Journalist Barrett Brown spent his 300th day behind bars this week on a range of charges filed after he used information obtained by the hacker group Anonymous to report on the operations of private intelligence firms. Brown faces 17 charges ranging from threatening an FBI agent to credit card fraud for posting a link online to a document that contained stolen credit card data. But according to his supporters, Brown is being unfairly targeted for daring to investigate the highly secretive world of private intelligence and military contractors. Using information Anonymous took from the firm HBGary Federal, Brown helped discover a secret plan to tarnish the reputations of WikiLeaks and journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. Brown similarly analyzed and wrote about the millions of internal company emails from Stratfor Global Intelligence that were leaked in 2011. We speak to Peter Ludlow, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, whose article “The Strange Case of Barrett Brown” recently appeared in The Nation. “Considering that the person who carried out the actual Stratfor hack had several priors and is facing a maximum of 10 years, the inescapable conclusion is that the problem is not with the hack itself but with Brown’s journalism,” Ludlow argues. He adds that the case against Brown could suggest criminality “to even link to something or share a link with someone.”


Another Storm A - Brewing over WBC ...

Wirral vs SIL at the Court of Appeal on Jan 25/26.


"When You Walk Through A Storm….. You Get Wet"

  • A Wirral-based organisation called Salisbury Independent Living (SIL) provided accommodation and support for a number of vulnerable adults. 

  • SIL said that they provided ‘exempt accommodation’. The usual housing benefit rent restrictions do not apply to exempt accommodation (for further details of the nature of exempt accommodation see issue 47 of the Journal of Welfare Benefits Law). 

  • Claims for housing benefit were made to Wirral MBC by approximately 70 residents. The council did not make the decisions that SIL had hoped for. Wirral concluded that the accommodation was not exempt accommodation but, even if it was, many of the service charges included within the rent were ineligible for housing benefit. 

  • The dispute has been protracted having lasted for some 8 years. It is also potentially expensive, SIL arguing that some £3 million in housing benefit is owed. 

  • A number of the residents appealed, with SIL’s assistance, against Wirral MBC’s decisions. However about 8 residents had moved away and were not contactable. Another 2 were dead. 

  • The issue was whether SIL had the right to appeal against the decision on these former residents’ claims. The matter came before the Upper Tribunal. 

What did the Upper Tribunal decide? 

  • The Upper Tribunal decided that SIL did have a right of appeal. This meant that it could itself challenge the council’s housing benefit decisions in respect of the dead or missing claimants. The Upper Tribunal reasoned as follows. 

  • Legislation provides that a “person affected” by a housing benefit decision has a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Schedule 7, para. 6(3), Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000). 

  • Regulations set out persons who must be considered, for appeal purposes, to be persons affected by a housing benefit decision (reg. 3(1), Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2001). This did not include SIL. 

  • The fact that SIL fell outside the Regulations was not fatal to SIL’s case. This was because the Upper Tribunal held that the Regulations do not contain an exhaustive list of persons affected by a housing benefit decision. 

  • The Upper Tribunal decided that SIL was a “person affected” by the housing benefit decisions for the missing claimants. 

  • However, the benefits authorities have now been granted permission to appeal against the Upper Tribunal’s ruling. The appeal is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal towards the end of this year or at the beginning of 2012. 

Info Here

In recent days I was arrested by authorities and questioned about my research regarding the use of illegal weapons in Gaza, my mail and Facebook accounts were blocked, And I received strong hints that my life is at risk and I need to be silent and keep low. But I’m not going anywhere. 

They may close my communication channels again,but that does not mean I’m not here, I’ll find a way to get the information out to you,and I trust you will echo it on, go down with it to the streets ,And demand your representatives, your government to stop funding the slaughter in your name,to boycott Israel and to stop the bloodshed in Gaza. The whole world is watching now, history is being made.

I’m counting on you.

Former combat soldier and company sergeant of the Israeli army turned whistle-blower Eran Efrati, aged 28, was arrested by the Israeli authorities and questioned concerning his research regarding the use of illegal weapons in Gaza.

On Tuesday, July 29, Efrati announced on Facebook that he received information from sources within the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) revealing what he claims to be the real reason for the Shuja’iyya massacre which occurred nine days prior on July 20: namely that civilians were targeted and killed by Israeli soldiers as punishment for the death of soldiers in their units.

Israeli Army Whistle-Blower Gets Arrested After Posting ‘Israeli Troops Killed Gaza Civilians in Revenge’ on Facebook