Barrett Brown Sentencing
Brown faced up to eight-and-a-half years in jail for his part in a cyber-attack and threatening an FBI agent and his childrenYouTube

Journalist and activist Barret Brown, has been sentenced to 63 months in prison for his role in a cyber-attack on the intelligence company Stratfor and threats made against an FBI agent and his family.

Brown has been sentenced to 48 months for his part in "transmitting a threat in interstate commerce"; 12 months for being an "accessory after the fact in the unauthorised access to a protected computer" and three months for "interference with the execution of a search warrant". The sentenced will be served consecutively.

Brown has been in jail since September 2012, meaning that he was 35 more months left to serve on the sentence.

Barrett's defence had been hoping for the sentence to be limited to the two years he had already served.

Brown, 33, was initially indicted on charges relating to the release of stolen credit card details from the Stratfor hack, which carried a sentence of up to 105 years.

The terms of the deal meant Brown faced a maximum sentence of eight-and-a-half years.

The controversial case has lasted for more than two years, with the sentencing hearing being delayed four times. The most recent sentencing was meant to take place last month but the submission of new troves of evidence pushed it back, with the court saying it had "too much to review to decide".

Brown was arrested in September 2012 after posting a video on YouTube in which he threatened to "ruin the life" of FBI agent Robert Smith and "look into his f**king kids".

In his sentencing statement, Brown expressed his "sincere regret" over some of his actions, while also taking the opportunity to denounce the "unjust" actions of the US Government.

"I sincerely regret some of the things that I have done," Brown said. "I don't think anyone doubts that I regret quite a bit about my life including some of the things that brought me here today.

"The videos were idiotic, and although I made them in a manic state brought on by sudden withdrawal from Paxil and Suboxone, and while distraught over the threats to prosecute my mother, that's still me in those YouTube clips.

"The government exposed me to decades of prison time for copying and pasting a link to a publicly available file that other journalists were also linking to without being prosecuted. The fact that the government has still asked you to punish me for that link is proof, if any more were needed, that those of us who advocate against secrecy are to be pursued without regard for the rule of law, or even common decency."

"My friend Barrett is more than ready to receive his sentence," Kevin Gallagher, director of Brown's legal defence fund, said before the sentencing. "Every journalist in the world should be paying attention to what happens here, because it affects them directly.

"We're hoping that he receives time served. But as I've said, he will continue to do what he does best, regardless of what happens."