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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

FBI tries to cut off yet another Anonymous tentacle: Barrett Brown

Barrett Brown, the unofficial “spokesperson” for the hacking collective Anonymous, posted a statement yesterday on Pastebin noting that his apartment has been raided by the FBI.

The warrants allowed the Feds to search for records relating to Anonymous, LulzSec, HBGary, Infragard, Endgame Systems, IRC chats, Twitter, Brown’s website Echelon2.org and and Pastebin records, amongst other things. Basically, anything on any data-storing device owned by Brown.

Brown, of course, is not a hacker, but as a visible proponent of Anonymous, he’s an easy target for the Feds. In his Pastebin statement, however, Brown hit back at the federal government, independent security firms and big business in very interesting way—he brought up the corporate-government anti-hacking axis Team Themis. For anyone well-versed in the Greek pantheon of gods, you will remember Themis is the female goddess of law, justice and social control. It’s not for nothing that Team Themis would choose the goddess’s name for their vigilante form of justice, by which private entities—security firms and businesses—have launched an extra-judicial campaign against their enemies.

Team Themis, according to Brown, is comprised of federal contractors HBGary Federal, Palantir, Berico, and Endgame Systems. These contractors are, at bottom, hackers who work for the government. That is, hackers in it for the money. Their ideology needs no examination. Supporting the government for money is a very clear signal that they support the status quo: A corporate-political oligarchy protected by government spy agencies and private security firms.
As Brown notes:
With the assistance of the law firm Hunton & Williams, [Team Themis] went about collecting potential clients, including two institutions which desired to go on the offensive against certain activist groups. One of these institutions, the Chamber of Commerce, provided them with the names of various individuals believed to be involved with groups that opposed their policies, and asked them to come up with a plan by which to discredit them.
The Chamber of Commerce, as you will remember, was instrumental as a lobbying mechanism in putting pro-business GOP candidates in office to retake the House majority and thus stall any effort to create economic justice for American citizens. Not a communist state, of course, but one in which big business and banks are held accountable for their criminal actions, instead of offering up sacrificial lambs like Goldman Sachs did with Fabrice Tourre.
Brown makes specific reference to one of Team Themis’ plans, in which a false document would be manufactured and given to Chamber Watch (a watchdog group monitoring the Chamber of Commerce). Brown quotes the document outlining the plan.
Afterward, present explicit evidence that such transactions never occurred. Also, create a fake insider persona and generate communications with CtW. Afterward, release the actual documents at a specified time and explain the activity as a CtW contrived operation. Both instances will prove that Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth.
The embattled Anonymous spokesperson then makes one of his most prescient points: “In the eyes of the Justice Department, this sort of thing does not constitute even probable cause of criminal activity on the part of any of the individuals involved, or their companies, or the various other employees who viewed these kinds proposals. I say this because no one involved has had their apartment door knocked down and their equipment and notes seized by the FBI, as I have.”

Indeed, that the Justice Department (in which the FBI is housed), and the executive who oversees it all (Obama) allows this sort of extra-judicial, vigilante campaign of false flags and espionage unfold is ethically and morally reprehensible. But the US government long ago lost any claims to morality and ethics. Everything and everyone has a price. Team Themis knows this reality quite well.

Brown, speaking of his case, told Buzzfeed in an email: ”I haven’t been charged with anything at this point, although there’s a sealed affidavit to which neither I nor my attorney have access,” he emailed BuzzFeed. “I suspect that the FBI is working off of incorrect information.”

The FBI doesn’t seem to understand that, just as in the War on Drugs, there is a futility to fighting Anonymous. It is many-tentacled. It is amoeba-like. A rhizome that can be anywhere at any time. And it would be totally unnecessary if governments and businesses acted ethically. This is not the oligarchy’s agenda, though.

As Brown elegantly puts it, “But they will not choose to investigate those sorts of things. The state has friends, and the state has enemies.”
Read Brown’s statement in full over at Pastebin, and have a look at the court documents relating to his home’s raid below.


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