Who is Barrett Brown?
As an American investigative journalist, Barrett Brown utilized the media platform to report the facts in relation to the hidden intelligence contracting industry that operates in secret partnership with the US Federal government. Published in The Guardian, Vanity Fair and Huffington Post, Barrett Brown is also the founder of Project PM. The ideology behind this concept was to highlight the illegal and corrupt activities raging within the surveillance state. NSA, PRISM and Stratfor were targeted on Project PM exposing the extent of mass surveillance and invasive citizen spying in support of human rights, transparency and privacy.
Forbidden to talk to the media, Barrett Brown was issued with a gag order by the US government removing his right to free speech, banning him from all media activities in relation to his case, to silence him. Originally facing over 100 years jail, Barrett Brown is fighting for his own freedom, the liberties of society and journalists rights to report when verifying factual information.
As the founder of Project PM, Barrett Brown created a ‘crowd-sourced think tank’ to closely scrutinize relations between private intelligence contracting agencies and the US government. This resource reported on previously obtained documents to provide facts to the public revealing hidden connections between the intelligence security schemes and the private contracting sector.
In 2011, Anonymous hacked Statfor Global Intelligence where they gained access to the company’s emails and 50,000 credit card numbers. By linking these files hacked by a third party to an anonymous post in the Project PM chat room, Brown allegedly provided access to stolen information and was later charged with 12 counts of identity theft.
In 2015 Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison. He continues to write a column from jail, formerly for D Magazine and now for The Intercept.
On 16 July 2015, the Courage Foundation announced that Barrett is the organization’s fifth beneficiary. Courage relaunched Brown’s site with a new overview of Barrett’s case and Project PM’s work, in addition to compilations of Barrett’s journalism, books, legal documents and media appearances.
In addition to legal and commissary fees, Barrett was ordered to pay $890,250 in fines and restitution as part of his sentence. Barrett urgently needs your support.*
Why should we care?
The Obama administration's intimidation method threatens the freedom of the press abilities to share information with the public, a principle protected by international human rights and the first amendment of the US constitution. The Free Flow of Information Act removes journalists’ freedom to report whilst enabling the government to jail any persons they perceive to have released or written about sensitive government information. This act criminalises those acting from good conscience and protects government from public scrutiny for crimes against humanity behind closed doors.
Linking information to a post is not a crime however the Obama government is attempting to criminalise internet freedom of speech. Investigative journalism is protected for the purpose of publishing leaked classified information. Where an individual has not obtained the information themselves through criminal channels and the files have become public, they can be charged for linking this sensitive information on the internet without involvement of extracting that information from the original source.
The case against Barrett Brown threatens to silence the media, journalists and the public on government corruption and secret negotiations by controlling public information that exposes them. Facebook and Twitter posts would become criminalised in the event of linking any forms of stolen information where activists will be targeted at large. Most importantly this threatens the whistleblowers and investigative journalism by reducing their ability to get the truth to the people with the US government going to great lengths to protect their national security.
While the United States is going to great lengths to prevent their secrets from unravelling one by one, one thing is clear. Barrett Brown is another victim of the Obama administration's war on whistleblowers and investigative journalism to instil fear in those that have the power to expose them.