Free Barrett Brown

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by meep meep, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Fact of Sisyphus

    By Barrett Brown, The Intercept, July 9, 2016


    Partly as a consequence of my natural rambunctiousness, I’ve spent a total of five months over the past few years of incarceration being held in 23- to 24-hour-a-day Special Housing Unit confinement cells, collectively and informally known as “the hole,” at three different prisons and in stints ranging from six to 60 days; indeed, my first three Intercept columns were composed from the SHU over at Federal Correctional Institution Fort Worth. But as these were given over largely to rambling self-promotion and some rather intemperate attacks on several contemporary novelists, I’ve never gotten around to providing a real sense of what it’s actually like to live in one of these federal dungeons.

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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

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  3. White Tara Global Moderator

    quoting for shared dance moves :)
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  4. 947

  5. ^Shows scant appreciation of the medium of dance.
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  6. Will he make anonymous great again?
  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    BARRETT BROWN PRISON INTERVIEW - NOV 2016 | Pursuit of Happiness Radio

    Barrett Brown is an award winning journalist who's currently serving time in a Federal prison for sharing a URL on the internet. His "crime" pales in comparison to what Hillary Clinton did, and yet he's in jail while she runs for President. Fortunately Barrett will be released from prison at the end of this month.

    This is an exclusive interview with Barrett from inside his prison with his thoughts on freedom, the election and the future of Barrett Brown.
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  8. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Thank you!
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Barrett Brown Leaves Prison Still Chained to a Crime He Didn't Commit

    By Dell Cameron, The Daily Dot, November 29, 2016


    Dallas-based journalist Barrett Brown walked free from prison on Tuesday morning after spending more than four years behind bars.

    The 35-year-old cause célèbre, convicted in January 2015 after spending more two years in pretrial confinement, faces a laundry list of post-release restrictions and obligations, including drug treatment, mental health evaluations, and computer monitoring. After departing the Three Rivers federal correctional institution in San Antonio, where Brown continued his work as a writer over the past year, publishing award-winning essays at D Magazine and the Intercept, he will report to a halfway house in Hutchins, Texas, before 4pm CT.

    Brown has been ordered to continue paying at least $200 every month to Stratfor, the Austin-based intelligence firm, over the devastating cyberattack that nearly crippled the company five years ago. While Brown had no foreknowledge of the security breach — which, despite popular belief, occurred more than a month prior to the involvement of Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammond and his AntiSec crew — Brown is nevertheless stuck paying $890,250 in restitution for a computer crime he had neither the skillset nor inclination to carry out himself.

    An offbeat agitator, Brown is what David Carr, the late New York Times journalist, described as “a pretty complicated victim.” His case, at its core, was often a battle over the identity of the man himself: Whereas the United States government went to great lengths in court to portray Brown and Anonymous as two sides of the same coin, his supporters (Noam Chomsky, Cory Doctorow, and the late Michael Ratner among them) saw him as a cocky, freewheeling journalist with anarchic views about transparency.

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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    I, Barrett Brown, Have Returned

    Prison was a formative experience. Thank you, Department of Justice!

    By Barrett Brown, D Magazine


    Four years ago, after my overly dramatic arrest by the FBI, I vowed to return to Dallas at the time of its greatest peril, or anyway I meant to vow this. Now I have fulfilled the promise I definitely intended to make; my sentence complete, on Tuesday I rode from a South Texas prison with my mom and dad and Alex Winter for some reason to a halfway house 20 minutes south of downtown.

    I live in a room with five drug dealers. We have a TV and an Xbox 360. When I came in, they were watching the 1990 Charlie Sheen vehicle Navy Seals, a film of extraordinary obnoxiousness. Further reports will follow.

    Special thanks to Julian Assange and Sarah Harrison for releasing the 60,000 HBGary emails in honor of my release. Greetings to my various enemies. Down with all human institutions.

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  11. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Welcome back Barrett. I feel bad about trolling you on IRC, considering what happened later. But not that bad.
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  12. Anonymous Member

    Barrett Brown, the Dallas-born investigative journalist whose prison sentence was derided by free press advocates, was released from federal prison this week.
    The 35-year-old is living in a halfway house with five drug dealers about 20 minutes south of downtown Dallas, he wrote in a post Thursday on D Magazine's website.
    "We have a TV and an Xbox 360," Brown wrote. "When I came in, they were watching the 1990 Charlie Sheen vehicle Navy Seals, a film of extraordinary obnoxiousness. Further reports will follow. ... Greetings to my various enemies. Down with all human institutions."
    Brown had been locked up since his 2012 arrest on charges of threatening an FBI agent and helping share stolen information from Stratfor, an Austin-based defense contractor. He pleaded guilty last year to reduced charges of making internet threats, aiding hackers and obstructing authorities from executing a search warrant.

  13. I ....member


    Attached Files:

  14. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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  15. Anonymous Member

    Yes...silly....lazy me.
  16. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Not lazy or silly, Barrett Brown getting out of prison could be a separate celebratory thread. Yay! Barrett is free! Kinda :(
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  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Interview: Barrett Brown on Halfway House And Plans After Prison

    Out Of Prison, Barrett Brown Recommits Himself To Agitating Against Existing Order

    By Brian Sonenstein, Shadowproof, December 17, 2016


    The halfway house Brown currently calls home is operated by the nonprofit Volunteers of America under BOP jurisdiction. While halfway houses are supposed to help people get jobs and reintegrate into society after prison, Brown said the BOP “has a number of regulations that kind of get in the way.”

    “Until recently, [halfway house residents] weren’t allowed to have cell phones,” he said. “Now they can have cell phones, but they can’t have iPhones or any phones with cameras or web access, which rules out 99.9% of phones. So people have to sort of scramble around. People have to find these phones that are allowed.”

    Such hurdles are “pretty typical,” he said. “There’s some bureaucracy and some requirements. There’s rules that make those requirements hard to deal with.”


    “A lot of my bandwidth has gone toward nonsense here, but at the same time, I’ve been able to get a lot done. I’ve got some projects. I hit the ground running on getting things launched, and that’ll be made public fairly soon.”

    After his stay at the halfway house, Brown will be confined to his home, which he said is “not very restrictive in terms of what I do.”


    “When I’m on probation six months from now, we have very clear restrictions where I can use a laptop,” he said. “I have to bring a new laptop to the DOJ’s office, and they’ll install monitoring software and that’s it. I can use the internet just like any other civilian.”

    “Until then, I’m still under BOP jurisdiction, and that’s where things get interesting. I’ve yet to get a written, any kind of written declaration of what I can’t do as opposed to other ex-convicts.”


    Brown renounced his ties to Anonymous in 2011, and while he was previously labeled as a spokesperson for the group, it was established at his trial that he is not a hacker.

    He did not participate in the Stratfor hacking for which he was incarcerated. Yet, even before the Playstation 4 incident and despite his trial, the BOP labeled him as someone who should not be allowed around computers.

    For example, Brown said federal prisons typically circulate lists of around 15 inmates once a month, which include their pictures and information about them. Staffers are supposed to memorize the information. “I was informed by a couple of staff members that I had been sort of cultivating that I’m on that sheet at Three Rivers listed as a hacker,” he said. (Federal Correctional Institution Three Rivers is where Brown was imprisoned for part of his sentence.)

    Brown feels the DOJ’s probation officers are on his side, agree he’s been wronged, and understand he shouldn’t be under constraints except as provided for by law. “They’re trying to accommodate me,” he said.

    The DOJ’s probation officers sent emails to BOP requesting clarification on what kinds of jobs he is allowed to have, but Brown said the BOP has not been responsive or helpful.

    “I’m trying to get a job, a physical, 9-5, 40 hour week job at D Magazine down in Dallas,” he said. However, it is unclear what he’s allowed to do under the conditions of his release. “Can I touch a computer? Can I look at a monitor?” Brown asked.

    “I had Tim Rogers, the editor down there, call the BOP representative down here and she said, I can’t give information about that case. Keep in mind, this is my employer trying to find out what I can do.”

    “It’s not her this is coming from,” Brown said, again noting the absurd bureaucracy that not only frustrates him but obscures who it is within the BOP that he can hold accountable for such a decision.

    “She is just passing on something from someone. That’s why I went in there to the director first couple days I was here and said, look, I need something in writing. Tell me exactly who is saying I can’t have a Playstation because that has implications about whether or not I can have a computer or touch a computer or be in a room with a computer.”

    The BOP has not answered Brown’s questions, and he vowed to more forcefully ask “for them to explain what their authority is for making these declarations” and show in writing “exactly what they think my stipulation should be under BOP jurisdiction.”

    Brown questioned whether the BOP was setting a dangerous precedent with their treatment of him, noting his columns had “already exposed a lot of the BOP’s activities and have already sort of made formal complaints of retaliation against me.” His email access was previously revoked for a year by the BOP.


    Another obstacle Brown faces is the more than $890,000 in restitution he must now pay, the vast majority of which is owed to Stratfor.

    “My restitution was $200 a month for a while, then $100, and it’s based on how much money I brought in previously. That was determined by the case manager at the prison. Now that I’m out under a halfway house for the next few months, I don’t have to pay anything and then it goes back up to be calculated based on my income.”

    When he begins probation, he will have to pay Stratfor and his the other “victims” a percentage of his income in restitution, and if he is compensated through a bequest or an award, he has to pay half of it.

    “The bottom line is I do owe over $800,000 to Stratfor, Combined Systems, and the nonexistent law firm of Puckett and Faraj, which was quite literally destroyed by [Jeremy] Hammond. That’s still the case, and we’re going to make as much of that as we can.”

    “The way I see it is we’re paying a bit of a price each month in order to remind people of what these firms are doing,” Brown argued. “That’ll stay in the news as long as we can keep it, and it’ll be a monument to the age we live in and to the injustice of the system. I think eventually Stratfor may decide they want out of that. We’ll see what happens.”


    Brown said he would soon make an announcement with more concrete details about his upcoming projects. But for now, what is important is to understand the most pressing issues facing society “have to be addressed by outside forces, well organized systems in which we channel dissent.” His goal is to “channel peoples’ capabilities and skills and resources in a way that they don’t have to work through the Democratic Party, for instance, which is an organization in which scum rises to the top.”

    “You look at someone like Dick Morris and then you think about all the twenty-something kids out there, who are actually very, very talented, very knowledgeable, they’re honest. But they have no viable way, for the most part, to get involved and bring their talents to bear and bring their honesty to bear.”

    “If we give them something where they can rise, where they can channel those talents, if we create something for them and say, there’s no more excuses, here it is, here is your ability to change the system, and we do it in the right way and we provide charismatic leadership and an ethos that works to burn off this morass — this ridiculous over-entertained culture, then we will finally see results.”

    Brown asked people to “start thinking about what obligations they have to the civilization they’ve been born into. Think about the people who have come before us, who have made sacrifices, much more considerable sacrifices than we’re asking of anybody. We’ll be asking people for their time and for their efforts without any real risk.”

    “Just think about if they are going to take and enjoy the fruits of our liberty and this civilization or if they feel that they have a moral obligation to put something back into it,” he said.

    Here's the complete article:
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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Anonymous’ Barrett Brown Is Free — and Ready to Pick New Fights

    By Andy Greenberg, Wired


    Over the next six months, Brown tells WIRED, he intends to build a piece of software called Pursuant, designed to serve as a platform for coordinating activists, journalists, and troublemakers of all stripes. Pursuant, as Brown describes it, would be an open-source, end-to-end-encrypted collaboration platform anyone could host on their own server. Users will be able to create a “pursuance,” an installation of the software focused on a group’s particular cause or target for investigation. The software would offer those groups the same real-time collaboration features as Slack or Hipchat, but also include a kind of org-chart function to define different users’ roles, the ability to host and search large collections of documents, and a Wiki feature that would allow collaborators to share and edit their findings from those documents.

    A Protestant Approach to Protest

    The software, in other words, would make it far easier to do the sort of work that Brown focused on before his arrest: crowdsourced digging through and making sense of massive collections of leaked or hacked files offered up by groups like WikiLeaks and Anonymous. And unlike the structureless anarchy of Anonymous, Brown says Pursuant’s design will let users create efficient hierarchies, while still allowing anyone to start contributing without the hurdles of joining an organized NGO or media outfit. “People can just show up and begin working,” says Brown. “It’s a protestant versus a catholic system of activism. We want a direct line to civic participation.”

    All of that, it’s worth noting, may for now be more of a solitary-confinement fantasy than a real roadmap. Brown has yet to recruit a team of coders or volunteers to launch Pursuant. Aside from his own book advance, he isn’t ready to name any sources of funding, either.


    He intends to not only build Pursuant as a platform, but to use it to continue his own investigations of intelligence contractor firms. In the age of Trump, he sees a greater role than ever for his form of grassroots, no-holds-barred adversarial journalism. He’s kept tabs in particular on Palantir, the fast-expanding intelligence contractor whose founder Peter Thiel has become a member of President-elect Trump’s transition team, and who Brown calls an “extraordinarily dangerous person.”

    More at
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  19. The Internet Member

    Interesting interview.

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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Barrett Brown's Lawyers Still Don't Know Why He Was Abruptly Taken Back to Prison [Update: He's Out]

    By Dell Cameron, Gizmodo, May 1, 2017


    Barrett Brown was released from custody on Monday after spending four days at Federal Corrections Institute Seagoville.

    “It was about the media,” he said “They were trying to claim that I had to get permission from [Bureau of Prisons] to do interviews. That’s just not true. And they were trying to get me to sign these forms which are not forms applying to that. One of them was to get authorization to get into a prison to interview an inmate. Even when you’re an inmate, even if you’re in [solitary confinement], you don’t need permission to talk to the press. They can send you letters, you can call them — obviously I did it over and over again for years without any official objection.”

    The US Marshals who arrested Brown had no warrant or paperwork, he said. “You’re supposed to get an infraction report, or go through a disciplinary process before they just throw you back in jail. That’s just how it works. They didn’t do that.” Brown added that wasn’t provided with any documentation revealing why he was re-incarcerated. “Because there is none,” he said.

    Brown said that he was released soon after his attorneys got in contact with the BOP; a lawsuit would’ve followed in a day or two. “Just the very act of having the US Marshals arrest me without any due process, without any papers, that’s extraordinarily problematic for them. It’s beyond anything they’ve done to me over the past four years.”

    Full article:
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  21. White Tara Global Moderator

    So personal, it blew my mind.
  22. Could Trump be flexing his muscle here?
  23. White Tara Global Moderator

    Fwiw I read it as a deeply personal attack fired by someone at a far lower level than Trump. Undertaken without much thought put into the potential embarrassment this kind of abuse of power could produce, let alone any thought into the potential additional fodder for Barretts lawsuit this provides.
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  24. White Tara Global Moderator

    Barretts take
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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Barrett Brown: DOJ Subpoenaed The Intercept For Records On Him | Shadowproof


    The in-house counsel for the Intercept received a subpoena from the Justice Department for all contracts and communications between journalist Barrett Brown and the editor, Roger Hodge, who he worked with at the media organization. The subpoena also requested information on payments the Intercept made to him for his column, which he wrote while in federal prison.

    Brown was released from prison on November 29, 2016, after serving a prison sentence which stemmed from pleading guilty to threatening an FBI agent, obstructing justice, and being an accessory to a cyber attack. He spent two years in pretrial incarceration prior to his sentence in 2014.

    Brown said there are a couple “broad possibilities” for why the government would subpoena the Intercept.

    “One is that it’s just harassment. One is that they may be looking into something, but I can’t imagine what it would be exactly. And then there’s a third possibility that it’s just sort of a haphazard attempt to try and find money that I may have hid from them,” Brown told Shadowproof. “I just don’t know.”

    “The strong possibility here is [the subpoena] relates to restitution payments that I am supposed to make and which I have been making here over the last several years even while in prison,” he said. “So the idea is that they are checking to see if I have money from the Intercept that I haven’t reported.”

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  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Meet the Pursuance Project, Barrett Brown’s new platform for underground democracy

    By David Gilmour, The Daily Dot

    Excerpt: was with great enthusiasm that internet activists from around the world not only celebrated his release in November but banded together to help develop the Pursuance system into a reality.

    Central to that effort is lead software developer and project manager Steve Phillips. He was one of the first to jump on board with Pursuance when he read about Brown’s idea in March, immediately making plans to fly out to Brown’s home state, Texas. When the pair met to discuss the idea and its potential, Phillips knew he wanted to part of what was happening.

    “Barrett wanted better tools for what he did in 2011,” Phillips said in a recent interview. “He wanted to create a secure environment that would also make activists and journalists more effective.”

    Now, however, Phillips is bringing his knowledge and experience to the table in designing the framework. He has started to recruit other trusted software designers and developers to really get the project moving.

    The first publicly available web version of the Pursuance system is set for launch in October 2017. Until then, Phillips and his team will be concentrating on the prototyping and testing of two core features — LeapChat and Ensue.

    LeapChat is an end-to-end encrypted chat facility that Phillips had started writing before he met Brown. Ensue will serve as the task management application. It’s being designed to optimize cooperation between volunteers by helping them connect by skill set and providing automatic assistance with progressing project tasks. The code for both applications is open source and freely available on GitHub.

    “The versatility of the platform is, in my opinion, its greatest asset,” Annalise Burkhart, director of operations for Pursuance, told the Daily Dot. “I want to equip activists, journalists, and passionate individuals with tools to collaborate and promote their respective projects.”

    More at
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  27. Is he free yet ?
  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Reporter Jailed 5 Years for Journalism Just Launched New System to Expose Corruption

    By Jake Anderson, The Anti-Media


    Somewhere in the world, a dozen or more activists have occupied a chat room attempting to organize a mind-numbingly complex transparency project. The activists — a decentralized consortium of journalists, hackers, and programmers — face a number of daunting hurdles, not the least of which is the fact that the government is almost certainly tracking their every keystroke. Additionally, there are grave organizational problems, a lack of critical infrastructure, and an inability to recruit needed team members. They also have a sneaking suspicion that other activists — working on a different project altogether — have already figured out an efficient streamlined method. If only they could share resources without broadcasting their efforts to authorities. Better still, what if these activists could link together and collaborate with other groups pursuing similar projects that have disparate objectives?

    A new system, developed by information activist Barrett Brown may soon offer such an arsenal of tools. The Pursuance Project, billed as the “world’s first comprehensive framework for process democracy,” was conceived with mass online collaboration in mind. Brown, who served five years in federal prison for leaking information as part of the PM Project — which sought to make transparent the abuses of the surveillance state — believes the full promise of the Internet is yet to be realized. The Pursuance Project, which he calls a “civic collaboration network,” will leverage online tools and relationships to create “a vast and formidable ecosystem of opposition to institutionalized injustice.”

    A snapshot of the Pursuance Project might lead one to believe it is merely an encrypted project management system. But closer inspection reveals that there are broader ideological goals, as well as more specific technical goals. ‘Pursuances’ will operate as self-organized, scalable, interconnected relationships established via a “proceduralism of agreement” in a server-based ecosystem. If this sounds confusing, Barrett Brown urges one to visualize highly customizable and “evolvable organizational charts” in a 3-dimensional space. In other words, imagine Slack for underground democracy, an encrypted Trello for revolutionary journalists and hackers. Yet even these delineations do not do justice to the expanding ecosystem of civic collaboration Brown envisions.

    He describes the way in which individuals would collaborate via Pursuance using figures he originally sketched in prison.

    Continued at
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  29. The Internet Member

    Below is part of the transcript from a recent Barrett Brown podcast. Not a lot new but I liked hearing him promoting citizen organizing and activism.

    For my part, I think we need to re-structure our tax codes so we aren't creating billionaires. That level of concentrated wealth too often results in anti-science, anti-human hubris that puts all of us at risk. If Ronald Reagan hadn't stripped away the 90% marginal income tax rate on top earners, I doubt we would be dealing with the Koch network sabotaging our democratic system.
  30. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Vice Comes to Dallas to Interview Barrett Brown for Cyberwar

    "Everybody’s favorite Dallas-based ex-con journalist is at it again. Last night Viceland released its latest episode of the Cyberwar show, titled “Activists vs. the Surveillance State.” It features Barrett sitting in D Magazine’s conference room, talking on his flip phone to the Bureau of Prisons, trying to find out why he’s not allowed to talk to a reporter from Vice — which he goes ahead and does anyway. Aaaand he got arrested again. This all happened back in late April. Anyway, if you have about 20 minutes, it’s worth the time. For those who want even more Barrett, sometime next week a new documentary about him will drop. Stay tuned."
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  31. The Wrong Guy Member

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  32. The Wrong Guy Member

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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

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