Feds drop link-related charges against Barrett Brown


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This is one of the common tactics used by politicians and our “justice” system: start out with totally outlandish legislation and charges, then, at the last minute, scale it back. This has a tendency to scale back the outrage, and you get something out of it anyway. This is exactly what they tried with Aaron Swartz, and it drove him to suicide. We should be just as outraged at the outstanding charge as the other charges that they dropped.


Exactly, and it’s also a great way to intimidate the public and investigative journalists in the meantime as well.

Break bad with insane, over-the-top charges then incarcerate a non-violent guy for a ridiculous amount of time without proper bail… It sends a very clear authoritarian message that the corrupt status quo is not to be screwed with.


Other efforts to restrict freedom of expression are currently on display in New York, where the artist Essam Attia was tracked down and arrested after he unwisely posted fake “NYPD drone” ads (an obvious act of political satire), and where “criminally deadpan Gmail confessions” distributed in the “name” of a well-connected academic department chairman lie at the center of a troubling case that is currently awaiting review at the state’s highest court in Albany. Apparently many of the same issues as the ones involved in the Brown case (vagueness of the laws, no intent to cause any sort of tangible harm to anyone) are at stake in the “Gmail confession” case; see the documentation at:

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I wonder if De Blasio’s office is made aware of this case yet?

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