Andy Greenberg at his book’s premiere in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas, photo Bivol
“We are now witnessing a paradox – mega leaks of secret information on one hand, informing the public as never before, and on the other, this same public is subject of large-scale and global unauthorized surveillance by the authorities,” said Andy Greenberg, Forbes magazine technology, privacy, and information security reporter, and author of the book “This Machine Kills Secrets.”
Andy’s trip to Bulgaria was not accidental. It was here that he found the best sites for investigative journalism based on the system “Wikileaks” – “Bivol.bg” and the information platform “Balkanleaks.” The American reporter saw in their creators – journalists Asen Yordanov and Atanas Tchobanov – followers of the idea to counter and fight global surveillance and protect the privacy of individuals. In his book, Andy Greenberg dedicates a large portion to both sites, which first published secret Bulgarian energy reports and documents from the scandalous “Buddha” file.
Before scores of fans in Sofia and Burgas on October 1 and 3, respectively, the American journalist told how he was inspired to write a book exposing the manipulations of power and money and the ways used by media to find information that is classified by various governments.
“Forbes” magazine usually writes about the rich, but I wanted to write about hackers, because they are the people who keep the rich awake at night,” said the journalist.
His interest was sparked by a video, released by WikiLeaks, showing American soldiers killing from a helicopter civilians and journalists in Iraq. He began researching the technologies that allow leakage of large volume of secret information, which marked a new era in journalism. He toured Europe in search of media based on “Wikileaks” whistle-blowing system. He found them in Bulgaria.
Andy Greenberg revealed controversial data that shook public opinion around the world. “WikiLeaks” has published 76 thousand files about the war in Afghanistan and 46 thousand files about the war in Iraq. The information contained in them was not stolen; we just entered an era in which technology changes the way of acquiring data, says the author. Informers of investigative sites take great personal risk. In recent years, only since Barack Obama is president of the U.S., eight people have been prosecuted and convicted for such activity.
Information does leak because someone is trying to control it and thus manipulate people. Modern technologies facilitate things. The internet has dozens of free tools for encryption. One is the TOR software through which information is disseminated to thousands of encrypted servers at different locations on the planet, making it impossible to track the source. Andy Greenberg pointed out that the software was designed for the needs of the U.S. government, but is now used by “Wikileaks” as well. This undermines institutional security, but before that the privacy of thousands has been endangered in the same way. The rest is a question of morals and responsibility because the obtained information can be used not only for public interest, but in a mercantile manner. And here comes the role of the journalist. They must sort out the huge volume of information; verify; compare; edit and publish exactly the content that could serve as a lever in reforming the institutions.
Andy Greenberg’s Media Appearances during His Visit to Bulgaria:
– Discussion at Sofia Press on September 30, 2013 (complete recording and multimedia presentations will be available online later)
–“WikiLeaks” Is not a Bomb, but Countermeasure” – interview (in Bulgarian) for “Trud” (Labor) daily, October 1, 2013 “Уикилийкс” не е бомба, а контрамярка – интервю за в. “Труд” 01.10.2013
– “This Machine Kills Secrets” – participation in the political talk show “Face to Face” on bTV on September 30, 2013 Тази машина, която убива тайни – участие в предаването “Лице в лице” по bTV на 30.09.2013
– WikiLeaks and the Secret Information” – participation in the morning political talk show “The Day Begins” on the public TV, BNT, on October 1, 2013 Уикилийкс и тайните на информацията – участие в “Денят започва” по БНТ на 01.10.2013 линк
– Premiere of the book at the “Helicon Bulgaria” bookstore in Sofia, October 1, 2013, (video by Asen Genov and Politikat.net) Премиера на книгата в “Хеликон България” на 01.10.2013 (видео от Асен Генов и Politikat.net)
– Interview with Asen Genov for Politikat.net, October 1, 2013 Интервю с Асен Генов за Politikat 01.10.2013
– Forbes’ Andy Greenberg Credits Whistleblowers at Sofia Book Launch – See more at: http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=154172#sthash.QWJjMidn.dpuf
– Presentation of the book in Burgas, October 3, 2013 Премиера на книгата в Бургас 03.10.2013
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