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Investigative Journalists Under Increasing Scrutiny Amidst Snowden Fallout.

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posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 06:40 AM
David Miranda, partner journalist to Glenn Greenwald, the man whom facilitated the release of the Snowden leaks, was held by UK authorities at Heathrow airport on his way back home to Rio de Janeiro under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Not being a regular reader of the UK based Guardian, I have begun to admire the support they give their journalists, especially in light of Snowden leaks.

The chairman of the home affairs select committee has said he will write to police after 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 by UK authorities as he passed through London's Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro.

David Miranda, who lives with Glenn Greenwald, was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8.05am and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

He was held for almost nine hours and officials confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles.


I thought this piece was interesting to post in light of all the "incidents" revolving around investigative journalists or individuals wishing to make "sensitive" information public.

The policy that allowed authorities to detain David Miranda was:

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, controversially allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals.

Grant it, the policy is in place to prevent acts of terror, however as the article describes, these detentions only last about 1 hour in the majority of the cases. David, who was known to be a partner of Glenn Greenwald, was held for the maximum allowable 9 hours prior to his release. In this time, one can only imagine the information they pulled from his confiscated equipment. Possibly about Snowden.

I feel this incident highlights the serious danger certain rights and freedoms are in and that this detention was perpetrated without reasonable cause. This was more of a targeted, vindictive attempt on journalism in my opinion.

I also found this portion of the article troubling, though not the central issue of focus:

Miranda was held for nine hours, the maximum the law allows before officers must release or formally arrest the individual. According to official figures, most examinations under schedule 7 – over 97% – last less than an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained are kept for more than six hours.

2000 people were detained for more than six hours, and only account for up too 3% of all those stopped under this section of the terrorism act. That is a lot of people in the 97%, that could mean tens of thousands of people are stopped and temporarily have their rights and freedoms suspended.

What a world.

edit on 19-8-2013 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 07:14 AM
Absolutely disgusting, but something i've suspected would happen all along. even if they've returned all his electronic equipment i'd be throwing it in the bin and replacing all of it or he could give it to some street kids in Brazil, that could be interesting

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 07:31 AM

Originally posted by FFS4000
Absolutely disgusting, but something i've suspected would happen all along. even if they've returned all his electronic equipment i'd be throwing it in the bin and replacing all of it or he could give it to some street kids in Brazil, that could be interesting

Interesting, goodness knows what they did to his equipment, but beyond taking some identification marks and serial codes off his machines, i doubt they tampered with them extensively. This is assuming he received all his stuff back.

I think many of us suspected this was going to, if not already occurring. Journalism, is being attacked on two fronts here. The first being the crack down on the release of sensitive information and second, the supposed Journalist making comments and pushing stories that are obviously part of some agenda and have nothing to do with fact.

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 08:33 AM
reply to post by MDDoxs is reporting that Brazil and Amnesity international are now involved and are condemning the actions undertaken by the UK authorities.

The Brazilian government released a statement expressing grave concern over the episode. It stated that the measure was unjustified “since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can legitimate the use of that legislation.”

“The Brazilian government expects that incidents such as the one that happened to the Brazilian citizen today do not repeat,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has stated that Miranda was a clear “victim of unwarranted revenge tactics.”

"It is utterly improbable that David Michael Miranda, a Brazilian national transiting through London, was detained at random, given the role his husband has played in revealing the truth about the unlawful nature of NSA surveillance," said Widney Brown, Amnesty’s senior director of international law and policy.


Of course, I see this just as the normal politicking as per usual, but there must be a final straw when foreign nationals are having their rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by international accords, infringed upon.

Brazil is one of the most influential nations of the South American block and there have already been concerns over allegations that the US has subjected Brazil to heavy surveillance. Not to mention the incident with a South American leader being halted in mid flight.

What straw will break the camel's back? Will NATO alienate itself further from the rest of the world with these infringements, regardless of their validity.
edit on 19-8-2013 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 12:59 PM
the thing that gets me is this is a clause for detaining and questioning suspected terrorists. yet according to everyone envolved and from everything i have read nothing was asked in regards to terrorism, only the info from the NSA leaked snowden documents that he received on his trip to Berlin.

they should have a strong case against them if they take it further if it was used solely for intimidation or to get hold of the documents on the thumb drive as how can they relate that to terrorism?

although in this day and age i guess they can pin anything as being terrorism related.

edit on 19-8-2013 by rayuki because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 02:41 PM
What I don't understand is exactly how the "police" knew this guy was Greenwald's "partner"?
If one is married, thus duly "registered" with the government, it seems quite easy to determine "partnership".
But in this case - just how did these guys know WHO to detain?

Obviously, my question is somewhat rhetorical, since any decent intelligence agency (however oxymoronic that might sound) would have a dossier on suspects, enemies, and other "persons of interest". It's easy to see how an actual relative of a person of interest/suspect/enemy (like Snowden's father for example) could be targeted - after all there are birth records, marriage records, etc. The only LOGICAL conclusion is that the UK government considers Greenwald to be a person of interest/suspect/enemy and they've profiled his life to the extent that his known associations are also targeted.

On second thought, maybe it had something to do with his contact in Berlin - in all probability, also considered to be a person of interest/suspect/enemy.

edit on 19-8-2013 by ganjoa because: misspelt

edit on 19-8-2013 by ganjoa because: wrong contraction they're instead of they've (american english I guess)

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 02:05 AM
reply to post by ganjoa

Most likely it's both. HBGary has already made an attempt to neutralize Greenwald, and they profiled him extensively. It's clear the US government sees him as an enemy. That the UK would as well isn't too far fetched.

It's a good thing for Greenwald that he lives in Brazil, if he lived in the US he would probably be arrested and disappear.


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