Mother of imprisoned Anonymous activist on probation for hiding laptops from FBI

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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The mother of imprisoned writer and activist Barrett Brown was placed on probation for her role in hiding her son’s laptops from the FBI.

Brown’s mother, Karen Lancaster McCutchin, plead guilty in May for obstructing the execution of a search warrant during an FBI investigation into her son.

Brown was arrested during FBI raid at his home in Sept. 2012. He was indicted with allegedly threatening an FBI agent and allegedly posting a link to information obtained through a December 2011 hack by Anonymous against the private intelligence firm, Stratfor.

In March 2012, the FBI raided Brown’s apartment for a first time, looking for his computers. McCutchin admitted in March 2013 that she and Brown hid the laptops at her place.

“Karen Lancaster McCutchin apologized Friday for letting her “better judgment” become clouded by “maternal instinct,” The Associated Press reports.

Brown, a longtime critic of the U.S. cybersecurity industry, is most notably recognized as a former media contact for the hacktivist collective Anonymous.

Brown was slapped with a federal gag order after being imprisoned without trial for nearly a year, preventing him and his attorney from speaking with the media about his case.

Brown’s case has drawn the attention of WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who condemned the U.S. government’s prosecution of Brown in September and called for his release.

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