Barret Brown has landed himself a one year ban on access to his email, after the journalist dared to complain about the prison conditions via email.
If you don’t recall, Barret Brown was an unofficial spokesperson for anonymous who landed himself a hefty five year prison sentence for reporting on the Anonymous collective and sharing a link on his Twitter account. Brown’s case against the Justice Department was based around Brown sharing a link to hacked data, which was reported the have later been dropped but was relentlessly brought up in the case against him.
Brown outlined how he lost access to his email, first stating he had used an inmate computer system to send an email to a journalist, where he had inquired about talking to the press about potentially illegal conduct by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials. An hour after sending the email, Brown lost total access to his email, where a screen read “Denied: You do not have access to this service.” After calling a prison official over, the counselor stated the system was undergoing maintenance and to wait til tomorrow.
Brown said he waited til tomorrow and the issue had yet been fixed, but after getting in touch with his mother via a phone call, she had told him that everyone on his email contact list had received an automated email message from Brown stating that Brown’s messaging privileges had been temporarily revoked.
As Brown tried to gain access back to his email through talking to prison officials, he was sent through a loop of officials telling him to find and ask other officers. After being sent in a never ending loop and not being able to find the guards, Brown tried again to log back in his email account, where he was met with the following message: “This account is on suspension until 4/1/2016 11:59:59 pm (from portal 16).”
After taking the email restriction up with the prison warden, Brown had been pulled aside by another officer stating he was the one who had revoked his email access. Stating that Brown wasn’t to have access to his email in the first place due to his charges. The official also stated he had done a “review” of Brown’s email communications, and confirmed Brown had “been using it for the wrong thing.”
According to Brown, the prison official claimed that speaking to the press was doing the wrong thing. A group of inmates had told Brown that the prison official was apart of “SIA”, which was described to Barrett as a level above “SIS” internal security.
According to journalist Glen Greenwald, Brown and Greenwald had been speaking about Brown writing articles for The Intercept, and that’s what sparked the Bureau or Prisons to flip the switch and lockdown Brown’s email account.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 3, 2015
It appears the prison’s internal security is allowed to restrict and surveil Brown’s digital communications, while being able to tell him what is right and wrong to communicate.