Hacktivism & Government Misconduct

Hosted byJimmy Church

Hacktivism & Government Misconduct

About the show

Activist and writer Barrett Brown joined Jimmy Church for Sunday night's full program. In 2009, Brown created Project PM, a collective investigation into the secret world of private intelligence. And while working as an investigative journalist, he became associated with the shadowy 'hacktivist' collective Anonymous. In 2012 and 2013, after multiple FBI raids on his apartment and his mother's home in Dallas, he 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. The linked documents had been hacked from security firms HBGary Federal and Stratfor.

He was sentenced to five years in prison and was released in November of 2016, though after talking to a journalist from VICE, he was arrested again, and jailed for an additional short period. While incarcerated, Brown wrote an award-winning column for The Intercept. "The investigation into me began," he explained, "after my role became clear in helping to expose and document the DOJ [Dept. of Justice] and other agencies link to the criminal conspiracy, Themis," a disturbing public-private partnership to spy on web users.

During his prosecution, an FBI agent made numerous false claims against him in front of a judge, and this astonished him, Brown said, adding that he experienced first hand the dangers of "due process" being diminished in the United States. Speaking of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, he revealed he "had a break with Assange and some of the people close to him over certain things, but I still will always defend his rights over the governments going after him" for revealing their misconduct.

Brown touched on such topics as chemtrails (he found evidence in the documents he accessed that they do indeed exist), Gary McKinnon's UFO hacking case, and the New York Times 2017 report on the secret Pentagon UFO program (he believes someone in government was cooperating with the disclosure). He also spoke about his Pursuance Project, describing it as a framework for a new form of civics and open society, opposing the surveillance state and drug wars.

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