The British counterpart to the NSA has intercepted emails from some of the world’s leading news organizations, according to documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The Guardian reports that emails sent to and from journalists working at BBC, Reuters, The Guardian, The New York Times, NBC, The Washington Post, and other outlets were collected and stored by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
Journalists’ emails were swept up as part of a dragnet that ran during November 2008 and captured some 70,000 emails in the span of a 10-minute-long system test. According to The Guardian, the GCHQ considers investigative journalists to be a security threat worth mentioning alongside terrorists and hackers.
One confidential document that Snowden released to the newspaper reportedly reads that “journalists and reporters representing all types of news media represent a threat to security” and that “of particular concern are ‘investigative journalists’ who specialize in defense-releated exposés.”
Much like the NSA in the United States, the GCHQ has faced increasing criticism and scrutiny from the British public and elected government.
[via The Guardian]