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Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes in Brazil

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Federal prosecutors in Brazil on Tuesday charged the American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes for his role in the spreading of cellphone messages that have embarrassed prosecutors and tarnished the image of an anti-corruption task force.

In a criminal complaint made public on Tuesday, prosecutors in the capital, Brasília, accused Mr. Greenwald of being part of a “criminal organization” that hacked into the cellphones of several prosecutors and other public officials last year.

Mr. Greenwald could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Intercept Brasil, a news organization Mr. Greenwald co-founded, has published several articles based on a trove of leaked messages he said he received last year.

In a 95-page criminal complaint, prosecutors say Mr. Greenwald did more than merely receive the hacked messages and oversee the publication of newsworthy information.

Citing intercepted messages between Mr. Greenwald and the hackers, prosecutors say the journalist played a “clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime.”

For instance, prosecutors contend that Mr. Greenwald encouraged the hackers to delete archives that had already been shared with The Intercept Brasil, in order to cover their tracks.

Prosecutors also say that Mr. Greenwald was communicating with the hackers while they were actively monitoring private chats on Telegram, a messaging app.

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Mr. Greenwald moved to Brazil in 2005 after meeting David Miranda, a Brazilian man he later married and who became a federal congressman last year.

Mr. Greenwald became widely known for his role in the release of classified national security documents leaked by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. He co-founded The Intercept Brasil in 2016.

After The Intercept Brasil began publishing articles based on the leaked cellphone chats last June, Mr. Greenwald became a deeply polarizing figure in Brazil’s bitter political divide.

The articles raised questions about the integrity, professionalism and motives of key members of Brazil’s justice system — particularly of figures directly involved in the investigation of a vast corruption scheme that resulted in the imprisonment of powerful business and political figures.

Among the revelations in the articles, for instance, were chats in which Sérgio Moro, a former federal judge who handled the prosecution of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2017, provided strategic guidance to prosecutors, in violation of legal and ethical norms. Mr. Moro is now Brazil’s justice minister.

Manuela Andreoni contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro and Leticia Casado contributed from Brasília.



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