UK Made Guardian Destroy Hard Drives: Editor
Wanted to stop Snowden reporting, Alan Rusbridger says
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2013 6:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – The UK's interference with the Guardian's Snowden reporting apparently goes deeper than just the detention of Glenn Greenwald's partner. In a new opinion piece in the Guardian, editor Alan Rusbridger says that over the course of the past two months, the British government repeatedly demanded "the return or destruction of all the material we were working on" in regards to the Snowden leaks. He refused, and so, as he tells it:

  • "... one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred—with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. 'We can call off the black helicopters,' joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro."

(Reuters spoke with a source who clarified that the security experts watched as the hard drives were destroyed.) Though Rusbridger promises the paper will continue "patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents," he warns that in this digital age, "it may not be long before it will be impossible for journalists to have confidential sources." Until then, he jokes, "at least reporters now know to stay away from Heathrow transit lounges."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
UK Gov't Destroyed Guardian Hard Drives: Editor is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 24 comments
Aug 20, 2013 10:44 PM CDT
Special Ed is turning out to be quite a pain in the ass, isn't he? Costly, too...
Aug 20, 2013 10:01 AM CDT
Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.
Aug 20, 2013 9:32 AM CDT
From the Huff Post:[ IRONIC.] "The US military has now blocked access to the entire Guardian website at installations around the world, the paper reported Monday night.On Friday, reports surfaced that stories about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs had been blocked at Army bases around the United States. The reason given was that the military did not want its employees to come across any classified information online, even if that information had been put into the public domain. But a spokesman told the Guardian's Spencer Ackerman Monday that the ban had been extended to all troops serving in Afghanistan, the Middle East and south Asia--and that the whole site had been blocked. The Army does not treat all news sites the same, though: the Washington Post, which also published stories about NSA programs, has not been blocked."