Snowden files did not damage UK: Guardian editor

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
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  • Updated: Dec 04, 2013 00:42 IST

Alan Rusbridger, editor of the The Guardian, told MPs on Tuesday that his newspaper had so far published only about 1% of the material it had from the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, and rejected the charge that the leaks had damaged Britain’s security.

Appearing before the Home Affairs Committee, Rusbridger said his newspaper had published about 1% of the 58,000 files leaked by Snowden, and insisted that no one security’s was compromised because all names in the documents published so far had been redacted.

To a question by the committee chairman, Keith Vaz, if he agreed with heads of British intelligence agencies that he had damaged British security by publishing the Snowden files, Rusbridger countered that four highly placed individuals at the heart of the US security system had stated that the revelations had cause no such damage.

To a question if The Guardian would continue to publish Snowden stories, Rusbridger said: “We will continue to behave responsibly, but we will not be put off by intimidation”.

Carl Bernstein, Watergate journalist and author, called Rusbridger’s appearance before the committee as “dangerously pernicious: an attempt by the highest UK authorities to shift the issue from government policies and excessive government secrecy in the US and UK to the conduct of the press — which has been quite admirable and responsible in the case of the Guardian, particularly, and the way it has handled information initially provided by Snowden”.

 

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