What is The Intercept, the website that published leaked NSA report?


Monday afternoon, The Intercept published a story based on a confidential National Security Agency report about Russian attempts to interfere with U.S. elections.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Accused NSA leaker’s stepdad: “She’s a patriot”

An hour later, Augusta-based NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner was arrested by the FBI and charged under the Espionage Act with gathering, transmitting or losing defense information. The document The Intercept based its story on was sent to the website by Winner, the U.S. Department of Justice said. The Intercept said it never knew the identity of the document’s source in a Tuesday morning statement.

Related: What’s spear-phishing, Russia’s alleged voter hacking technique?

Related: What is Pluribus, employer of accused NSA leaker Reality Winner?

What is The Intercept?

This is one of several questions the AJC is working to answer following Winner’s arrest.

The Intercept is a three-year-old online publication focused on national security and surveillance. It was founded in 2014 by journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill. Poitras and Greenwald had previously published stories in British newspaper The Guardian based on confidential information leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Intercept was started partially as a platform for more reporting based on Snowden’s leaks. The site’s reporting has since expanded to topics including American military drone strike programs, climate change and technology.

The AJC has several staffers — including in Augusta and Winner’s hometown of Kingsville, Texas — reporting on this story throughout the day offering exclusives including interviews with family and others who know Winner, Georgia’s expanding cybersecurity community and the impact of the leak on election security. Visit myAJC.com for the latest updates such as what we know about the alleged leak, The Intercept and spear-phishing.

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