US Journalist Sentenced to 5 Years and 3 Months for Posting a Link

Originally published on January 24, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Freelance journalist Barrett Brown, whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Vanity Fair, and The Huffington Post, was sentenced to 63 months in prison on Thursday for posting a hyperlink containing stolen credit card information. Initially facing a possible sentence of 105 years, Brown accepted a plea deal after prosecutors agreed to drop most of the charges against him. The judge also ordered Brown to pay $890,250 in restitution to several companies targeted by the hacker collective Anonymous.

In December 2011, Anonymous member Jeremy Hammond hacked into Strategic Forecasting, Inc. or “Stratfor” for short. A private intelligence contractor, Stratfor claims to provide governments and corporations with geopolitical analysis. After extracting Stratfor’s files, Hammond exposed several emails from Stratfor’s former CEO George Friedman revealing that Stratfor had been partnering with Shea Morenz, a former Goldman Sachs managing director, to profit from insider trading. Shea Morenz is now President and CEO of Stratfor.

More disclosures revealed that Dow Chemical hired Stratfor to spy on protestors and victims of the 1984 Bhopal disaster while maintaining surveillance on activist filmmakers, The Yes Men. Other emails exposed that The Coca-Cola Company hired Stratfor to spy on members of PETA during the 2010 Olympics. In a statement, The Coca-Cola Company responded to the emails by saying they “consider it prudent to monitor for protest activities at any major event we sponsor.”

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FBI Investigates Rioting After Cop Kills Unarmed Teen

Originally published on August 12, 2014, at NationofChange.org

The FBI has joined the investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed teenager that incited rioting and looting this weekend in Ferguson, Missouri. As incidents of police brutality continue to escalate in violence, the residents of Ferguson retaliated by vandalizing stores and police cars while pelting officers with rocks, bricks, and bottles.

On the afternoon of August 9, Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson were walking in the street when a police car pulled up alongside them. According to the Ferguson Police Department, Brown shoved the officer as he was exiting the vehicle. A struggle ensued inside the car over the officer’s firearm. The officer fired a single shot, and Brown fled from the vehicle. Brown was roughly 35-feet from the police car when the officer fired multiple shots killing Brown, who was unarmed.

But Dorian Johnson and multiple witnesses disagree with the official version of events. According to Johnson, the officer pulled up next to them and ordered, “Get the eff onto the sidewalk.”

After exchanging a few words, the officer extended his arm out of the window and grabbed Brown’s neck. The officer allegedly choked Brown while pulling the 18-year-old into the car. As Brown managed to escape, the cop exited the vehicle and fired.

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War on Truth Part 2: Jeremy Hammond Needs Your Help

Originally published on November 13, 2013 at WeAreChange.org

Continued from Part 1: The War on Truth: Jeremy Hammond Political Prisoner

At Jeremy Hammond’s bail hearing last year, Judge Loretta Preska denied bail claiming he was more dangerous than a sexual predator. There are no pending charges against Jeremy for violence or sexual misconduct. Yet Judge Preska has accused him of committing worse deeds.

Judge Preska is also presiding over Hector “Sabu” Monsegur’s case. His sentencing has been postponed several times due to his continuing work as an active FBI informant. A few minutes before the FBI raided Barrett Brown’s home, someone with the screen name “Sabu” entered the chat, presumably to monitor Brown and other members of Anonymous.

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The War on Truth: Jeremy Hammond Political Prisoner

Originally published on November 7, 2013 at WeAreChange.org

On the evening of March 5, 2012, the FBI raided Jeremy Hammond’s apartment in the south side of Chicago. Betrayed by one of his own, Jeremy had no idea that the server used to dump his Stratfor hack had been provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Before getting caught up in federal conspiracy charges and global intelligence agencies, Jeremy was a kid who stood up for peace and equality. In high school, he organized a student walkout on the day of the Iraq invasion and created a newspaper opposing the war. Throughout his life, Jeremy supported equal rights for minority groups like gays and immigrants while encouraging civil disobedience against the Republican National Convention and Protest Warrior.

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