Activist, self-appointed spokesman for Anonymous in trouble after his posts rankle authorities

Barrett Brown has variously called himself an author, a freedom fighter and a spokesman for the hackers' movement known as Anonymous.

Thanks to a series of online posts that rankled authorities, he's now an inmate in federal prison.

The 31-year-old Brown is charged with making Internet threats and retaliating against law enforcement. The indictment quotes dozens of tweets and YouTube videos.

His former attorney, Jay Leiderman, says the case against Brown is unique because it appears to rely solely on things said online.

But others say Brown's threats might have gone too far for authorities to ignore.

Brown was a rare public face in a collective of hackers who pride themselves on staying in the shadows. That drew vitriol, but also a measure of support.