Computer Tech Wins Bid for Freedom After Being Locked Up for Slamming FBI

A Tarrant County computer technician who was locked up for criticizing the FBI after his arrest was ordered released Friday by a federal judge after appealing a lower court ruling on the grounds that his free speech rights were violated.Justin Shafer had initially been free after being arrested in March on a charge of online stalking and harassment of an FBI agent who was investigating whether he is associated with a notorious computer hacker or hacking group called TheDarkOverlord. A magistrate judge ordered him to avoid posting on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a condition of his release. The North Richland Hills man posted on his blog days later and was put behind bars.Shafer thought he was not violating U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver's release order because he posted on his personal blog. He wrote the post because he said he was angry that his home had been raided three different times by federal agents. In the blog post he publicly criticized the agent he's already been accused of harassing."FBI is shady. Make NO mistake about it," he said on his blog post. He also said the agent who investigated him "does nothing but threaten people." U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey released Shafer, placed him on home detention and added new conditions. He can only access an authorized computer and must participate in a computer and internet monitoring program. He is allowed to blog. But he cannot contact - directly or indirectly -- his alleged victims nor any FBI agent investigating the case, according to court records.   Continue reading...

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