Press comment: David Miranda arrest

Commenting on the arrest of David Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald:

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “This is a direct attack on freedom of the press and a chilling reminder that our anti-terror laws are in desperate need of reform. Whoever took the decision to have David Miranda arrested and detained should be named and held publicly accountable for this flagrant abuse of anti-terrorism laws. 

“The law David Miranda was detained under provides powers to deal with those suspected of involvement with acts of terrorism, not a license to interrogate those with knowledge of the activity of journalists. If a foreign government detained the partner of a British journalist we would rightly be up in arms.

“Anti-terror laws have been abused for too long, undermine basic democratic principles and put huge unchecked power in the hands of security officials. Parliament must demand substantial reform that does not allow this kind of episode to ever again stain Britain’s reputation.”

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Press Office | 3 Comments


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  2. davidbfpo
    19th August 2013

    No doubt lawyers and other advocates will argue about the use of Schedule 7 at Heathrow Airport in this matter.

    Meantime one reads in several places that Mr Greenwald’s own account to the New York Times is somewhat different from the outrage expressed here: Mr. Miranda was in Berlin to deliver documents related to Mr. Greenwald’s investigation into government surveillance to Ms. Poitras, Mr. Greenwald said. Ms. Poitras, in turn, gave Mr. Miranda different documents to pass to Mr. Greenwald. Those documents, which were stored on encrypted thumb drives, were confiscated by airport security, Mr. Greenwald said. All of the documents came from the trove of materials provided to the two journalists by Mr. Snowden

    See: //

    Initially The Guardian reported Mr Miranda was on a private journey, later changing this as the paper had paid for the flight.

    One should also ask was a flight from Germany to Brazil via London Heathrow really wise, given the stance taken by the UK government – which The Guardian has dissented from, unlike others – and the relationship between the USA and the UK in intelligence matters? Are those involved in Mr Miranda’s travel planning naive? I think not. Could this detention have been the goal of Greenwald and others?

    For those who have long criticised the use of Schedule 7 at ports perhaps this incident will help, I am alas not convinced.

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