London Metropolitan Police anti-terror squad had refused to make any comment on whether they were investigating the reporters who broke the Snowden story for two years, but now a court has ordered them to answer — and they've copped to it.
The police have called reporting on Snowden a "conspiracy with a global dimension." There's not much chance that they'll actually prosecute journalists for doing their jobs — and for revealing criminal wrongdoing in the UK and US spy services — but the fact of the investigation sends a powerful message to other journos who're contemplating ground-breaking national security reporting.
The admission that the investigation remains ongoing triggered criticism from the U.K.'s largest journalists' organization. Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, called on the police to "stop attacking press freedom."
"Journalists who reported on the Snowden documents are not criminals, they are not a threat to national security," Stanistreet said in a statement issued to The Intercept. "It is totally unacceptable that the authorities have spent the last two years considering whether they will prosecute British journalists reporting in the public interest."
UK Police Confirm Ongoing Criminal Probe of Snowden Leak Journalists [Ryan Gallagher/The Intercept]
(Image: Protection for Snowden,