The Guardian has announced that it will partner with the New York Times to report on files leaked by Edward Snowden pertaining to the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

From The Guardian:

The Guardian has struck a partnership with the New York Times which will give the US paper access to some of the sensitive cache of documents leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The arrangement was made when the Guardian was faced with demands from the UK government to hand over the GCHQ files it had in its possession.

“In a climate of intense pressure from the UK government, the Guardian decided to bring in a US partner to work on the GCHQ documents provided by Edward Snowden. We are working in partnership with the NYT and others to continue reporting these stories,” the Guardian said in a statement.

Following the recent detention of his partner David Miranda, Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald said he would be more aggressive in his reporting and promised to publish many more documents about the British government’s surveillance activities.

From Reuters (via Huffington Post):

“I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I am going to publish things on England too. I have many documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did,” Greenwald, speaking in Portuguese, told reporters at Rio’s airport where he met Miranda upon his return to Brazil.

“They wanted to intimidate our journalism, to show that they have power and will not remain passive but will attack us more intensely if we continue publishing their secrets,” he said.

An attorney for the UK’s Metropolitan police said Thursday that data on the equipment seized from Miranda contains “highly sensitive material the disclosure of which would be gravely injurious to public safety.”

The arrangement between the two news outlets is similar to that of the partnership between The Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel when Wikileaks released US embassy cables that sparked international uproar. Wikileaks later released the full cache containing unredacted documents that identified the names of some activists and whistleblowers, prompting condemnation from their news partners.  Some of the history behind that collaboration is highlighted in the recent documentary film, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks.”

It is expected that the partnership with a US news outlet will provide The Guardian extra cover to release some of the UK-specific information, as pressure from the UK government has hindered The Guardian’s reporting to some extent.  Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger revealed earlier this week that GCHQ security agents weeks ago oversaw the destruction of hard drives containing documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Given the pressure the Obama administration has placed on US outlets when it comes to leaks however, it’s uncertain just how much protection an outlet like the NY Times can actually offer to a UK outlet.


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