Barrett Brown, who has often stepped forward as a kind of spokesguy for Anonymous, was arrested during a live chat late Wednesday night. Wired reports the incident occurred as Mr. Brown chatted with his girlfriend and several others on TinyChat:
“Two minutes into the recorded chat session, loud voices can be heard in the background of Brown’s residence while the woman in the room with him is in front of the computer screen. She quickly closes the computer screen, but the audio continued to capture events in the room as the FBI appeared to be strong-arming Brown to put handcuffs on him. Brown can be heard yelling in the background.”
Some who were chatting with Mr. Brown at the time had no idea what was going on, whether it was a prank or not, but Mr. Brown was indeed booked into the Dallas County Jail before midnight Wednesday. A spokesperson for the Dallas County Sheriff told Wired Mr. Brown had been “removed from the jail” Thursday morning and taken elsewhere.
A kind of tiresome transcript of the chat session has been posted on Pastebin–you can skip the lulzy shenanigans by scrolling down to the end to see Mr. Brown’s chat companions trying to figure out just what the hell happened.
Mr. Brown’s arrest comes after he published a strange 13 minute and 31 second video on YouTube titled “Why I’m Going to Destroy FBI Agent Robert Smith Part Three: Revenge of the Lithe” (see below).
In the video Mr. Brown appears to threaten an FBI Agent named Robert Smith and seems to imply a threat toward the agent’s children. Family ties inspired Mr. Brown’s wrath. In colorful terms he states that his mother is under investigation by the U.S. District Attorney and “chickenshit” FBI Agent Robert Smith for obstruction of justice.
Mr. Brown also says “we are now investigating” Agent Smith.
In the video’s description, Mr. Brown writes, “Send all info on Agent Robert Smith to email@example.com so FBI can watch me look up his kids.”
“It’s all legal, folks,” he continues, “Palantir chief counsel Matt Long already signed off on it when Themis planned worse.”
Since news broke about Mr. Brown’s arrest, @AnonymousIRC, one of the hacktivist collective’s Twitter accounts, has kicked into gear, tweeting that “#Antisec retaliates on Barrett Brown arrestation” and linking to a Pastebin page that appears to drop names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and credit card information:
We have these 13 credit cards details as teaser, and aprox. right now (should be we think…) we would be dropping an undeterminate amount of credit cards potentially belonging to govt officials (just and only just, underterminately probable) potentially all around of undeterminate number of carding forums, black markets and other underground places. since we potentially believe only pros can do this well in the right way.
“Spend a lot,” Anonymous writes, “Send flowers to Barrett!!!”
The FBI has not commented on the arrest.
UPDATE: Anonymous posted links to another revenge-motivated data drop on Thursday afternoon. The victims of this leak seem pretty random:
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) September 13, 2012
We seriously want to know what an international association of pharmacists (truly international–the data is for pharmacists from as far away as Ghana as well as the United States) has done to make Anonymous angry, aside from one of their kind possibly providing Mr. Brown with whatever he was on when he made the video below.