Barrett Brown, a journalist and the former unofficial spokesperson for Anonymous, was arrested in 2012 and charged with sharing a hyperlink that pointed to information downloaded during the Stratfor hack. His trials begin in April and May. An anonymous reader notes that his attorneys have filed a legal brief (PDF) asking for dismissal of the case, saying that Brown's First Amendment right to free speech protects his sharing of a hyperlink. They argue that "Brown did not 'transfer' the stolen information as he arguably would have done had he embedded the link on his web page, but merely created a path to files that had already been published elsewhere that were in the public domain." The brief also says the statute under which Brown is being charged does not make it clear that a link constitutes "republication" of information. They add, "This construction also significantly chills scientific research conducted by private cybersecurity researchers for the same reasons."
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