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Snowden files

British government agents have forced The Guardian, which was at the center of revelations based on US whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks, to destroy an unspecified number of the newspaper’s hard drives to get rid of the information.
The paper’s editor Alan Rusbridger said they were threatened of court action by the British government is they failed to destroy the files, containing US security secrets, or hand them to authorities.
The paper, which has revealed part of the information it apparently obtained from Snowden, was in the middle of publishing embarrassing material on mass surveillance programs led by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
Rusbridger said they were contacted by “a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister” adding that the official “demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on.”
“You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back. There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures,” he said.
“The demand was the same: ‘hand the Snowden material back or destroy it…You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more’,” he added.
Later in his article on the paper’s website, Rusbridger
Said that despite the destruction of the computers in London, they can continue reporting on the matter from outside Britain, thanks to “international collaborations” among journalists.
The incident came as the British government triggered outrage after they detained and questioned the partner of a journalist affiliated with the paper for nine hours because he worked with Snowden.

The US reporter who first released the top-secret documents American leaker had taken with him says he now has between 15,000 and 20,000 of the papers.
Glenn Greenwald of the Britain’s The Guardian and one of his colleagues were the first to interview the former American spy Edward Snowden after he fled the US with thousands of documents from the National Security Agency (NSA), America’s biggest spy organization.
“I did not do an exact count, but he gave me 15,000, 20,000 documents. Very, very complete and very long,” the Brazil-based journalist said on Tuesday.
Snowden revealed documents about the NSA’s global surveillance programs which included spying on America’s European allies, in particular Germany, as well as Latin American states.
“The stories we have published are a small portion. There will certainly be more revelations on the espionage activities of the US government and allied governments (…) on how they have penetrated the communications systems of Brazil and Latin America,” he said.

Snowden spent almost five weeks at the transit zone of Moscow’s international airport after arriving there from Hong Kong on June 23. His asylum request for living in Russia was finally accepted last week but Moscow limited the permit to only one year!

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