Glenn Greenwald’s new venture with e-Bay founder Pierre Omidyar launched Monday morning as The Intercept with two stories about the National Security Agency. The Intercept also began tweeting Monday morning.
First Look Media announced the new magazine early Monday morning.
The decision to launch The Intercept now was driven by the team’s sense of urgency and responsibility to continue and expand their reporting on the NSA story. The site’s first news article, by Greenwald and (Jeremy) Scahill, raises troubling new questions about the NSA’s methods of identifying targets for lethal drone strikes.
The Intercept Media 2.0?
“Glenn, Laura, and Jeremy are relentless in their pursuit of a story and rigorous in finding the truth,” said Omidyar. “We share a belief in the fundamental importance of a free and independent press on keeping a democracy vital and strong.
In all of our reporting, at The Intercept and beyond, we will be anchored by that vision and hold ourselves to the highest journalistic standards. First Look journalists have editorial independence and support and are encouraged to pursue the transformative and engaging stories of our time, no matter the subject.”
An independent news site that will operate as a nonprofit, The Intercept will eventually cover a variety of topics, though for now will stick to a predictable one, according the opening editor’s note.
Speaking to “Democracy Now” on Monday, Greenwald said that the site had launched as quickly as it did because “we feel a serious obligation to get up and running,” given the many documents from Snowden that are yet to be released. He added that First Look Media was “slowly and inexorably expanding the range of topics we cover.”
Scahill, who was also appearing on the program, added that recent comments by intelligence officials suggesting journalists could be “accomplices” in criminal activity for publishing classified material had also pushed the site to speed up its activities.
Not All Love for The Intercept
Wikileaks isn’t the only former ally that has now turned on Omidyar’s quarter billion dollar journalism project. Members of the Anonymous hacker collective have launched a campaign to encourage readers to pirate copies of Greenwald’s new book about the Edward Snowden leaks. Anonymous’ beef centers around Greenwald joining forces with Omidyar who they hold partly responsible for the “PayPal 14” case.
Concerning the latest leak from The Intercept, Wiki Leaks had to finish the job:
This morning, Pierre Omidyar’s The Intercept published a story entitled “Data Pirates of the Caribbean*” claiming that “The National Security Agency is secretly intercepting, recording, and archiving the audio of virtually every cell phone conversation on the island nation of the Bahamas.”
Documents show that the NSA has been generating intelligence reports from MYSTIC surveillance in the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, and one other country, which The Intercept is not naming in response to specific, credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence. The more expansive full-take recording capability has been deployed in both the Bahamas and the unnamed country.
Unsurprisingly, given the Intercept’s promise to report without fear, favor or government interference…
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The editorial independence of our journalists will be guaranteed. They will be encouraged to pursue their passions, cultivate a unique voice, and publish stories without regard to whom they might anger or alienate. We believe the prime value of journalism and the Intercepts aims is its power to impose transparency, and thus accountability, on the most powerful governmental and corporate bodies.