Kevin writes, "A motion just filed by the defense in Barrett Brown's case makes the argument that merely linking to information which is already publicly available should be protected by the First Amendment. The government has charged Brown with multiple counts of fraud and identity theft for copy and pasting a link from one chat-room to another. The URL pointed to data that was obtained during the late-2011 hack of Stratfor and the unextracted file happened to contain some credit card numbers."
As Hanni Fakhoury at the EFF has pointed out, this case would establish a precedent that "equat[es] the posting or sharing of a link with possessing the underlying information." If allowed to proceed it would criminalize a large swath of Internet behavior. In line with the danger this poses to information sharing and routine journalism practices, as well the way this would affect security researchers and reporters engaged in verification of sources, the defense has strenuously opposed the indictment and asked for the Court to dismiss it entirely.
Barrett Brown’s Defense Moves to Protect the Right to Link (Thanks, Kevin!)