Journalist Barrett Brown to be sentenced today

Barrett Brown.


Barrett Brown.

Barrett Brown's sentencing hearing is taking place now behind closed court doors, as we publish this blog post.



Brown is activist, author, and freelance writer/journalist who focused on matters related to intelligence and internet security. In the press, he has been misrepresented as a spokesperson for the hacktivist collective Anonymous. The charges against him are essentially the result of his proximity to sources in Anonymous.

Good background on his case is here.

Good Twitter accounts to follow for news and analysis on whatever the sentence ends up being: this Twitter list, and in particular, reporters Alexa O'Brien and reporter Kevin Gosztola.

Kevin writes:

In a case which dragged on for well over two years, journalist Barrett Brown is being sentenced by a court in Dallas. He pled guilty to three charges that stemmed from uploading YouTube videos containing a threat directed at the FBI, redacting sensitive emails procured by hackers and hiding laptops in a kitchen cabinet.

The journalist, who has been in jail for more than two years, asked the judge to give him a “time-served sentence of thirty months” so as not to reward “reckless conduct on the part of the government” that occurred during his case. Prosecutors have asked the court to sentence him to eight and a half years in prison.

Brown declared at sentencing, “I sincerely regret some of the things that I have done. I don’t think anyone doubts that I regret quite a bit about my life including some of the things that brought me here today.”

“The videos were idiotic, and although I made them in a manic state brought on by sudden withdrawal from Paxil and Suboxone, and while distraught over the threats to prosecute my mother, that’s still me in those YouTube clips talking nonsense about how the FBI would never take me alive.”

Brown addressed his decision to “stupidly” try and hide laptops “from the FBI during a lawful investigation.”