Guardian Editor has revealed that they have published only 1 per cent of files that Snowden has leaked.
Alan Rusbridger the editor of Guardian has said that they had ‘very selective judgements’ made about what has to be published in the Snowden leaks. Which accounts to just 1% of what they had received. If 1% could cause so much trouble for the government, what happens if 99% is published?
The Home Affairs Select Committee is investigating the Snowden leaks and Alan Rusbridger has told them that the Guardian is not a “rough newspaper”.
He insisted the paper’s journalists were “patriots” and he hailed the UK’s democracy and free press.
He said senior officials in Whitehall and the US administration had told the paper “no damage” had been caused.
Last month intelligence chiefs used their appearance before a different committee of MPs to criticise the leaks, suggesting they had endangered national security.
But Mr Rusbridger said their accusations were “very vague and not rooted in specific stories”.
“There are different views about this,” he said. “It’s impossible to assess because no one has given me specific evidence.”
Asked by committee chairman Keith Vaz MP if he “loved this country”, Mr Rusbridger said he was “slight surprised to be asked”.
“We are patriots and one of the things we are patriotic about is the nature of the democracy and the nature of a free press and the fact that one can in this country discuss and report these things,” he said.
He added: “There are countries – and they are not generally democracies – where the press are not free to write about this and where the security services do tell editors what to write.
“That’s not the country we live in, in Britain, and it’s one of the things we love about the country.”
Mr Rusbridger said he was not in a position to answer a question by Conservative MP Michael Ellis about whether he had broken the Terrorism Act by sharing information listing the names of security officials abroad with other newspapers.
The Guardian editor said the paper had “made very selective judgments”‘ about what to publish from the files taken by Mr Snowden, a former contractor with the National Security Agency and had not revealed the names of any officials.
“We have published I think 26 documents so far out of the 58,000 we’ve seen,” he said.
He said the stories published by the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Der Spiegel had prompted much-needed debate about the scale of intelligence activities and exposed the limits of laws drawn up in the pre-internet era.
“Newspapers have done something that oversight has failed to do,'” he said.
The Guardian had come under pressure from the UK authorities in a way that would be “inconceivable” in the US, he added.
Mr Rusbridger told the committee: “There’s stuff in there about Iraq, Afghanistan, we’re not even going to look at it. That’s not what Edward Snowden was doing when he wanted responsible journalists to go through this material.
“We’ve been working slowly and responsibly through this material, with some of the best journalists in the world, 100 contacts with government and agency sources, we will continue to consult them but we’re not going to be put off by intimidation but nor are we going to behave recklessly”.
Source: BBC News