Thursday 1 December 2016
Barrett Brown, a journalist, formerly served as an unofficial spokesman for the hacktivist collective Anonymous, finally walked free from prison after serving more than four years behind bars.
Barrett, 35, initially attracted the law enforcement attention in 2011 when he shared a hyperlink to an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel where Anonymous members were distributing stolen information from the hack at security think tank Strategic Forecasting or Stratfor.
Originally facing sentence to more than 100 years in prison, Barrett was convicted in January 2015 under a plea agreement with prosecutors to almost five years in jail and nearly $900,000 in restitution and fines.
The two and a half years he has spent in pretrial confinement after his arrest were credited toward his total prison sentence. On Tuesday, Barrett was released from the Three Rivers Federal Correctional Institution in San Antonio, Texas, where he continued his work as a writer over the past year.
On his release five months before the scheduled date, Former National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor Edward Snowden tweeted his reaction, saying:
“Jailed since 2012 for his investigations, #BarrettBrown has finally been released from prison. Best of luck in this very different world.”
Meanwhile, the whistleblower site WikiLeaks also published more than 60,000 emails from US private intelligence firm HBGary to celebrate Brown’s release. Hacktivist collective Anonymous initially obtained the emails in February 2011, but WikiLeaks published them in the form of a searchable database on Tuesday. Among other things, the leaked emails discussed targeting journalists and governments.
Four years ago, after my overly dramatic arrest by the FBI, I vowed to return to Dallas at the time of its greatest peril, or anyway I meant to vow this. Now I have fulfilled the promise I definitely intended to make; my sentence complete, on Tuesday I rode from a South Texas prison with my mom and dad and Alex Winter for some reason to a halfway house 20 minutes south of downtown.
I live in a room with five drug dealers. We have a TV and an Xbox 360. When I came in, they were watching the 1990 Charlie Sheen vehicle Navy Seals, a film of extraordinary obnoxiousness. Further reports will follow.
Special thanks to Julian Assange and Sarah Harrison for releasing the 60,000 HBGary emails in honor of my release. Greetings to my various enemies. Down with all human institutions.
10 August 2012 Radio Interview Barrett Brown - Stratfor Hack Trapwire & Wikileaks DDoS
Jeremy Hammond, Martin Gottesfeld, and Matt DeHart, some of our bravest heroes and activists are now in jail and they need your help. Just for a moment, close your eyes and think about going to jail for years. Being isolated from your family, friends, lover and supporters. Imagine in this loneliness how valuable receiving a letter with loving words, a drawing from an admiring child, photos or news from supporters can be. To the arrested activists, it means difference between sanity and insanity, between life and death, between a burning hope of freedom or despair...