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Edward Snowden’s statement on award of Pulitzer Prize

Originally published in the Guardian, 14 April 2014

I am grateful to the committee for their recognition of the efforts of those involved in the last year’s reporting, and join others around the world in congratulating Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, Ewen MacAskill and all of the others at the Guardian and Washington Post on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Today’s decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance.

This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.

 

Editors around the world support Snowden revelations

Originally posted 10 October 2013 on the Guardian website

Editors around the world expressed their support of the journalistic work that has gone into the publications of NSA and GCHQ mass surveillance programs, following a flurry of UK media headlines including accusations that the Guardian paper was aiding terrorists.

On 9 October 2013 the Telegraph published an article with the extraordinary title, ‘GCHQ leaks have “gifted” terrorists ability to attack “at will”, warns spy chief’. The article quoted extensively from a speech given by the UK’s new MI5 Director-General Andrew Parker and emphasised that leaks of GCHQ classified information had given terrorists a significant advantage. The following day, the Daily Mail published a comment accusing the Guardian of being a paper that helps Britain’s enemies and causes real damage by leaking information about GCHQ to the public.

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UK asked New York Times to hand over Snowden documents

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson said she was approached by senior British officials who asked her to hand over NSA documents revealed by Edward Snowden. Abramson stated: “They were hopeful that we would relinquish any material that we might be reporting on, relating to Edward Snowden. Needless to say, I considered what they told me, and said no.”

The New York Times received the NSA documents as part of a collaboration with the Guardian, despite Edward Snowden’s decision not to go to the New York Times due to their year-long postponement of a story on the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping in 2005.

The UK government has made multiple attempts to slow or halt publication of the material revealed by Snowden, including the destruction of the Guardian‘s hard drives in July 2013.

Read more: New York Times’s Jill Abramson: ‘The First Amendment is first for a reason’

Editors around the world support Snowden revelations

Originally posted 10 October 2013 on the Guardian website

Editors around the world expressed their support of the journalistic work that has gone into the publications of NSA and GCHQ mass surveillance programs, following a flurry of UK media headlines including accusations that the Guardian paper was aiding terrorists.

UK press headlines

UK press headlines

On 9 October 2013 the Telegraph published an article with the extraordinary title, ‘GCHQ leaks have “gifted” terrorists ability to attack “at will”, warns spy chief’. The article quoted extensively from a speech given by the UK’s new MI5 Director-General Andrew Parker and emphasised that publication of GCHQ classified information had given terrorists a significant advantage. The following day, the Daily Mail published a comment accusing the Guardian of being a paper that helps Britain’s enemies and causes real damage by leaking information about GCHQ to the public.

Continue reading