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Shirbon and Holden report: "The British authorities forced the Guardian newspaper to destroy material leaked by Edward Snowden, its editor has revealed, calling it a 'pointless' move that would not prevent further reporting on U.S. and British surveillance programs."

Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian. (photo: Dan Chung/The Guardian)
Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian. (photo: Dan Chung/The Guardian)


Guardian Says Britain Forced It to Destroy Snowden Material

By Estelle Shirbon and Michael Holden, Reuters

20 August 13

 

The British authorities forced the Guardian newspaper to destroy material leaked by Edward Snowden, its editor has revealed, calling it a "pointless" move that would not prevent further reporting on U.S. and British surveillance programs.

n a column on Tuesday, Alan Rusbridger said he had received a call from a government official a month ago who told him: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." The paper had been threatened with legal action if it did not comply.

Later, two "security experts" from the secretive Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had visited the paper's London offices and watched as computer hard drives containing Snowden material were reduced to mangled bits of metal.

Asked by the BBC who he thought was behind those events, Rusbridger said he had "got the sense there was an active conversation" involving government departments, intelligence agencies and the prime minister's Downing Street office.

Downing Street and GCHQ declined to comment.

Rusbridger said the "bizarre" episode and the detention at London's Heathrow airport on Sunday of the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald showed press freedom was under threat in Britain.

The nine-hour detention under an anti-terrorism law of David Miranda, Greenwald's Brazilian partner, has caused a furor with Brazil, British opposition politicians, human rights lawyers and press freedom watchdogs among those denouncing it.

Greenwald was the first journalist to publish U.S. and British intelligence secrets leaked by Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who is wanted in the United States and has found temporary asylum in Russia.

Snowden's leaks have revealed details of NSA and GCHQ surveillance of global communications networks. Washington and London say their security agencies act within the law and the leaks are a threat to national security.

Britain's Home Office, or interior ministry, defended Miranda's detention on Tuesday.

"If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act and the law provides them with a framework to do that," it said in a statement.

London's Metropolitan Police said Miranda's detention had been "legally and procedurally sound".

"Public Interest"

Miranda, who was in transit on his way from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro where he lives with Greenwald, was questioned for nine hours before being released without charge, minus his laptop, mobile phone and memory sticks.

He had been ferrying materials obtained from Snowden between Greenwald and Laura Poitras, an independent film-maker based in Berlin who has also published reports based on Snowden material.

Miranda has launched legal action against the British police and government to question the legal basis of his detention and stop the authorities from viewing, copying or passing on his data, his lawyer Gwendolen Morgan told Reuters.

The White House said on Monday Washington was given a "heads up" ahead of Miranda's detention but had not requested it.

Dunja Mijatovic, media freedoms chief at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a 57-nation human rights and security watchdog, said she had written to the British authorities to express concerns about Miranda's detention.

"The detention can be interpreted as putting pressure on Glenn Greenwald after his recent reporting on security issues in the Guardian," she wrote.

Britain also came under attack from press freedom group Index on Censorship, which denounced the forced destruction of computers revealed by Rusbridger in his Tuesday column.

"It is clear that the Snowden and NSA story is strongly in the public interest ... It seems that the UK government is using, and quite literally misusing, laws to intimidate journalists and silence its critics," the group said.

Rusbridger said the destruction of the computer material was "pointless" as there were other copies of what was lost, and it would not stop the Guardian from pursuing Snowden stories.

"We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents. We just won't do it in London," he said.

A British source with knowledge of the security services said GCHQ had no powers to seize material from the Guardian, but could have accused the paper of possessing stolen materials and demanded they be destroyed.

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+14 # Jack Gibson 2013-08-20 14:49
"Mini-True", the "Ministry of (so-called) 'Truth'" (with reference to George Orwell's book, "1984"), certainly is very busy actively overturning True Liberty and Freedom through destroying freedom of the press and other freedoms. The globalist intel-state cannot tolerate the light of day, so they believe they have to destroy and/or discredit the truth, make truth disappear, and rewrite history; like in Orwell's aforementioned book. Yes, the terrorists certainly are at work, but the true terrorists, the Western "democracies", are the nations working towards one-world government enslavement, and keeping the endless war going against the so-called "terrorists", all those who stand for True Freedom and Liberty, also as in Orwell's, "1984". The corporate-fasci st Western governments are now at war against all of us, all those who cherish and wish to preserve True Liberty and Freedom, and won't bow down to "Big Brother" and the true terrorists who are destroying and enslaving our entire planet under globalism, aka absolute global corporate-fasci st subjugation and control, and extermination of the vast majority of the earth's human population for the sake of the complete domination of the world, and destruction of most of humankind, by evil. Thus, they've begun in earnest to come after all of those who will not bow down to this globalist insanity; and they won't rest until they've succeeded in eliminating the majority of humanity, even though it will destroy them too in the end.
 
 
+13 # nice2blucky 2013-08-20 14:54
So when they arrest Glenn Greenwald, then what?

The peoblem with all this "secret" material is that the U.S. and British governments standard denials and lies will be (and are) constantly at odds with revalations. And while no so much in the US, England's citizenry more or less has -- if not accountability -- the determination to analize and, if nothing else, the mindset to know, address, and remember these types of threats to democracy.

... They like it easy. They lie and relax. Nothing to it.

Oh, ... someone says otherwise, well it's our word against theirs ... No Proof ... well, then everything's just fine.

But now, if a jopurnalist happens to ask an insightful question, ... well... ... it becomes complicated when Facts of their illegal, nefarious, and silmy actions and decisions show their propensity to lie, obfuscate, and commit crimes.

Imagine the stress that these serial liars and democracy subverters are dealing with. It's like they cannot speak without truth contradicting their every version of reality.

The fear is not that their unconstitutiona l activities are revealed. Their shamelessness deals with occasional scandels, even crime, every so often without missing a step.

The real fear is of the hanging threat, of being caught deceiving or engaging in illegal or unConstitutiona l activities -- every single time, in a way that will erode public trust, undermine their authority, and effect their ability to move forward as business as usual.
 
 
+8 # indian weaver 2013-08-20 15:17
Obama has no credibility, same with our entire government and England's. I wonder if anyone worldwide takes Obama seriously when he opens his mouth? I think we all laugh and shake our heads when he says anything anymore, just wasting his time and everyone else's. Don't listen, watch or read Obama. Jerking off is much more productive and merely watching a jerkoff.
 
 
+4 # indian weaver 2013-08-20 16:19
Sorry about my earlier comment's typo. Too late to edit it. I meant to write: "Jerking off is much more productive than merely watching a jerkoff."
 
 
+5 # blizmo1 2013-08-21 00:40
:)

"Brave New World"'s book sales are up 40% over last year.


There IS a glimmer, kids...
 
 
+9 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-08-21 05:39
". . . this scepter'd isle . . . this other Eden, demi-paradise . . . this happy breed of men, this little world, this precious stone set in the silver sea . . . this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."

David Cameron (and Tony Blair before him) have turned Shakespeare's England of Richard the Second into something that even Richard the Third would find abhorrent.
 
 
-6 # Maturus 2013-08-21 13:37
Actually the words are said by John of Gaunt against Richard II for where he has allowed the country to descend. Richard II was reputedly dispatched with a red hot poker up his anus. My guess is that he'd have settled for having his emails, rather than his entrails, read.
 
 
+9 # MidwesTom 2013-08-21 06:36
Snowden and Manning allowed we ordinary citizens a peak at the inner workings of the Ruling Class, and they are mad. Prior to the last 6 months we had no idea what was going on, and the Ruling Class used this secret knowledge to give it power over us. Neither of these guys hurt you or me, or this country. The only ones hurt by them were the Ruling Class.

Remember that Obuma promised the "most transplant" presidency ever. Well, thanks to Snowden and manning it may be, and Obama is mad about it.
 
 
+2 # MsAnnaNOLA 2013-08-21 09:17
Oh but we had a clue, we just did not have copies of internal documents. We had whistlblowers Russ Tice and others coming forward telling us all we needed to know. The corporate media did not cover it. They were to busy spouting the lies of the govt and currying favor buy suppressing this information.
 
 
+2 # Kwelinyingi 2013-08-21 09:18
Transparency applies only to the subjects of Empire, not to its rulers.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2013-08-21 09:40
All I can say is that I hope that Cameron/Glegg's reactionary Tory/Lib-Dem' alliance becomes so shaky and fragmented that a vote of "No-confidence" can bring about an early election. Clegg has already split with Cameron on several socio-political issues and if they went over to Labor (or even just remained independent of the Tories) the Dinosaur party wouldn't have a popsicle in Hade's chance of re-election.
I can't see a resurgent Labor party, dependent on more progressive Scotland and Northern England's constituency votes carrying on with the kind of totalitarian-st ate intimidation tactics visited on "The Guardian" and individual journalists.
But maybe I'm thinking of the former Labor party I belonged to -anti-American and anti-reactionar y almost to a person, which traitor Blair turned into a Clintonite Democratic milquetoast, PC, vassal of the US death culture.
The Guardian has long been one of the most critical of power and unwavering in it's purpose; That's the last thing the international plutocracy wants.
Even the BBC is staring to take a jaundiced view of the threatened freedom of the press, probably as they might be compromised in their dependence on Westminster for it's existence but is usually a fairly unbiased source of news, especially international.
BTW. just heard from the BBC -my home page- that Bradley Manning got 35 years.
 
 
-5 # Maturus 2013-08-21 12:41
You'll have to decide on your poison, Reiver. Bliar gave Scotland an assembly in the hope that Scots would look favourably on him and continue to return mostly Labour MPs. Salmond agitated for, and Cameron conceded, a vote on independence. If Scots vote for independence there will be no so-called Labour government in the remainder of the UK for many years to come. Whether Salmond really wants independence is questionable, of course, because he is a politician and his only real interest is in power - and what power is there in being PM of 'Greece of the North'? I must admit, I'm really looking forward to the campaign! As to the 2015 election, we'll have to wait and see how things shape up but my money is on a 'national' ticket containing Con/Lib candidates because "we haven't finished the job yet". And let's never forget that the Terrorism Act was one of Bliar's instruments and they wanted the right to detain without charge for 6 months - OK, not as long as Guantanamo but definitely not in the spirit of Britain.
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2013-08-21 19:43
Quoting Maturus:
You'll have to decide on your poison, Reiver. Bliar gave Scotland an assembly in the hope that Scots would look favourably on him and continue to return mostly Labour MPs. Salmond agitated for, and Cameron conceded, a vote on independence. If Scots vote for independence there will be no so-called Labour government in the remainder of the UK for many years to come. Whether Salmond really wants independence is questionable, of course, because he is a politician and his only real interest is in power - and what power is there in being PM of 'Greece of the North'? I must admit, I'm really looking forward to the campaign! As to the 2015 election, we'll have to wait and see how things shape up but my money is on a 'national' ticket containing Con/Lib candidates because "we haven't finished the job yet". And let's never forget that the Terrorism Act was one of Bliar's instruments and they wanted the right to detain without charge for 6 months - OK, not as long as Guantanamo but definitely not in the spirit of Britain.

So what made you think I was saying anything good about "Traitor" Blair if you read my post.
He has receded into his social-climbing self aggrandizing Vanity Fair crowd and holy-roller Catholic, role. I admit sadly that he is Scottish
Alex Salmond is the nationalist-lef t leader of the Scottish Parliament and I'll take that as my "poison" in 2014 whether it becomes full reality or not. I was opposed to nationalism of any kind 'til now.
 
 
-6 # Maturus 2013-08-22 06:47
My point to you, Reiver, is that you can have EITHER and independent Scotland OR a return to Labour government in the UK but you can't have, or hope for, BOTH.
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2013-08-22 11:15
Quoting Maturus:
My point to you, Reiver, is that you can have EITHER and independent Scotland OR a return to Labour government in the UK but you can't have, or hope for, BOTH.

Well hell -so just shoot me for being hopeful and optimistic. I still intend to return to Scotland, Spain or France and become active in politics as before.
So what makes YOU such an armchair expert?
Did or ever, do you live in or have done business in Britain (or Northern Europe), of which I still am a citizen of and therefore free to criticize or be proud of SELECTIVELY and knowledgeably. from growing up in and being educated there, still a frequent visitor, -less since my last remaining family member passed out of this mortal coil- but have many fairly close and long-term friends going back in some case to high school, college, rugby and political-activ ist times, who keep me in touch on a regular basis with news not necessarily available in the media, of which The Guardian, the Independent, the Glasgow Herald, Anpoblacht and several other media outlets (+the BBC) still amount to a good quality broadly available free press (Cameron's Goons notwithstanding ) which is more that can be said here.
I'm done with you now; by-ee! Rant on if you like.
 
 
+6 # jwb110 2013-08-21 10:09
Maybe the world needs a Whistleblowers Airline flying over non-enemy airspace to keep from being forced down and having Air Terminals that actual let people exit the plane and the airport? Capitalism at its best!
 

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