Edward J. Snowden’s leaks about NSA and its prying allies spying on a national and international scale, keeps causing troubles for governments and evidently forcing them to use threats against those who print these leaks to bring them to the public. Recently, Guardian newspaper has been threatened by British secret services to be shut down if it does not stops printing the NSA leaks related to these agencies. The threat has been made in the name of ‘national security’ as is often the case whenever governments are caught spying shamelessly.
“We were threatened that we would be closed down. We were accused of endangering national security and people’s lives. It left us in a very difficult position,” Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson told at a conference in Dublin.
The threats revealed that the people at the very highest level were very uncomfortable with Guardian for printing the leaks as was informed by a British civil servant to Alan Rusbridger, the editor of Guardian, according to Irish Times.
“Prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the foreign secretary, the home secretary and the attorney general have got a problem with you,”
Speaking at the conference in Dublin, Paul Johnson expressed that the story that exposed NSA and its allies was the most difficult to work on in the history of Guardian.
“It was the most difficult story we have ever done and that includes WikiLeaks, because reporters and editors couldn’t speak to each other. We could only speak using encryption systems,”
Guardian had to setup a 24/7 guarded separate room with new equipment to work on the story to keep it being leaked to authorities before printing it as it could have resulted in pressure by the government to drop it before being published.
The British officials seem to be in a state of disbelief and shock that their cover has been blown and reacting to the situation in a very in-appropriate and undemocratic manner. Whereas, in the US the initial shock is over and the government is trying to ease the public and behaving more sensibly in reaction to the national debate that is taking place there.
Snowden delivered a speech at SXSW 2014 in Austin, Texas, where he emphasized the use of encryption as a way to keep spies like NSA away from tapping into users’ data.“The bottom line … is that encryption does work,” he said.
Companies like Google are taking additional steps to keep their users’ data safe from NSA and its allies. Google has recently announced that its flagship email service, Gmail, will be only using encrypted HTTPS for all devices and all connections including WiFi.