Government Agents Went to the Guardian Offices and Oversaw Smashing of Hard Drives to Erase Snowden Files
The Guardian newspaper’s editor says that the British government has tried to intimidate the media outlet into halting their reporting on the National Security Agency.
The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger.
August 20, 2013

Two officers from a British intelligence agency oversaw the destruction of hard drives at The Guardian newspaper’s office last month in an effort to stop the paper from reporting on the documents that Edward Snowden gave them. The account was reported yesterday by The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger.

Rusbridger describedvarious attempts at intimidation that the British government made before he agreed to finally destroy the hard drives. In an interview with the BBC, Rusbridger explained that “given that there were other copies and we could work out of America, which has better laws to protect journalists, I saw no reason not to destroy this material ourselves rather than hand it back to the government.” Rusbridger said that the alternative to destroying the hard drives–a move forced by the government–was a court case with little prospect of winning.

“It seemed to me fruitless to go through that exercise of fighting that case, which would have meant that we could not write about the Snowden material when there were other copies. So it’s simply a matter of transferring our reporting to America,” the Guardian editor said to BBC.

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