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October 16, 2013

Guardian NSA leak journalist Glenn Greenwald leaves for new online venture backed by eBay billionaire

By Darren Boyle

The US journalist who received leaked classified documents that uncovered the scale of GCHQ’s domestic snooping has left The Guardian.

Glenn Greenwald received thousands of top secret files from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that outlined several new surveillance operations.

However, late last night, a US-based website leaked details of Greenwald’s imminent departure from The Guardian.

A report on The Washington Post said Greenwald was going to establish a new news organisation supported by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar.

Greenwald posted news of his departure on his own blog, soon after the news of his departure was leaked online.

He said: "My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved.

"The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline. 

"Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I'm not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture, but it will be unveiled very shortly;"

A Guardian spokesperson said they were very disappointed by his decision to move on.

“Glenn Greenwald is a remarkable journalist and it has been fantastic working with him. Our work together over the last year has demonstrated the crucial role that responsible investigative journalism can play in holding those in power to account.”

After the first of the stories based on Snowden’s leaked information were published in The Guardian, Greenwald’s partner David Miranda was held at Heathrow Airport under anti-terror laws.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger Tweeted soon after Greenwald’s departure had been announced.

The leaked documents showed the extent of surveillance used by the US National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ, causing an international outcry.

The Guardian was accused of aiding terrorists and came under intense pressure from Downing Street to abandon plans to publish the story.

The newspaper later agreed to destroy computers and hard drives containing the data, after it had safely sent copies to the United States.

Greenwald joined The Guardian to write a daily blog and weekly column in July 2012.

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