Pedestrians walk past the entrance of the Guardian newspaper building in London yesterday.
LONDON: 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 US and UK surveillance programmes.
In a column yesterday, 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) 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.
Meanwhile, the partner of the US journalist behind the leaks launched legal action against the UK for holding him under anti-terror laws. Brazilian David Miranda working with his boyfriend Glenn Greenwald on the leaks, was questioned for nine hours at London Heathrow Airport on Monday. Agencies