Laura Poitras, one of the founding editors of The Intercept, was barred from attending a company meeting on Thursday following a decision by First Look Media to discontinue managing The Intercept’s archive of leaked documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Poitras was the initial recipient of Snowden’s trove of secret NSA documents and a driving journalistic force behind the bombshell stories they yielded beginning in 2013. Since 2014, Poitras and Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald have entrusted The Intercept, which is owned by First Look Media, to maintain the voluminous archive. The trove of information includes millions of files that have been the basis for major stories worldwide concerning the growth and reach of 21st-century mass digital surveillance.
Multiple sources told The Daily Beast on Thursday that Poitras was invited by staff to a meeting following the company’s announcement that it was cutting four percent of staff and ending its maintenance of the archive. But according to two sources, David Bralow, the company’s general counsel, blocked Poitras, who co-founded the site but now works for a different arm of First Look Media, from attending.