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.