For posting a link in a chat room, Barrett Brown is facing over 100 years in prison

Obama’s drive against the First Amendment is the most aggressive and relentless in our history.


(Originally published on

The Saga Of Barrett Brown: Inside Anonymous And The War On Secrecy
By Christian Stork on Feb 21, 2013

Alleged “hacktivist” Barrett Brown, the 31-year old mislabeled “spokesman” for the shadowy hacker collective known as Anonymous, faces federal charges that could put him away for over a hundred years. Did he engage in a spree of murders? Run a child-sex ring? Not quite. His crime: making leaked e-mails accessible to the public—documents that shine a light on the shadowy world of intelligence contracting in the post-9/11 era.

A critically acclaimed author and provocative journalist, Brown cannot be too easily dismissed as some unruly malcontent typing away in the back of a gritty espresso lounge. He is eccentric. And he was clearly high on something, if only his own hubris, when he made a threatening video that put him in the feds’ crosshairs. But that’s not the real reason for the government’s overreaction. Evidence indicates it has a lot more to do with sending a message to the community he comes from, which the government sees—correctly—as a threat.

The Barrett Brown case is simply the latest in a string of prosecutions in which the government pursues anyone involved in making information “liberated” from governmental or corporate entities easily accessible to the public. Those targeted are not necessarily accused of the illegal entry itself (the “hack”) or violating contracts (as in the case of a “leak”). These are people performing a function analogous to that of a newspaper—yet they can face prison sentences longer than those prescribed for murderers, rapists, and terrorists.

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1 reply on “For posting a link in a chat room, Barrett Brown is facing over 100 years in prison”

MCM – It’s one of your favorite old students at NYU, Megan Christine Mayes (MCM) :) .

Just want to thank you for this blog. Still read it to this day. This particular story has been so shocking to me. Someone needs to make a documentary on the topic to bring about more awareness. There are plenty of other cases like this (smaller scale).

I just finally finished the film I have been producing the past two years. This topic is really interesting me…should I risk spending 100 years in prison for telling his story?

Hope all is well, blessings.


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