Former Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown jailed for 63 months
Former Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown was sentence to 63 months in prison Thursday after he pleaded guilty to charges of transmitting threats, accessory to hacking, and interfering with the execution of a search warrant.
Barrett’s crimes relate to the hacking of global intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor) in 2011, although notably he isn’t accused of hacking the company versus being an accessory.
Brown’s legal team described the charges as breaking down to “…uploading YouTube videos that contained unfortunate statements, efforts to redact sensitive e-mails that had been procured by hackers, and hiding laptops in a kitchen cabinet.”
The public role of Brown was more of a key cheerleader than active participant, but it was his sharing of a link to the hack on an Anonymous IRC channel cause him to come to the attention of law enforcement. The FBI raid in September 2012 was partially caught on camera during a live video chat Barrett was hosting.
The link shared led to specifically to identity theft and fraud charges. The Department of Justice argued at the time that “by transferring and posting the hyperlink, Brown caused the data to be made available to other persons online, without the knowledge and authorization of Stratfor and the card holders.”
Some of the more severe charges were dropped as part of a plea bargain agreement.
In a post-sentencing statement Brown remained defiant, saying that “the US 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.”
“I want to thank the Department of Justice for having put so much time and energy into advocating on my behalf; rather than holding a grudge against me for the two years of work I put into bringing attention to a DOJ-linked campaign to harass and discredit journalists like Glenn Greenwald, the agency instead labored tirelessly to ensure that I received this very prestigious assignment. ”
As of the time of writing the actual people behind the Stratfor hacking continue to remain at large.
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