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Forum Post: Key Charges Against Barret Brown, Dropped

Posted 4 years ago on March 5, 2014, 8:27 p.m. EST by shoozTroll (17632)
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Federal prosecutors in Texas dropped a raft of charges Wednesday against a well-known journalist-activist in a closely watched digital freedom case involving hyperlinks and the Anonymous hacking collective.

The move came after Barrett Brown’s lawyers filed a motion for the 11 charges — the bulk of which alleged aggravated identity theft — to be dismissed, citing free-speech provisions in the US Constitution.

Brown, in custody since his arrest in September 2012, still faces charges of obstructing justice and threatening law enforcement officers, but supporters hailed Wednesday’s development.

“Make no mistake, this is a massive victory for press freedom, for Barrett and everyone who’s supported him over the last year and a half,” said the Free Barrett Brown group on its Tumblr blog."




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[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 4 years ago

''The Strange Case of Barrett Brown'', by Peter Ludlow :

''Brown’s supporters hailed the dismissal of the counts as a massive victory. “The charges against Barrett Brown for linking were flawed from the beginning. In the face of a rigorous legal challenge mounted by his defense, the government has finally recognized it and signaled that this is a battle they don’t want to fight,” said Kevin Gallagher, director of the Free Barrett Brown network. He added: “Today, Barrett Brown is one big step closer to being free.”

The prosecution’s case that by posting the hyperlink Brown had engaged in the transmission of stolen property had prompted widespread alarm among First Amendment lawyers, campaigners, news organisations as well as other publishers who feared it would send a chill across the internet. Kevin Goldberg, a First Amendment expert who is legal counsel for the American Society of News Editors, told the Guardian that: “If we can be held criminally liable for hyperlinking to a website, the implications are profound.”

fiat justitia ...