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British paper details confrontation with UK spies

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 2:30 p.m. CST

LONDON (AP) — A British newspaper has released new details of its confrontation with the country's intelligence service, saying it destroyed hard drives containing material leaked by Edward Snowden in order to protect the former American intelligence worker.

The Guardian says officials feared the material held at the newspaper's London office could be compromised by foreign intelligence and that by mid-July the paper felt it was facing legal action or even a police raid.

It was then that the paper decided to destroy the material, editor Alan Rusbridger said Tuesday, explaining that the move was aimed at protecting Snowden from prosecution. He said copies of the material existed elsewhere.

The revelations come as British officials defend their decision to detain the partner of a Guardian journalist involved in the reporting on Snowden's leaks.

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