Barrett Brown is a US activist, author, and freelance journalist. His work has appeared in the Guardian, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, True/Slant, Skeptical Inquirer and many other outlets. He has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, Fox News and Russia Today and as a subject in four recent documentary films: We Are Legion, Future Radicals, The Hacker Wars and Terms and Conditions May Apply. Barrett’s case was included as a plotline in Season 2 of the TV series House of Cards.
He is the founder of Project PM, a distributed think-tank which researches and reports on matters related to the intelligence contracting industry. He has been represented in the media as a spokesperson for the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous, but he has rejected that label, explaining that the group has no authority figure to designate him as such.
Barrett is a co-author on Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny, and before his arrest he was working on a book about the failures of American media punditry, since published as Keep Rootin’ for Putin. Previously, Barrett had served as Communications Director for Enlighten the Vote.
Although Barrett has a serious side, he is also noted for his irreverence and use of humor and satire, demonstrated through writings for National Lampoon and the Onion and is often described as a modern-day Hunter S. Thompson.
In 2012 and 2013, after multiple FBI raids on his apartment and his mother’s home in Dallas, Barrett was indicted on multiple felony counts, the most disturbing of which alleged that his copy-pasting of a mere link amounted to trafficking in stolen material. Because this prosecution was so selective – the large number of other journalists and activists who shared the Stratfor link are not facing similar charges – it is clear that Barrett is being persecuted for his work.
Now serving out a 63 month sentence, scheduled for release on 8 April 2017, Barrett continues to write from prison, with an ongoing column formerly with D Magazine and now for The Intercept.