Aug 21

– America’s assault on a free press moves into high gear: Detention of Greenwald Partner in London Clearly Came on US Orders (This Can’t Be Happening, Aug 20, 2013):

It is becoming perfectly clear that the outrageous detention of American journalist Glenn Greenwald’s Brazilian partner David Miranda by British police during a flight transfer at London’s Heathrow Airport was, behind the scenes, the work of US intelligence authorities.

British police and the British Home Office (the equivalent of America’s Department of Homeland Security) are claiming that the action was taken by them on the basis of an anti-terrorist statute, passed in 2000, with the Orwellian name “Schedule 7.” The give-away that this was not something that the British dreamed up on their own, however, is their admission that they had given Washington a “heads up” in advance about their intention to detain Miranda, a Brazilian national, before the detention actually occurred.

Note that the British did not notify Brazilian authorities. It was the Americans who got the call. Why would British police notify American authorities about the detention of a Brazilian citizen except to ask what US authorities wanted done ? Clearly, Miranda was on one of America’s “watch lists” and the British police called because they needed instructions from their superiors in the US regarding whether to detain him and what to do with him once they had him. It looks like that call to Washington, rather than a “heads up,” was actually more of a request for a “thumbs up” from Washington to go ahead and detain and interrogate Miranda. (The ironically named new White House press secretary, Josh Ernest, denied any involvement by the US in Miranda’s ordeal, saying, “This is a decision that was made by the British government without the involvement – and not at the request – of the United States government. It is as simple as that.” He was not pressed on the matter by the assembled members of the White House press corps–a group that is not known for its aggressiveness even when its own interests are at stake.)

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Aug 20

David Miranda’s lawyers threaten legal action over ‘unlawful’ detention (Guardian, Aug 20, 2013):

Partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald seeks return of equipment seized during nine-hour interrogation at Heathrow

Lawyers for the partner of the Guardian journalist who exposed mass email surveillance have written to home secretary Theresa May and the head of the Metropolitan police warning them that they are set to take legal action over what they say amounted to his “unlawful” detention at Heathrow airport under anti-terror laws.

In their letter to May and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe they warn they are seeking immediate undertakings for the return David Miranda‘s laptop and all other electronic equipment within seven days.

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Aug 19

Glenn Greenwald’s Partner Detained For 9 Hours, Electronics Confiscated (Liberty Blitzkrieg,, Aug 18, 2013):

A month ago, I wrote a piece titled: If Flying into the UK, Your Phone Can Be Seized and Data Downloaded Without Suspicion. As you might suspect, the focus of the piece was something called schedule 7 of the UK’s Terrorism Act of 2000, which allows authorities to stop and search  people “without prior authorization or reasonable suspicion.” Not only that, they are not automatically permitted access to legal counsel during the interrogation and they must cooperate. Oh, and your electronic devices can be confiscated.

I chose to write that article at the time to highlight the myriad ways it could be grossly abused. Well now we a very high profile example of such abuse as Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda was stopped for nine hours (the maximum allowed), his electronics were confiscated, and we have no explanation from the Home Office as to why he was considered a terrorist threat.

Here’s an idea for investigative journalists and activists worldwide. Do not fly through the UK unless you absolutely have to.

More from The Guardian:

The partner of the Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories revealing mass surveillance programmes by the US National Security Agency was held for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities as he passed through London’s Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro.

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