Posted on | January 24, 2013 | 11 Comments
September 2012: Barrett Brown threatens an FBI agent in video
For the third time in four months, a federal grand jury in Texas has returned indictments against Barrett Brown, the former spokesman for the hacking group Anonymous. Brown was arrested in September after a video rant in which he threatened to “destroy” an FBI agent.
Brown was indicted in October on charges stemming from those threats and indicted again in December on multiple charges related to the “LulzSec” hacking of Stratfor. Now, the grand jury has returned an indictment on two obstruction of justice charges, accusing Brown of concealing evidence in a March 6 raid (at the same time that the feds arrested several members of the “LulzSec” hacking group).
In an interview with Wired magazine, Brown’s former attorney Jay Leiderman portrayed the latest indictments in a conspiratorial light:
“Clearly they’re more worried about what they perceive as his egging people on to go after defense contractors and secret spy organizations. . . . Barrett believes in privacy for individuals and transparency for corporations and government. The government doesn’t like his belief system. And Barrett was effective in expressing that belief system.”
Leiderman compared Brown to Aaron Swarz, the Reddit co-founder who committed suicide after being prosecuted for hacking an MIT database:
“I would have thought in the wake of Aaron Swartz that the government might have learned something and might have thought twice about bringing the weight of the entire [United States] down upon someone when it wasn’t warranted,” says Leiderman.
Brown is due in court again next Wednesday, in the case related to his alleged FBI agent-threatening. At that time, U.S. District Judge Sam Linday will rule on a prison psychologist’s recommendation that Brown be founded mentally competent to stand trial.
The video rant that led to Barrett Brown’s September arrest:
- Dec. 7: New Charges Filed Against Former ‘Anonymous’ Spokesman Barrett Brown
- Nov. 18: ‘Another Person Known to the Grand Jury’ in the Barrett Brown Indictment?
- Oct. 26: Neal Rauhauser as Carlito2000: How Barrett Brown Went Down
- Sept. 16: ‘Anonymous’ Spokesman Barrett Brown Arrested After Bizarre Video Meltdown