Disinfo: The Guardian is controlled by MI6


The UK newspaper The Guardian is controlled by the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Multiple reporters working for the outlet are MI6 operatives. Although the newspaper originally published some of the Wikileaks documents, it subsequently agreed to destroy all of the leaked data in front of MI6 agents.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting Western media outlets as subservient to political/military/security elites of their respective states. The Guardian is formally owned by a non-profit limited company established specifically to fund the outlet and, simultaneously, guarantee the independence of its staff. Annual reports are published to ensure the transparency of the paper's finances and its adherence to professional standards. The story confuses the unspecified "Wikileaks documents" with the Snowden files, which The Guardian actually obtained in 2013 and used in its coverage of the NSA surveillance scandal. Faced with legal action and prospect of closure in response to the reports, the paper agreed to destroy the storage devices containing the data, and did so in the presence of two GCHQ technicians -- the MI6 was never involved at any stage of the process. The UK Government was informed that multiple copies of the files existed and that the destruction of the UK-based devices, according to then-chief editor Alan Rusbridger, "wouldn't be achieving anything." The paper continued to cover the surveillance scandal, including a story on secret NSA-GCHQ cooperation published 12 days after the destruction of the Snowden files.


  • Reported in: Issue 145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: UK, US
  • Keywords: Wikileaks, Mainstream media, Edward Snowden, The Guardian, MI6


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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