“Good news! The U.S. government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex,” said Barrett Brown after he was sentenced (https://freebarrettbrown.org)
Controversial and outspoken journalist/hacktivist — who contributed to The Guardian, Huffington Post, and Vanity Fair, among other outlets — who had close ties to the hacker group known as Anonymous has been released today, November 29th 2016.
Brown who is now 34-years-old was arrested in 2012 on multiple trumped up charges for his journalist work on WikiLeaks (https://wikileaks.org/Assange-statement-on-the.html) Stratfor materials (anonymizing his sources and discussing, with others, the material they provided to him) as well as being charged for his use of free speech.
The most serious claim against Barrett Brown is that six months after the March 6, 2012 FBI raid at his mother’s house he tweeted “dead men can’t leak stuff…illegally shoot the son of a bitch”. The quote is from Fox news host Bob Beckel, who called for Julian Assange assassination. Barrett has stated that he was attempting to draw attention to Beckel’s comment.
The FBI claim that the “son of a bitch” Barrett was referring to was one of their agents. Two days after Barrett retweeted the Bob Beckel statement, the FBI arrested not Bob Beckel, but Barrett Brown. He has been in jail ever since.
Brown was sentenced to 63-months in prison in January 2015 after pleading guilty to three of the counts. He plead guilty to transmitting a threat against an FBI agent who was investigating him, obstructing the execution of a search warrant, and acting as an accessory after the fact for assisting previously convicted hacker Jeremy Hammond after his Stratfor leak.
Brown was release early along with time served. In addition, he must pay $890,250 in restitution to Strategic Forecasting, the corporate intelligence agency based in Austin, Texas, that was a target of Lulzsec hacking.
When we asked FreeAnons how they felt about today, DB from the FreeAnons board had the following to say, “We haven’t had a formal meeting to discuss statements, but I’m sure I can speak for all of FreeAnons when I say we are excited and joyful for Barrett’s release.
His case is a glaring example of the US government maliciously prosecuting an individual to stop their research into corruption. I would also point, however, to the highly-inflated restitution Barrett must pay. This is a way the government continues to punish those who expose wrongdoing and is a major flaw in computer crime law as it currently stands that must be opposed.”
What is Project PM?
Brown created Project PM in 2009 when he seen the failure in the mainstream media and was looking for ways to improve it. He was soliciting people to go through open source information that’s in public domain to see what security corporations are up to. (http://wiki.project-pm.org/wiki/Main_Page) The express purpose of Project PM is to provide a centralized actionable dataset for activists and free press to comb through and share information that could possibly be valuable.
What can you do?
“I will spend the rest of my life in a strange state of post-cyberpunk indentured servitude to an amoral private intelligence firm that’s perhaps best known for having spied on Bhopal activists on behalf of Dow Chemical. That the prosecution did not quite manage to articulate how I did any damage to this particular company did not seem to dissuade U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay in this matter.”
(Article by Nathan Dimoff)