British Police Detain, Harass Partner of Reporter in NSA Leaks
August 19, 2013 11:29 PM
comment(s) - last by
Laptop and documents are seized from reporter
White House spokesman Josh Earnest greeted the news of UK police detaining a loved one of the main reporter involved in the publication of
U.S. National Security Agency
-- with little surprise. He comments, "There was a heads up that was provided by the British government."
I. The Gloved Fist Strikes Back
While the U.S. did not order the detention, it would nonetheless
please some Democrats and Republicans
, such as House Republican
Rep. Peter King
(R-New York) who have been vocally demanding that the international authorities prosecute the journalists at
The Washington Post
who were involved in the leaks, opening investigations against them and their families. Rep. King stated:
Actually, if [a reporter/reporters] willingly knew that this was classified information, I think action should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude. I know that the whole issue of leaks has been gone into over the last month. I think something on this magnitude, there is an obligation, both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security.
Glenn Greenwald of
has primarily documented the NSA leaks. But it was not Mr. Greenwald who spent nearly 9 hours in police custody at London's Heathrow airport, but rather his partner, whom he lives with.
Glenn Greenwald (left) and David Miranda [Image Source: Reuters]
David Miranda, 28-year old Brazil native, was harassed by seven agents who denied him his request to speak with a lawyer. Under coercion he was forced to surrender password to his laptop and mobile phone. He recalls, "They were threatening me all the time and saying I would be put in jail if I didn't co-operate. They treated me like I was a criminal or someone about to attack the UK … It was exhausting and frustrating, but I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong."
seized his laptop
, phone, DVDs, USB sticks, and other materials -- even a game console -- claiming he was part of a Terror Act investigation. Much like America's
(Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism) Act, England's
2000 Terrorism Act
offers the nation's police
oft abused Orwellian privileges
. Mr. Miranda was detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act; the agents involved refused to give their names, only giving their ID numbers.
The maximum police can hold a person in England under the Terror Act is 9 hours -- after that you have to either arrest the person or release them. After a grueling 8+ hours, Mr. Miranda was finally released.
According to recent statistics only 3 out of 10,000 people are detained this way and only 1 out of 2,000 detainees is kept for more than an hour. Thus Mr. Miranda's detention appears to be a 3 in 20 million occurrence -- a most extraordinary harassment measure.
II. Glenn Greenwald Vows to Leak Even More Secrets
The move appears to have backfired, though.
Numerous politicians in Britain and Mr. Miranda's home nation of Brazil were voicing sentiments ranging from unhappiness to outright rage over the detention. And Mr. Greenwald released a statement saying the harassment compels him to leak even
U.S. and British surveillance programs
that he allegedly holds.
The thuggish treatment of Mr. Miranda has prompted a backlash against the UK's secret police.
[Image Source: Reuters]
"This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process," Greenwald
. "To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ. The actions of the UK pose a serious threat to journalists everywhere.
"But the last thing it will do is intimidate or deter us in any way from doing our job as journalists. Quite the contrary: it will only embolden us more to continue to report aggressively."
In a separate statement to reporters he
I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I am going to publish things on England too. I have many documents on England's spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.
Back in the U.S., it's unclear if reporters publishing stories on Mr. Snowden will face similar persecution. The Obama administration has charged more than twice as many whistleblowers with Espionage Act (
18 U.S.C. § 792
) offenses as all the previous administrations before him (since the Act was passed in 1917) combined, according to
. It has also spearheaded secret programs to
monitor dozens of
and spy on a
journalist, allegedly in order to investigate "leaks". The administration has thus far stopped short of indulging the noisy cries of Rep. King and his anti-free media cohorts, but given past behavior it would not be surprising to see similar harassment occur here in the states at some point.
Perhaps Mr. Snowden wasn't using hyperbole when
he suggested that he feared for his family
. After, all, it appears that Mr. Greenwald's loved ones are seeing just the kind of harassment Mr. Snowden feared.
The Guardian 
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
8/20/2013 3:54:19 PM
Cheering is more like it.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
Audit: NSA Agents Broke the Law Nearly 3,000 Times from 2011 to 2012
August 16, 2013, 2:40 PM
NSA Admits to "Touching" 1.6 Percent of Total Global Web Traffic
August 13, 2013, 5:27 PM
U.S., UK Intercepted Foreign Leaders Calls, Emails at G20 Summit in 2009
June 17, 2013, 10:48 AM
Source: Don't Worry, NSA Spies on "99 Percent" of Americans' Locations, Call Records
June 14, 2013, 3:57 PM
Rep. Peter King (R) on NSA Leaks: Prosecute the Journalists
June 12, 2013, 4:00 PM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Instagram Bans "Curvy" From Hashtag Searches, Provokes "Plus Sized" Outrage
July 16, 2015, 1:20 PM
Mozilla Promise Punctual Windows 10 Firefox Release, Teases at iOS Arrival
July 7, 2015, 3:08 PM
Netflix Announces 7-to-1 Stock Split, Eyes Explosive Overseas Growth
June 23, 2015, 8:18 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows 10 Hits 75 Million Users; Grows Nearly 4x as Fast as Windows 7
August 28, 2015, 10:22 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Microsoft's Flagship Windows10 Lumias Rumored to Pack 25 Minute Charge Times
August 31, 2015, 8:13 PM
Report: Over 25 Million Devices Upgraded to Windows 10... or Was It 67 Million?
August 7, 2015, 3:24 PM
Microsoft Announces $499 Xbox One "ELITE", w/ High-End Controller, Hybrid HDD
August 31, 2015, 3:29 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information