Brazil charges American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes

Brazil charges American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes

Brazil charges American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes

Because of that, a judge would have to authorise any attempt by prosecutors to formally investigate the journalist or bring charges.

Greenwald has repeatedly butted heads with the government of Brazil, including its president, Jair Bolsonaro, an aspiring fascist who has praised Brazil's military dictatorship that spanned from 1964 until 1985.

Judge Ricardo Leite will analyse the unusual accusation against Greenwald and the group of six alleged hackers.

The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism stated that "the accusation against Greenwald is based on a distorted interpretation of the journalist's conversations with his then source and has the sole goal of embarrassing the professional, which is very serious".

"We will not be intimidated by these tyrannical attempts to silence journalists", Greenwald added. Lula's case was handled by a former judge, Sergio Moro, who was later named minister of justice by Bolsonaro.

Greenwald, who was part of the team that first interviewed fugitive U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, told AFP in June he had received "grotesque" threats also targeting his family since his team began publishing the messages.

That probe led to the imprisonment of numerous business executives and politicians on corruption charges, including former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who was released from jail in November because he has appeals pending.

According to the prosecutors, Greenwald told hackers to delete stolen messages that had been forwarded to him, so as to cover their tracks and reduce the possibility of criminal liability.

Greenwald, an attorney-turned-journalist who lives in Brazil, has frequently come under criticism by Bolsonaro.

An intercepted conversation between Greenwald and the hackers showed he went beyond receiving and publishing the hacked messages, they asserted.

As per Times, Greenwald said that he had been methodical in his dealings with the source who gave him the leaked chats, mindful of the lessons he had learned in the Snowden case.

"And the federal police, just a few months ago, concluded that not only was there no evidence that I committed any crimes but much to the contrary, I conducted myself, in their words, with "extreme levels of professionalism and caution" to make sure that I didn't get ensnared in any criminal activity". "These sham charges are a sickening escalation of the Bolsonaro administration's authoritarian attacks on press freedom and the rule of law".

"That's crossing a line".

Greenwald also had the support of the New York Times editorial board, which in a scathing opinion piece Tuesday bemoaned the fact that "assailing a free and critical press has become a cornerstone of the new breed of illiberal leaders in Brazil, as in the United States and elsewhere around the world".

Along with Lula, Snowden too tweeted against the charges against Greenwald.

"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 overseas", Ben Winzer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said in a statement. "Computer crime laws should never be used to criminalise legitimate journalistic practice", it said.

Lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, a son of the president, celebrated the accusation on social media.

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