Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Barrett Brown (Photo credit: Free Barrett Brown)Federal prosecutors in Texas earlier this week dropped several controversial charges against author and journalist Barrett Brown in a case civil liberty groups fear could chill free speech.The dropped charges stem from Brown having copied and pasted a link in a chat room containing thousands of stolen credit card information and other material from Stratfor, a Texas-based global intelligence company, which was hacked in December 2012.Brown’s supporters, which include civil liberty groups and high-profile journalists, most notably, Glenn Greenwald of NSA leak fame, have criticized the government for seeking to criminalize the sharing of already publicly available information. Brown was not involved in the hack against Stratfor, which the FBI knew about as early as Dec. 6, 2011, and it was the agency that allegedly orchestrated the hack through a confidential informant, according to a court filing by Brown’s attorneys.The government’s decision to drop counts one and three through 12 came one day after Brown’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss those charges. Prosecutors did not explain in the motion why they dropped the counts.“The criminalization of Mr. Brown’s speech (by republishing the hyperlink) is an unconstitutional abridgment of the First Amendment because it regulates pure political speech based on its content,” his lawyers wrote in the motion.Brown’s attorneys go on to say that the charges “would be unconstitutionally overbroad and chill speech in violation of the First Amendment.”Related: NDAA, Indefinite Detention, And The Battle Raging Against The Most Important Law You’ve Never Heard OfRelated: Revolution’s Family Tree: Franklin and Adams to Manning and SnowdenBrown, whose work has appeared in the Guardian, Huffington Post and Vanity Fair, among other media outlets, remains accused of concealing two laptops and for threatening an FBI agent and his family in a YouTube video. The dropped charges cut a considerable amount of time from Brown’s potential sentence, but he still faces 70 years in prison, according to reports.According to the indictment, Brown allegedly called the FBI agent a “fucking chicken shit little faggot cocksucker.” He also alleged that the agent is “a criminal, who is involved in a criminal conspiracy.”The 32-year-old journalist and satirist founded Project PM, a crowdsourcing tool, in 2009. His attorneys have described the website as a “collaborative web application” which allows others to conduct research using publicly available materials—including information obtained from leakers and hackers, according to court documents.Brown’s attorney, Ahmed Ghappour, told the Guardian that the government did “the right thing dropping the charges.”“We will continue to fight for Barrett every way we can,” he added.
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Thank you for your input. -3 Vote up Vote down WellyWonka · 292 weeks ago truthteller, I’m disappointed in your lack of reaction! Get on here and tell us how perfect Hamlin is and how we are all wrong. Report Reply 5 replies · active 292 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Jane · 292 weeks ago I still have to question whether it is wise for one person to be on three different boards. Particularly in light of the controversy on the library board where that board member caused a family member who was an excellent asset to the library to leave. Just because a person volunteers for a board doesn’t mean they should be ON that board or any at all. Whoever chooses board members, look at little more closely at why someone wants to have their fingers in that many pies. Report Reply 2 replies · active 292 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down no one special · 292 weeks ago And now we are all friends again! Thank goodness that’s over, too much… Report Reply 2 replies · active 292 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down …… · 292 weeks ago nono Report Reply 0 replies · active 292 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down fagonlover · 292 weeks ago Beating a dead horse. What is the controversy the director was upset about? Let’s settle it and move on. Seems as if someone was a little paranoid when they accused board members, so maybe the director should apologize for the upset. We are all a happy family! Report Reply 0 replies · active 292 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down Jack · 292 weeks ago I been hearin rumors around town about bills being paid that weren’t okayed. Is the director gonna get in trouble for using money wrong? I seen this happen before. Report Reply 1 reply · active 291 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! 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Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Editorâ€™s note â€” The following is a report from a tape recording of the Wellington Housing Authority meeting held on Wednesday, Dec. 30. Sumner Newscow was not present for the meeting due to being out of town.Â by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” For the first time in two months the Wellington Housing Authority board met at Wellington Capital Manor. After a 30-minute executive session to discuss personnel, a â€œclear the airâ€ session was held publicly thereafter. The message from the board â€” at least from this meeting â€” was to move forward and work together.The meeting came on the heels of WHA Chairman J.P. Buellesfeldâ€™s resignation earlier in the week.Aloise Hutchison took over the reins as the interim chairman with Darlene Ferguson, Kelli McComb and Dennis Guinn in attendance.Â After regular business was conducted, the board went into executive secession, i.e. closed meeting, that included Wellington City Manager Roy Eckert and city council member Jim Valentine.Upon returning, Guinn addressed those in attendance.â€œEverybody in this room has a ton of questions, and even after six weeks to be honest with you, nobody really knows (what is the root of the controversy),â€ Guinn said. â€œWe have decided that we canâ€™t undo what has been done, but we have decided to move forward.â€He said there would be no change in staffing and no change in board membership.â€œWe have decided to shake hands and apologize and work for the betterment of the public,â€ Guinn said. â€œWe are like a big family here at Wheat Capital Manor and sometimes big families have misunderstandings. This is what this has been.â€An audience member asked if the new board member can be someone that served on another board. There had been question whether McComb served on too many boards.Guinn said that shouldnâ€™t be an issue. He said it only applies if a city council member can serve on an authority or advisory board.The WHS board oversees the manor – an independent living center – that operates under the stipulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The council will appoint the new member which will replace Buellesfeld. The unexpired time will run until April 30, 2016. Those who wish to serve on the board can fill out an application at the Wellington City Administration building.The following press release was sent by Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields concerning the appointment:Applications will be accepted through January 15, 2015, for a vacancy on the Housing Authority Board.Â The appointment will be for the remainder of the term which expires April 30, 2016.Â The position vacant is required to be filled by a resident of the City.The care and operation of the Wheat Capital Manor is under the control and management of the Housing Authority Board.Â The Board is authorized to employ an executive director and agents and employees both permanent and temporary; and to delegate to one or more of them such powers or duties as the Authoirty may require or deem proper.Â The Housing Authority meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month.The Governing Body asks that anyone interested in being considered for appointment to the position submit an application to the City Clerk’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on January 15, 2015.Â The application form is available in the City Clerk’s Office or is available on the City website www.cityofwellington.net on the Board and Commissions page.For questions or additional information, please contact Shane Shields, City Clerk, ph 620-326-2811.The rest of the meeting was an airing out of grievances by both sides.Ferguson said the accusation that she met in a secret meeting with two members in violation of the Kansas open meetings act was unfounded and untrue.McComb said she would like a public apology from Wellington Council member Jim Valentine.Valentine said he did what he did because people came to him asking him for help.Hutchison said the community owes Hamlin an apology especially for the hurtful comments on Sumner Newscow by anonymous bloggers.Audience member Larry Schalk said he didnâ€™t think the Buellesfeld resignation would have occurred if transparency would have been applied.Follow us on Twitter.
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