Glenn Greenwald responds after federal prosecutor in Brazil presses cybercrime charges

Greenwald says the charges are an attack on the freedom of speech.


Brazilian authorities have charged journalist Glenn Greenwald with committing cybercrimes, highlighting the publication of Edward Snowden leaks about intelligence agencies such as the CIA or the NSA.

Greenwald has responded by saying, “it’s a grave and obvious attack on a free press, brought by a far-right judge.”

Fro The Intercept:

The Intercept and Greenwald both released statements Tuesday decrying the federal prosecutor’s accusation as an attack on Brazil’s free press in line with recent abuses by the government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Abuses committed by Justice Minister Sergio Moro when he served as the presiding judge in Operation Car Wash were central to The Intercept’s reporting in the Brazil Secret Archive series.

High government positions in the spotlight

Different federal public prosecutors of the South American nation have denounced the journalist before the courts for allegedly promoting and facilitating the work of criminal groups in the leak of private messages from senior government officials.

The accusations are based on a series of documents published by the journalist and his colleagues during 2019. The article, originally published on the website “The Intercept”, contained messages from politicians such as Justice Minister Sergio Moro.

One of the most outstanding features of these leaks is that the messages came from Telegram, which is promoted as “an extremely secure and hacker-proof messaging service”.

However, the charges have not yet been approved for trial. Prosecutors would also be trying to bring to justice another six individuals who would have “intercepted phone calls and messages” to conspire against the government. Nevertheless, apparently no evidence relates the defendants to the charges since all messages between Greenwald and this group would have been removed.

The thin line in journalistic work

Glenn Greenwald maintains his firm position that he is innocent; in fact, it is supported by different Brazil public organizations, such as the Federal Police and the Nation's Supreme Court, who do not see the need to continue investigating the journalist.

According to Greenwald, all the evidence presented against him has already been examined. The Federal Police even indicated that, during the performance of their work, Greenwald has kept himself away from criminal acts, and has only limited himself to reporting them. For the journalist, this is just another attempt to silence free speech.

There have been several reactions internationally. The first was from the New York-based “Freedom of the Press” Foundation, which accuses Brazilian prosecutors of violating press freedom. Subsequently, Edward Snowden himself said that this is nothing more than a retaliation act by the Brazilian government that has felt threatened by the information disclosed and that this could have consequences for the country's journalism.


Fabrizio Bulleri
Fabrizio Bulleri is a tech reporter with several years of experience covering the Asian tech market. He likes traveling and keeping up with everything digital-related. [email protected]