UK Police Threaten Guardian Editor with Terrorism Charges over Snowden Leaks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – British police launched an investigation into whether the Guardian committed “potential” terrorism offenses by publishing the incriminating NSA and GCHQ documents leaked earlier this year by Edward Snowden.
Alan Rusbridger, editor of the British paper, was testifying in front of a British parliamentary committee Tuesday when lawmakers suggested that the Guardian had helped terrorists by revealing the clandestine activity conducted by the American and British intelligence agencies.
Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Cressida Dick told the MPs Tuesday that is appears “possible that some people may have committed offenses” in connection with the material seized from David Miranda’s laptop earlier this year. Miranda, journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner, was detained for hours at London’s Heathrow Airport and authorities confiscated his computer, cell phone, and other devices, some of which allegedly held material related to Snowden’s disclosures.
UK officials claim that Snowden’s trove of data included information about British spies and that the information’s publication puts lives in direct danger. Rusbridger said his paper would not publish any such information and that Guardian editors have not even looked at some of the information Snowden provided regarding the Iraq war.
Lawmakers also threatened Rusbridger by implying Guardian staff had violated Section 58A of the Terrorism Act, which stipulates that it is against the law to publish or even transmit any information regarding members of the armed forces or intelligence employees, RT reported.
“It isn’t only about what you’ve published, it’s about what you’ve communicated,” committee member Michael Ellis said. “That is what amounts, or can amount, to a criminal offense.”
British authorities have previously raided the Guardian’s London office and destroyed hard drives that Rusbridger said contained documents that had already been sent to the paper’s New York office.