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Human Rights in Ireland

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Anonymous-tied hacktivist faces prison for sharing link

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | other press author Tuesday December 11, 2012 00:47author by Elric Report this post to the editors

I really am shocked at this, not because they are harassing him, not because they want to imprison him. I'm shocked because Barrett Brown is facing decades in prison for copying a hyper-link. “Link Barrett accused of sharing was also posted on Cryptome + several blogs. Will these websites be indicted for ‘transferring link’ too?” UK journalist Ryan Gallagher asked on Twitter over the weekend Full text at link.

A federal grand jury has indicted Barrett Brown, an activist from Texas with links to the Anonymous hacktivist movement, on a dozen federal charges for sharing a hyperlink inside of an Internet chat room.

Brown, 31, had been in federal custody for nearly three months awaiting trial for unrelated crimes when the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, unsealed a new grand jury indictment against him on Friday, December 6 [pdf].

Brown was arrested in September and charged with making online threats against a federal officer after posting a series of YouTube videos and tweets sharply criticizing an FBI agent. Now he has been charged with 12 unrelated counts stemming from his alleged involvement in the high-profile hack of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, late last year.

On top of his previous charges, Brown now faces decades of additional prison time if convicted on the newest crimes, including one count of traffic in stolen authentication features, one count of access device fraud and 10 counts of identity theft.

According to the indictment, Brown is at fault not for hacking into Stratfor during a massive security breach in 2011, but for posting a link to the hacked files while in an online chat.

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author by anonpublication date Tue Dec 11, 2012 22:52Report this post to the editors

This is very sinister indeed. If they can convict over adding a link then by implication there is no right to free speech at all and they can basically charge anyone who even discusses this stuff. This is a very bad omen.

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