FreeAnons has had an opportunity to speak with Jonathan Cowden, a recently released Anon who was jailed for his participation in OpPalestine. Due to the terms of his release, he is having great difficulties locating employment. What is equally as disturbing is the $22,000.00 in restitution that Jon is required to pay to Israel. Below is our conversation with Jon. Never let a jailed Anon be forgotten: If you are able to assist him with employment, that is his biggest concern at this time. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to many, that a convicted felon cannot find employment.
We also find it unacceptable that an Anon receive no support while serving time in prison. Perhaps we can make it up to him now. His only interest is in locating employment. This is his story.
Question: Hi Jon, can you tell us about your case that resulted in your arrest and incarceration? Was your arrest related to OpPalestine?
Answer: I was arrested and charged with one count of Computer Fraud – Access to a protected Computer causing $5,000 or more in damage. I plead to two infractions under that statute. One was for the attack on Nefesh B’ Nefesh and one was for hacking Mayor Francis Slay. Nefesh B’Nefesh was part of a “fire sale” hacking campaign that I, myself completed against the Nation State of Israel. I also hacked TopLinks(Major News and Marketing),The Bar-Ilan University’s Geography and Environment Department(Land, Oil, Diamonds and GPS) The Israel Institute of Technology: Techinon and their Cancer and Vascular Biology Research Center(Technology and Health ILAN(Charity Foundation – PsyOps) and SNIP(more news). What was not mentioned was that I also hacked SALT.IL(their LARGEST export) as well as the Israeli site of ARCO Oil.(Another of the TOP exports.) So you can see… I attacked LAND(GPS,Geology), Exports(SALT and Oil), Technology(Institute of Tech), Struck Fear(Charity) and took down News(Toplinks and SNIP). My hacking was not related to OpFreePalestine. As you trace back on Hackmageddon(see Softpedia’s writeup: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Man-Involved-in-Hacktivist-Campaign-Against-Israel-Sentenced-to-15-Months-in-Jail-434539.shtml and the corresponding link) I WAS OpFreePalestine in the beginning.
During my time as OpFreePalestine, it was still called a “So Called Operation.” Now it can be seen that the “So Called Operation” sparked the fire that is now lit around the entire world. I then planed out strategic targets to do the most damage, like in “Live Free Or Die Hard”. During this time, I was also helping with other Ops. Capitol One and Bank of America was named on the original search warrant I received, however, they failed to find direct physical evidence to tie me to it.
I was also responsible for the UC Davis d0x of Officer Pike and subsequent hostage taking of their servers demanding the firing of the office whom chemically assaulted peaceful protesters. It worked… The hack on Mayor Slay of St. Louis was to demand the control of his officers during the eviction of the Occupy camp after the Occupy camps of Oakland, LA, and NY all went south. Being that St. Louis officers are notorious for brutality (see…. NOW) I felt it was required of me. It worked… Only a handful were peacefully arrested and released that night.
Question: Were you ordered to pay any restitution and if so, to whom?
Answer: Yes I was… By my OWN government to the Shadow Government of Israel and Nefesh B’Nefesh (A government-run “business”), Over $21,000. And a little over $600 to Mayor Slay. Weird, right?
Question: How long were you incarcerated and where were you jailed? Would you like to tell us a bit about your time in prison?
Answer: I was incarcerated for 13 months and 2 days. I was sentenced to 15 months. In the federal systems you are required to do 85% of your sentence. I was looking at 3-5 years. I was offered 21-27 by the points I received. The AUSA asked for 27. I, however, exploited an old diagnosis of bi-polar, manic depression, and a new diagnosis of alcoholism. I told the judge I was drunk when I committed the crimes (I was, actually) and she gave me 15 months. Prison compared to life outside NOW was not that bad, It is sad to say. Do not get me wrong… It sucked. But I can barely afford to eat now. Inside I got three meals and laundry done for me. It was a scheduled life. Wake up at a certain time, go to bed at a certain time… I was in minimum security, so we had fewer freedoms, ironically enough. I suppose because we had the most promise at a return to society. It was a lot of reading old, torn books, and a ton of drinking coffee. Also, TONS of Ramen Noodles and honey buns. I gained about 50 pounds while inside. I could not even wear the slacks that I came in with. Craziness. I tried to work out, but the prison I was at only had two basketball courts and a pull-up bar. No weights at all. I spent most of my time actually in St. Louis County Jail, where I held an evening food-serving job. That was nice because I got extra food. And when I was not hungry I would just sell the food. I made a nice sum of money that way and it helped me to buy $10 thermal undershirts and honey buns and ramen noodles. My GOD.. The things you can do with some ramen noodles and ingredients. I actually saved a commissary list from prison to try to write a cookbook. “Free Birds Cookbook”.
I flew Con-Air from St. Louis to Oklahoma City to San Diego where I finished my time up at Metropolitan Correction Center.. I was on floor 9, the workers floor, where I held the second highest paying job in the Psychology department. I spoke with people suffering with psychological disorders, and simple disorders such as mine. I actually met a guy who’s sister was involved in the UC Davis ordeal. He could not express his gratitude enough to me for what I did. So that proved to me that while what I did was illegal to some degree, it helped people all over the United States and all over the world… And because of OpFreePalestine, there are other Ops based off of it that have been running for years. I would have to say that is worth it!
Anywho… MCC was located downtown San Diego, right on the water. I had an AMAZING view of the bay… It was literally a Club Fed. I had the most beautiful view of the fireworks display on the 4th. And about 10 days before and after as well.. SD loves their fireworks. I also got to see how CBP works.
All in all, it was easier inside. I missed my girlfriend and my friends, but it was easier. I got to see who my real friends were, too…
Question: Did you receive any support while incarcerated such as mail, books etc?
Answer: I got support from my girlfriend with money and a few letters. She would also come to visit when I was in San Diego, and even flew to St Louis to visit me twice. While in St. Louis, I got support from my parents by visits and them paying my car note. That is about the extent of my support. No friends came to see me. I do not know if it is because they did not want to be researched by the Feds, or because they were really not true friends. Needless to say, we no longer talk. So I guess I know the answer! Without the help and support from my girlfriend, I would not have made it through the experience. Her monetary support, her allowing me to call her (she loaded her phone with collect call minutes) and her accepting my emails (yes, I had email that cost 5 cents a minute while in the email program) made every day seem like I was a little closer to the door. She was the only SOLID support I had. My parents were far, my friends were lost… She became what she should have always been… My beginning and my end. My everything. Now that I am released, every day is a struggle for us. I have to watch my every step and move like a game of chess with hers and my life and she is there, overlooking my chess moves, making sure I am not checkmated. Sometimes that can cause us stress and arguments. But deep down, every single choice and move I make is to ensure her and I the most bright of futures together.
Question: Were you given probation after release and were you given any stipulations that you would like to make everyone aware of?
Answer: I was. 3 years supervision. I can use technology, but all on-line devices as well as air-gapped computers are subject to monitoring or search and seizure. This is where ALL prospective employers deny me. I was offered a position in LA with relocation costs covered and $120K a year. When I let them know of the 3rd party risk (where any machine I touch while in an office is subject to search and seizure, including servers), I got denied. Well… ONE of the two owners was ok with that. I mean, I will NEVER do this again. I have paid too much. But the other owner did NOT want to risk it. And I have to say I understand. It takes a company with some major BALLS to accept me, even knowing that I will never illegally hack again. I CAN, however, work on IT remotely. It is a loophole I found. Since I am only physically touching MY laptop, that is the only item that can be monitored and searched. This exploit was even ok’d by my probation officer. And I have to say, my officer is as cool as an officer can be… They ARE the government, but he seems to have a heart and understanding. He knows that IT is my life, and I cannot do a damn thing if the company I might work for is subject to search and seizure. The only other exploit I have found in the system is me filing for disability due to my mental health, getting my masters and doctorates, maxing out student loans, having my psychiatrist fill out some paperwork, and having all my loans forgiven due to disability and not able to pay back. I would have to live off of loans. But I would want to go to Penn State or Stanford, so I doubt I would have much to live off of. Penn State offers online classes. Stanford is close enough for me to move.
Question: What has been the most difficult hurdle since your recent release?
Answer: My stipulations of probation, and total lack of money. Not being able to eat three meals a day, pay simple bills past a phone, which I AM REQUIRED to have, leaves me thinking of ways to get money I DO NOT want to follow through with. The government wonders why 64% of ex-cons re-offend. It isn’t that we are terrible people who will never change. We are offered little more to choose from.
Question: Is there anything that people can do to help you?
Answer: Help me find full-time remote work or a company in LA or SD that is willing to give me a chance. Also, help me raise funds to pay for my restitution. Hell, I am so poor that the government didn’t even fine me. Also, I have literally Multi-Million dollar technology ideas that I need seed funds for. I would love to find people who love to watch multi-million dollar ideas grow, and whom want to be a part of the reason for that growth.
Question: Do you have a donation page so that people can assist you until you locate permanent employment? If so, can you provide us with a link?
Answer: I do not. I had to cover the $80K lawyer myself. I had to cover the commissary myself.
If you would like to assist Jon financially until he is able to locate employment, FreeAnons will be happy to assist him in starting a donation page. If you know anyone who has the ability to provide Jon with a job opportunity so that he is able to be independent and move past this part of his life behind bars, we would love to hear from you. You can also find us on Twitter @FreeAnons