Barrett Brown made a three-part video series about “why I’m angry with the FBI,” and was arrested hours later.
Barrett Brown, a self-proclaimed spokesperson for the hacking group Anonymous, was arrested in 2012 and has criminal trials scheduled for later this year.
The charges against Brown stemmed from when he posted a hyperlink from one Internet relay chat channel, called #Anonops, to another channel under his control, called #ProjectPM.
Federal prosecutors filed papers today indicating that they want to drop all but one of the 12 charges in their original indictment, including all the counts related to hyperlinking. Brown no longer faces 10 charges of “aggravated identity theft,” but he is left to deal with a charge of possessing stolen credit card numbers.
The government’s backing down comes a day after Brown’s defense lawyers filed a motion to dismiss all the charges against him. Brown’s lawyers say that all he did was post a hyperlink, which can’t amount to the “transfer” of stolen information.
The charges against him violate First Amendment free speech protections, the motion argues.