Barton Gellman is a critically honored author, journalist, and blogger. In 2013, Gellman shot to prominence as one of three journalists worldwide to be entrusted with leaked documents, by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Leading the Washington Post's coverage of the scandal, Gellman revealed the existence of several previously undisclosed surveillance programs - revelations that eventually triggered a major review of the NSA's activities by the Obama Administration.
His professional distinctions include two Pulitzer Prizes (individual and team), the George Polk Award, and Harvard's Goldsmith Prize for investigative reporting. Gellman's bestselling book, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was named a New York Times Best Book of 2008. His previous books include Contending with Kennan: Toward a Philosophy of American Power and a history of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
After twenty-one years at the Washington Post, where he served tours as legal, military, diplomatic, and foreign correspondent, Gellman joined Time magazine in 2010 as contributing editor at large. Since 2011, he has also been a lecturer and author in residence at Princeton and a fellow at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice. Gellman graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and earned a master’s degree in politics at University College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar.
Gellman’s first story regarding extensive NSA surveillance: according to top-secret documents obtained by the reporters, the National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies (including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft), extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets.
Gellman reveals Edward Snowden as his source as well as Snowden’s reasons for coming forward with information.
Article describes Bush-era surveillance programs, NSA’s contemporary U.S. operations, and the scope of the surveillance.
The disclosure of classified information reveals the role of a special court in enabling the government’s secret surveillance programs. Judges associated with the court express frustration with the report and the conclusions it drew regarding court’s cooperation.
According to an intelligence budget obtained by The Washington Post, the NSA is paying hundreds of millions of dollars a year to U.S. companies for clandestine access to their communications networks. Mulit-million dollar payments are made for programs capable of peering into the lives of almost anyone who uses a phone, computer or other device connected to the Internet.
Article reveals the 2013 $52.6 billion “black budget” which was provided to the The Washington Post by Edward Snowden. The budget details the objectives and operational expenses of the 16 spy agencies that comprise the U.S. intelligence community.
The NSA tracked calls from a mobile phone enabling the CIA to find the geographic location of the phone and link it to the compound in Pakistan where bin Laden was hiding. The disclosures about the hunt are detailed in U.S. intelligence agencies’ 2013 “black budget” provided to The Washington Post by Edward Snowden.
U.S. computer specialists place foreign networks under surreptitious U.S. control. Documents provided by Edward Snowden and interviews with former U.S. officials describe a campaign of computer intrusion that is far broader and more aggressive than previously understood.
The CIA found that a small number of individuals seeking jobs in the intelligence community had “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections.” The U.S. Government investigates thousands of employees a year to reduce insider threat.
The “black budget” reveals details of the U.S. intelligence community’s focus on Pakistan as a national security concern. Pakistan’s nuclear program seen as a critical threat.
According to documents provided to The Washington Post by Edward Snowden, Al-Qaeda is exploring ways to shoot down, jam or remotely hijack U.S. drones. U.S. intelligence officials have closely tracked the group’s efforts to develop a counter-drone strategy.
Article describes the NSA’s successful attacks against users of Tor, a free software that allows users to anonymously use the Internet. The documents illustrate the power of the NSA to at least partially penetrate what have long been considered the most secure corners of the Internet. Through Tor, the NSA successfully identified an al-Qaeda operative.
The NSA is collecting millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans. Analysis of that data enables the agency to search for hidden connections and to map relationships among foreign intelligence targets.
Documents provided by Edward Snowden show that the NSA had extensive involvement in the targeted killing program that has served as a centerpiece of President Obama’s counterterrorism strategy. Documents highlight the death of one bin Laden associate in particular and how the NSA used email to trace and eventually kill him.
The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world. The NSA sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to NSA’s own data warehouses, including records of Americans.
Reporters offer additional background, with new evidence from the source documents and interviews with confidential sources, demonstrating that the NSA accessed data traveling between Google and Yahoo cloud data centers.
The Washington Post reported last Wednesday that the National Security Agency has been tapping into the private links that connect Google and Yahoo data centers around the world. Today we offer additional background, with new evidence from the source documents and interviews with confidential sources, demonstrating that the NSA accessed data traveling between those centers.
Microsoft is moving toward a major new effort to encrypt its Internet traffic amid fears that the National Security Agency may have broken into its global communications links, said people familiar with the emerging plans.
Piece in Wemple’s reported opinion blog discussing Gellman’s stories for the Post but the omission of stories from Time magazine, despite Gellman’s role as contributing editor at-large for Time magazine.
Talk at the Joan Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University