Link-sharing charges against journalist Barrett Brown dismissed

 Thanks, House of Cards.

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.

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."

In addition, he faces separate charges for threatening and spreading information about a federal agent in 2012.

You can read the government’s motion to dismiss below.

Illustration by Jason Reed

Why Anonymous provocateur Barrett Brown matters
Barrett Brown is, per the classical definition, a tragic figure.   The Anonymous associate is in jail, where he’s likely to remain for the foreseeable future, serving as a touchstone—a spokesman less for truth, justice, and the American way than for the dangers of believing a little Web knowledge and a ferocious posture will make you untouchable.
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