Anonymous Journalist Barrett Brown Reboots Column From Prison
Readers may remember the story of Barrett Brown, the man who faced 45 years in prison for sharing a link to documents stolen by hackers and made available to him and Project PM. According to Brown himself, Project PM is:
[…] an informal association that would do two things: (1) disseminate information about the intelligence contracting industry and what is now being increasingly termed the “cyber-industrial complex,” including specific firms/outfits known to be involved in one or more of certain activities we oppose, and (2) provide whatever support possible to other parties that wish to pursue these issues.
In January, Brown reached a plea agreement with the government and was given a sentence of 63 months, much of which he’d already served leading up to that point. He has consistently riled prison officials, finding himself in the “special housing unit” more than once. He has written previously from prison with a fair amount of disruption from authorities. His first column was called “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Prison” and it appears The Intercept is sticking with that for the new column.
In his first installment, Brown describes the struggles of navigating the prison bureaucracy and other insights that most people will never have to experience first-hand. He says:
I’d spent the 18 months prior to my arrest overseeing a crowd-sourced investigation into that aforementioned “cyber-industrial complex,” a subject which, although important, I also happen to find personally distasteful; the research end involved going through tens of thousands of emails stolen by Anonymous from the toy-fascist government desk-spies and jumped-up quasi-literate corporate technicians to whom the American “citizenry” have accidentally granted jus primae noctis over several Constitutional amendments. I hate all this computer shit and was actually a little relieved when the FBI finally took me down, thereby sparing me from the obligation to read another million words of e-Morlock jibber-jabber about Romas/COIN and Odyssey and persona management and whatever else the public is just going to end up ignoring until it’s too late anyway.
The column will apparently be published as regularly as possible in the Intercept. The choice of venue is interesting because it was Brown and his friends who uncovered (through hacking – though not on the part of Brown himself) documents in which the government had sought to harass muckraking journalists like Glenn Greenwald, who is an editor there. Readers may be aware that Greenwald was the first to bring the revelations of Edward Snowden to light along with filmmaker Laura Poitras, who also edits the publication.