UK National Security Adviser intervened in Guardian case: sources

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 21, 2013 8:06 AM
UK National Security Adviser intervened in Guardian case: sources

LONDON (Reuters) - Kim Darroch, Britain's National Security Adviser and one of Prime Minister David Cameron's closest aides, was involved in talks with the Guardian newspaper to try to get it to hand over or destroy spy secrets leaked by Edward Snowden, two sources told Reuters.

"You won't be surprised to hear that he also got involved with this," one source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, saying that the British government was absolutely confident about the way it had handled the matter.

"There are no concerns in government that anything wrong was done," the same source said. Another source with direct knowledge of the matter said Darroch had been involved.

Other sources have said that Cameron ordered Jeremy Heywood, Britain's top civil servant, to contact the Guardian to try to stop a flow of information about U.S. and British surveillance programs based on leaks from fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Snowden.

Officials at Britain's Cabinet Office declined immediate comment.

Human rights and press freedom groups accuse the government of an assault on journalism over the detention of a Guardian reporter's partner and over news that the paper was forced to destroy Snowden files under threat of government legal action.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)