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Barrett Brown 20k Defense Fund donations seized by Court
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darkhorse Offline
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Barrett Brown 20k Defense Fund donations seized by Court
The U.S. Department of Justice makes it up again

On 17 April, 2013, an order was filed, in the Texas U.S. District Court, Dallas Division, ordering that Barrett Brown's 20 thousand dollar defense fund was to be placed in the court registry by 30 April, 2013. The fund was made up of donations.

Here is a copy of that order:

.pdf  brown-050 (1).pdf (Size: 46.25 KB / Downloads: 3)

The order includes directions that the funds are not to be disposed of in any way and that the court will determine whether Brown's will even be permitted to use them in defending his own case.

Question: On what legal basis can they seize Brown's defense funds? No evidence is before the court, or event potentially before the court, that the funds could be 'Proceeds of Crime' or that the money was illegally obtained or is 'tainted' in any way. Even high-level drug suppliers and serial murderers are permitted to use their own ill-gotten gains to defend themselves.

Not only does the court want to prosecute Brown to the full extent of the law, they want to ensure that he cannot defend himself as he should be permitted to do in any fair, adversarial proceedings.]


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Anonymous Spokesperson Barrett Brown Stripped Of Defense Fund
Emily Smith, Opposing Views,April 18, 2013.

Barrett Brown, media designated spokesperson for hacktivist group Anonymous, had his court defense fund revoked by the Federal Court and was denied bail. Charges against him include hiding evidence during a March 2012 raid of Brown’s apartment, as well as threats against an FBI agent and the release of confidential information from Stratfor to WikiLeaks.

[Image: BarrettBrown.jpg]

Conveniently, the stripping of Brown’s fund coincides with the passing of CISPA, in what The Guardian called a larger effort to “deter and punish Internet freedom activism.”

The FBI’s detainment of Brown serves rather as more of a warning than the honest capture of a criminal.

Unlike past federal prosecutions of hacktivist Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer and Reuters Social Media Editor Matthew Keys, Brown’s prominence as a serious journalist draws greater attention. His pieces in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, and The Guardian make Brown a very public crusader in the battle between internet freedoms and federal resistance like CISPA.

Brown faces up to 100 years in prison.

Link to Opposing Views article

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Court seizes Barrett Brown's defense fund
Thu, 04/18/2013 - 19:05

[Image: mqdefault.jpg]

Supporters of Barrett Brown, a journalist and independent researcher facing decades in prison, raised $20k for his legal defense. Yesterday, a northern Texas District Court moved to take those funds and place them into the court registry no later than April 30, 2013, “while the Court has hearings and makes a determination as to what, if anything should be done in utilizing the funds towards the repayment of costs for Defendant’s court appointed representation.”

It is further ORDERED, the funds currently in the account identified...will not be encumbered, assigned or disposed of by anyone who has access to this account. Once the funds are placed in the registry of this Court, the funds shall not be disbursed without an order of this Court.

In other words, without saying why, the court has frozen Brown’s legal defense fund, and may or may not allow him to use it to pay his attorneys.

Back in March, the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald wrote about Brown’s case and urged people to make contributions to his defense fund.

If the US government is going to attempt to imprison activists and journalists like this, it should at the very least be a fair fight. That means that Brown, who is now represented by a public defender, should have a vigorous defense able to devote the time and energy to his case that it deserves. He told me in the telephone interview we had that he believes this is the key to enabling him to avoid pleading guilty and agreeing to a prison term: something he has thus far refused to do in part because he insists he did nothing criminal, and in part because he refuses to become a government informant.

It appears as if the government is not fond of that strategy.

Link to Privacy SOS article
04-20-2013 10:23 AM
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