US Given Heads Up About Newspaper Data Destruction

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The Obama Administration knew in advance that the British government would oversee destruction of a newspaper's hard drives containing leaked National Security Agency documents in 2013, newly declassified documents show.

The White House had said it would be nearly unimaginable for the US government to do the same to an American news organization. The Guardian newspaper, responding to threats from the British government in July 2013, destroyed the data roughly a month after it and other media outlets first published details from the top secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The NSA emails, obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that senior intelligence officials were notified of Britain's intent to retrieve the Snowden documents and that one senior US official appeared to praise the effort.

US Given Heads Up About Newspaper Data Destruction E-mails show NSA monitored destruction of Snowden data at The Guardian (ars technica) On the NSA, a White House credibility problem (Columbia Journalism Review)