Journalist Resources

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Snowden Surveillance Archive

The Snowden Surveillance Archive is a complete collection of all documents that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked in June 2013 to journalists Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, and subsequently were published by news media, such as The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Mundo and The Intercept. The leaked documents and their coverage have raised significant public concerns and had a major impact on intelligence policy debates internationally over issues of freedom of expression, privacy, national security and democratic governance more broadly. The Archive also contains some documents that the U.S. Government has published which are helpful in understanding the leaked documents. The Archive does not contain any documents that have not already been published in other sources. The approximately 400 documents currently in the Archive are a small fraction of the estimated 50,000 documents Snowden turned over. Most of these will likely not be published, but as new documents are published, they will be added to the Archive.

Our aim in creating this Archive is to provide a tool that would facilitate citizen and researcher access to these important documents. Indexes, document descriptions, links to original documents and to related news stories, glossary and comprehensive search features are all designed to enable a better understanding of state surveillance programs within the wider context of surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) along with its partners in the Five Eyes countries – U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Our hope is that this resource will contribute to greater appreciation of the broad scope, intimate reach and profound implications of the global surveillance infrastructures and practices that Edward Snowden’s historic document leak reveals.

The Archive was designed and built by George Raine, a graduate of the Master of Information program in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, with the assistance of Jillian Harkness, currently a student in this program.

Important note: The descriptions contained in this archive are the work of interested amateurs in the area of state intelligence, without detailed insight into the legal and technological issues that the documents describe. If readers identify any potential inaccuracies, they are encouraged to contact the curators, who will endeavour to improve the collection. The curators of the Archive have no special access to documents that are not already in the public domain. Redactions that occur in the documents have been performed either by government classifiers, or by the media outlets that first published the documents.


Project Partners
  • Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)
  • The Politics of Surveillance Project in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, led by Dr. Andrew Clement, a sub-project of The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting project, based at Queen's University, led by Dr. David Lyon


In furthering vibrant democracies and protecting journalists’ freedom of expression, Massey College in partnership with CJFE are pleased to provide an annual opportunity for an international journalist living in exile in Canada because they face persecution or danger for their work defending freedom of expression, human rights or democracy in their home countries. Run in tandem with Massey's William Southam Journalism Fellowships, the successful applicant will be invited to spend a year at Massey College, a graduate college within the University of Toronto and receive support from a community of Canadian journalists.