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UK espionage next in the list of revelations, anticipates Greenwald

Tuesday, August 20th 2013 - 01:07 UTC
Full article 152 comments
Miranda was held nine hours for questioning in Heathrow under terrorist legislation  Miranda was held nine hours for questioning in Heathrow under terrorist legislation
Greenwald was in Rio’s airport to meet Miranda whose laptop, cellular phone and pen drive were seized by London police  Greenwald was in Rio’s airport to meet Miranda whose laptop, cellular phone and pen drive were seized by London police

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke news on former security contractor Edward Snowden’s allegations of U.S. surveillance programs, said he will publish revelations on U.K. intelligence after his partner was detained in London.

Brazilian David Miranda was held up for nine hours at Heathrow airport for questioning Aug. 18 under the country’s Terrorism Act. Greenwald said the detention would not intimidate him and that he has many documents on England’s system of espionage to reveal.

“I will report much more aggressively than before,” Greenwald told Globo TV after welcoming Miranda at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport yesterday. “They will regret what they did.”

Brazil’s Foreign Ministry expressed “grave concern” over the Heathrow incident, according to a statement issued on its website, which did not mention Miranda’s name. “This measure is without justification since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can legitimize the use of that legislation,” the ministry said.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman Christian Cubitt told reporters yesterday that Miranda’s detention was “an operational matter for the police.”

Snowden, a 30-year-old former security contractor, released a trove of classified documents in June that showed efforts by the United States NSA to log domestic and international phone calls and track electronic messages on social media. Facing criminal charges in the U.S., Snowden received temporary asylum in Russia, straining relations between the countries.

President Barack Obama said the NSA programs were useful to national security and that Snowden is not a patriot.

The U.S. knew that Miranda would be detained by U.K. authorities, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday.

“We were informed in advance, we did not ask the U.K. to undertake this,” Psaki said.

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the U.K. Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee, said he has written to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner requesting a justification of the use of the anti-terrorism law in this case.

“At the moment, it does seem extraordinary that this particular piece of legislation was used in this particular way,” Vaz told the BBC yesterday.

Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International said on the human rights group’s website that Miranda’s detention “was unlawful and inexcusable.”

“He was detained under a law that violates any principle of fairness and his detention shows how the law can be abused for petty vindictive reasons,” Brown said.  

Miranda was returning to Rio from Berlin, where he had spent a week with Laura Poitras, a U.S. filmmaker who has worked on the National Security Agency stories with Snowden and Greenwald, the Guardian reported on Sunday. Miranda didn’t have the right to a lawyer during his questioning in London, Greenwald wrote in the Guardian, which says it paid for the trip.

London police said a man they declined to identify was “subject to a detailed decision making process” on Sunday and that he was offered legal representation. The use of police powers was “legally and procedurally sound,” they said in an e-mailed statement.

Miranda told Globo TV that British authorities confiscated his computer and mobile telephone. O Globo newspaper reported July 6 that Brazil was a priority target of U.S. monitoring

The U.K. Embassy in Brasilia said in an e-mailed statement that Patriota and his U.K. counterpart discussed the issue by phone on Sunday and agreed for both governments to remain in contact.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    How quick they lose their morals.

    Threats and blackmail. Isn't that what they complain the US and UK government of doing?

    Aug 20th, 2013 - 01:39 am 0
  • reality check

    Was he in possession of classified material, illegally obtained, that could be of use to potential enemies of the UK?

    Who knows, but I rather suspect that this was the reason behind his detention, questioning and seizure of his electronic data equipment.

    I think that the Met would have taken legal advice before using this legislation, claiming it was illegal is just plain rubbish.

    If you have possession of or are suspected of possessing classified material illegally obtained, you can expect this sort of thing to happen. Being a journalist or the gay boyfriend of a journalist does not give you immunity from the law. If you believe it does, then you are just being naive.

    Aug 20th, 2013 - 01:43 am 0
  • Don Alberto

    Free speech is terrorism.
    Exposing Big Brother is terrorism.
    /sarcasm OFF

    Defending the undefendable reduces credibility.

    Remember 2005 when the MET murdered Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes because somebody was taking a leak?

    Remember all the lies the MET told?

    The police officers on the carriage all maintain that a warning was shouted before two of their number opened fire. Rachel Wilson and her boyfriend Ralph Livock were sitting opposite told the inquest nothing was said to alert the man before shots were fired. etc. etc.

    The IPCC's report was a “damning indictment” of a catalogue of failures made on the day.

    Aug 20th, 2013 - 02:46 am 0
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