Friday, January 23, 2015

Barrett Brown gets stiff sentence for "threats" despite formal dropping of charges associated with his hyperlink.

In a case widely reported before, Barrett Brown was sentenced to almost five years in prison for a variety of charges (transmitting threats and obstruction of justice) related to his sharing of a link to “classified information” (including stolen credit card information), despite the fact that the DOJ had formally dropped the charges regarding the link itself. Truth-out has the story   Brown also ordered to pay $900000 in fines and restitution.  Brown has created “Project PM”.  He supports the idea that information obtained by hackers is important. Brown was not accused of the hack itself, but of “after the fact” accessory activity, associated with Anonymous.  Brown had uncovered a plan (at the security firm Stratfor) to discredit Glenn Greenwald and Wikileaks.
Candice Bernd of Turthout reports the story here

Electronic Frontier Foundation has a detailed statement here
Kevin Gallagher speaks for “Free Barrett Brown” here.

The government reportedly tries to use the link to justify the longer sentence.  There is some question as to whether he gets credit for time served. 

The problems here including asking “who is a legitimate journalist” (including an amateur blogger), and who has crossed the line into “active participation”?  Any active blogger could stumble upon a link without knowing the information behind it, and be charged with conspiracy for sharing it.  

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