Barrett Brown ‘agrees plea deal in Stratfor email hack case’

Guardian

Barrett Brown, the activist-journalist whose prosecution linked to the 2012 Stratfor email hack sparked first-amendment concerns among internet activists, lawyers and publishers, has agreed to a plea deal, according to Wired.

A gag order on Brown’s case prevents both sides from providing details, a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in the Northern District of Texas told the Guardian.

As a result neither Brown’s lawyer, Ahmed Ghappour, nor prosecutors would provide details on the developments.

Brown, 32, was originally charged with 17 counts, mostly relating to a link he posted in an internet chat room that linked to a website that contained some hacked email addresses and credit card details that had been unloaded from the Stratfor website. He then reposted the link on his own internet chat room, Project PM.

Federal documents suggest recent movement in the case, but no details are publicly available.

According to one federal court document, signed by Brown, he waived his right to be indicted – or not indicted – by a grand jury, in favour of “proceeding by information instead of by indictment”. Another said a telephone conference was held on the case on Wednesday.

Another document filed by the government this week hinted at the detail of the deal, according to Wired. In that document, which overrides two of Brown’s previous three indictments, the government charged the journalist with two crimes.

The new indictment alleges Brown’s involvement as an accessory to the Statfor hack by “creating confusion regarding the identity of the hacker”.

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