Self-proclaimed Anonymous spokesperson Barrett Brown has been charged of one count of trafficking stolen authentication features, one count of access device fraud, and ten counts of aggravated identity theft. The charges are related to the Stratfor hack carried out by hacktivists at the end of 2011.
Brown isn’t accused of having any involvement in the Stratfor hack itself. Instead, he’s charged because he posted links to a file containing the details of over 5,000 credit cards – including account numbers, cardholder identification data, and card verification values – on an IRC channel that he controlled.
The access device fraud charges refer to the fact that between December 25, 2011 and March 6, 2012, Brown “possessed at least fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, in that he possessed stolen credit card account numbers and CVVs without the knowledge and authorization of the card holders.”
He’s accused of the ten counts of aggravated identity theft because, in the aforementioned timeframe, he allegedly unlawfully transferred and possessed the means of identification for online account access.
For the trafficking charges, the maximum sentence is 15 years in prison. If he is found guilty of access device fraud, he could spend 10 years in prison. Finally, each count of identity theft is punishable by a mandatory two-year sentence.
In a separate lawsuit, Barrett Brown is charged for threatening an FBI agent.
The activist was arrested in mid-September shortly after posting a YouTube video in which he threatened to “destroy” FBI agent Robert Smith.
When law enforcement raided his home, he was in the middle of a chat with his supporters.
According to the indictment related to the threats he made, “Barrett Lancaster Brown transmitted messages through the Internet on his Twitter.com account and his YouTube.com account, threatening to shoot and injure agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and specifically focusing on Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent [RS].”