The police in the UK are relentless in investigating journalists in connection with the case of US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Operation Curable – the codename for the probe given to it by the anti-terrorist unit in charge – is alive and kicking even four years on, the article said.
The target of the operation are those reporters who worked with Snowden as he revealed the scope of the mass surveillance carried out by the United States and their allies.
In 2013, a senior London police representative confirmed during a parliamentary hearing that the Guardian journalists were being investigated in order to establish if they had committed a crime by making the Snowden revelations public.
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But two years later, the probe was placed under a shroud of secrecy, with the police refusing to disclose whether it was still active or if it had been dropped.
However, the police had no choice but to reveal that the investigation was ongoing when they last week responded to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
When it came to light that the investigation was continuing, UK’s National Union of Journalists criticized it by saying that reporting about unlawful surveillance was in the public interest, and called on the Metropolitan (London) Police to put an end to the probe.
Among the journalists whom Snowden entrusted to report based on the leaked government documents was the Intercept’s co-founder Glenn Greenwald.
In 2013, Greenwald was working for the Guardian, when the police confiscated a number of Snowden documents carried by his partner David Miranda.
Miranda later sued the police, and in 2018, a court found that UK’s Terrorism Act, that was used to stop him at the airport and take his phone, laptop, and other devices – “was not subject to adequate safeguards against its arbitrary exercise.” In addition, it was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, a judge said.
According to the Intercept article, the UK police in 2013 took the stance that reporting based on these documents “falls within the definition of terrorism.”
Snowden’s leaks exposed the activities of not only American but also UK spy agencies, such as GCHQ and the mass surveillance it carries out.