British officials from the agency GCHQ have broken into the offices of The Guardian, one of the UK's biggest news agencies, to destroy hard drives with information linked to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
GCHQ, which, according the their website, says they are "keeping our society safe and successful in the Internet age," sent over two security experts to Guardian headquarters, and made their way down to the newspaper's basement. They destroyed hard drives they believed to contain information that Snowden had given the newspaper, even though Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger explained to them that most of the information had already been given out to other sites around the world. "It felt like a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age," Rusbridger said. The UK government is crazy to think that information like that wouldn't be backed up somewhere, but they insisted on destroying the drives anyway.
A government official reportedly told the newspaper, "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back," before the raid took place. Just a day earlier, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who broke the Snowden leaks, was detained at Heathrow Airport in London for nine hours, and questioned under terrorism regulations.
The governments from the UK and America have been making it difficult for journalists to do their jobs since the leaks.
"We are not there yet, but it may not be long before it will be impossible for journalists to have confidential sources," Rusbridger said. "Most reporting — indeed, most human life in 2013 — leaves too much of a digital fingerprint."
[via The Washington Post]