Prosecutors Offer To Drop Most Charges Against Ex-Anonymous Spokesperson Barrett Brown


Brown is still accused of holding credit card data but charges of linking to the data have been dismissed

Barrett Brown, the former spokesperson for the hacktivist collective Anonymous, could have most of the charges against him dropped.

Many of those charges relate to a link Brown posted on an IRC chat room. One charge has been left live, however, covering alleged possession of stolen credit card details, according to a court filing from federal prosecutors in Texas. He is also facing separate charges related to alleged threats made against an FBI employee and concealing evidence.

Anonymous © Rob Kints Shutterstock 2012

Barrett Brown battle

A day before the prosecutors backed down, Brown’s lawyers had filed for a dismissal of all charges against the ex-Anonymous member, who was said to be facing as many as 100 years in prison.

They argued the charges were too vague and were “unconstitutionally overbroad”, whilst they could “chill speech in violation of the First Amendment”.

Barrett had gained much support, as many were concerned he was facing such a stern sentence over simply hyperlinking to information related to the Anonymous hack of government contractor Stratfor.

The hyperlink transferred users to a site where users could find information from the Stratfor breach, Barrett Brown’s lawyers said.

Brown had been an active journalist before his arrest in 2012, working across big name titles, including the Guardian and Vanity Fair. He also set up ProjectPM, a research collaboration organisation designed to facilitate exploration of leaked files.

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