Organizations

WikiLeaks

“It should be of grave concern to all reporters that Brown’s most serious charge concerns sharing a link to material already available on the internet—an attempt to crowdsource investigative journalistic work. If this is not vigorously challenged, any journalist whose professional duty calls for linking to source material in his or her story potentially faces criminal prosecution.”
WikiLeaks

CPJ

“By seeking to put Brown in prison for linking to publicly-available, factual information, the U.S. government sends an ominous message to journalists who wish to act responsibly by substantiating their reporting. Such tactics are antithetical to a free press and will have far-reaching consequences beyond the limited bounds of Brown’s case.”
Committee to Protect Journalists

EFF

“The right of journalists—or anyone for that matter—to link to already-public information, including sensitive information, is in serious jeopardy if Brown is convicted.”
Electronic Frontier Foundation

RSF

“Above all, Barrett was an investigative journalist who was merely doing his professional duty by looking into the Stratfor emails, an affair of public interest.”
Reporters Without Borders

Demand Progress

“Brown is merely the latest victim in the administration’s ongoing war against investigative journalism, whistleblowers, and those who would expose the unflattering, undemocratic, and often criminal activities of the US government and its corporate allies.”
Demand Progress

FFTF

“Barrett’s case sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the future of information sharing, free speech, and journalism and it affects all of us.”
Fight for the Future

Free Press

“The notion that linking to stolen material makes the linker a party to the original crime is absurd. And the severity of the charges is clearly meant to send a message to journalists and whistleblowers everywhere. Brown’s case appears to be part and parcel of the government’s crackdown on activists who leak information and the journalists who report on them.”
Free Press

article19

“ARTICLE 19 believes that linking to information that has already been published on the Internet should be strongly protected, especially when this activity is carried out for journalistic purposes. Convicting Brown for posting this link would therefore have a devastatingly chilling effect on free speech online and on investigative journalism.”
Article 19
Freedom of the Press Foundation
“It’s ironic and disturbing that in a case where press freedom is at stake, the defendant and his lawyers have been barred from talking to the press… The fact remains, Brown is being prosecuted for conduct that is central to journalism, and the charges related to linking should be thrown out immediately.”
Freedom of the Press Foundation

penlogo
“The charges against Barrett Brown related to linking threatened to chill journalism in the public interest and undermine the free flow of information in the digital age. We are encouraged by the decision of the government to drop these particular charges in the case.”
PEN American Center