UK govt ordered official to stem Guardian leaks

LONDON (AP) - Britain's deputy prime minister says the government ordered the country's top civil servant to ask the Guardian newspaper to destroy data leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Nick Clegg defended the decision to ask Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood to approach the newspaper, which began publishing stories in June based on Snowden's leaks.

Clegg said Wednesday that it was a reasonable request because the material would represent a threat to national security should it fall into the hands of terrorists.

The Guardian says it destroyed hard drives containing material leaked by Snowden rather than hand it over or face legal action from the government.

The paper says it has other copies of the material outside Britain.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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