The Guardian has reported that British spy agency GCHQ saved emails from journalists at BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major news organizations.

The newspaper said Monday its information was based on an analysis of documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The paper said the journalists' emails were among 70,000 emails gathered in less than ten minutes in November, 2008. It said the information was gleaned from a GCHQ tap on fiber optic cables used for Internet communications.

It said some emails included correspondence between editors and reporters discussing stories.

The newspaper made the disclosures as British editors are challenging the government's call for increased Internet surveillance in a bid to prevent terrorism.

GCHQ told the newspaper its actions meet legal guidelines.