UK threatens to shut down Guardian over Snowden leaks

March 28, 2014 in News by The Manimal

Source: Freedom 4um

UK secret service has threatened to shut down Guardian daily for covering reports about revelations of American whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Paul Johnson, Guardian deputy editor, said at the Radiodays Europe conference in the Irish capital, Dublin, that the daily was threatened for printing Snowden’s disclosures of mass espionage activities by the US.

“We were threatened that we would be closed down. We were accused of endangering national security and people’s lives. It left us in a very difficult position,” he said.

Johnson also said that he had been informed by a senior civil servant that “prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the foreign secretary, the home secretary and the attorney general have got a problem with you.”

Snowden was a former US National Security Agency contractor. He has so far leaked an enormous amount of classified information about the scope of US surveillance programs around the globe.

Classified documents leaked by Snowden in June last year revealed that Britain’s eavesdropping agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, was secretly accessing the network of cables, which carry the world’s phone calls and Internet traffic and has been sharing the data with the US National Security Agency.

The joint spying practices by the two agencies include the interception of millions of online communications by ordinary people and eavesdropping on world leaders.