Guardian teams up with New York Times over Snowden documents

WASHINGTON Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:29pm EDT

1 of 2. Copies of the Guardian newspaper are displayed at a news agent in London August 21 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Guardian has agreed with the New York Times to give the U.S. newspaper access to some classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the British newspaper said on Friday.

In a brief story posted on its website, the Guardian said it "struck a partnership" with the Times after the British government threatened the Guardian with legal action unless it either surrendered or destroyed files it received from Snowden about Government Communications Headquarters - Britain's equivalent of NSA.

"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.

Representatives of the Times did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

However, a source familiar with the matter said the partnership deal had been struck several weeks ago and that Jill Abramson, the Times' executive editor, was personally involved in negotiating it.

The website Buzzfeed reported that Scott Shane, a Times reporter who covers national security and intelligence, was working on a series of stories expected to be published next month jointly with the Guardian.

The Guardian said in its story that its partnership with the Times would enable it to "continue exposing mass surveillance by putting the Snowden documents on GCHQ beyond government reach."

It said Snowden, who disclosed documents on U.S. internet and phone surveillance programs in June and has obtained asylum in Russia, was aware of the deal.

The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, revealed earlier this week that under the supervision of representatives of GCHQ, Guardian staffers had destroyed computer equipment containing Snowden files after the newspaper was threatened with possible legal action by senior British government officials.

Rusbridger said he had put British officials on notice that copies of material which had been destroyed had been sent outside British government jurisdiction.

British authorities say they launched a criminal investigation this week following the temporary detention and questioning at London's Heathrow Airport of David Miranda, domestic partner of Glenn Greenwald, a Brazil-based Guardian writer who has led coverage of leaks from Snowden and communicated directly with the former NSA contractor.

British officials have said that Snowden's leaks have gravely damaged national security and could put lives in jeopardy if more secrets are disclosed.

The Times and the Guardian previously collaborated on stories related to alleged phone hacking by British tabloid newspapers and on coverage of secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents made available by U.S. Army soldier Bradley Manning to the WikiLeaks website.

(This story has been corrected to delete reference to representatives of the Guardian in paragraph 4)

(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (3)
templescroll wrote:
What did Snowden leak that was so agregious anyway? Maybe it was just his own leaky diaper!? Does the public even know? (or care) Its been months now right? Every country is jumping on board the leaky diaper! Also in light of current events w/ Hasan, why should a quirky putz who whistleblows on the NSA get the same sentence as a mass murdering 2-faced terrorist who destroyed families and killed people…yet they both come with a DEATH PEMATY??? (not saying Snowden shouldn’t get a good spankin’ for what he did) But what Hasan did was way more illegal / evil / immoral …plus he’s not evn cute like Snowden.

Aug 23, 2013 9:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Tone1 wrote:
Snowden is the true hero. The UK and US are not communist counties and should not be spying on it own citizens. How on earth would we have know this was going on without Snowden. Security services does not want to loss their funding… Please people lest stand up for our rights given to us by fonding faters, no police state.

Aug 24, 2013 6:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JAWJA wrote:
Earlier, the Times printed a very unfavorable article about Snowden, and, were slow to report on the “leaks.” Does this new partnership mean their friends in the CIA are allowing the Times to report the actual news? Or a watered down version?

Aug 24, 2013 12:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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