In the US government’s campaign against journalists (FAIR Blog, 8/27/13), Barrett Brown is one of the lesser-known victims. And now even less will be forthcoming about his story, as the Texas-based writer, satirist and Internet activist is under a federal court gag order, forbidden to talk about his case or the charges that could land him in prison for more than 100 years.
Brown was arrested in Dallas a year ago, hit with a dozen charges of identity theft for pasting a link to the chat room of ProjectPM, a wiki research forum he founded in 2009. The link led to a huge cache of hacked documents posted to WikiLeaks that had been purloined from the intelligence contractor Stratfor Global Intelligence. Among some 5 million documents, some politically embarrassing to the firm and its clients, were some files containing credit card information. Brown’s linking to the huge trove containing a relatively small amount of personal financial information is the basis for the identity theft charge. (Read more)