Published on 4 Aug, 2017
Barrett was imprisoned for charges relating to the 2011 Stratfor hack. Journalist Glenn Greenwald described this attack on Brown as “one of the most significant threats to press freedom that has happened in the United States in the last two decades at least.”
Reporters Without Borders cited Barrett’s prosecution among its reasons for the United States dropping 14 spots on its press freedom rankings in 2014. Barrett Brown was described as an unofficial spokesperson for Anonymous before he renounced his ties to the collective in 2011. He’s written two books and is writing his third, in addition to several articles about politics and journalism in the digital age. In 2012, the FBI raided Barrett’s house, and later that year Barrett was indicted on 12 federal charges. The most controversial charge, linking to the hacked data, was dropped, but in 2015 Brown was still sentenced to 63 months in prison. Barrett Brown wrote a column from jail for The Intercept, for which he won a National Magazine Award and a New York Press Club journalism award.
On 16 July 2015, the Courage Foundation announced that Barrett was 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. And I ask if you are able, please support Barrett in the repayment of this fine and one can find ways to do that on Barrett Browns site and I’ll leave a link to that in the information section.
Barrett was released from prison to a halfway house on 29th November 2016. And he has kindly accepted my invitation to speak with me.