On Jan. 22, journalist, activist and author Barrett Brown, 33, is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay in Dallas for threatening an FBI agent, hiding evidence during an FBI raid, and attempting to negotiate on behalf of a person wanted by the FBI — two felonies and a misdemeanor, respectively.

Facing a maximum sentence of eight-and-a-half years in prison, Brown’s predicament is the result of his work as a journalist and his connections to sources engaged in revealing surveillance activities by public and private intelligence agencies.

In 2011, Brown started a website called Project PM, an encyclopedic website with data about the intelligence contracting industry, which likely made him a target of the federal government. The main page of Project PM states:

“If you care that the surveillance state is expanding in capabilities and intent without being effectively opposed by the population of the West, you can assist in making this an actionable resource for journalists, activists, and other interested parties.”

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