Amnesty International has labelled the government’s decision to force the Guardian to destroy hard drives containing information obtained from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a “sinister turn of events”.
An editorial by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger told of how government officials oversaw the destruction of hard drives, a “pointless piece of symbolism” given that the newspaper had copies of the information stored elsewhere.
Tawanda Hondora, deputy director of law and policy at Amnesty International, said the government’s actions effectively “undermine press freedoms”.
“It also seriously undermines the right of the public to know what governments do with their personal and private information. If confirmed, these actions expose the UK’s hypocrisy as it pushes for freedom of expression overseas.”
The use of “strongarm” tactics to “silence media outlets” over reports concerning government surveillance “is clearly against the public interest”, added Hondora.