Have published 1 per cent of Snowden leak: The Guardian

THE editor of the Guardian said Tuesday that his newspaper has published just 1 per cent of the material it received from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and denied that the paper had placed lives or national security at risk.

Alan Rusbridger was questioned by Parliament's home affairs committee as part of a session on counterterrorism. The Guardian has published a series of stories based on leaks from Snowden disclosing the scale of telephone and Internet surveillance by spy agencies in the US and Britain.

Rusbridger said the leak amounted to about 58,000 files and the newspaper had published "about 1 per cent" of the total. "I would not expect us to be publishing a huge amount more," he said.

Government and intelligence officials have said the leaks compromised British security and aided terrorists. Britain's top three spy chiefs said last month that al-Qaida and other terror groups were "rubbing their hands in glee" in the wake of Snowden's leaks.

Several lawmakers have said the Guardian should be prosecuted for breaching terrorism laws.

Rusbridger defended the newspaper's role, saying stories published by the Guardian and others had prompted debate about the extent of intelligence activities and exposed the limits of regulatory laws drawn up in the pre-Internet era.

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