01:11 GMT17 January 2021
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    New documents released by Edward Snowden indicate that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been spying on major international media companies, including the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post.

    MOSCOW, January 19 (Sputnik) — The British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been intercepting the emails of US and UK media employees, the Guardian reported Monday citing a new batch of documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    According to the newspaper, emails written by employees of the Guardian, as well as the BBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Reuters and a number of other major media organizations were among 70,000 emails intercepted by GCHQ in November, 2008 and shared on the agency's intranet.

    The mass email interception is believed to be part of the agency's text exercise. GCHQ captured both simple PR mails and confidential correspondence between reporters and editors –it is as yet unclear whether or not journalists were targeted specifically.

    According to other documents released by Snowden, GCHQ lists investigative journalists as a security threat alongside terrorists and hackers.

    "Journalists and reporters representing all types of news media represent a potential threat to security," said one of the restricted documents revealed by Snowden as cited by the Guardian. It continued that the "investigative journalists" who specialise in defence-related exposés" are of special concern for GCHQ.

    The British GCHQ has repeatedly found itself in the middle of eavesdropping scandals the most recent of which implied an alleged cyberattack of a senior employee at the German Chancellery.

    Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said British intelligence agencies should be able to read every form of communications, including those on social networking sites, to be able to prevent major terror attacks.

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    Tags:
    journalists, mass media, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), David Cameron, United Kingdom
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