In a heavy-handed move that sounds more like China or Cuba, the British government forced The Guardian news site to destroy a copy of some files made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The Guardian's editor Alan Rusbridger recalled in an article today how the British government, about a month ago, threatened legal action against the news site unless it either destroyed U.S. classified documents or gave them to British authorities.
Rusbridger recalled that an unidentified British official told him: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back."
Rusbridger added that two "security experts" from Government Communications Headquarters, the British equivalent of NSA, visited the The Guardian's London offices.
In The Guardian's basement, U.K. government officials made sure computers which contained material provided by Snowden were physically pulverized.
One of the British officials joked about the state censorship by saying: "We can call off the black helicopters" and "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more."
One of the officials claimed to represent the views of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Ironically, Prime Minister Cameron's Conservative Party claims that "Cameron's philosophy has always been making sure people are in control and that politicians are their servants, not their masters. His belief in social responsibility, not state control, as the best way to solve problems is already evident..."
Rusbridger said that he told British officials that the The Guardian "did not have to do our reporting from London," inferring that British authorities were on notice that The Guardian would report on Snowden leaks outside British jurisdiction.
The journalist who has reported the most on Snowden for The Guardian is Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, a country which condemned the U.K. today for detaining Greenwald's partner David Miranda for nine hours.
Sources: The Guardian and Conservatives.com