Michael Jude Gogulski (born 8 August 1972) is a political activist and freelance translator. He is one of a small number of former Americans known to have voluntarily become stateless after renouncing their citizenship.
Gogulski's grandparents emigrated to the U.S. in the 19th century; his paternal grandparents from near Poznań, Poland and his maternal grandparents from Germany. Gogulski was born in Phoenix, Arizona, but his family moved to Orlando, Florida soon after due to his father's job as an electromechanical engineer. He has a younger sister, Karen.
Gogulski entered Orlando College in 1990 to study computer science. In April 1992, while still a student there and living in Casselberry, Florida, he became the first person to be arrested by the Orange County Sheriff's Office for computer hacking. Police stated that he had stolen at least $30,000 of long-distance telephone services. Charged with one count of violating the Florida Communications Fraud Act, he pleaded guilty in Seminole County Circuit Court; under a plea agreement, he received two years of probation, but a formal ruling of guilt was withheld and no further charges were filed. He later lost interest in his studies and withdrew from school. Nevertheless, he went on to a ten-year career as a system administrator.
Gogulski's father died in 2001. In 2004, Gogulski left the U.S. to teach English in Eastern Europe. He eventually ended up in Bratislava, Slovakia, where he became a translator, proofreader, and editor. He was living in Slovakia at the time. After Gogulski renounced, the Slovak authorities issued a stateless person's travel document to him. He thus needs a United States visa in order to visit his mother, but he suspects that he would be unable to obtain one. He states that he is eligible to apply for Slovak citizenship, but prefers to remain stateless.
In 1999, Gogulski founded the Connecticut Cannabis Policy Forum, which aimed to remove all penalties for adult marijuana consumption. In 2010, Gogulski founded the Private Manning Support Network, which organised protests in support of Chelsea Manning (a U.S. soldier convicted of disclosing classified documents to WikiLeaks) and raised $50,000 to fund her legal defense.
As a software developer, Gogulski has contributed open source code on GitHub, including a PHP library for the decentralised digital currency bitcoin. He is also an active member of the online forum Bitcointalk.org and has been interviewed on bitcoin by Russia Today. He operates the Bitcoin Laundry, a service which allows users to exchange their bitcoins for other bitcoins which have a different transaction history.