A fresh set of documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden have revealed that spies at the British security hub GCHQ snooped on emails from news outlets from around the world, including the BBC, Le Monde, New York Times and the Washington Post.
According to the Guardian the emails were collected as a result of tests conducted by the spy agency looking into how to gain access to fibre optic web connection. One ten-minute test in November 2008 saw GCHQ staff obtain 70,000 messages.
Though it seems many emails harvested were mass-mail out or PR shots, some contained personal discussions between writers and editors. And while individual journalists do not seem to have been targeted, the fresh leak also suggests that investigative journalists (particularly those researching defense-focussed stories) were seen as a potential threat to national security by GCHQ.
While attempts to contain military secrets, in an age of international cyber warfare and terrorist attacks, it's also understandable why so many people are turning to encrypted messaging applications, and why David Cameron's recent plan to ban them were met with such opposition. [Guardian]