Journalist Barrett Brown is once again in police custody after being arrested Thursday. Alex Emmons of The Intercept — a publication for which Brown, a prominent figure in the fight for press freedom, recently wrote dispatches from prison — reported that Brown had been taken into custody again one day prior to a scheduled interview with PBS. Brown’s mother, Karen Lancaster, relayed to Emmons that Brown believes he was arrested because he did not file the correct paperwork requesting permission to give interviews to the press. Neither his mother nor his attorney, Jay Leiderman, know where he is being held.

Brown was released from prison in November after serving a term related to disclosure of emails involving a global intelligence company named Stratfor.

Here’s more from The Intercept:

Brown quickly became a symbol of the attack on press freedom after he was arrested in 2012 for reporting he did on the hacked emails of intelligence-contracting firms. Brown wrote about hacked emails that showed the firm Stratfor spying on activists on behalf of corporations. Brown also helped uncover a proposal by intelligence contractors to hack and smear WikiLeaks defenders and progressive activists.

Faced with the possibility of 100 years in prison, Brown pleaded guilty in 2014 to two charges related to obstruction of justice and threatening an FBI agent, and was sentenced to five years and 3 months. In 2016, Brown won a National Magazine Award for his scathing and often hilarious columns in The Intercept, which focused on his life in prison. He was released in November.

Jay Leiderman, Brown’s lawyer, told The Intercept Brown was arrested Thursday during a check-in. According to his mother, Brown had not missed a check-in or failed a drug test since he was released to a halfway house in November.

… Since his release, Brown has given numerous interviews, on camera and by phone. But according to his mother, Brown said that the Bureau of Prisons never informed him about a paperwork requirement. When he followed up with his check-in officer, he was given a different form: a liability form for media entering prisons.

So once again, First Amendment concerns are directly implicated in the reasons for Brown’s detainment. Read more about Brown’s case in this 2013 Truthdig report this 2015 Truthdigger of the Week piece.

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.