spokesman added: "We have presented a witness statement to the court in Britain which explains why we are trying to secure copies of over 58,000 stolen intelligence documents - to protect public safety and our national security."
A spokeswoman for the New York Times said the paper had no comment.
The British investigation was opened after authorities at London's Heathrow Airport earlier this month used an anti-terrorism law to detain David Miranda, the domestic partner of Glenn Greenwald, a Guardian writer who has met with Snowden and has played a lead role in writing about material the former NSA contractor leaked.
Miranda was held and questioned for nine hours before being allowed to resume his trip from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro, where he and Greenwald live. Greenwald has said that Miranda had carried Snowden related material from him in Brazil to Laura Poitras in Berlin, an American film-maker who has also met with Snowden, and that Miranda was carrying Snowden-related materials which Poitras gave to him back to Greenwald.
In her witness statement submitted to the British court on Friday, Detective Superintendent Caroline Goode, who said she was in charge of Scotland Yard's Snowden-related investigation, said that among materials officials had seized from Miranda while detaining him was an "external hard drive" containing data encrypted by a system called "True Crypt," which Goode said "renders the material extremely difficult to access."
Goode said the hard drive contained around 60 gigabytes of data, "of which only 20 have been accessed to date." She said that she had been advised that the hard drive contains "approximately 58,000 UK documents which are highly classified in nature, to the highest level."
Goode said the process to decode the material was complex and that "so far only 75 documents have been reconstructed since the property was initially received."
Goode also said that it was "likely" that Scotland Yard "is investigating a conspiracy with a global dimension. It is necessary to ascertain if this stolen, classified material has been disseminated to others in order to prevent further disclosure which would prove valuable to terrorists, thereby preventing further offences and protecting public safety."