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Journalist Luke Harding Speaks of 'Self-Deletion' When Writing THE SNOWDEN FILES

Journalist Luke Harding Speaks of 'Self-Deletion' When Writing THE SNOWDEN FILES

Journalist Luke Harding encountered strange activity while writing his book on Edward Snowden. He writes in the Guardian that when writing the "The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man," some paragraphs seemed to "self-delete" themselves, as if there was someone watching and participating in his writing.

As he was writing a chapter on the on the" NSA's close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley," Harding said that, "Something odd happened. The paragraph I had just written began to self-delete. The cursor moved rapidly from the left, gobbling text. I watched my words vanish. When I tried to close my OpenOffice file the keyboard began flashing and bleeping. Over the next few weeks these incidents of remote deletion happened several times. There was no fixed pattern but it tended to occur when I wrote disparagingly of the NSA."

Harding began to get frustrated by the presence of an unknown third-party that he would start to leave messages when he was writing, with one saying, "Good morning. I don't mind you reading my manuscript - you're doing so already - but I'd be grateful if you don't delete it. Thank you," but he never received a reply.

A month later, the unknown reader just disappeared. Harding said that, "At a literary event in Berlin my Guardian colleague David Leigh told a journalist about my unusual computer experiences; he led with the anecdote in a piece for the leftwing daily Taz. After that, nothing." Harding was able to finish The Snowden Files in December and the book was released February 7, 2014.

Read Harding's full article on the Guardian here.



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Kaitlin Milligan Kaitlin Milligan is from Fort Lauderdale, FL, but is currently a Freshman studying English at The University of Florida. She has aspirations to be a playwright and television scriptwriter in New York City. In her free time she sings, writes, plays piano, and sees as many Broadway shows as possible.



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