Experts & Staff

Barton Gellman – Senior Fellow

Barton Gellman
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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.

Bart Gellman Articles & Interviews on NSA/Snowden

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.

U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program
Washington Post,
June 6, 2013
By Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras

Gellman reveals Edward Snowden as his source as well as Snowden’s reasons for coming forward with information.

Code name ‘Verax’: Snowden, in exchanges with Post reporter, made clear he knew risks
Washington Post,
June 9, 2013
By Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras

Article describes Bush-era surveillance programs, NSA’s contemporary U.S. operations, and the scope of the surveillance.

U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata
Washington Post,
June 15, 2013
By Barton Gellman

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.

Secret-court judges upset at portrayal of ‘collaboration’ with government
Washington Post,
June 29,2013
By Carol D. Leonnig, Ellen Nakashima and Barton Gellman

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.

NSA paying U.S. companies for access to communications networks
Washington Post,
August 29, 2013
By Craig Timberg and Barton Gellman

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.

U.S. spy network’s successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary
Washington Post,
August 29, 2013
By Barton Gellman and Greg Miller

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.

To hunt Osama bin Laden, satellites watched over Abbottabad, Pakistan, and Navy SEALs
Washington Post,
August 29, 2013
By Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman

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.

U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show
Washington Post,
August 30, 2013
By Barton Gellman and Ellen Nakashima

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.

U.S. intelligence agencies spend millions to hunt for insider threats, document shows
Washington Post,
September 1, 2013
By Carol D. Leonnig, Julie Tate and Barton Gellman

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.

Top-secret U.S. intelligence files show new levels of distrust of Pakistan
Washington Post,
September 2, 2013
By Greg Miller, Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman

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.

U.S. Documents detail al-Qaeda’s efforts to fight back against drones
Washington Post,
September 3, 2013
By Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman

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.

Secret NSA documents show campaign against Tor encrypted network
Washington Post,
October 1, 2013
By Barton Gellman, Craig Timberg and Steven Rich

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.

NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally
Washington Post,
October 14, 2013
By Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani

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.

Documents reveal NSA’s extensive involvement in targeted killing program
Washington Post,
October 16, 2013
By Greg Miller, Julie Tate and Barton Gellman

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.

NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say
Washington Post,
October 30, 2013
By Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani

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.

How we know the NSA had access to internal Google and Yahoo cloud data
Washington Post,
November 4, 2013
By Barton Gellman, Ashkan Soltani and Andrea Peterson

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, suspecting NSA spying, to ramp up efforts to encrypt its Internet traffic
Washington Post,
November 26, 2013
By Craig Timberg, Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani

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.

Additional interviews and stories about Gellman:
Reporter Had To Decide If Snowden Leaks Were ‘The Real Thing’
Fresh Air from WHYY
September 11, 2013
Media Weighs Competition, Collaboration In Snowden Coverage
NPR’s All Things Considered
September 11, 2013
1Thought produced by The Century Foundation
September 16, 2013
Interview at St. John’s Church
September 29, 2013

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.

Time magazine misses Snowden wave
Washington Post,
September 13, 2013
By Erik Wemple

Talk at the Joan Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

“The Snowden Effect”: Leaks and Consequences at the NSA
October 15, 2013
Interview with Melissa Harris-Perry
msnbc,October 27, 2013
Interview with Gwen Ifill
PBS NewsHour, October 31, 2013

Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Leakers or Whistleblowers? National Security Reporting in the Digital Age
Barton Gellman and General Michael Hayden debate
November 11, 2013
Latest Work by Barton Gellman
Was Purdue Right to Destroy Video of This Lecture by Barton Gellman on the NSA and Edward Snowden?
October 15, 2015
Scholarship, Security, and ‘Spillage’ on Campus
October 7, 2015
TCF’s Barton Gellman Reflects on First Public Interview with Snowden
May 12, 2015
FEATURING Barton Gellman
Bart Gellman at Purdue: Is It Lawful to Discuss and Display the Snowden Documents in Universities?
October 21, 2015
Purdue deletes video of author’s academic talk on NSA after federal order
October 9, 2015
Purdue University Completely Freaks Out Because Bart Gellman’s Speech Shows Classified Snowden Docs
October 8, 2015
Are These Slides Classified?
October 8, 2015
NSA Spying: Has The Government Lost Important Tool?
June 2, 2015
Hundreds Turn out at Princeton University to Hear Edward Snowden Speak
May 2, 2015
In a Post-Snowden, Post-Sony Hack World, Who Has the Power to Disseminate Secrets?
April 22, 2015
As Encryption Spreads, U.S. Grapples with Clash between Privacy, Security
April 10, 2015
Stephen Colbert and George Lucas in Conversation at the Tribeca Film Festival
March 16, 2015
How National-Security Reporter Barton Gellman Protects His Sources
March 5, 2015
More Security Fears Surround Clinton’s ‘Homebrew’ Email Server
March 4, 2015
Clinton’s E-Mail Server Was Never Safe
March 4, 2015
KeenON: Journalist and NSA Expert Barton Gellman
December 12, 2014
Ten Noteworthy Moments in U.S. Investigative Journalism
October 21, 2014
Does Yosemite have a privacy problem? Not exactly
October 21, 2014
Edward Snowden: It was worth it
October 14, 2014
U.S. firm helped the spyware industry build a potent digital weapon for sale overseas
August 18, 2014
Looking back in anger: One year of Snowden’s leaks
July 31, 2014
How 160,000 Intercepted Communications Led to Our Latest NSA Story
July 14, 2014
The CIA Might Have Your Password After All
July 14, 2014
The N.S.A.‘s Spying on Muslim-Americans
July 10, 2014
Glenn Greenwald’s No Place to Hide
July 9, 2014
In The NSA Archive: 800 Pages Of Doomed Lovers’ Emails, Facebook Messages
July 9, 2014
Vast Majority of docs Collected by NSA come from Ordinary Internet Users, Not Legal Targets
July 7, 2014
In NSA-Intercepted Data, Those Not Targeted Far Outnumber the Foreigners Who Are
July 7, 2014
Court Gave NSA Broad Leeway in Surveillance, Documents Show
July 1, 2014
The Post’s NSA Coverage Honored with Loeb Award
July 1, 2014
Rove Reflects on ‘Imperial Power’
July 1, 2014
Dick Cheney Seeks Influence Despite Poor Record
June 20, 2014
‘Cybersecurity’ Begins With Integrity, Not Surveillance
June 13, 2014
Why It Shouldn’t Be Criminal to Report Government Secrets
June 10, 2014
This Literary Journal Just Welcomed the CIA to Twitter in the Best Possible Way
June 10, 2014
Republican Skepticism of Executive Power is All Too Convenient
June 6, 2014
How We Learned That the Government Was Watching Us
June 4, 2014
US Officials, Snowden Clash Over E-mail Records
May 30, 2014
Snowden: NSA’s Email Release Is Incomplete
May 30, 2014
Edward Snowden’s Evolving Media Strategy
May 30, 2014
Revelations from Edward Snowden’s Interview
May 29, 2014
Paper Trail? NSA Releases Email Snowden Sent to Agency Officials
May 29, 2014
Should America’s Top Diplomat Be Telling Edward Snowden to ‘Man Up’?
May 29, 2014
Greenwald’s “No Place to Hide”: A Compelling, Vital Narrative About Official Criminality
May 28, 2014
HAYDEN: Questions That Still Puzzle Me About the Snowden, NSA Spying Story
May 28, 2014
Meet the Man Hired to Make Sure the Snowden Docs Aren’t Hacked
May 27, 2014
Facebook Microphone Update: Electronic Surveillance Experts React To Smartphone Mic Data Collection
May 23, 2014
How Edward Snowden Leaked “Thousands” of NSA Documents
May 15, 2014
You asked and we answered your NSA coverage questions
April 28, 2014
Today in Liberty: Harry Reid is the new Nancy Pelosi, taxpayers subsidize state-owned businesses
April 25, 2014
Pulitzer committee makes a stand for free press, accountable government
April 21, 2014
Edward Snowden: A whistle-blowing outlaw, now with a Pulitzer Prize to his name http://www.latimes.
April 15, 2014
Glenn Greenwald Greeted by Media Scrum on His Return to the USA
April 14, 2014
Out in the Open: Inside the Operating System Edward Snowden Used to Evade the NSA
April 14, 2014
The Spy Vs. The Reporter: A Snowden Debate between two who know more than most
April 7, 2014
He Remade Our World
March 28, 2014
Snowden’s leaked NSA trove yields its secrets only slowly
March 24, 2014
What’s the Difference Between Barton Gellman and Glenn Greenwald?
March 24, 2014
NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls
March 18, 2014
NSA recording all the voice calls in one country; 5-6 more countries in the pipeline
March 18, 2014
Are you paying more attention to your privacy?
March 14, 2014
Edward Snowden looms over Pulitzer Prizes
March 14, 2014
Edward Snowden warns of personal data vulnerability
March 10, 2014
Snowden has shown the ‘huge disparity of surveillance and power’, says Gellman
March 10, 2014
Barton Gellman ready for DOJ
February 26, 2014
Attorney for Edward Snowden Interrogated at UK Airport, Placed on “Inhibited Persons List”
February 21, 2014
George Polk Awards: Glenn Greenwald, Guardian and Washington Post Reporters Honored for NSA Articles
February 18, 2014
How Dick Cheney Became the Most Powerful Vice President in History
February 11, 2014
The Snowden era of journalism
February 7, 2014
Reporters Expected To Win Top Journalism Award
February 5, 2014
Reporting in the post-Snowden era
February 3, 2014

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