Barrett Brown’s sentence is unjust, but it may become the norm for journalists


Of course, if we organize an effort to break him out of prison, we could make that the norm for journalists.


I totally agree with the sentiment and the cfaa needs to diaf, but come. On. Attributable passwords, SSN’s, credit card numbers, and PII are not newsworthy. Snowden, greenwald, and poitras did it right–share data discreetly till you understand the story, and don’t (re)publish needless PII. Ever.

Share it with your editor, not on pastebin.


Maybe this should be the question to ponder.

Is it already too late to use your vote in future elections to change what is happening? I’m not living in the US. I am not, nor have I ever been, a US Citizen but should you not be looking at what your Republican Party is doing and insisting that the Democrats make certain choices going forward and then voting for them to implement these changes?

That is to say, write to your local Democrats and speak up on these topics! If and when they decide to want to enforce those actions, vote for those candidates. Influence change. Fight back against the 1% You have the power of numbers! Get your friends and families out to vote. Be the change you want to see. Otherwise, you get what you deserve.

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That’s why I am seceding from the US, there is no reasonable expectation that it will ever represent me, or even anything close to what I’d describe as social reality. I never even claimed to be a US citizen - they told me this.


This guy is his own worst enemy. He really did engage in obstruction of justice. He really did make threatening remarks. He doesn’t dispute that. And then he spoke with great arrogance and contempt to the judge, and now he has spoken with great arrogance and contempt to the people who will have absolute power over him for the next three years. Does he have a death wish?

This case certainly does raise concerns, but his behavior is so over the top that it’s impossible to separate out what is the result of him just being insanely arrogant from what actually might constitute prosecutorial or judicial misbehavior. So sure, you can conclude that reporters everywhere are screwed, but really we don’t know what would have happened if someone less flamboyantly arrogant had done the same thing.


We never get the people we need. Julian Assange allegedly raped some girls. This guy goes bananas on the FBI. So it distracts from the real issues and sets bad legal precedents.


Typically not, but fussing about PII is basically moot since every actual abuse of PII is already a distinct crime anyway. PII such as addresses and credit card numbers are not in any way secret, so I think defining it as some protected class of information is dubious. If somebody stalks me or uses my credit card. they are the culpable party.

But the post was centered around how Mr. brown is an investigative journalist, however he broke the basic tenets of that role. He shouldn’t go to jail, but he also shouldn’t be called a journalist .

If you are a doctor, Do No Harm. If you are a journalist, Do No Harm. The argument that republishing PII is ethical or useful is astoundingly naive.

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Do you realize it is a protected class of information? like, right now. And likely in the country you are in?

It is exactly the job of a functioning justice system to make that distinction.


I don’t buy into the “He really did real things wrong so he deserved this.” He admitted in court that threatening an FBI agent was a stupid mistake, but I don’t know the situation under which he threatened that agent. The government hounded Aaron Swartz to suicide, I don’t think it’s a stretch for them to hound Barrett Brown into irrational behaviour. So you can say, “Hey, it’s his fault, he shouldn’t have done that,” and just keep repeating that every time a journalist goes to jail or someone is killed by a police officer someone if that’s what you want to do. Enjoy your police state.


Sure, but protected by and for whom? It’s hypocritical when “my” country acts against me having any meaningful privacy. And they allow businesses to buy and trade such information about people. So rather than protection, it seems to work more as a form of hierarchical access control, so I don’t accept it.

And, as I said before, abuse of my information is already covered under their own distinct statutes anyway.


Did anyone proofread this? Jesus.

I don’t know. Edward Snowden hasn’t screwed up massively in public, that I know of.

The video is right here:

Even though it’s ‘victim blaming’, you really really should not ever make the decision to film yourself making physical threats and using hate speech about an FBI agent that’s investigating you and publish it to youtube. If you do that, it really is your fault.

And if you do, maybe not title it “Why I’m Going to Destroy FBI Agent Robert Smith Part Three: Revenge of the Lithe”


Also, don’t do drugs.

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If I made a career of stalking and restraining people, with the possibility of their injury or death - I don’t think it’s unreasonable (not that it’s fair, either) to suppose that this decision could have negative consequences for my family. But hey, it’s the FBI, so let’s give them a pass!