Bad, Bad Barrett Brown

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

 Powered by Max Banner Ads Among both American and British law-enforcement communities, the temptation runs strong to treat hackers and hacktivists in simplistic terms. The public was offered a rare glimpse of this reductive tendency by a published cache of leaked NSA and GCHQ documents. In a presentation slide evaluating various uses of the anonymizing tool Tor, hacktivists like Anonymous are slotted firmly and unambiguously into the “bad” category—immediately adjacent to both pedophiles and criminals. On Thursday, this moral binary was once again rehashed in a Dallas courthouse, when Judge Samuel Lindsay handed down a stiff sentence to journalist and rabble-rousing activist Barrett Brown. Brown had originally faced 17 charges and was convicted of three crimes: making threats against an FBI agent, obstruction of a search warrant, and assisting the Anonymous hackers who infiltrated and gutted Austin, Texas–based intelligence company Stratfor. (It must be said that the threats, delivered as a video tirade, were hyperbolic and preposterous but illegal.) Brown, who has already been behind bars for more than two years, received an additional 35 months in jail and a fine of nearly $1 million to be paid to Stratfor. The judge ruled that Brown “more than merely reported the hackers’ […]

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