Cameron Hints at ‘Tougher Measures’ if Media Continues Publishing Snowden Leaks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - British Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a veiled threat against media organizations, calling on them to stop publishing the disclosures leaked by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The Guardian first began its ongoing series based on the Snowden leaks in June, when far-reaching clandestine activity of the American NSA and British Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) were made public. UK lawmakers have not yet been “heavy handed,” the prime minister said, but if media does not cease such publication soon the government could soon crack down.
He suggested the government may employ D-Notices, official requests asking editors not to publish news items for national security reasons, if the coverage goes on, RT reported.
“We live in a free country so newspapers are free to publish what they want,” Cameron told the House of Commons Monday, adding that The Guardian, in particular, has made “this country less safe.”
“I don’t want to have to use injunctions or D-Notices or other tougher measures. I think it’s much better to appeal to newspapers’ sense of social responsibility. But if they don’t demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act.”
The NSA and GCHQ revelations have proved embarrassing for both Washington and London, with national leaders consistently pointing to far-reaching oversight only to have those claims refuted. Recent disclosures, in particular, revealing that the US and UK have quietly monitored international allies have laid the seeds for what appears to be growing hostility between friendly nations.
In July of this year GCHQ raided The Guardian’s offices and demanded the destruction of hard drives containing the Snowden files. While Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the paper, said the destruction would have no effect because The Guardian would continue publication from its offices in New York, the destruction continued anyway. UK lawmakers threatened to issue an injunction to block further publication before the event in question.