The People Behind the NSA Leaks

Glenn Greenwald faces Justice Department investigation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2013 7:59 AM CDT
The People Behind the NSA Leaks
Okay, okay, so odds are a manilla folder was not used to pass on a Power Point presentation.   (Shutterstock)

How did word of the NSA's massive Internet and phone surveillance programs leak to the press? We don't know much, but it looks like the story comes from one or more insiders who object to the government's actions. Here's what we know:

  • Tucked at the end of its piece on the PRISM program, the Washington Post identifies its source as a "career intelligence officer" with "firsthand experience" with PRISM and "horror at [its] capabilities." Said the source, "They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type."
  • Glenn Greenwald, who broke both stories for the Guardian, tells the New York Times that his source is "a reader of mine," who "knew the views that I had and had an expectation of how I would display them." It's not clear from his comments if that reader was the source for both stories.

Greenwald, for those unfamiliar, is a Guardian blogger known for railing against the surveillance state and being in favor of civil liberties. He's now expected to fall under a Justice Department investigation of his own, the Times reports. He also says that he considered releasing the info without the Guardian, because, as a frequent defender of Bradley Manning, he believes journalists should be protected even without an established publisher behind them. (More Glenn Greenwald stories.)

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