‘Given the National Security Agency’s surveillance revelations of the last few months, we need to pay even more attention to the private companies who are working hand-in-hand with the state to carry this mass surveillance out. In fact, someone’s already done a lot of that work for us—an American journalist who has been in jail for over a year: Barrett Brown.
In a statement released on Monday, WikiLeaks states that Brown is “being persecuted for critical reporting on the growing surveillance state” and that his prosecution “chills investigative reporting of national security issues and provides cover for the unholy alliance between government agencies and the security industry.” The Dallas, Texas-based writer—who contributed to The Guardian, Huffington Post, and Vanity Fair, among other outlets—now faces up to 105 years in prison on charges that are crucially related to his reporting.
Brown’s status as a journalist will most likely affect how his actions are perceived in a court of law. His investigative journalism, memorialized at the crowdsourced research outfit with an associated wiki, Project PM, brought to light extremely important findings on the issue of private firms and public surveillance. While Brown isn’t due sole credit for all of the information below, he followed these matters very closely. Now, more than ever, it is important for other journalists and researchers to revisit and recognize the importance of his work and if possible, pick up threads where he left off. As such, it’s worth going over a summary review of some critical subjects Brown reported on, and the private firms he investigated allegedly involved in gathering intelligence and surveilling public citizens.’
- When Posting a Link is a Crime (This Can’t Be Happening!)
- Journalist Barrett Brown faces prison for posting hyperlink (CPJ)
- Barrett Brown Faces 105 Years in Jail (Rolling Stone)
- Barrett Brown Can’t Talk About Why the Government Wants to Jail Him for a Century (FAIR)
- The Strange Case of Barrett Brown (Peter Ludlow)