Jul 11, 2014News

(BGF) – In a Wired article, Andy Greenberg covers 34 year-old Morgan Marquis-Boire, who among other things, has been instrumental in the creation of the Tor network that hides user location, has worked on combatting the Aurora breach at Google, and has always been involved in actively forwarding freedom of the press. Greenberg covers Marquis-Boire’s progression from teen hacker to dedicated defender of press rights in a comprehensive, thought-provoking manner. 

In this sense for Greenberg, Marquis-Boire’s battle against not only foreign spyware and their corresponding governments, but also American security agencies such as the NSA, raise important questions about the nature of privacy and cybersecurity in the modern day. What are we due as citizens, and how much are we willing to give up?

Perhaps an even more unsettling question to consider has been posed and stated by Marquis-Boire himself: “If you can’t protect your privacy and that of your sources, it’s debatable whether you can actually practice journalism in the traditional sense.”

So really, who are we listening to when we turn on the TV, or scroll through our smartphones?

The Ex-Google Hacker Taking on the World’s Spy Agencies

July 8, 2014 | By Andy GreenBerg


(Photo Credits: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED)

During his last six years working as an elite security researcher for Google, the hacker known as Morgan Mayhem spent his nights and weekends hunting down the malware used to spy on vulnerable targets like human rights activists and political dissidents.

His new job tasks him with defending a different endangered species: American national security journalists.

For the last month, 34-year-old Morgan Marquis-Boire has been the director of security for First Look Media, the media startup founded by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar that has recruited journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.1 The website has become the most prolific publisher of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s remaining secrets. Marquis-Boire’s daunting task is to safeguard those documents, and the communications of reporters who have perhaps the press’ most adversarial relationships with Western intelligence agencies.

Beyond protecting Snowden’s favorite journalists, Marquis-Boire sees his decision to leave Google for First Look as a chance to focus full-time on the problem of protecting reporters and activists as a whole, groups he sees as some of the most sensitive targets for governments globally. “I look at the risk posed to individuals in the real world,” says Marquis-Boire, an imposing, often black-clad New Zealander with earrings, dreadlocks, and a taste for death metal. “In human rights and journalism, the consequences of communications being compromised are imprisonment, physical violence, and even death. These types of users need security assistance in a very real sense.”

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