GUARDIAN (UK), BBC, WASHINGTON POST, RUSSIA TODAY
LONDON — Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has accused the British government of raiding the newspaper’s London offices last month to destroy hard drives and computers in a attempt to prevent further reporting on the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
“A little over two months ago I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister,” he wrote in a piece published Monday evening. “There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on.”
Despite threats of legal action against the publication, Rusbridger refused to relinquish or destroy the documents. “And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred — with two GCHQ the British intelligence agency security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement.”
According to the BBC, Downing Street said it would not make any comments about the allegations from Rusbridger, who promised the newspaper would “continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents,” though it would do so outside London.
These revelations follow Sunday’s British police detention of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who has penned most of the NSA stories. Miranda was held at Heathrow Airport for the maximum nine hours the UK Terrorism Act allows. He was eventually released, but his electronic equipment was taken, including his mobile phone, laptop and memory sticks.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest conceded Monday that U.S. authorities had been given notice of Britain’s plan to hold Miranda, but he claimed the decision came from the British government alone, the Washington Postreports.
Interviewed by Russia Today, Venezuelan-American lawyer and editor of the newspaper Correo del Orinoco InternationalEva Golinger said she believed the U.S. was the “intellectual author behind the detainment of Miranda.” She added, “Clearly there has been a decision made that everything related to Edward Snowden must be captured no matter what, violating anyone’s right under any country’s laws.”
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Photo: gruntzooki (Flickr)