Guardian journalists could be identified as terrorists and locked up to save the UK government from further embarrassment.
According to Reuters, UK coppers have been ordered by the police to see if there is any way they can lock up the Guardian hacks who write stories which were sourced from Edward Snowden.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger was summoned to give evidence at a parliamentary inquiry and found himself accused by lawmakers of helping terrorists by making top-secret information public and sharing it with other news organisations.
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who heads London’s Specialist Operations unit, told MPs that his staff were looking to see whether any offences had been committed. After all in David Cameron’s Britain it can be a crime to report that the government is doing something evil, and if it is not a crime then David can make sure it would be.
GCHQ has moaned that Snowden’s data included details of British spies and its disclosure would put lives at risk. However, Rusbridger pointed out that his paper had withheld that information from publication.
MPs told Rusbridger that he had committed an offence under Section 58A of the Terrorism Act which says it is a crime to publish or communicate any information about members of the armed forces or intelligence services.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Guardian published a letter of support from Carl Bernstein, the US journalist who helped expose the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. Bernstein said Rusbridger’s appearance before the committee was an attempt by British authorities to shift the focus of the surveillance debate from excessive government secrecy to the conduct of the press.
So far the Guardian has not named a single British agent, what it has done is shown that the United States and some of its allies, including Britain, were monitoring phone, email and social media communications on an unimagined scale.
The governments of both countries were infringing on their citizens’ civil rights.
Rusbridger pointed out that more emphasis was being given to the Guardian‘s decision to publish the leaks than to the fact they had been so easily obtained in the first place.