The U.S. government has filed to dismiss 11 of the 12 criminal charges against journalist Barrett Brown.
Brown, who has already spent a year in jail, was charged with sharing a link to information stolen from Austin, Texas private intelligence company Stratfor in an IRC channel. That hack was part of Project PM, a crowdsourced investigation into the digital surveillance apparatus of the U.S government and others. The actual hacker, Jeremy Hammond, pled guilty and has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
Of the 12 federal charges Brown faced relating to device fraud and aggravated identity theft, 11 have now been dismissed.
BREAKING in Barrett Brown case - US gov files motion to dismiss own criminal charges vs BB for posting a web hyperlink to hacked material— Ed Pilkington (@Edpilkington) March 5, 2014
Brown still faces charges for "access device fraud." According to the 2012 indictment against Brown, he allegedly "possessed at least fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, in that he possessed stolen credit card account numbers and CVVs without the knowledge and authorization of the card holders."
By my count, Barrett Brown still faces max 70 years in prison, with poss 35 years now removed thro gov dismissal of hyperlink charge— Ed Pilkington (@Edpilkington) March 5, 2014
You can read the government’s motion to dismiss below.
Illustration by Jason Reed