Barrett Brown

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Barrett Lancaster Brown (1981–) is an American journalist, essayist and activist. He is a former associate of Anonymous, he claims to be a former prison gang leader and openly talks about using heroin and meth.[1][2][3]

According to Brown, Anonymous has been taken over by US Intelligence. Anonymous is being used to hack the enemies of the deep state, Peter Thiel and neonazis, all of which he claims are after him and part of why he's requested asylum in the UK.[4] He claims to have been interviewed by Russian intelligence.[5]

In January 2015, Brown was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for the crimes of accessory after the fact, obstruction of justice, and threatening the government officials of the threatening a federal officer stemming from the FBI's investigation into the 2012 Stratfor email leak.[6][7] As part of his sentence, Brown was also required to pay almost $900,000 to Stratfor.[8]

Pursuance Project[edit]

In 2017, Brown launched the Pursuance Project, which aimed to unite transparency activists, investigative journalists, FOIA (US Freedom of Information Act) specialists, and hackivists in a fully encrypted platform. In 2018, Brown raised over $50,000 for Pursuance Project on Kickstarter.[9] In February 2020, Brown shut Pursuance Project down, writing that Pursuance would resume work later that year funded via settlements from libel suits.[10]

In a December 2020 update, Brown said they used the money but that they weren't able to make a prototype. He also discussed his abuse of methamphetamine a year and a half earlier, noting it elevated his work and his ability to wreak havoc on elements of the press and police agencies. He also discussed going to rehab. Brown said that his drug use and time in rehab was one reason Pursuance hadn't been updated.[11]

Association with Anonymous[edit]

In November 2011, Brown said that 75 names of members of Zetas drug cartel would be released if a member of the Anonymous group who had been kidnapped was not set free.[12] Brown said the member was then released and that there was a truce between him and the drug cartel for the moment. Others have said the kidnapping was fake, noting a lack of details and police reports.[13]

Some media outlets have presented Brown as a self-proclaimed spokesperson for Anonymous,[14][15] which he disputes, saying "it doesn’t work that way."[16] Brown has said he renounced his links with the group in 2011.[12][17] In December 2011, Brown told reporters that Anonymous had hacked millions of emails from Stratfor, a geopolitics publisher and consultancy, over Christmas and that they would be released by WikiLeaks.[18][19]

Arrest and trial[edit]

On October 3, 2012, a federal grand jury indictment was returned against Brown on charges of threats, conspiracy and retaliation against a federal law enforcement officer. Various tweets, YouTube uploads and comments made by Brown before his arrest were cited as support within the indictment.[20][21] A magistrate denied bail because he was "a danger to the safety of the community and a risk of flight."[22]

As of September 4, 2013, Brown was under a federal court-issued gag order; he and his lawyers were not allowed to discuss his case with the media, lest it taint a jury.[23][24] The lead prosecutor said that Brown tried to manipulate the media from behind bars for his benefit, that Brown's attorney "coordinates and/or approves of his use of the media," and that most of the publicity about Brown has contained false information and "gross fabrications".[25]

In May 2021, he was arrested in east London, having been there since November 2020 to claim asylum. He was arrested for allegedly overstaying his visa and incitement offenses related to holding a protest banner which said: "Kill Cops".[26]

Social media[edit]

Brown's Twitter account, @BarrettBrown_, has been permanently banned from Twitter four times. The first three bans were overturned and described by Twitter as errors after journalists inquired, but the fourth was not. The fourth and final ban was prompted by Brown tweeting that Julian Assange should not be on trial but that he would "deserve to die by other, cleaner hands" if he knew of Erik Prince's alleged ties to Roger Stone.[27]


  1. "Barrett Brown Is Anonymous" (in en-US). 
  2. Brown, Barrett (2020-12-13). "Barrett Brown on Pursuance" (in en). 
  3. "Ex-Anonymous Insider Warns About The Future of Cyber Warfare | Barrett Brown" (in en). 
  4. #317 | Capture: Peter Thiel, Dark Enlightenment, & The End Of The Open Society w/ Barrett Brown by Patrick Farnsworth (March 30, 2022) Last Born in the Wilderness.
  5. I was interviewed by what turns out to be Russian intelligence about certain novel aspects of Western intelligence a few days before the invasion of Ukraine. Making it public in hopes that both sides will get the message, even if public itself won't. by Barrett Brown (5:42 PM - 16 Mar 2022) Twitter (archived from March 17, 2022).
  6. The Strange Case of Barrett Brown: Amid the outrage over the NSA's spying program, the jailing of journalist Barrett Brown points to a deeper and very troubling problem. by Peter Ludlow (June 18, 2013) The Nation.
  7. Stuckey, Daniel (March 8, 2014). "A Dispatch From Outside the Prison Holding Barrett Brown". Vice. 
  8. My Post Cyberpunk Indentured Servitude by Barrett Brown (Published Jan. 31, 2015 6:45AM ET; Updated Apr. 14, 2017 12:26PM ET) The Daily Beast.
  9. "Track Barrett Brown's Pursuance Project's Kickstarter campaign on BackerTracker" (in en). 
  10. "Der Spiegel is Citing Andy Ngo's Race-Scientist Ex-Editor to Attack Me and I'm Not Even Jewish: As the CEO of Antifa, I Must Object" (in en-US). 2020-02-12. 
  11. Brown, Barrett (2020-12-13). "Barrett Brown on Pursuance" (in en). 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Tim Rogers (November 4, 2011). "Barrett Brown vs. The Zetas". D Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  13. Arthur, Charles (November 2, 2011). "Anonymous retreats from Mexico drug cartel confrontation". The Guardian. Retrieved September 12, 2021. 
  14. Zetter, Kim. "Anonymous' Barrett Brown Raided by FBI During Online Chat" (in en-US). ISSN 1059-1028. 
  15. "Activist, self-appointed spokesman for Anonymous in trouble after his posts rankle authorities" (in en-US). 2015-03-26. 
  16. Patrick McGuire (March 1, 2013). "We Spoke To Barrett Brown From Prison". VICE. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  17. Nate Anderson (May 6, 2011). "Prolific "spokesman" for Anonymous leaves the hacker group". Ars Technica. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  18. "Credit card hackers threaten to publish ‘damaging’ e mails" (in en). ISSN 0140-0460. 
  19. "How Barrett Brown went from Anonymous's PR to federal target" (in en). 2013-03-20. 
  20. Avi Selk (October 4, 2012). "Feds indict self-proclaimed Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown on retaliation, conspiracy charges". Dallas News. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  21. "Federal Grand Jury Charges Dallas Resident With Making An Internet Threat And Other Felony Offenses". October 4, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  22. Robert Wilonsky (April 3, 2013). "U.S. Attorney's Office asks judge to toss motion to intervene in the case of detained hacktivist Barrett Brown". Dallas News. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  23. Fruzsina Eördögh. "The US Government Just Upheld Barrett Brown's Gag Order". Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  24. Robert Wilonsky (May 1, 2013). "Hours before judge hears government's case to slap gag on jailed hacktivist Barrett Brown, his attorneys strongly object". Dallas News. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  25. Krause, Kevin (September 4, 2013). "Gag order issued in federal cases against Dallas man tied to hacking group Anonymous". The Dallas Morning News. 
  26. "US journalist Barrett Brown arrested in the UK on incitement offences". 21 May 2021. 
  27. "An Open Letter To Twitter Regarding The Safe Space It's Created for Nazis" (in en-US). 2019-10-31.