Journalist Glenn Greenwald accused of hacking crimes in Brazil

Greenwald reported on NSA surveillance based on leaks from Edward Snowden in 2013.

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Laura Hautala

Glenn Greenwald has been accused of crimes related to the hacking of Brazilian politicians, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

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Brazilian prosecutors charged journalist Glenn Greenwald of involvement in the hacking of government officials' messages. The messages featured in Greenwald's reporting on former judge Sergio Moro, according to The New York Times. Moro heard cases in major corruption investigations in Brazil, where Greenwald lives and helps operate investigative news website The Intercept Brasil.

Greenwald, who is originally from the US, has reported on many major news stories relying on leaked material, including the existence of secret NSA surveillance programs based on documents revealed by Edward Snowden.

The Brazilian accusations include advising and coordinating with a group of hackers who obtained messages from government officials who oversaw court proceedings in the corruption cases. The federal prosecutor's office in Brasilia, the country's capital, said in a press release that its investigation didn't target Greenwald, but that prosecutors found a recording of Greenwald talking with one of the hackers when searching a suspect's seized laptop.

Greenwald didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. On Twitter, he called the accusations a "grave and obvious attack on a free press, brought by a far-right judge." He added that the government run by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro "doesn't believe in basic press freedoms."

"The United States must immediately condemn this outrageous assault on the freedom of the press, and recognize that its attacks on press freedoms at home have consequences for American journalists doing their jobs abroad," Ben Wizner, head of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, said in a statement.