Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Web Guerrilla Breaking News From the Jungle

By David Carr

On approaching Glenn Greenwald’s home office high in the jungle-encrusted mountains above Rio de Janeiro, all is tranquil, bucolic even. A gurgling stream at the entrance frames the idyll.

And then the dogs notice the incursion. They bark, yap and yowl, and while it’s less “Heart of Darkness” than “101 Dalmatians,” the sheer volume is mind-erasing.

Should we be surprised that the house of Mr. Greenwald, the legendarily combative privacy and national security reporter, is surrounded by loud, barking defenders — or that they are actually pussycats once you get to know them, as is their rescuer?

The visit to Mr. Greenwald’s jungle redoubt about 15 minutes from the beaches of Rio last week was notable for its contradictions. He is among the most wired journalists on earth, but he lives and works in Brazil, a country with a notoriously flaky Internet infrastructure.

He may have launched the lightning bolt of the Edward Snowden revelations from this house, but when it rains — which is often — the power fails...

“It’s funny,” he said. “I’m working with a Silicon Valley technologist who became the 100th-richest person in the world through his understanding of programming, but half the time we can’t communicate on the telephone because my Internet isn’t working or my phone is out. It’s an irony, but it’s also a kind of balance for me.”

The full story is here.

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