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The Courts Electronic Frontier Foundation

US Drops Link Sharing Charges Against Barrett Brown 40

In a followup to our story yesterday, Bismillah writes "It seems US prosecutors agree that just publishing a link doesn't amount to transmitting actual files. Brown is not out of the legal woods yet though, and still faces further charges. The EFF released this statement about the decision: 'We are relieved that federal prosecutors have decided to drop these charges against Barrett Brown. In prosecuting Brown, the government sought to criminalize a routine practice of journalism—linking to external sources—which is a textbook violation of free speech protected by the First Amendment. Although this motion is good news for Brown, the unnecessary and unwarranted prosecution has already done much damage; not only has it harmed Brown, the prosecution—and the threat of prosecution it raised for all journalists—has chilled speech on the Internet. We hope that this dismissal of charges indicates a change in the Department of Justice priorities. If not, we will be ready to step in and defend free speech.'"
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US Drops Link Sharing Charges Against Barrett Brown

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  • Re:Too Bad. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpankiMonki ( 3493987 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2014 @08:26PM (#46414495)

    A precedent might have been set had the case been heard and tried. IANAL, but I doubt the dismissal will become case law.

    Well, if the judge actually had the time to rule on Brown's attorney's motion for dismissal, [] the ruling would've made it into case law. As it happened, the US prosecutors *dismissed* the eleven counts related to the linking charge before the ink on Brown's motion was dry.

    I wonder why the US prosecutors would do such a thing? [rolleyes]

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