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GCHQ ‘smashed hard drives at Guardian

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The Editor of The Guardian told today how officers from GCHQ oversaw the destruction of computer hard drives in the basement of the newspaper’s headquarters after a spat with Whitehall over its reporting of leaked files on American surveillance programmes.

Alan Rusbridger described the scene as Scotland Yard defended as “legally and procedurally sound” the detention of the partner of The Guardian journalist who first reported on leaks from the intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

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The Freedom of the Press has achieved Russian level in Britain now?

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Posted (edited)

It does look very bad. But it's likely the files were not just related to the surveillance programmes, there were 100,000s of them. A lot of them might be related to individual soldiers and their families, who may be put at risk if their name pops up in a document someone doesn't like. The MOD have the power to confiscate or destroy any equipment that comes in to contact with classified documents. They will throw you in prison for a long time if you try to stop them.

The whole David Miranda thing was the police's doing though, so no sure what will happen there. They don't have the same kind of powers.

Also they don't just smash hard drives as they can still be forensically recovered, they will have shredded them in to fine powder using a special machine and then recycled (at least their green about it) :D

Edited by Finity

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The Guardian? Says it all!

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The Guardian? Says it all!

The Times reported this, not the Guardian (though we have to say that in a gleeful report from German Public Television was the first I saw or heard it).

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The Guardian? Says it all!

do you mean the Guardina is more likely to give in to the Great Bully than any other paper?

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The Freedom of the Press has achieved Russian level in Britain now?

'Do as we say, not as we do' has been the norm in Britain for as long as i can remember. No matter who is in power. :(

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freedom of the press is essential in a democracy. Having heavy handed spies rough you up is not freedom

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freedom of the press is essential in a democracy. Having heavy handed spies rough you up is not freedom

that might indeed be true; however, the UK isn't a democracy.

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that might indeed be true; however, the UK isn't a democracy.

Seeing the behavior of the two latest governments you don't have to swear that.

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Apparently it was David Cameroon, the Pry Minister, himself who ordered this, then, because he was intimidated by the Global Bully, it has emerged today.

Edited by Colonel Rhuairidh
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freedom of the press is essential in a democracy. Having heavy handed spies rough you up is not freedom

im not sure about this freedom of the press and democracy maybe years ago, the circulation of news papers is falling a year on year, all these news papers have their own agenda, they call it their "in house" reporting editing stance. i mean if your political stance is right you read a politically right paper, something like the daily mail - If your leaning is left you read the guardian so people choose what they read, what they want to be told which falls in line with their political stance - so for me freedom of the press being essential to democracy is outdated maybe years ago but i believe that as now all changed in the age of the mobile phone /internet surely communications are the freedom of democracy we witness this already, a story can break on social media and hundreds of thousands can be aware in a instant, which leaves the current media outlets scrabbling trying to catch up. so much so they now have links on their webpages for people to tweet them, send pictures alert them to news stories. look at syria all the news coverage was coming out via mobile phone, youtube twitter etc...

as for the case itself the Government and the security services have kept me safe and well so far - so i have no reason to doubt their actions. if they decide sensitive information contained on hard drives needed destroying then so be it. we can all throw our arms up in the air but do we really know what was contained on these hard drives. as for the UK turning into Russia i think not the reporter would have been taken out back and shot.

at the end of the day the paper had sensitive information which as not been cleared to be distributed for the general public to see. the government as every right to keep this information limited - safe. and im glad they took the action they have

people have this incessant desire to know things which dose not concern them. and even if they did know - fickle as the general public is it would be forgotten within a week, its that important. especially when more important matters are at hand such as whose going to win X-Factor. dancing with the Stars or big brother all car crash TV.

Edited by stevewinn

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While I agree regarding the protection of individuals who may be put at risk, the intrusion of the State into private matters for various other reasons ('National Security' being one of their favourites) warrants questioning whether we are actually living in a Police State. Admittedly a mild form of that, but a Police State nonetheless.

I would prefer to see the powers of the MoD to confiscate and destroy equipment subject to judicial oversight - i.e. instead of just grabbing and breaking, they have to prove first the material puts individuals at risk.

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While I agree regarding the protection of individuals who may be put at risk, the intrusion of the State into private matters for various other reasons ('National Security' being one of their favourites) warrants questioning whether we are actually living in a Police State. Admittedly a mild form of that, but a Police State nonetheless.

I would prefer to see the powers of the MoD to confiscate and destroy equipment subject to judicial oversight - i.e. instead of just grabbing and breaking, they have to prove first the material puts individuals at risk.

the guardian voluntarily destroyed the hard drives, after a government minister first contacted them on behalf of the prime minister and then when officials turned up they the guardian decided they'd destroy them rather than hand them over to the government. so what is the guardian hiding is another question.

Edited by stevewinn
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freedom of the press is essential in a democracy. Having heavy handed spies rough you up is not freedom

the problem here is the press arn't good at what they are doing, remmeber they or top bosses allow reporters who listeners to hack peoples phones. The press here are over protected imv

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the guardian voluntarily destroyed the hard drives, after a government minister first contacted them on behalf of the prime minister and then when officials turned up they the guardian decided they'd destroy them rather than hand them over to the government. so what is the guardian hiding is another question.

Why was the Guardian required to hand over their property? The only way govt should be able to claim private property is through the courts, not simply by turning up and claiming 'national security'. I can understand the Guaridan destroying the hdd's to spite the govt, but they should not have had to do so without legal proof it was required.

This is what is wrong in Britain - govt has sidestepped the private citizen's legal rights. And we meekly accept this on the basis of 'national security'.

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and a new twist:

Guardian told to destroy NSA files for national security, says Clegg

Nick Clegg has endorsed the government's decision to ask the Guardian to destroy leaked secret NSA documents on the grounds that Britain would face a "serious threat to national security" if they reached the "wrong hands".

In a statement, a spokesman for the deputy prime minister gave the first official confirmation that the cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, made the request to the Guardian.

The intervention by Clegg came after Yvette Cooper said that parliament's intelligence watchdog should investigate David Cameron's role in asking the Guardian to surrender or destroy the NSA documents. The shadow home secretary made her call after the Daily Mail and the Independent reported that Heywood made the request to the Guardian on the instructions of the prime minister.

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I suspect that a Bill of Rights is desperately needed in Britain (which is funny as Britain invented the beast).

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Why was the Guardian required to hand over their property? The only way govt should be able to claim private property is through the courts, not simply by turning up and claiming 'national security'. I can understand the Guaridan destroying the hdd's to spite the govt, but they should not have had to do so without legal proof it was required.

This is what is wrong in Britain - govt has sidestepped the private citizen's legal rights. And we meekly accept this on the basis of 'national security'.

Because they were stolen secret millitary documents and that kind of thing is outside of the powers of the police, the police probably aren't even authorized to handle it. You can't mess around with the MOD like people mess around with the police to get away with stuff (like with the whole phone hacking thing etc), the MOD will kick the door in and shoot you if they have to. It's a completely different kettle of fish.

Edited by Finity
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Because they were stolen secret millitary documents and that kind of thing is outside of the powers of the police, the police probably aren't even authorized to handle it. You can't mess around with the MOD like people mess around with the police to get away with stuff using technicalities, the MOD will kick the door in and shoot you if they have to. It's a completely different kettle of fish.

Would say that they were stolen Intelligence agency materials, which is only marginally related to the military. But in any case: Those were American documents, so if the British services (including military) were innocent of violating any laws should not have affected British national security... unless fearing an American invasion for not seizing the files.

It was as usual hurried advanced obedience by the poodle.

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Would say that they were stolen Intelligence agency materials, which is only marginally related to the military. But in any case: Those were American documents, so if the British services (including military) were innocent of violating any laws should not have affected British national security... unless fearing an American invasion for not seizing the files.

It was as usual hurried advanced obedience by the poodle.

We don't know exactly what the files were though. Most likely it was just a copy of whatever he could grab at the time. As the UK and US (and a few other countries) share intelligence it's likely there were other documents mixed up in it.

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We don't know exactly what the files were though. Most likely it was just a copy of whatever he could grab at the time. As the UK and US (and a few other countries) share intelligence it's likely there were other documents mixed up in it.

We are not talking about random intelligence papers, we are talking about illegally obtained intelligence of countries spying on their own citizens and by unethical obtained intelligence obtained by spying on the allies.

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Would say that they were stolen Intelligence agency materials, which is only marginally related to the military. But in any case: Those were American documents, so if the British services (including military) were innocent of violating any laws should not have affected British national security... unless fearing an American invasion for not seizing the files.

It was as usual hurried advanced obedience by the poodle.

Exactly. Pure caving in to the Global Bully.

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The Guardian is ok...for wrapping up fish & chips

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Why was the Guardian required to hand over their property? The only way govt should be able to claim private property is through the courts, not simply by turning up and claiming 'national security'. I can understand the Guaridan destroying the hdd's to spite the govt, but they should not have had to do so without legal proof it was required.

This is what is wrong in Britain - govt has sidestepped the private citizen's legal rights. And we meekly accept this on the basis of 'national security'.

the Guardian had no right to have sensitive government information, so the question should be, why should the press in this case the guardian think its their god given right to have and hold such information when it dose not belong to them. why didn't they do the right the thing which would have been to notify the government / security service as to what exactly they have access to? if i found the same information on the street i'd be expected to hand them over to the police. so why not the media do they operate above the law and personal responsibility ? do they think its their right to release certain extracts at long drawn out intervals to help sell their paper? do not think for one minute the paper is doing this on some moral grounding.

Questionmark keeps going on like the UK's action is straight out of the USSR - i think the government have shown remarkable restraint, when you think they requested the guardian to hand over the hard drives. why didnt the guardian just hand them over? why did they choose to destroy them? maybe just maybe the guardian had no information at all? and to save face they destroyed the hard drives to give the impression to their readers - they're taking on the big bad government.

just look at the results these so called whistle blowers to which this is all related, what have they achieved. nothing is the answer, one is held up in a Ecuadorian embassy here in London, one has just faced the music in the USA and sentenced to 30 odd years and the other Muppet is re-enacting a scene from the movie terminal in a Russian airport departure lounge. have these people changed the world. NO. the only people who get excited are the ones who believe in conspiracies.

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Oh God, how do I begin.

Well, "Freedom of the Press" is not a freedom for blatant espionage or blatant dissemination of illegaly acquired info.

Of course, radical Islamics and anarchists love this.

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the Guardian had no right to have sensitive government information, so the question should be, why should the press in this case the guardian think its their god given right to have and hold such information when it dose not belong to them. why didn't they do the right the thing which would have been to notify the government / security service as to what exactly they have access to? if i found the same information on the street i'd be expected to hand them over to the police. so why not the media do they operate above the law and personal responsibility ? do they think its their right to release certain extracts at long drawn out intervals to help sell their paper? do not think for one minute the paper is doing this on some moral grounding.

Questionmark keeps going on like the UK's action is straight out of the USSR - i think the government have shown remarkable restraint, when you think they requested the guardian to hand over the hard drives. why didnt the guardian just hand them over? why did they choose to destroy them? maybe just maybe the guardian had no information at all? and to save face they destroyed the hard drives to give the impression to their readers - they're taking on the big bad government.

because they were being coerced by the Great Bully? it's a powerful incentive to uncooperativeness.

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