In case you haven’t heard, journalist Barrett Brown is facing over 100 years in jail for alleged crimes relating to his investigation into the world of private intelligence contractors for the US government.
Forty-five years of that potential maximum jail sentence is for copying and pasting a link into a chat room. Along with valuable emails exposing the machinations inside the lair of private spies in the service of government, the link Barrett Brown posted also included private credit card information stored on contractor’s servers.
By contrast, LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond, accused of actually stealing the files from Stratfor (aided by government informer Sabu), faces only 10 years.
Government overreach on the charges against Brown apparently isn’t enough. In a motion filed August 7, the prosecution requested that the Judge order restrictions against parties contacting the media. The government is seeking a Gag Order to prevent Barrett Brown from speaking with reporters.
The motion cites several instances where Brown spoke with media while awaiting trial. One filmmaker who contacted Brown denies that his case was discussed at all during the interview. Another quotes Brown as opposing Anonymous’s strategy of releasing credit card information.
Perhaps importantly, another more famous journalist planned to interview Barrett Brown.
On June 6, 2013, Brown told a person from the Rolling Stone to do a story on Brown, and instructed the person to coordinate with his attorney.
Michael Hastings never made it to that interview, but given Hastings’ interest in the War on Journalism, he may have wanted to discuss material leaked from Stratfor’s servers.
On July 11, @papersplx tweeted:
Michael Hastings’ last project was about CIA Director John Brennan, who made this appearance in the Stratfor docs: bit.ly/QltYuu
8:06pm – 11 Jul 13
What did Stratfor staff say Brennan was up to?
Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.
Note — There is specific tasker from the WH to go after anyone printing
materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is
shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…
It’s not difficult to understand why contact with the press would be discouraged in Brown’s case.
As always on OverEasy, off topic is the topic. Lurkers are particularly encouraged to join in. See you in he comments around 7:30 a.m. PST when I roll out of bed.
Public domain photo by Karen Lancaster.
Edit: The Stratfor hack was accomplished with the help of government informer Sabu. Since the government has no interest in stealing and publishing its own secrets, all of the documents from Stratfor are of questionable veracity. We do not know if information in Stratfor’s servers were reviewed by the government prior to the hack or changed in any way.