The Guardian defends its actions
CS Monitor, Sept. 6, 2013
Edward Snowden, who leaked details of United States government surveillance programs, has launched an important debate on privacy versus security, says the news organization that published portions of the material. In an editorial titled “Surveillance and the state,” Britain’s The Guardian defends its actions:
"It is difficult to imagine any editor in the free world who would have destroyed this material unread, or handed it back, unanalysed, to the spy agencies or the government," the editorial says. "The Guardian did what we hope any news organisation would do—patiently analysed and responsibly reported on some of the material we have read in order to inform the necessary public debate."
Electronic surveillance has changed the rules since the days of cold-war spies smuggling a piece of paper or microfilm across physical borders.
"What was once highly targeted has now become virtually universal," The Guardian says. "The evident ambition is to put entire populations under some form of surveillance. The faceless intelligence masters may say they are still searching for needles, but first they want the entire haystack. And thus countless millions of entirely innocent (in every sense) citizens are potentially being monitored."