newest tech and investment craze, it was seen as the
currency of the black market which was used to buy and sell
drugs on the infamous "dark web."
Ulbricht was one of the early adopters of Bitcoin and he created
one of the first websites that popularized the cryptocurrency,
The Silk Road.
The Silk Road
was an anonymous online marketplace that became a target for
politicians and law enforcement because of the large volume of
drugs that were being sold through the site.
On the Silk
Road, drug users and vendors were able to trade anonymously
using Bitcoin, making it one of the first major commerce
platforms to adopt the cryptocurrency.
Ulbricht did nothing but create a website - just like the famous
billionaires Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos - he was treated like
El Chapo in court because his invention worked against the
system, instead of for it.
point that was heavily overlooked by the media during the
Ulbricht trial was the fact that the Silk Road actually made the
world a safer place by undermining prohibition. Even though
drugs are illegal, large numbers of people still use them on a
regular basis and these people are often put into dangerous
situations because of these prohibitions.
The Silk Road
allowed people to purchase drugs from the comfort of their
living room to avoid the risk of getting mugged in a dark
It also allowed
them to read reviews of the products that their potential dealer
was selling, saving them from tainted drugs and dirty batches
that could put their lives at risk.
have gotten the Nobel Prize for his visionary application of a
new and revolutionary technology, but instead, he was arrested
in October 2013 and has been sitting in federal prison ever
since, awaiting a break in his case, or the end of the drug war.
Peltier is a Native American activist who has spent over 40
years in prison for a crime that he did not commit.
arrest, Peltier was a well-known activist who was fighting back
against attempts made to take even more native land in the 1960s
involved with AIM, the American Indian Movement, a group of
radical Natives who had numerous armed standoffs with government
agents to protect their land.
blamed for the deaths of two FBI agents who got into a shootout
with unknown members of AIM when they were chasing down a young
man named Johnny Eagle for questioning about a local robbery.
against Peltier was flimsy, and in the many years since he was
convicted, witnesses have recanted their testimonies against
The entire case
against him has fallen apart, and it was revealed in later
investigations that FBI ballistics experts at the time lied
during the trial about evidence tying the bullets that killed
the agents to Peltier's gun.
The U.S. Parole
Commission denied Peltier parole in 1993 based on their finding
in the premeditated and cold-blooded execution of those two
But, the Parole
Commission has since
stated that it,
"recognizes that the
prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence
that Peltier personally participated in the executions of
the two FBI agents."
Near the end of
the Clinton administration in 2001, it was rumored that
Clinton was considering granting Peltier clemency.
On just this
rumor, roughly 500 FBI agents and their families protested
outside of the White House to oppose freedom for Peltier despite
the clear lack of evidence against him.
administration never granted Peltier clemency and made no
additional public comments about the case.
applied for a presidential pardon in 2016 and was denied by
Barack Obama on January 18, 2017.
is a hacktivist who was sentenced to spend a decade in prison
for hacking the private intelligence firm
Stratfor and releasing
the leaks through the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks, the e-mails date between July 2004 and December
They reveal the
inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence
publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to
large corporations, such as,
Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co.
The emails show
Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment
laundering techniques and psychological methods.
The emails also
expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence
companies in the United States. Government and diplomatic
sources from around the world gave Stratfor advance knowledge of
global politics and events in exchange for money.
Before going to
prison, Hammond said in a statement,
that I have pleaded guilty, it is a relief to be able to say
that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other
I did this because I believe
people have a right to know what governments and
corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I
believe is right."
currently slated for release in February 2020.
Assange is the founder of the whistleblowing website
WikiLeaks, which became a source of international controversy in
2010 when the site published leaks provided by Chelsea
Manning, which showed horrific crimes on the part of the
United States government in the overseas wars.
In the years
since, Wikileaks has continued to publish hard-hitting evidence
exposing state corruption, such as the Stratfor leak from
spent years in exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, as
various governments have attempted to pin charges on him to have
him extradited for trial and possible torture.
fact that Trump spoke favorably about WikiLeaks while he was on
the campaign trail, his administration has been extremely
hostile towards the organization.
may not appear to be a traditional journalism outlet, there is
no question that the service they provide - publishing
legitimate, accurate, and truthful information from sources - is
exactly what journalism was meant to be.
Snowden is an NSA whistleblower currently in exile in Russia
because he proved many suspicions that so-called "conspiracy
theorists" have had for decades.
As Snowden got
deeper and deeper into U.S. government's network of intelligence
agencies, thanks to his technical ability, he became
increasingly disturbed by the things that these agencies were
unable to take the guilt of being involved with such
organizations, Snowden took classified files from
the NSA and
delivered them to multiple journalists.
revelations showed that the US government is, in fact, spying on
every single American citizen, and some citizens and even
leaders of other countries as well.
exposure of these programs did not force the government to stop
spying, it has made the average person more cautious about their
privacy and security, and has made some people stop and think
twice before calling someone a "conspiracy
Last year, more
million people signed a petition demanding that former
President Obama pardon Snowden, but the demands of the petition
were never answered.
well know, Snowden disclosed information to journalists
revealing that the NSA had overstepped U.S. statutes, the
Constitution, and international law by engaging in
widespread, warrantless surveillance.
response, we've seen a global debate that has changed
government policies and profoundly affected how people think
about personal privacy."
Romero, ACLU Executive Director
Secretary General of Amnesty International
Director Kenneth Roth -
after amassing 1,101,252 signatories from around the globe.