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The Guardian has published just one percent of Snowden leak

The Guardian has published just one percent of Snowden leak

The Guardian has only published about one percent of the material leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to statements made by the outlet’s editor to a British parliamentary committee Tuesday.

From the Associated Press via the Washington Post:

The editor of the Guardian said Tuesday that his newspaper has published just 1 percent of the material it received from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and denied that the paper had placed lives or national security at risk.

Alan Rusbridger was questioned by Parliament’s home affairs committee as part of a session on counterterrorism.

The Guardian has published a series of stories based on leaks from Snowden disclosing the scale of telephone and Internet surveillance by spy agencies in the United States and Britain.

Rusbridger said the leak amounted to about 58,000 files and the newspaper had published “about 1 percent” of the total.

“I would not expect us to be publishing a huge amount more,” he said.

Rusbridger also said that The Guardian has been very selective about what it has chosen to publish, according to Reuters.

“We have published I think 26 documents so far out of the 58,000 we’ve seen, or 58,000 plus. So we have made very selective judgments about what to print,” he said. “We have published no names and we have lost control of no names,” Reuters reported.

The Guardian has come under pressure from British lawmakers and authorities in the wake of its publication of the disclosures, including a potential investigation for terrorism offenses over how the outlet handled the material that was leaked by Snowden.  Lawmakers in Tuesday’s inquiry were notably critical in questions about the editor’s decision to ship some of the confidential files via FedEx.

Earlier this year it was revealed that authorities with the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) oversaw the destruction of hard drives at The Guardian containing documents leaked by Snowden.

U.K. spy chiefs warned last month in testimony to a parliamentary committee that “adversaries are rubbing their hands in glee” over the disclosures.

From CBS News:

Iain Lobban, chief of the eavesdropping agency GCHQ, said his spies have picked up “near-daily discussion” of the unauthorized disclosures among his agency’s targets. His colleague John Sawers, the chief of the British foreign spy agency MI6, was even more explicit.

“It’s clear that our adversaries are rubbing their hands in glee,” he told lawmakers. “Al Qaeda is lapping it up.”

U.S. officials have repeatedly warned, without providing much evidence, that the leaks were educating America’s enemies about how to avoid detection.

Lobban came closest to giving a concrete example, saying that GCHQ had caught terror groups in the Middle East and elsewhere discussing how to switch to more secure means of communication after the Snowden leaks broke.

“I am not going to compound the damage by being specific in public,” he said, promising lawmakers a private briefing on the details.

The fact that Lobban was even speaking publicly at all was highly unusual.

But the pressure against The Guardian has also generated criticism.

A UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression said last month that he has been “absolutely shocked about the way the Guardian has been treated,” referring to the response from British government and lawmakers over the outlet’s disclosures from the Snowden material.

The New York Times, which has collaborated on reporting of the Snowden disclosures, published an editorial last month from its editorial board also criticizing the response to The Guardian’s reporting from UK lawmakers and authorities, as did a letter signed by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a dozen other US media organizations.


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26 documents out of 58,000 is not 1%. Math people!

BannedbytheGuardian | December 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I would not be surprised to find a few guardian employees hanging from lamp posts one clear morning.

My question has always been: If Snowden didn’t steal the documents to use against the US/UK and never intended to release names of agents and allies, then why did he steal them in the first place?
Follow up question: If the media Snowden is dealing with feel he stole documents that DO endanger allies and agents (thus their only releasing a portion of his documents) have they asked that key question and what was his response?
Secondary follow up question: Since Snowden and his media allies are admitting he stole and has given access to/possession of documents that endanger US allies and agents to them and other media, why don’t they simply return such documents to the relevant agencies?
Would it not be a sign of good faith for them to do so?