Brit newspaper wrecked hard drives to protect Snowden and its access to leaks
LONDON — A British newspaper released new details of its confrontation with the country's intelligence service on Tuesday, saying it destroyed hard drives containing material leaked by Edward Snowden in order to insulate the former American intelligence worker from potential prosecution and to keep reporting on his leaks.
The Guardian said senior staffers shattered the electronics using angle grinders and drills in mid-July in a bid to avoid legal action or even a police raid that could halt its reporting or provide evidence for U.S. officials seeking to put Snowden behind bars.
“I didn't want to get in that position,” editor Alan Rusbridger said in a video interview posted to the Guardian's website. “Once it was obvious that they would be going to the law, I would rather destroy the copy than hand it back to them or allow the courts to freeze our reporting.”
He said the paper has other copies of the same material located elsewhere.
Rusbridger spoke as disquiet continued to grow over the detention of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, who was held for nine hours at London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday as he was ferrying material related to the Snowden story between filmmaker Laura Poitras in Germany and Brazil, where Greenwald is based.
Snowden's leaks have served as the jumping-off point for a series of stories about America's globe-spanning surveillance program, including revelations that U.S. spies reach deep inside private companies to keep track of tens of millions of innocent Americans' phone and Internet conversations with limited independent oversight. The stories have emboldened privacy activists and embarrassed President Obama, who recently announced a slate of intelligence reforms intended to calm public concerns.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Islamic State video purported to show killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya
- Fighting, gasoline shortage intensify Yemen crisis
- Russia’s missiles-to-Iran deal opens timely market
- Replica of ship that aided American cause sets sail
- DNA matches child born in Vietnam, father in Texas after 40 years
- Suicide bomb blast in Afghanistan tied to Islamic State
- Iraqi PM, visiting United States, rips Saudi airstrikes in Yemen
- Dissidents on ballot in Cuban elections
- Pakistan opts to stay out of Yemen fight as U.S. patrols supply lines
- Pentagon: Islamic State loses ground in Iraq, gains in Syria
- Russia ignores U.N. sanctions, ends missile ban to Iran