The US government has applied to drop some charges against a journalist who shared web links to stolen documents. In 2012, US citizen Barrett Brown shared links to documents stolen by Anonymous hackers from intelligence firm Stratfor.
Sharing the links led to charges of identity theft because the documents listed, among other things, thousands of credit card numbers.
Prosecutors working for the US government have applied to drop 11 of 12 charges against Mr Brown that relate to him sharing links to the documents stolen by Anonymous hackers.
The links were shared by Mr Brown as part of his work for Project PM – an organisation he helped to create that publicises and investigates information shared by whistle-blowers.
Digital rights groups and freedom-of-speech advocates criticised the link-sharing charges saying that, if they were upheld, it could dissuade other whistle-blowers from sharing information.
The documents contained email addresses for 860,000 people who subscribed to Stratfor’s information feeds as well as credit card details for 60,000 of those customers.