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The former self-proclaimed spokesman for the hacking group Anonymous has agreed to plead guilty in federal court and end a 16-month-long legal tussle that at one time carried wide-ranging implications involving the First Amendment right to post permalinks.
Barrett Brown, 32, was indicted in Texas federal court in December 2012 on several counts, including accusations that he posted a link from one Internet relay chat channel, called #Anonops, to another channel under his control, called #ProjectPM. The link led to private data that had been hijacked from intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, or Statfor.
Over time, the authorities dropped most of the charges, which included identity theft and possession of stolen credit card numbers. The hyperlinking charge was also dismissed, setting aside a high-profile constitutional battle over posting links.
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