By E. Khalil
Infamous whistleblower-in-exile, Edward Snowden has accused the National Security Agency of targeting reporters who wrote critically about the government after the 9/11 attacks and
Snowden observed further that it was “unforgivably reckless” for journalists discussing such sensitive matters to do so through unencrypted email messages when discussing sensitive matters. Recently, Political Blind Spot ran an article on the secure email service that Snowden used, and how his the provider shut down rather than comply with Feds orders.
In a New York Times Magazine interview, published today, Snowden explained that that he came to trust documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, and Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, in part because they had been targeted by the NSA for their journalistic efforts.
“Laura and [Guardian reporter] Glenn [Greenwald] are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, and resulted in Laura specifically becoming targeted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures,” Snowden said.
Jonathan Easley, reporting for The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, explained that “Snowden didn’t detail how Poitras was targeted by the NSA surveillance programs he disclosed, but suggested the agency tracked her emails and cautioned other journalists that they could be under surveillance.”
“I was surprised to realize that there were people in news organizations who didn’t recognize any unencrypted message sent over the Internet is being delivered to every intelligence service in the world,” Snowden further elaborated. “In the wake of this year’s disclosures, it should be clear that unencrypted journalist-source communication is unforgivably reckless.”
Snowden came to trust Poitras because she was one of only a handful of journalists who in his mind were brave enough “to challenge the excesses of the government” during a time of nationalist paranoia, racism, Islamaphobia and general xenophobia.
Snowden explained that “After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in American abdicated their role as a check to power – the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government – for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism.”
(image: Democratic Underground)