Edward Snowden, the noted NSA whistleblower, last night spoke up in defense of his partner in…crime? Concern is growing that journalists who use leaked documents are starting to be pursued more aggressively as criminals.

Snowden fled the country after he revealed the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program. Glenn Greenwald worked with Snowden, wrote about the leaks for the Guardian in 2013 and won a Pulitzer. See the whole thing play out in the documentary, CitizenFour. That won an Oscar.

Head shot Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald / Wikimedia Commons

Greenwald is an American based in Brazil, where he writes for The Intercept Brazil. Last week, prosecutors in Brazil charged him with cybercrimes for publishing information from government cell phone messages. He joins Julian Assange of Wikileaks in facing criminal charges not for leaking information, but for distributing it.

In a Washington Post column posted Sunday, Snowden argues:

The legal theory used by the Brazilian prosecutors — that journalists who publish leaked documents are engaged in a criminal “conspiracy” with the sources who provide those documents — is virtually identical to the one advanced in the Trump administration’s indictment of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange in a new application of the historically dubious Espionage Act.

 The Obama administration was willing to go after whistleblowers, but not reporters, he writes.

 When I came forward in 2013 to reveal the global mass surveillance scandal, I understood these unwritten rules. As the same Glenn Greenwald patiently listened to me explain the classified evidence detailing the government’s crimes, everyone in the room knew — or we thought we knew — that as the original source of these disclosures, the consequences for our little truth-telling project would be mine alone.

Continue Reading Snowden: Greenwald charges represent pushback against whistleblowers

The online news site The Intercept offers a thorough piece looking at how the federal government follows digital and paper trails to identify anonymous whistleblowers in their midst.The folks over at the Intercept should know. The source of one of their stories is sitting in jail.

The August 4 story looks at this and three other cases brought under the Espionage Act and notes:

The Intercept does not comment on its anonymous sources, although it has acknowledged falling short of its own editorial standards in one case. 

Last summer, National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Reality Winner accepted 63 months in prison in plea deal. Winner’s case made national headlines after she was identified as the leak of information on the Russian election hack that was reported by the Intercept. Since then, other whistleblowers have been arrested under the Espionage Act, a federal law that was created for spies, not whistleblowers.
Continue Reading The Intercept: How the government tracks down anonymous whistleblowers. They should know.

The White House announced today that President Obama commuted the prison sentence of whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Manning was convicted of stealing and disseminating government documents and videos to WikiLeaks.
Continue Reading Chelsea Manning’s Prison Sentence Commuted

News is breaking that federal prosecutors have agreed to drop all serious (felony) charges against Thomas Drake, the Maryland whistleblower from the National Security Administration (NSA). In a face-saving ploy by the government, prosecutors insisted that Drake plead guilty to a misdemeanor of exceeding authorized use of a government computer.  Drake agreed, with the proviso