Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on Tuesday vigorously defended his decision to publish a series of articles based on the secret files of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, telling a parliamentary committee hearing that the right to continue pursuing the story goes to the heart of press freedoms and democracy in Britain.
The hearing on the Guardian’s handling of intelligence data leaked by Snowden, who is now living in self-imposed exile in Moscow, drew the attention of free speech advocates on both sides of the Atlantic. Rusbridger faced more than an hour of questioning by Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee on counterterrorism, testifying in what at times descended into a combative public grilling of both the Guardian and its editor.
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