• Barrett Brown Went to Jail for My Sins

    January 23, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America



    This– THIS LINK— could have sent me to jail. Another link came very, very close to sending Barrett Brown to jail. Brown was just sentenced to five years in jail on other charges that the government could make stick, in another step towards the criminalization of everything.



    The United States v. Barrett Brown

    Brown, pictured, 33-years-old, was arrested in 2012 after his and his mothers’ homes were raided and he used “threatening” language toward FBI officers in a response posted to YouTube. He was subsequently accused of working with hackers, whose efforts yielded a huge tranche of embarrassing and revealing information concerning misbehavior and sleaze at U.S. government contractors, primarily Stratfor.

    Among the secrets exposed were collaborative efforts between the government and private contractors to monitor social networks, and to develop online surveillance systems.

    The charges against Brown included the claim that merely linking to the leaked information was illegal, an alleged crime for which prosecutors sought decades in prison. Brown ultimately signed a plea deal on three lesser charges: transmitting a threat (the YouTube video), trying to hide a laptop computer during a raid, and to being “accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access to a protected computer.” He spent a year awaiting trial in federal prison, and was subject to a six-month gag order prohibiting him from even discussing his case with the media.

    On January 22, a Dallas court sentenced Barrett Brown to 63 months in federal prison, minus time already served. He was also ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution to the Stratfor Corporation.



    Who is Barrett Brown?

    Barrett Brown is an internet guy. He may or may not have been involved with web naughty boys Anonymous (he denies the association) and most certainly was deeply involved with broad free speech issues online. In 2011, Brown posted a link in a chatroom, pointing to data that was obtained during the late-2011 hack of Stratfor Global Intelligence. The link pointed to documents on the Wikileaks site. The docs are still there.

    The government arrested Brown and charged him with a number of offenses, the most significant of which was for posting that link. The link, the government contended, exposed enormous amounts of credit card information, a crime. Not mentioned by the government, the link also documented discussions of assassination, rendition and how to undermine journalists and foreign governments, plus the social media stuff mentioned above.

    To be clear, neither the government nor anyone else accused Brown of stealing the info himself, or misusing the info to use others’ credit cards, physically possessing the information, hosting it on a server he controlled or anything like that. His crime was simply linking to data that already existed on the Internet and which was already available worldwide for viewing.



    Looking for a Test Case

    Prior to Brown pleading guilty to the three lesser counts he was sentenced for January 22, the government dropped the other charges related to linking as a crime. Though the government in its Motion to Dismiss gave no reasons for its decision, the implication is that while they were clearly looking to set a precendent on the Brown case, they did not want that precedent to be a loss. Better to let a small fry like Brown swim away than risk the greater goal.

    What kind of test case? Having failed to find any legal or otherwise effective way to deal with sites like Wikileaks, or the publication of classified materials elsewhere on the Internet such as the Snowden documents, the government is taking a side-step in seeking to punish those that use, view or handle the material itself.

    For example, when the Wikileaks information first started pouring out across the web, most government agencies blocked access to the data via their firewalls, claiming the content was still classified and thus could not be viewed on a government computer even while it could be viewed on any other web-connected computer from Cleveland to Karachi. Similar blocks have been put in place to prevent much of the Snowden material from being viewed at various work sites.



    Before Barrett Brown, Me?

    The attempt by the government to punish people for links to “objectionable” material did not start with Brown. Though I can’t promise I was the first test case, I was certainly an early attempt.

    In 2010 the Department of State suspended the Top Secret security clearance I had held without incident or question for over twenty years because I linked to a supposedly classified document on the Wikileaks site from my blog.

    State referred my linkage to the Department of Justice for prosecution in fall 2010. When Justice declined without reason to pursue the case, State took the non-judicial action of “temporarily” suspending my security clearance indefinitely, because of the link. State claimed that via that link I revealed classified information publicly, a major no-no for cleared personnel and sought to fire me. As in the Brown case, in the end State choose not to pursue charges, again without comment. I was defended by several excellent lawyers, and retired from State on my own terms, including no gag orders.

    There may be other such link cases out there that we do not yet know of. They may be classified, or the parties involved may be under gag orders, as was Brown.

    Who’s Next?

    There appears little question that the government is testing the concept, looking for a case that it can win that would criminalize linking. From the government’s point of view, the win would pay off handsomely:

    — With use of their content criminalized, sites like Wikileaks would slip beneath the world radar. People would be increasingly afraid of reading them, and the crowdsourcing critical to sifting through millions of documents would slow down significantly.

    — In cases the government saw as particularly dangerous, people would disappear into jail. With a precedent set in a “good” test case, winning such prosecutions would be rote work for interns. Is there a link? Did Ms. X create the link? Does the link go to classified information? It’s a slam dunk.

    — Best of all from a control standpoint, prosecuting links will have a chilling affect. Many people will simply be afraid to take the chance of legal trouble and stop creating links or following them. That will certainly be the case among the main stream media, already far too skittish about security matters. One wonders what effect such prosecuting of links will have on search engines like Google, essentially little more than a collection of links.

    Another step toward a post-Constitutionalization of America is the creeping criminalization of everything. If every act is potentially cause for prosecution, the ability of the government to control what people do or say grows.

    So while we still can, better hit these links: Wikileaks, Cryptome, some Snowden.

    Who could have guessed that in 2015 a click of the mouse would be a subversive act?



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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      1

      quote”Who could have guessed that in 2015 a click of the mouse would be a subversive act?”unquote

      Indeed. Speaking of links and lying scumbag US Attorneys..here’s one for ya. Looks like Sidney Powell’s book is finally twisting the knife in the side of Federal Judges…

      https://www.facebook.com/LicensedToLie

      http://observer.com/2015/01/breaking-ninth-circuit-panel-suggests-perjury-prosecution-for-lying-prosecutors/

      It’s about fucking time! I just hope the first one to get prosecuted is the DOJ liar of liars..

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141029/17394228983/eric-holder-says-he-regrets-lying-to-judge-saying-reporter-was-co-conspirator-law-made-him-do-it.shtml

      Although..notwithstanding the scumbag US Attorney who prosecuted Brown, I might settle for another piece of shit prosecutor..who persecuted Aaron Swartz. You know..this one…

      http://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/meet-the-us-attorney

      yeah..that scumbag piece of shit.

      Fuck…I’d even settle for another scumbag US Attorney who persecuted the Reese family with impunity while lying through his teeth to the Judge….one Kenneth J. Gonzales..

      http://www.examiner.com/article/reese-brief-highlights-government-evidence-suppression-misconduct

      This piece of garbage tried every thing in his power to destroy this family.

      http://www.examiner.com/article/u-s-attorney-steps-up-case-against-reese-family-by-going-over-judge-s-head

      Unfortunately, instead of some of these scumbag US Attorneys getting thrown in prison..those other stupid fucking morons known as our Congress…rewards them with an appointment to the FEDERAL BENCH..instead.

      http://www.abqjournal.com/245345/news/us-attorney-moves-to-federal-judgeship-in-las-cruces.html

      However, finally, fortunately, the Judge in this case gave them probation for 3 years with time served, which if you knew the story, this cocksucking US Attorney put them through living hell. Will wonders ever cease. Why he didn’t push to have Gonzales prosecuted is beyond shameless though. Hopefully now though..these motherfuckers will think twice before lying to a Federal Judge any more.

      ok..rant over. Carry on

      bartender..give me a bottle of PISSED-OFF and a double shot of 100prf SPIT-IN-THEIR-FACE….

      ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

      🙂

      01/23/15 2:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Just whose security is at risk? In case there is any doubt, your government wants to be transparent this has NOTHING to do with hiding information that shows the government to be incompetent, criminal, corrupt etc.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/01/us-australia-security-idUSKCN0HQ2WX20141001

      01/23/15 2:07 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck nasmith said...

      3

      Imagine if Barrett had lied to Congress like Breenen, and how many more years would have been added. Click here for USA Truth…………….(sorry, no link found)

      01/23/15 2:11 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      4

      ps… Now if only a Special Prosecuter would start using MISPRISON OF FELONY ..hey..it might start trending.

      Only problem is..the PTB would have to turn WDC into a prison camp. Because..the entire US fucking Government is guilty.

      yeah..you got it bartender..a bottle of TWO-ROLLING-EYES..

      shezzus

      01/23/15 2:12 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck nasmith said...

      5

      5eyes

      01/23/15 2:41 PM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...

      6

      How’s that hopey changey stuff working out for ya?

      Who would ever have thought Sarah nailed it?

      01/23/15 7:50 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      7

      Helen- even an ignorant person can drive a nail into a broad piece of lumber on occasion but I’d watch your thumbs if you’re thinking of helping her in her hammering work. She has a reckless and vulgar style to her swing.

      01/24/15 12:05 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      8

      Hey guys and gals. I guess we better turn ourselves in to your local Cookoos nest. Looks like we’ve been diagnosed as “insane”..

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-21/if-you-question-authority-you-are-mentally-ill-report-finds

      Question authority and you are mentally ill. Right.

      Then I must be absolutely stark raving mad.

      Unfortunately though..they better start building new asylums then. I know a few hundred thousand gun owners who are as “mad” as I am.

      note to self..file this under
      You can’t make this shit up.

      01/24/15 2:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      Question of the day for TDCOTP: If Killer “American Sniper” Kyle was such a good shot, why couldn’t he just wound his targets?

      01/24/15 3:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      Given the big bucks “American Sniper” is making, old man Eastwood is already working on “Predator Porn,” a true story about an American drone jockey who has killed the most “terrorists/wedding parties.” The American lust for blood must be satisfied.

      01/24/15 4:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      Even the Romans would find our bloodlust disgusting.

      I only wish I had killed more.” – “American Sniper”, Chris Kyle

      01/24/15 4:11 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      12

      Here are two links for you, and yes, they are related to today’s article. Having now offered subversive information in the form of linked material, I will now dutifully turn myself in for re-education to the nearest Fusion Center.

      Part one: How the CIA made Google:
      https://medium.com/@NafeezAhmed/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e

      Part two: Why Google made the NSA:
      https://medium.com/@NafeezAhmed/why-google-made-the-nsa-2a80584c9c1

      PS: Can someone please tell me what “TDCOTP” means?

      01/25/15 11:26 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      13

      Old joke for you, Pitch, now that we are all crazy:

      Hello, Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.
      If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
      If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
      If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6.
      If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want. Stay on the line so we can trace your call.
      If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
      If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
      If you are manic-depressive, it doesn’t matter which number you press. No one will answer. 


      01/25/15 11:42 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      14

      teri said:
      “PS: Can someone please tell me what “TDCOTP” means?”

      The Dumbest Country on the Planet.

      “If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.”

      BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s priceless teri.

      Now for the serious shit. Your links. Fuck.

      Jim Garrison..

      quote:” Huey Long once said, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.”unquote

      …meet George Carlin..

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dBZDSSky0

      bartender.. a bottle of HOLLOW POINT and a double shot of 100prf LINE IN THE SAND. And don’t forget the olive.

      01/25/15 2:50 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      15

      ps..quote:”That, ultimately, is why the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, spawned Google. So they could run their secret dirty wars with even greater efficiency than ever before.”unquote

      Orwell had a clue. He just didn’t know the depth of real evil. But Senator Church DID.

      01/25/15 2:58 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      16

      ps 2..
      After reading those links.

      And WE’RE the crazy ones? These people have gone totally, certifiably insane, and National Security IS the pathogen.

      01/25/15 3:42 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      17

      Yeah, that set of articles may or may not wake some people up, although what we can do about the anti-humans who run this planet is questionable, Pitch. They are now full-bore into The Great Taking. They not only want it all – they are getting it all.

      I don’t know enough bad words to label these reptiles, so I won’t even try. We’re in a tight spot, comrades. You ever see “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?” ? Got the depression going on and people turning each other in for a buck.

      Here’s the pertinent clip (only a minute long):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dg6DpEAscU

      01/25/15 5:45 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      18

      Indeed teri..and this, from the same author, puts it ALL into perspective. For the first time in my life, I see the actual world that I’ve been predicting, coming to fruition. This is it. The first time a drone delivers a Hellfire missile in this country, and kills US citizens, is the day all hell is going to break loose. And THEY know it. And now..it’s blindingly obvious..THAT is their ultimate psychopathic fantasy.

      quote”Increasingly, though, the automation of threat-detection and terrorism-classification has been accompanied by the automation of killing, in the form of the generation of “kill lists” of terrorism suspects to be targeted via extrajudicial assassination by drone strikes. As President Obama, encouraged by powerful lobbies in the defense industries, has paved the way for the systematic integration of drones into domestic law-enforcement and homeland security operations, the prospect of extrajudicial assassinations occurring on U.S. soil are no longer merely hypothetical.

      Now, new but little-known Pentagon directives authorize the use of armed drones against American citizens in the homeland in the context of domestic emergencies.”unquote

      http://www.occupy.com/article/exposed-pentagon-funds-new-data-mining-tools-track-and-kill-activists-part-iv

      Insane is a fucking massive understatement.

      01/25/15 6:17 PM | Comment Link

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