Thoughts on Barrett Brown's Sentencing

Barrett Brown Texas Journalist
Barrett Brown - Anarchist Car Thief?!
Journalist and online activist Barrett Brown had a court appointment to be sentenced in Dallas, yesterday.   

This was the second time this date had been rescheduled, and once more the process has been delayed.

Barrett Brown’s sentencing will now continue on January 22nd 2015

Over 500

Barrett Brown and his counsel were surprised yesterday by an extra 500 pages of evidence from the prosecution. 

But this is the internet and there are always going to be more logs, tweets and emails to sift through.

This process is reminiscent of the first raft of charges that were initially laid against Barrett Brown.  When he was arrested in 2012, the government didn’t so much charge Barrett Brown with one particular offense, but brought a long list of tweets which in their view were not individually criminal, but amounted in portmanteau to threatening and potentially illegal behaviour.

That is why people write “RTs Not An Endorsement” on their Twitter!  For all the times Barrett Brown retweeted me when I said: 

‘Let’s steal cars because we’re anarchists!!!’   

he is now liable for my thought crimes too.  This is as opposed to the prosecution finding any actual crimes he committed, other than those he may or may not have conceded to in his plea-bargain.

The Car Thief Analogy

It is the stock and trade of trials such as this that bizarre situations emerge as prosecution lawyers attempt to explain what the internet is to judges whom they feel could understand it better if it were portrayed as a physical entity.

The high point of this school of thought of course derived from the mouth of Alaskan senator Ted Stevens who in 2006 described the internet as ‘a series of tubes’.

In this instance the prosecution have sought to liken the information that Barrett used in his journalism, to a stolen car.  The information which Mr Brown used in his work was stolen ... and so is a stolen car ... so the analagy is permitted.  

The idea is that when the judge looks across the court, he won’t see Barrett Brown standing there in a suit, but he’ll see a car thief glowering with a balaclava and a crowbar.

UNSEE THIS!  It is an Illustration of WHAT DIDN'T HAPPEN

Nobody is accused of stealing cars and yet the court are now spending time talking about it.  

The only thing the internet is really like is ... the internet ... and so it would be easier explaining what actually happened, rather than wrapping events up in an irrelevant criminal analogy.   

The longer we spend asking questions such as:

"If Jeremy Hammond stole a car and invited Barrett Brown to look at the car through his garage window, and Barrett Brown looked at the car but did not know there were stolen credit cards in the glove compartment of the car, and Jeremy Hammond was wearing a mask but Barrett looked in the garage window anyway, does that make Barrett Brown an accessory to stealing the credit cards? Or an accessory to stealing the car? Or the leader of Anonymous?"

… then the more effective the prosecution will be.  

Douglas Lucas pointed out that the prosecution pronounced ‘Anon’ to rhyme with ‘cannon’ which is probably a sign that the car thief analogy might be effective in this case.

Anarchist at Large

It was also concerning to see the prosecution dragging Barrett Brown through the 'anarchist' hayrick.  

The problem with the prosecution digging through mountains of chatlogs to find the occasional use of the word ‘anarchist’ is that it is little to do with the crimes Barrett Brown is being sentenced for and everything to do with presenting him in a certain light.

Having an FBI agent read out these statements is worse ... but it could go on forever and in one level of HELL it probably is.  In these dark circles of hell, you stand in chains while FBI agents read out your entire lifetime of Twitter, mispronouncing things and squinting at you in your anarchist felony.

In Real Life and in court, agents of the prosecution pull from chat logs the stuff that they think makes you look like a terrorist ... I mean anarchist.  It's the same thing isn't it?

Anyone that has been reading Barrett's work for the last four years knows however that Barrett Brown is a journalist ... who does not want to overthrow the government ... and who did not 'lead' or even inform Anonymous.

These are demonstrable facts but the prosecution still have time to try and disprove them.  

Furthermore, they won’t find any evidence of Barrett stealing cars.

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