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Iran Press TV

'Spying exposé endangered UK national security'

Iran Press TV

Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:33PM GMT

The United Kingdom says the disclosure of the country's spying activities has endangered the national security.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defense Secretary Philip Hammond made the remarks on Sunday after reports that The Guardian newspaper has violated anti-terrorism laws by publishing reports based on leaked documents by US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.

'By speculating about our capabilities, it makes it easier for people who want to evade interception but are seeking to damage our country, or kill people, it makes it easier for them to evade interception. That is something that is very, very serious, and very damaging,' Hague said.

'The Snowden allegations, let me put it that way, certainly have endangered our national security, made it harder for us to protect our country and other countries from terrorist attacks," he added.

Hammond also voice concern over the incident, saying, "Have the Snowden revelations damaged our ability to fight terrorism and keep Britain safe? Undoubtedly they have. Anything that gives away the tradecraft, the methods, the methodologies of the security services and the agencies is, of course, hugely valuable to those who wish us harm.'

The defense secretary, however, did not comment on measures for prosecuting the newspaper for its role in the revelations.

'Action against any particular media outlet in any particular country, unfortunately, is not going to reverse the damage that has been done,' he said.

Liam Fox, the former defense secretary, has written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alison Saunders, urging her to establish whether the newspaper violated any anti-terrorism laws.

Fox also asked the DPP on how a prosecution against The Guardian could be "initiated" and accused the newspaper's editor Alan Rusbridger of having "no sense of understanding" about the consequences of the disclosures.

British Prime Minister David Cameron indicated on October 28 that the government may take action against newspapers for publishing "damaging" intelligence leaks from Snowden.

Cameron suggested measures such as imposing court injunctions on papers or use of D-notices in order to prevent the publication of documents revealing NSA spying activities.

The Guardian has published a number of reports based on the leaked documents revealing joint spying practices of UK spying agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and its American counterpart, the National Security Agency (NSA).

According to the reports, GCHQ has secretly accessed millions of phone calls and electronic communications, using the NSA's Tempora program to circumvent UK law.

GCHQ head Sir Ian Lobban has said that the Snowden revelations have made their job "far, far harder for years to come."

In June, Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs, which revealed that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about the organization's espionage activities targeting friendly countries.


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