Award winning journalist Barrett Brown, was released from Federal prison in Texas on the 30th of November, 2015. The United States District Judge ‘Sam Lindsay’ originally sentenced Barrett Brown to serve a total of 63 month in prison and was ordered to pay close to a million dollars in fines. At the time of his sentencing, he had already served 28 months and had 34 months remaining. Brown was released early on good behavior. When Brown was released, he was spoted by reporters at McDonald’s but had little more than a smile to share.
Brown originally was indicted in Texas federal court in December 2012 on numerous counts, including identity theft, hyperlinking and possession of stolen credit card numbers. Although most of these charges were dropped by authorities eventually, Barrett still managed to serve quite a bit of time for copy and pasting a link from one Internet relay chat channel, called #Anonops, to another channel under his control, called #ProjectPM. The link that he copied was also spread elsewhere by others, although at the time Barrett was considered responsible for the leak. At sentencing, the 35-year-old Texan was ordered to continue making $200 monthly payments to Stratfor, for the bill of $900,000 in total.
The link that Barrett was sharing, led to data Which was hacked by infamous political hacktivist Jeremy Hammond – founder of HackThisSite – and others, the contents revealed emails and other data from private intelligence firm Stratfor. This leaked data was also released to Wikileaks by Hammond and the arrests were largely due to the FBI informant known as Sabu.
Hammond admittedly took part in the hack against Stratfor’s network, which leaked an estimated 60,000 credit card numbers and associated data and millions of emails to Anonymous IRC channels – Where Barrett picked it up from – and Wikileaks. However, according to Hammond, he was not the mastermind behind the operation. he claimed on trial that “I had never even heard of Stratfor until Sabu brought it to my attention,” and that Sabu was introduced to him by an anonymous friend known only as ‘Hyrriiya’ recently before. According to the chat logs obtained by the FBI, on Dec. 4, 2011, Hyrriiya informed Sabu that he’d compromised Stratfor’s systems. Monsegur responded, “That’s perfect for #antisec.” Hammond was not present during this initial conversation about Stratfor, which took place in an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) room called “#Revolusec.”