Author Topic: Chilling Video Shows Journalists Destroy Snowden Hard Drives Under Watch of Intelligence Officials  (Read 322 times)

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Offline happyg

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New footage released by The Guardian Friday shows the chilling moments journalists destroyed hard drives containing files leaked by Edward Snowden — all under the supervision of British intelligence officials.

“Under the watchful gaze of two technicians from the British government spy agency GCHQ, the journalists took angle-grinders and drills to the internal components, rendering them useless and the information on them obliterated,” The Guardian stated in an article which accompanied the newly released video.

“The bizarre episode in the basement of the Guardian’s London HQ was the climax of Downing Street’s fraught interactions with the Guardian in the wake of Snowden’s leak – the biggest in the history of western intelligence,” the British newspaper added.

According to The Guardian, destroying the computers themselves was the best way of protecting their journalists from legal action, while continuing to report on the story.


“…the only way of protecting the Guardian’s team – and of carrying on reporting from another jurisdiction…” 
   ..
“With the threat of punitive legal action ever present, the only way of protecting the Guardian’s team – and of carrying on reporting from another jurisdiction – was for the paper to destroy its own computers,” the British newspaper stated in its article. “GCHQ officials wanted to inspect the material before destruction, carry out the operation themselves and take the remnants away. The Guardian refused.”

The incident occurred on July 20, 2013.

By Oliver Darcy
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/01/chilling-video-shows-journalists-destroy-snowden-hard-drives-under-watch-of-intelligence-officials/

Online EC

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I wonder how many copies were made before that happened. High capacity USB thumb drives are ubiquitous, as are SD cards.
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Offline Oceander

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I wonder how many copies were made before that happened. High capacity USB thumb drives are ubiquitous, as are SD cards.

If they were smart - and I'm not saying they aren't - hundreds of copies should have been salted all over the place.


They should have used blowtorches on the internal disks to melt them rather than simply cutting them up into pieces; that is about the only way to make sure that not even the government can obtain data from whatever remains of the disks.  A broken disk can quite easily be fitted back together so that the data off of each piece can be read and then stitched back together with the data on the other pieces.  It's a laborious process, and the bare metal data analysis and forensics would be mind-boggling, but the government has the resources to do it.  The best tech people can be divided into three groups:  those who work for the botnet masters, those who work for the government (sometimes this line gets blurred), and those whose pride and ego keep them independent.

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You are more up on this - far as I am concerned, hard drives are magic boxes that fail at the worst possible moment - but would not cutting them up with an angle grinder destroy too much data to be successfully recoverable? After all, the grinding wheels are 3 to 5 mm wide, and the heat is going to degrade any data either side of the cut.
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