UK government threatens to shut down Guardian over Snowden leaks

Thursday, March 27, 2014
By Paul Martin
27 March 2014

The British government threatened to close The Guardian newspaper if it kept printing Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance involving the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK, the paper’s deputy editor Paul Johnson said at the Radiodays Europe conference.

Mr. Snowden, wanted by the US authorities on espionage charges, is currently staying in Russia where he enjoys a temporary asylum. He is responsible for creating one of the biggest intelligence leaks of all time by revealing the extent to which British and US agencies were spying on ordinary citizens and world leaders alike.

Due to the scrutiny the British intelligence services subjected The Guardian to, the Snowden material was much more difficult to work on than the WikiLeaks tapes, Mr. Johnson said. “It was the most difficult story we have ever done and that includes WikiLeaks, because reporters and editors couldn’t speak to each other. We could only speak using encryption systems,” he added.

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