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Anonymous Response to State of the Union: Free Barrett Brown

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Jan 19th, 2015
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  1. Press Release
  3. #RightToLink #FreeBB
  5. Greetings world, We Are Anonymous.
  7. Today Obama attacks the Right To Link in his State of the Union address. He aims to make it a felony to link to "unauthorized" information even if the information is already posted on a public website. This is our response. It's for political prisoner, journalist, and activist Barrett Brown, who is due to be sentenced on Thursday for the same thing--his mere sharing of the now taken-down hyperlink is nearly certain to be deemed "relevant conduct" for determining his sentence.
  9. When the #AnonOps IRC channel was sharing information about the Anonymous hack of intelligence firm Stratfor in December 2011, a user posted this now taken-down link: Barrett, researching the hack for journalistic work, asked "What was in that?" and later copy-pasted it into his #ProjectPM channel to share with other researchers. The so-called Department of Justice, alleging the hyperlink led to credit card data of Stratfor subscribers (already canceled data), argues Barrett's copy-pasting means he committed identity theft. They themselves shared the link, putting it on the first page of his indictment. Barrett's supposed crime constituted the majority of the prison term the prosecutors sought: they wanted to lock him up for more than a century.
  11. The link is an address. We must be able to post the addresses of information. Regarding the recent emails hacked out of Sony, the wastes-of-space at the New York Times chose to chicken-out from publishing first about them or linking to them at all, discouraging us from learning more about the topic or evaluating what reporting the paper did decide to do. Instead the NYT, as usual, expects us to take their authoritarian-apologist organization on faith. Barrett, in contrast, encourages everyone interested in the emails hacked out of Stratfor and "cybersecurity" firm HBGary to investigate trademark filings and state-held business registrations etc. and to share their findings online live for free.
  13. The war against the Right To Link does not only affect journalists. It affects all of us.
  15. With the Internet, humanity can now collaborate effectively enough to self-govern at global scale. But the authorities' best defense against our better future is to keep our imaginations clamped down. We can't envision building and defending radical alternatives for a just society when we're overwhelmed by the stock, sedating, and false media the corporate-controlled system blasts out. But by linking us to information we actually need, the Internet is breaking apart the system's shield of illusion. Barrett has been a pioneer of this righteous destruction. His gift has been not just to bring forth crucial news and analysis--answers about information warfare, "cybersecurity" contractors, mass spying--but also to do so with such passion and creativity that he continues, even from behind bars, to inspire us to join him and each other in resistance. That's why his prosecutors cite his leadership and anarchism as reasons to keep him locked up as long as possible. They know Internet activists are teaching us we don't need them.
  17. However, our Internet is nothing without the Right To Link. "We've always been at war with Eastasia" unless links take us to the sources for such statements so we may inspect their value and decide to give support to, or subtract support from, those who made it. In this week's State of the Union address, unlawful enemy combatant Obama will promote new legislation to make it a felony to intentionally access "unauthorized" information even if it's already been posted on a public website. Posting links to such information would become "trafficking." Obama is trying to make more common what his Department of "Justice" has been doing to Barrett Brown.
  19. The good news is, we know how to win this battle, because we've done it before. Remember the Streisand effect? Example: when AACS tried to make 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 (a hexademical key to crack HD-DVD copy protection) an illegal number, and people responded by posting it everywhere, making T-shirts of it, etc. News outlets published the number, everyone loved the number, AACS gave up.
  21. So starting now and through Barrett's Thursday sentencing, we make a meme! The link has already been taken down, but the URL should become a strong symbol.
  25. 1. Inject combined with the #RightToLink and #FreeBB hashtags into the State of the Union conversation by exploiting its hashtags such as #SOTU. You can also use liberal and conservative hashtags, #p2 and #tcot respectively, which are sure to be busy during Obama's address. Tweet ideas from this press release or your own ideas. You also can link to this pastebin.
  27. 2. Starting now, and on Wednesday and Thursday, tweet along with the hashtags #RightToLink and #FreeBB. Post the same three things together on Facebook, Tumblr, everywhere else. Don't just retweet or share others' posts; do it yourself to increase its visibility. (Retweeting/sharing is obviously good too!) Other ideas: Write your own reasons why we need to #FreeBB and defend the #RightToLink, re-publish this press release, post #RightToLink #FreeBB material into the comment sections of news articles about the State of the Union or Barrett's sentencing, etc.
  29. 3. Get creative! Tweet pictures of signs reading and #RightToLink #FreeBB. Make art and tweet it at mainstream politicos who are active on social media, or at @Stratfor, or at whomever. Whatever you can think of!
  31. 4. Persuade other people to join in. PM/DM/phone your friends, acquaintances, comrades, tell them what's up and get them to take part in this campaign.
  33. 5. If you are media reading this, it is in your interest to publish the full URL in your article about this Anonymous campaign. The link has already been taken down.
  37. In solidarity with Barrett Brown, the goals are to 1) show we will not be stopped from linking to information that's already publicly available, and 2) force discussion about Barrett's case and about defending the Right To Link against Obama and all the other authorities.
  39. MORE INFO:
  41. Obama State of the Union address to advocate making it a felony to link to "unauthorized" information:
  44. Department of "Justice" shares the link
  46. New York Times afraid of downloading or linking to emails hacked out of Sony:
  49. Statements and legal motions about the Right To Link:
  51. Electronic Frontier Foundation statement on the #RightToLink:
  52. Another Electronic Frontier Foundation statement about the #RightToLink:
  53. Motion by Barrett Brown's defense to dismiss nearly all of the prosecution's ridiculous don't-you-dare-link indictment:
  54. Electronic Frontier Foundation draft motion to dismiss the same:
  55. Committee to Protect Journalists on the #RightToLink:
  56. Article 19 on the #RightToLink:
  58. Learn more about Barrett Brown's case:
  61. Donate to Barrett's legal defense and get a copy of his book Keep Rootin' for Putin:
  64. Barrett's under-appreciated work:
  68. 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 online riot:
  71. Streisand Effect:
  74. "We've always been at war with Eastasia"
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