Greenwald, a former practicing attorney, started a blog in 2005 following the news of warrantless surveillance in the administration of George W. Bush. Greenwald took his blog to Salon in 2007, where he had full editorial independence. He moved to the Guardian last year, keeping his gaze trained on issues of perceived government overreach. As for how this story came to him:
The leak, he said, came from “a reader of mine” who was comfortable working with him. The source, Mr. Greenwald said, “knew the views that I had and had an expectation of how I would display them.”
So how does someone who is writing about top-secret government programs protect himself — and his sources — from being monitored by the agencies he’s exposing. Greenwald’s got it all figured out:
“I am borderline illiterate on these matters, but I had somebody who is really well-regarded actually come and physically do my whole computer,” he said.
That computer is in Brazil, where Mr. Greenwald spends most of his time and lives with his partner, who cannot emigrate to the United States because the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages as a basis for residency applications.
Mr. Greenwald grew up in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., feeling like an odd figure. “I do think political posture is driven by your personality, your relationship with authority, how comfortable are you in your life,” he said. “When you grow up gay, you are not part of the system, it forces you to evaluate: ‘Is it me, or is the system bad?’ ”