I’m pleased to announce that The Intercept’s new technology reporter is Sam Biddle. Biddle comes to us from Gawker, where his dogged reporting has exposed Uber’s subversion of American labor, Facebook’s data-­mining ploys, teenage hackers, and startup malfeasance. At The Intercept, Biddle will be focusing on the themes we care about — the need to hold powerful institutions accountable, the ways in which technology can undermine privacy — in a realm that has not received enough adversarial coverage: Silicon Valley.

As many have lately observed, the tech giants have acquired, along with their tremendous cultural and financial power, a sense of entitlement to a certain kind of treatment by the press. The recent actions of Peter Thiel — who funded the retaliatory lawsuits that drove Gawker Media into bankruptcy last week — are an extreme manifestation of a larger trend. The Intercept, which was founded with the backing of eBay entrepreneur and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, was built on the principle that we’d have ample resources to defend our First Amendment freedoms, and thus be able to responsibly report on any power center or industry without fear while at the same time enjoying full editorial independence. That framework has enabled us to commit to ramping up the kind of public interest reporting on the tech industry that may not always please its subjects, but which we believe is more vital than ever. “The power, software, and money created by Silicon Valley has never had a greater reach into our institutions and living rooms, and it’s exactly that kind of influence I’m excited to report and investigate at The Intercept,” says Biddle.

In other recent Intercept news, Multimedia Reporter Alice Speri joined us from Vice, where she had been a staff writer for Vice News and a producer and correspondent for VICELAND. Her writing has been published by Al Jazeera Americathe New York Timesthe Wall Street Journalthe Christian Science Monitor, AFPDNAinfothe Electronic Intifada, and the Star-Ledger, among other outlets. At The Intercept, her beat is policing, race, immigration, and criminal justice in America.

And Moiz Syed is our new data journalist and designer. Moiz was previously at the Wikimedia Foundation where he led design efforts on projects supporting transparency and free knowledge. He is interested in technology, surveillance, and U.S. politics, and he will be working with our data and design team to enliven our coverage with data-driven graphics. You can read more about Moiz and his work and interests on his website.