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Guardian editor says newspaper pressured against NSA leaks reporting

Guardian editor says newspaper pressured against NSA leaks reporting
Edward Snowden. (Freedom of the Press Foundation/YouTube)

LONDON, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The Guardian of London has resisted pressure to stop publishing stories of massive surveillance by U.S. and British spy agencies, the newspaper's editor said.

Testifying before a parliamentary committee Tuesday about articles based on information leaked by U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency's expansive monitoring programs, Guardian Editor in Chief Alan Rusbridger said the publication "would not be put off by intimidation, but nor are we going to behave recklessly."

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Rusbridger told lawmakers the disclosures sparked global debate about the powers of agencies, the effectiveness of laws meant to govern them and oversight within which they work.

"In terms of the broader debate, I can't think of a story in recent times that has ricocheted around the world like this has and which has been more broadly debated in parliaments, in courts and amongst NGOs [non-government organizations]," he said.

Rusbridger said the Guardian was under all sorts of pressure to stop publishing the information provided by Snowden.

"They include prior restraint; they include a senior Whitehall official coming to see me to say: 'There has been enough debate now,'" he told lawmakers. "They include asking for the destruction of our disks. They include MPs [members of Parliament] calling for the police to prosecute the editor.

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"So there are things that are inconceivable in the U.S.," Rusbridger said. "I feel that some of this activity has been designed to intimidate the Guardian."

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