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BARRETT BROWN’S PURSUANCE PROJECT SEEKS FUNDING
What: Pursuance launches a Kickstarter campaign
When: Monday, June 11, 2018
Barrett Brown, the journalist and activist best known for overseeing crowd-sourced research campaigns into state-corporate black operations such as Team Themis and Romas/COIN via his organization Project PM, as well as for working with elements of Anonymous to support revolutions in Tunisia and Bahrain, was arrested and imprisoned in 2012 on charges stemming from his investigation into the DOJ-linked firms HBGary Federal and Palantir. After an international outcry over the 105 years in prison he initially faced, most of the charges were dropped, leaving him to plea to lesser charges centering around a leak of documents from the private espionage firm Stratfor. Over the course of four years in federal custody, he continued writing for outlets like The Guardian, Vice, Daily Beast, and The Intercept, winning the National Magazine Award and other honors for columns documenting systematic due process violations by the Bureau of Prisons.
Upon his release in late 2016, he announced via an interview for Wired the establishment of the Pursuance Project, a non-profit created to oversee the development of a radical new framework for “mass civic collaboration”, called the Pursuance System. This open source, end-to-end encrypted software will allow both individuals and existing organizations to create and grow customizable, self-organized entities called pursuances, all existing together in a visualized online space so as to better carry out both traditional and experimental forms of activist and philanthropic work. The board of directors includes Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, whistleblower John Kiriakou, and actor and documentary filmmaker Alex Winter.
The development of the multi-faceted software and costs associated with overseeing a project as ambitious as this have thus far been borne largely by Brown (whose income from a book deal has been illicitly frozen by the DOJ for nearly a year) as well as by many of the very volunteers who have contributed their professional time and expertise to bringing this project to fruition. As such, Pursuance will be holding a Kickstarter crowd-funding event on June 11 with the goal of raising the $50,000 necessary to finish the first major version of the software and onboard the 1800 activists and organizations that have signed up to participate thus far. The event will be accompanied by video testimonials from such figures as Jonsdottir, Winter, and Thomas Drake who have examined the project and agreed that it constitutes the best way forward, as well as heads of non-profits such as Frontline Wellness that will be using Pursuance to accelerate their telemedicine operations while keeping their employees and users safe. In the week before the Kickstarter itself, Brown will be in San Francisco to keynote the I Annotate conference for researchers and journalists, as well as to meet with current and potential partners.
— Team Pursuance