UK to accuse Guardian of terrorism for GCHQ spying articles

The Guardian reported that Parliament’s powerful Home Affairs committee would include the newspaper’s actions in a broad investigation into counterterrorism. Keith Vaz, the chairman of the panel, was quoted as saying the committee would scrutinize “elements of The Guardian’s involvement in, and publication of, the Snowden leaks.”  But he declined to say whether Alan Rusbridger, the newspaper’s editor, would be called to testify. Concerns among British civil liberties groups center on the Government Communications Headquarters, widely known as GCHQ, the electronic eavesdropping arm of the security and intelligence services, which works closely with its American counterpart, the National Security Agency. Mr. Snowden is a former contractor for the N.S.A.
The confrontation between the authorities and The Guardian took bizarre turns this year when the British airport authorities cited counterterrorism legislation to briefly detain David Miranda, the partner of the journalist who led The Guardian’s reporting, Glenn Greenwald, as Mr. Miranda was traveling through Heathrow Airport in London.
Mr. Rusbridger disclosed that GCHQ had sent two operatives to his newspaper’s offices to oversee the destruction of computer hard drives said to contain leaked information.
Mr. Rusbridger has said that The Guardian told the British authorities that some of the information it received from Mr. Snowden had been sent to ProPublica and to The New York Times. The British government asked The Times to relinquish the classified material, but the newspaper has said it has refused the request.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Rusbridger said that The Guardian did not accept Mr. Cameron’s accusation and that its position had been misrepresented. “We went along with the destruction of the computers in the knowledge that we could carry on reporting from New York,” he said.
Mr. Rusbridger said it was ironic, at a time when the government said it backed a free press, that “not only have they tried to prevent The Guardian from reporting, but they now want newspapers to appear before Parliament to account for themselves.”

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