Daily Meme: Death by Metadata

  • Backed by billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Edward Snowden confidant and NSA antagonist Glenn Greenwald launched his superblog The Intercept today with a bang: new revelations about the National Security Agency's (NSA) role in targeted drone strikes.
  • The quick take? They're going after SIM cards instead of people, which has led to the killing of innocent civilians.
  • Nice first move, but does The Intercept have staying power? Describing Greenwald as "a former trial lawyer who tends to treat policy disagreements as blood feuds and is never reluctant to question motives and fling rather personal insults," the Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove asks whether Greenwald's disdain for establishment journalism will make it hard to attract new talent.
  • Then there's an ethics problem: Is it kosher to withhold and strategically release NSA documents to spur a journalism venture? Leveraging information that way  makes you ... an awful lot like the NSA itself,The Dish's Andrew Sullivan observes.
  • That's at least less harsh than calling him a "thief selling stolen material" as Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House's Intelligence Committee, dubbed him last week. Rogers is one of many conservative critics calling for Greenwald to be prosecuted.
  • At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf wonders whether a New York Times reporter would face the same backlash.
  • We may not have to wait to find out if the feds will go after him, though. Greenwald will be "going to go back to the U.S. for many reasons, but just the fucking principle is enough … On principle I’m going to force the issue."

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