Home Secretary Theresa May told BBC Radio 4's The World At One that it was right that senior members of the government have been involved in the Snowden leaks affair in recent days.
She said: "Issues of national security are rightly addressed at an appropriate level within government.
"I do not find it surprising somebody at a very senior level within government should be involved in this particular issue.
"I think it is right and proper the government had those discussions with the Guardian, that the action that was taken was taken.
"If government believes information that could be of help to terrorists is potentially being held insecurely, could fall into the wrong hands, I think it is right the government should act.
"I don't find it strange that should be done at a senior level."