Adrian Lamo, the computer hacker who turned in whistleblower Chelsea Manning to law enforcement, has died at the age of 37, according to authorities in Kansas.
Lamo, who testified about Manning’s release of documents to WikiLeaks, was confirmed dead on Friday by authorities in Sedgwick County. The coroner’s office has not responded to inquiries about the cause of his death.
Lamo had met Manning online in 2010 and eventually reported her to the authorities. Manning had reached out to Lamo after reading an article about the hacker, who was convicted in 2004 of breaking into computers at the New York Times, Yahoo and Microsoft.
Lamo’s father, Mario, confirmed the death in a Facebook post on Friday that said: “With great sadness and a broken heart I have to let know all of Adrian’s friends and acquittances [sic] that he is dead. A bright mind and compassionate soul is gone, he was my beloved son.”
In a 2011 interview with the Guardian, Lamo had expressed some regret about a possible lengthy prison sentence for Manning. He said he thought of Manning “every day”, adding: “The decision was not one I decided to make, but was thrust upon me.”
Called the “world’s most hated hacker” by some at the time, Lamo also said: “Had I done nothing, I would always have been left wondering whether the hundreds of thousands of documents that had been leaked to unknown third parties would end up costing lives, either directly or indirectly.”
Lamo also spoke to the Guardian in 2013 about Manning’s harsh treatment behind bars, saying: “I came to terms and continued my life some time ago.”
Manning, who was one of the most severely punished leakers in US history, announced earlier this year that she is running for US Senate. She came out as a transgender woman while incarcerated and has been ad advocate for trans rights since.
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