Journalist Barrett Brown Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison on Charges Stemming from Proximity to Sources in Anonymous, Releases Post-Sentence Statement

[DALLAS, TX]   Imprisoned journalist and activist Barrett Brown was sentenced in a Dallas Federal Court this morning to 63 months of incarceration within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Brown, a contributor to Vanity Fair and The Guardian, has already been detained for 28 months on charges stemming from his proximity to sources in the underground hacker collective Anonymous. Prosecutors asked Judge Samuel A. Lindsay to impose a sentence of 8.5 years on Brown while dozens of high-profile journalists, publishers, advocates, technologists and activists submitted letters to the Judge asking for a sentence of time served. Advocates for Brown, as well as journalist supporters have cited great concern that the prosecutorial overreach in USA v. Brown can have a chilling effect on journalism.

Barrett Brown Sentencing

After receiving his sentence Barrett Brown released the following statement:

“Good news! — The U.S. government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex. For the next 35 months, I’ll be provided with free food, clothes, and housing as I seek to expose wrongdoing by Bureau of Prisons officials and staff and otherwise report on news and culture in the world’s greatest prison system. I want to thank the Department of Justice for having put so much time and energy into advocating on my behalf; rather than holding a grudge against me for the two years of work I put into in bringing attention to a DOJ-linked campaign to harass and discredit journalists like Glenn Greenwald, the agency instead labored tirelessly to ensure that I received this very prestigious assignment. — Wish me luck!”


About Barrett Brown

Brown is a political satirist, freelance writer, and former activist with Anonymous. Brown has contributed to The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, and has authored two books. He also founded Project PM, which over time became a crowd-sourced investigation into the activities of private intelligence contractors.

In March 2012 Brown’s home was raided by the FBI. He hid his laptops in order to protect his sources —subsequently he and his mother were charged with obstruction of justice.

Six months later, Brown uploaded a three-part video series to YouTube which laid bare his frustration with the FBI investigation, and stated that he would look into the lead FBI agent and vowed to defend himself if he were raided again. He was arrested the same day. A court-appointed psychiatrist raised questions about his psychological culpability during the time in question, due to the fact that he’d suddenly withdrawn from prescribed medications. Brown pleaded guilty to making threats over the internet and has expressed regrets about these statements.

In December 2012 the DOJ unveiled an indictment charging him with multiple counts of identity theft and credit card fraud due to the fact that he’d pasted a link to stolen documents. After a determined effort by his legal team to have the charges dismissed, prosecutors backed off from the indictment, which was regarded as a victory for press freedom and digital rights. He then faced one count of being an accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access of a protected computer, based on his relationship with Jeremy Hammond.

Brown agreed to a plea deal in March 2014, under which he faces up to 8.5 years in prison. His defense is asking the Court for time served.

For more information about Brown’s charges, visit:


10 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. As Barrett has written in his post-sentencing statement, he will go to prison and write investigative pieces on the prison industrial complex. This is a topic of great importance and he is a perfect writer for the job.

    As to his sentencing, it is sad to see this Judge did not understand the difference between linking and hacking. This is a direct blow to journalism and Freedom of the Press. We are all much less free today. One of our basic Constitutional freedoms has been eroded.

    • T.C,

      The past Virginia Governor, McDonnell, a few weeks ago received two years in federal prison, for saleing out the Vaginia governors office while he was in office. He was prosecuted for receiving hundreds of thousand of dollars in cash and other goods. Of course, he is appealing, and will probably never spend a day in prison. Politicians are destroying our country, while decent people are locked away in prison for years. This is not right. I’m sorry this has happened to Mr. Brown, and hope he will not have to spend all those years locked up behind, prison bars.

  2. Eileen K.,

    Well, Judge Lindsey, your stupidity has really revealed itself for everyone around the world to see. Congratulations! You may now claim the tinfoil Dunce Cap you so deservedly earned. It’s also time for you to either resign your position as a Federal Judge, or face ouster. Your utter stupidity in the realm of law is a disgrace to both the Judiciary and the legal profession.
    If I were in Barrett Brown’s shoes, I’d not only immediately file an appeal; but I would also prepare to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit as well, with you among the defendants.
    Again, many thanks for your contribution to the Rule of Law in this country (sarc).

    • Sky Queue,

      You cannot appeal when you agree to a plea bargain. Unless ppl start opposing police and all persons involved in the PIC and stop paying taxes that support their own exploitation, words will change nothing.

  3. Ray Wolfe,

    This is a shame and a slap in the face to the American judicial system. But hopefully Barrett will expose to the world what it is like to be imprisoned in prison where people are supposed to be free, and that the press is supposed to be uncensored so that the American public knows the true story. As “TIME” magazine, “April ?? 2012 ed; Incarceration Nation” states: America has 5% of the worlds population but 25% of the worlds incarcerated population. (And you just thought you live in a free country)!

    My book “Misery Injustice” tells of the corruption within the courts of southern Missouri, and apparently across the U.S., however I hope Barrett gets the exposure that I never could from my book. The corruption within the courts of America and within the penal system of America needs to be throughly investigated since both are ridden with criminal activity and judicial activism instead of following the law, those judicial agencies ignore the law and do what they want, which includes contriving evidence and charges just to get someone to shut up about the corruption.
    If the American people really knew just how corrupt the courts and the whole judicial system was there would be a revolution and judges, prosecutors and police officers would be in serious trouble.

    • Sharilyn,

      I am very sure you are right on target … every facet of our entire government system is totally corrupted, I think beyond repair. All has to be “retired”, or eliminated … with a new start over with a BIG emphasis on following the 13th amendment that has been dare we say … covered up, so to speak, so the public has no idea about it because it is just now coming out in the open! I.E. No one having a title of nobility (such as attorney, etc) shall hold a office of any level in the U.S. government.

  4. The US Government has become a pathetic Bankster owned quagmire! You idiots out there just keep voting for Democrats and Republicans out there and finish this mess off! This man did absolutely nothing wrong while our Bankster run criminals in CONgress subvert the CONstitution and commit genocide about the globe in our names and they don’t sit a day for their heinous acts! I’m thoroughly disgusted!

  5. existextinct,

    Fuck the furries!

  6. Isa Kocher,

    there is no comment sufficient to convey the corruption this judgement represents. War crimes, torture, wholesale global bank fraud, narcotics profits money laundering, and deliberate murder by corporations and government officials are given blanket immunities but a person engaging in normal everyday common activities is aggressively pursued because his politics upsets the very people who have engaged in organized treason.

    there are no words left to convey what this is, travesty hardly suffices. moral depravity. prosecutorial abuse. gross injustice. n assault on human decency. I guess we should be grateful he was not assassinated.

  7. Louis H.,

    To quote George W. Bush : “They hate us because of our freedom” … of press.


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