SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is still in Moscow, out of reach of U.S. authorities, but the journalists that he leaked classified documents to are in a far more precarious position -- they don't know if or when agents might come looking for them. ABC7 News spoke exclusively with Glenn Greenwald -- the man who broke the NSA spying story.
Glenn Greenwald is the man who broke the story of Edward Snowden. He's a prize-winning journalist who knows he has enemies.
"The first time I came back, six weeks ago, there was a real risk that when we landed at the airport we could've been served with a subpoena or even arrested," Greenwald said.
Still a free man, Greenwald is visiting from his new home in Brazil, where he continues to write about the U.S. government spying on its own citizens.
"I use very sophisticated forms of encryption that, according to the NSA doc that I have, not even the NSA can penetrate," he said.
Greenwald released the first Snowden stories at the Guardian, the British newspaper that was later ordered to destroy the computers containing those documents as British intelligence agents looked on.
"It was an extrordinary event that a government that claims to be a western democracy stormed into the newsroom of a newspaper and compelled them to physically destroy their computers," Greenwald said.
Now writing for a new website, the intercept, Greenwald continues to tell what he learned after meeting 29-year-old Edward Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel room.
"When we were in Hong Kong, we assumed that he was almost certainly going to end up in a U.S. prison for the rest of his life," Greenwald said.
In addition to his online writings, Greenwald's just published a book, No Place to Hide, that's been climbing the bestseller charts with the most detailed account yet of that historic trip to Hong Kong. And he says this isn't the last he'll write about Edward Snowden.
Greenwald says he plans to name names on whom the NSA is targeting here in the U.S.
"Are these really people we think of as terrorists or threats to national security, or are they more like the dissidents and activists of the 60s and 70s, who were targeted by J. Edgar Hoover, and that's the question that will be answered," he said.
A year after releasing the first documents, Greenwald says he's happy there's some movement on Capitol Hill.
But he thinks the real change will come from the tech industry, other countries, and others.
"Most of all it's going to come from individuals who are going to refuse to use companies like Facebook and Google that collaborate with the NSA, and who will learn to use encryption and other techs that will make it impossible for the NSA to invade their communications further," Greenwald said.