Barrett Brown: Threats To FBI & Raid by FBI

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by Anonymous, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

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  2. Anonymous Member

    The corrosive effect of surveillance secrecy

    The reflexive embrace of secrecy by governments over internet surveillance corrodes trust right across society, and most of all towards governments themselves.

    When surveillance and national security supporters look back on the last three years at some remove, one of the lessons they may learn is that the reflexive obsession with secrecy cruelled the capacity of security institutions and governments to obtain any sort of social licence for surveillance, or even of basic trust.

    The obsession of the United States government with secrecy has long since reached Kafkaesque proportions — but if you’re the victim of one of its campaigns, it is nightmarish.
    Two weeks ago the US Department of Justice sought and obtained a gag order to prevent American journalist and sometime Crikey contributor Barrett Brown and his legal team from discussing his prosecution. Brown, who revealed many connections between the US government and the growing cyber military-industrial complex in the US, faces an array of charges with sentences totaling over 100 years in prison, including for sharing a link online.

    At the point where even the US mainstream media had worked out that the prosecution of Brown was another example of the Obama administration’s war on investigative journalism, the administration decided enough was enough and secured a gag order to undermine the growing profile of Brown’s case. The prosecution argued the gag order was necessary because Brown was “manipulating the public”. This is Barack Obama’s America, where telling the world about your Kafkaesque prosecution for sharing a link is “manipulating the public”.

    The gag order is symptomatic of the way this administration does business: it imposes secrecy requirements on others, while of course retaining the right to reveal whatever secret information it feels is in its own interests. An Obama administration gag order is routine in cases where it has pursued journalists and whistleblowers, or its agencies have demanded the co-operation of IT and communications companies to spy on Americans, or provide backdoors into their products to allow spying.

    One of the genuinely amusing moments in the Obama administration’s hysterical overreaction to Edward Snowden was when Obama claimed in all seriousness that he had been planning to initiate a debate about the extensive powers that enabled the National Security Agency to spy on both Americans and the rest of us, but Edward Snowden came along and ruined his plans by revealing the true extent of surveillance.

    Of course, what Snowden revealed in addition to the vast surveillance apparatus now operated by the US government was the remarkable extent of illegality: the NSA has by its own admission breached US law thousands of times. We also learnt that the US hands raw data to Israel, big IT and communications companies are heavily involved in surveillance and paid millions of dollars for their trouble and that contrary to the strongest possible assurances, the NSA engages in economic espionage even against friendly countries like Brazil. That has recently plunged US-Brazilian relations into the deep freeze. US-German relations have also been negatively affected by the revelations of systemic spying by the US in a country much of which has witnessed first-hand the analog surveillance state maintained by Communist governments, which pails in comparison to the rich information yielded by internet surveillance.

    In the wash-up, we’ve further learnt NSA agents admitted to using the NSA’s capabilities to stalk women and that the number of breaches of US law by the NSA runs to well over 15,000 occasions (don’t be silly enough to wonder if anyone will be prosecuted for those, by the way).

    The reflexive demand for secrecy, of course, continues. Recently intelligence agencies demanded The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica not publish information on the extent to which US and British agencies have undermined internet encryption. Secrecy was the reason The Guardian was forced to go through the absurd theatre of complying with UK government demands to destroy disks containing information that was located and easily available elsewhere.

    The default setting of the surveillance state is always toward greater absurdity.
    Not merely does secrecy mean that surveillance systems will invariably be abused, it means that there is no social licence of any kind for governments engaged in surveillance. Citizens have provided no consent, not had the opportunity to debate and question politicians and bureaucrats on the issue, indeed are unaware until whistleblowers provide the necessary information, that they are being spied on at all.

    And secrecy creates suspicion. US IT companies are now discovering the price of secrecy as customers discover that companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have facilitated the systemic breach of their privacy but were prohibited from revealing it by US government gag orders. All products or services from US IT or communications companies must now be assumed to enable US government surveillance on users. Caveat emptor. Your smartphone, as Julian Assange likes to note, was already a surveillance device that also makes calls. Now, even better, there’s an iPhone that takes your fingerprint.

    And how extensive is the NSA’s disruption of encryption? This isn’t an arcane issue for IT specialists: if you undermine encryption, whether through demanding that IT companies give you a backdoor into a product (backed with a gag order), or undermining encryption standards so badly the standards body has to publicly denounce its own NSA-corrupted standards, or by developing a capacity to actually break encryption hitherto-assumed unbreakable, you are developing the tools of tomorrow for criminals. Once you undermine encryption, you undermine it for everyone — banks, businesses and other governments, as well as for terrorists and paedophiles.

    Indeed, secrecy ultimately facilitates conspiracy theories. Before Snowden, asserting that the US government basically monitored the entire internet would have earned you offers of tinfoil for your hat. Who’s going to be so willing from now on to dismiss even the most absurd claims? In such an environment, it’s no wonder every single major incident in the US (which happily surveils its population but blithely allows a firearm homicide rate that kills the equivalent of multiple 9/11s each year) sparks a “truther” movement of people who instinctively distrust government. They may be lunatics or political fringe types but who can say the US government, or those that follow in its footsteps like the UK government, have done anything to earn the trust of their citizens on national security issues?

    Secrecy is also corrosive of trust more generally. Who can you trust online now? Even if people aren’t informers for US intelligence agencies, how do you know someone you work with, another member of a political party or activist group, a friend, hasn’t had their IT equipment owned by intelligence agencies, or is being targeted for internet surveillance? What new encryption product can you trust to actually protect you? If you’re a whistleblower or confidential source, how do you know a journalist, even if he or she would rather go to jail than give you up, doesn’t have poor IT hygiene and will be easily monitored by the government?

    That, of course, is one of the intentions of governments, to corrode the connectiveness between citizens that the internet facilitates, because they fear it. But it corrodes citizens’ trust in governments as well as their trust in the companies they purchase from and the people they communicate with.

    A small but telling reference in the encryption reports that intelligence agencies tried to halt was that the NSA refers to ordinary users of encryption products — that is, all of us — as “adversaries”.
    Whether we trust governments or not, how wise would it even be to trust a government that regards its own citizens as enemies?

    *Disclosure: Bernard Keane is a supporter and contributor to the Free Barrett Brown campaign
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  3. Anonymous Member

    Barrett Brown Can't Talk About Why the Government Wants to Jail Him for a Century
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  4. Anonymous Member
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  5. Anonymous Member

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  6. A.O.T.F Member

    Barrett will not get a "Fair Trial" - I've said it once and I'll say it again - They're making the rules up as they go along. How can one possibly fight that sort of "Insipid fucking Corruption"? They're turning the "Law" into some kind of circus freak show. The tide is turning .. And one day they will all be held accountable for their actions.

    Free Barrett Brown
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  7. Anonymous Member

    It is quite disturbing that the United States government is holding this man indefinitely. They could not stand up to scientology however they will crush this guy. Yes it was not smart to go on Utube an threaten federal agents. However these agents that arrested him are the same ones that allow the fraud, human trafficking etc to occur in scientology ever day, go figure.
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  8. muldrake Member

    This is fucking disgusting, and it is difficult to imagine a more blatant case of spitting on the First Amendment.

    All I can say after reading that article and seeing him standing next to Bubba is "damn it feels good to be a gangsta."
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  9. Andy Downs Member

    This article questions why a former City Attorney with string FBI connections is handling the Barrett Brown case, as it should be challenged.
    However this is not not a first for the criminal justice system.
    The picture I have attached is of Judge L. Cure Morton from the Middle Tennessee District Court in Nashville circa 1971.
    Judge Morton was a former FBI agent turned federal judge when he refused to recuse himself (as judges have the right to do) when he heard the Downs vs USA 522 F.d2 990 civil action against the FBI and J Edgar Hoover for wrongful death of my father.
    Judge Morton also refused a jury trial and heard the case himself. He ruled in favor of the FBI before the case was over turned on appeal in the sixth circuit.

    I write this as a reminder that this has been a part of our "Justice System" for decades now. It is a way of making sure the fix is in.

    Attached Files:

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  10. Andy Downs Member

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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    My Friend Barrett Brown

    By Gregg Housh, September 25th, 2013

    Much has been said about Barrett Brown online and in the press. Some of it true, some of it lies, most of it sensationalist. Not much of it has been personal. I don't know where I am going with this, but here goes.

    I first talked to Barrett by email on February 11th, 2010. He had written an article titled Anonymous, Australia, and the Inevitable Fall of the Nation-State that I found interesting, so I emailed him. We talked via email for a short period before he asked to join people on IRC and wanted to know where everyone was hanging out. He wanted to write some more articles about Anonymous and about other related topics. Barrett took very quickly to IRC and the culture in general.

    A couple months went by with random Anonymous happenings and Barrett seemingly focused on other things. On the evening of March 23rd 2010 he emailed me asking a couple questions for an article in the New York Observer, also in this email was a mention of a new project he was working on. He didn't name the project at that time, just said it was important to him. Then with great timing on April 1st 2010 he sent me an email describing Project PM. It seemed like an ambitious project, but it also seemed like something he could do. I had come to appreciate his ability to dig through mountains of data for something relevant or revealing. The type of work that most of us find so boring and tedious that we avoid it at all costs. He also sent along an idea for a software based solution for working on Project PM and distributed research. That software didn't end up getting made, but it still seems like a good idea to me.

    Throughout the first year I knew Barrett we found that we had many friends in common, including Sean Carasov. I met Sean through his work on Project Chanology and Encyclopedia dramatica. As another Anon outted by the Church of Scientology, we had a lot in common. Sean was working with Barrett on Project PM. When Sean committed suicide it actually hit us both pretty hard. It was nice to have another person who didn't just know him online, but was also one of his good friends to talk to about the event and Sean in general. It was also one of those moments that I think changed our relationship from a working one related only to activism and research into an actual friendship.

    Continued at

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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

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  13. A.O.T.F Member


    Barrett needs our help .. C'mon people .. help make that change.
  14. Anonymous Member

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  15. Anonymous Member

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  16. muldrake Member

    This would have been nice about a year ago.
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  17. sallysock Member

    Jailed activist Barrett Brown's mother given probation for helping son

    Mother hid laptops from FBI who have since issued 17 charges against Anonymous-linked writer and former spokesman Brown

    An Excerpt that made me happy:

    Karen Lancaster McCutchin told a federal court in Dallas "my better judgment was clouded by my maternal instinct". The argument appeared to resonate with the judge, Paul Stickney, who said: "I feel for you, as a parent … I know you did the best you could.
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  18. muldrake Member

    While there was some colorable argument that what Barrett's mom did was illegal, and apparently, the judge went as easy as he could, it's utterly despicable that the slimeballs going after Brown were so vindictive, so petty, so beneath anything resembling decency that they couldn't resist going after his goddamn mom.

    How low. How can these people look at themselves in the mirror?
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  19. Anonymous Member

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  20. muldrake Member

    I couldn't even post to that article without disclosing retarded amounts of information. But my short answer to everything that was said is FUCK YOU. I WILL FUCK YOU IN EVERY AVAILABLE WAY FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. Just so you know.
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    BT Information Security Journalism Awards 2013 winners announced

    Nick Hopkins, defence editor of The Guardian, walked away with the Best Information Security News Story of the Year award for his global exclusive: “UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation”. In a double victory for The Guardian, freelance journalist Ryan Gallagher took home the Best Cybercrime Feature of the Year award for his article: “How Barrett Brown went from Anonymous's PR to federal target” also published by the paper.
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  22. Anonymous Member

    LOVE this. Sometimes, I forget how many good guys are out there.
    This link reminded me that I am wrong.
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  23. Anonymous Member

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  24. Anonymous Member

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  25. Anonymous Member

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  26. muldrake Member

    At first I was like

    WTF Barrett? Why'd you do this shit? Specifically the "threats" against the federal agent. Seriously, this shit is guaranteed to get you prosecuted. Never make threats like this against federal agents. The results will be bad. Have your lawyer figure out how to say the same thing under litigation immunity.

    But then I was like

    Fuck you government. This out of control insanity has to stop. These fascists are destroying everything that is left of our democracy, and Barrett Brown, as misguided as some of his tactical choices have been, is one of the people who have fought against that. Perhaps he's not Nelson Mandela, or even the love child Nelson Mandela and Hunter S. Thompson would have had, but he's better than the despicable, vindictive and, hey, un-American cowards trying to put him behind bars for life basically because they didn't like what he said.

    Another point in the article that bears mentioning. Numerous activists, hacktivists, whatever, have been jailed for DDoS. This is despite the fact that corporate entities have routinely done DDoS attacks against sites like Pirate Bay with no legal process whatsoever, basically making their own actions crimes.

    Also, at least two people were jailed for DDoSing Scientology advertising sites, something that caused Scientology absolutely no harm, as nobody even looks at those sites. However, Scientology itself spammed the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology for over a year, buying bogus ISP accounts and "sporging," that is, spamming forgeries in real people's names, flooding the newsgroup endlessly, and what did the feds do? If you guessed Sweet Fuck All, you win +1 Internet.

    Basically, corporations are allowed to commit crimes at will, but if you do the same to them, you're getting locked up. In the current "justice" system, it isn't just that corporations are considered to be "persons," they're considered to be super-persons that get away with anything, all the time. The only real crime now is to piss off a corporation.
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  27. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Gavin asks FBI to drop charges against Barrett Brown — House of Cards season 2

    Published by Free Barrett Brown on February 14, 2014

    Jimmi Simpson plays Gavin, a hacker in season 2 of House of Cards. He demands the FBI drop the charges against Barrett Brown as part of a deal. This is from episodes 25 and 26.
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  29. Kaile Member

    Great series and this is par for the course. And I'm not a big TV fan.
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  30. rof Member

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  31. A.O.T.F Member

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  32. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Great news. More people asking who he is and what did he do.
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  33. Nancy Beazley Member

    Just saw myself the reference on Season 2, Episode 12, Chapter 25.
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  34. A.O.T.F Member

    Bravo, Beau Willimon. I'll say he has nailed it with 96% accuracy.


    Gregg was there for a week, huh. It looks like they also let him play with the toys :D
  35. Anyone with any information about the member known as Cassie will be amply rewarded with the sum of $50.000.00 Details of home address, employment, car ownership, cell no. If any of these details lead to our finding this person we will place the amount in cash in the location of your choice be it bank or even cashier cheque.
    We know she is in Scotland and we want to find her soon. Please assist us

    We are the Church of Scientology call us.
    This message by Vertue has been hidden due to negative ratings. (Show message)
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  36. White Tara Global Moderator

    Spamming reported
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  37. Nancy Beazley Member

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  38. A.O.T.F Member

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  39. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    The boy can write.
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  40. RavenEyes Member

    People on Twitter have been asking Gregg to incorporate Sabu's name in a future episode. I lol'd.
    • Like Like x 3

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