Courage our network

Barrett Brown introduces Pursuance System in new VICE column

Barrett Brown’s newly renamed column, the Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Civil Strife, has moved to VICE’s Motherboard. In his first piece for VICE, ‘What is to be done?’, Barrett introduces his new project, the Pursuance System, his answer to the headline’s question.

“It has become more and more difficult, as the years proceed, to maintain the fiction that the American republic is fundamentally sound,” Barrett writes. “[T]he consequences of a morally failed American republic, continuing on its present course for even just another decade, would be irreparable.”

Barrett recounts his crowd-sourcing journalism effort Project PM, his work surrounding Anonymous, and his arrest and case. In reviewing these efforts as we attempt to create something new, he writes, “Anonymous is important to my case not as a model to be replicated, but rather as a proof of concept; its successes demonstrated the potential of net-driven mass collaboration, while its failures give us clues as to what a superior framework might require.”

“It is an absolute certainty that, with sufficient thought, a new mechanism may someday be designed, capable of integrating thousands of talented individuals and existing organizations into a sort of parallel civic ecosystem . . . . I propose that such a thing be built now.”

The basic structure of the Pursuance System

Barrett just so happens to have been working on such a system, something that could expand “into a vast and formidable new force in world affairs, capable of advancing reform and confronting criminalized institutions across the globe”

The Pursuance System, the culmination of eight years of thought and refinement, will be launched later this year, operating under a basic software framework explained at our website and overseen by a non-profit that we’ve set up for the purpose. The board of directors includes Icelandic Member of Parliament, poet, and Pirate Party stalwart Birgitta Jonsdottir; actor and filmmaker Alex Winter; CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou; former Columbia Journalism Review board member, author, and WhoWhatWhy founder Russ Baker; Professor Mano Singham of Case Western University (retired); Professor Robert Tynes of Bard University; author, intelligence critic, and former CIA Directorate of Operations covert asset Barry Eisler; activist-focused criminal defense attorney Jay Leiderman; and Pirate Party International board member Raymond Johansen. Our project manager Steve Phillips, a security researcher, occasional Def Con speaker and open-source software developer, has a long history of running hackerspaces and overseeing collaborative projects with others in the privacy and crypto communities, and has recruited additional programmers for this effort. Other of our core participants, such as Kevin Gallagher and Devin Balkind, have similarly prolific histories of involvement with some of the more effective activist and reform movements, and both have worked for foundations and non-profits.

Read here for more information on the project, how to get involved, and how to stay updated on the Pursuance System’s developments.