Be Carfeful What You Retweet
The world is divided into those that have heard about and care about Barrett Brown, and those who have not, and do not. What is noticeable is that those that have heard of Barrett, really do care about him, and in unpicking his case, you come across many grown men and women (barriticus included) who become endlessly bogged down in the most ridiculous name-calling, paranoia and in-depth battles in what we may term as The Information Wars.
Barrett made plenty enemies on Twitter, such as the equally provocative right winger Robert Stacy McCain. I don't know if Robert's rep for racism rep is merited or not but it has stuck so well that if when I Googled Stacy McCain, the auto-complete threw him a surprise insult.
Oh well. Shit sticks it appears. For the record I do not believe this man is a racist at all. Perish the thought. He loves all people.
The 3rd October 2012 indictment only mentions one actual tweet of Barrett's, which is this one:
FBI Now you know I know. I get call from Agent Robert Smith in 24 hrs, my laptops on plane to Dallas or I release in 25 #Anonymous
This is notable as Barrett is being charged with threatening to DoX a Federal employee, the above mentioned Agent Robert Smith. I guess if DoXing a Fed is a crime, then this is all the evidence they need to support it. What Barrett Brown is counting down to here is not a DoX however, but the release of his own video, in which he explains how he feels about the harrassment he and his family have received from the authorities.
Also relating to the 10th September, we find in the indictment, that Barrett is in trouble for a Retweet, as follows:
RT from @Anonimom
“A dead man can’t leak stuff… Illegally shoot the son of a bitch.” – Bob Beckel, Fox News, December 6th 2010 #Assange in @PGPBOARD style.
Three things to say. First of all this isn't just a retweet but a retweet of a quote, so the statement is third hand, which strikes me as insane. Next, this isn't even a sentiment that Barrett would agree with, murdering Julian Assange. Barrett is just presenting it as the type of rhetoric his opponents use, citing the PHPBB3 bulletin board PGPBoard, which speaks for itself if you want to visit it. Like most things on the Internet, it's not hard to find.
Most troubling for me however is the discovery of 'Anonimom'. Anonymous are always saying how they have members everywhere, in your office, in your 'hood, in your family, blah blah blah. But this must be the greatest shock of all - that people's mothers are actually in Anonymous.
Now that is the lulz.
Barrett Brown is an American activist, author, and freelance writer/journalist. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Businessweek, and other outlets. He has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, Fox News and Russia Today.
On September 12, 2012 Barrett Brown was raided and arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation while he was participating in a Tinychat session. He was subsequently denied bail and detained without charge and adequate medical treatment for over two weeks while in the custody of US Marshals.
Read a full description at freebarrettbrown.org
In the first week of October 2012, Barrett was indicted on three counts related to alleged activities or postings on websites such as Twitter and YouTube, in which he postured for the return of property which was taken from him in March, and expressed frustration at the targeted campaign against him and a member of his family. The Department of Justice issued a press release on October 4th.
On December 4, 2012 Barrett was indicted by a federal grand jury on twelve additional counts related to data from a security breach at the company Stratfor. See more on this at Department of Justice 7th Dec 2012 Press Release.
Despite his lack of direct involvement in the operation and stated opposition to this aspect, Barrett faced these charges for the alleged mere act of pasting a hyperlink into an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel. On January 23rd, 2013 he was indicted a third time on two more counts, relating to the March 2012 FBI raid(s) on his apartment and his mother’s house.
Barrett pleaded not guilty in all three cases. In January 2015 he was sentenced to 63 months which he is currently serving, and ordered to pay restitution.
Your prospective contribution to Barrett has significance in a wider campaign for free speech and transparency on the internet and between governments and people across the world.