Barrett Brown Sentencing

December 2014 Barrett Brown 1st Sentencing

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Barrett Brown


Barrett Brown


Barrett Brown is an American activist, author, and freelance writer/journalist. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Businessweek, and many other outlets. He has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, Fox News and Russia Today.

On September 12, 2012 Barrett Brown was raided and arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation while he was participating in a Tinychat session. He was subsequently denied bail and detained without charge and adequate medical treatment for over two weeks while in the custody of US Marshals.

Read a full description at

In the first week of October 2012, Barrett was indicted on three counts related to alleged activities or postings on websites such as Twitter and YouTube, in which he postured for the return of property which was taken from him in March, and expressed frustration at the targeted campaign against him and a member of his family. The Department of Justice issued a press release on October 4th.

On December 4, 2012 Barrett was indicted by a federal grand jury on twelve additional counts related to data from a security breach at the company Stratfor. See more on this at Department of Justice 7th Dec 2012 Press Release.

Despite his lack of direct involvement in the operation and stated opposition to this aspect, Barrett faces these charges for the alleged act of pasting a hyperlink into an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel.

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Who is Topiary?

Who is Topiary? The exact identity of this mysterious figure from the darknet is unknown to all but the most hardcore of the popo who have been interrogating various teenagers and informants on the subject since 1971, when the internet began.

Still, with extreme hacking prowess, Topiary, or the many and various Topiaries, Topiarists, and other 30 year old virgins and unemployed neckbeards, managed to free the world from ignorance by introducing the concepts of zero punctuation and butthurt to social media, and sql injecting huge websites where they had no business.  This is nothing to do with the #freetopiary book, but serves to illustrate how rumours can get out of control.

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Scary Hype Announcer!



A shimmering new way of presenting information is invented each week, and this week, from the frayed basket of cyber-clich├ęs, comes the new Scarey Hype Announcer which will soon be fitted to all windows inside and out!
Using the special Mind (of Isaiah) Action Console you will be able to make yourself appear on somebody else's computer screen, like in TINYCHAT.
Gimmicks in this new experience will include virtual fingers  which you can contentedly wave at ANYBODY ON THE PLANE, as well as a first-rate servicing and support network, and an online selection of SNARK if your own reserves of SNARK should ever fail you.

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Christ knows what it's gunna be but there is something to be learned from our collective experience of the Westboro Baptist Church.  Armed with nothing other than hate and the masochistic desire to troll the fuck out of every living thing that ain't Westboro, they've achived global fame and the sort of Internet traffic most would be envious of.  Yep, for a group with only 40 members, Westboro has achieved a lot.

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Bill Clinton on Hackers, 1999

Following the ill fated horror of The Clipper Chip, and the Communications Decency Act, Bill Clinton remarked in 1999:

'We are alreday seeing the first wave of deliberate cyber attacks - hackers breaking into business and government computers, stealing and detroying information, raiding bank accounts, running up credit card charges, extorting monyer by threats to unleash computer viruses.'

This portrayal of hackers as sociopaths and criminals is excatly what the haxor disliked.  Even then and still today, hackers are linked to technological failures, and as long ago as that, hackers were portrayed as the enemy of society. 

For example, it doesn't take a hacker to gain access to emails or other documents, as more often than not it is employees of companies who abuse their access and violate privacy.  Disgruntled employess, organised criminals, industrial spies and foreign or domestic intelligence operatives are not hackers, but the 'lone hacker' is something of a myth. 

Hackers are not the miscreants we are now led to belive they are, but over the years we've come to see this portrayal that anyone creating havoc on a computer network - is a hacker.  This then leads to the situation inn which the guys that DO do this sort of thing calling themselves hackers.  We can't award any evildoer with an internet connection the title of hacker.  Wea lready have too much ill-thought out legislation and unwarranted fear.

Hotel Based Internet Proxy Loopholes

Hotel-based Internet Proxy Loopholes:  I had no intention of paying the 30 Euros per day for Internet access so I got my iPhone on the go to see if I could get 3G access, but that was no go.  I joined the iPhone to the hotel WiFi and went through registration, and it was then that I noticed a few sections of text that had been present on the laptop version of the hotel's site were absent on the iPhone.  Instead there was an icon indicating content that the iPhone's browser could not load. I finished registering and on the page that prompted me to ask how much time I wanted to pay for, I got a message saying that registration was complete.  I was online, which was weird.  How to explain that?  It seemed that the access granting pages used items that weren't compatible with mobile Safari, and the web application used by the hotel, for whatever reason failed 'open' and not failed 'closed'.  That meant that if there was an error in the page then access would be granted. That was great but I didn't want to spend the weekend browsing the Internet on my iPhone.  So I got the laptop and pointed it to use the iPhone as a proxy and off I went, free WiFi .  When I went back to validate the security hole that allowed this I found that disabling Java on the browser on the laptop would have allowed me the same full acces to begin with.  The lesson is that if you run into WiFi apps requiring registration, do test this out by disabling Java / Active X etc in your browser, and you may be surprised.  And developers, note that you should always fail 'closed' and not fail 'open' when in doubt.