Tag Archive: Terrorism Act 2000


High Court rules seized data can be used to investigate links to ‘terrorism’ but not ‘criminal’ charges

– Sarah Lazare, staff writer

David Miranda and Glenn Greenwald (Photo: Channel 4 News)David Miranda won a limited court victory against the UK when the High Court issued a ruling Thursday that prohibits the government and police from “inspecting, copying or sharing” the data that was forcefully taken from him while he was passing through Heathrow airport on Sunday, except for where it is used to ‘protect’ national security and/or determine whether the claimant is connected with terrorism.

The ruling means that the data can be used to investigate alleged links to terrorism—which free press advocates charge would be a preposterous move aimed at intimidating and silencing journalists—but cannot be used for a criminal investigation.

The Metropolitan police had previously launched a criminal investigation against Miranda, the Guardian reports, but did not give details of the case.

Miranda, a Brazilian citizen and partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald who exposed secret surveillance programs of the US and UK governments, had filed court proceedings against the government to retrieve items that were seized during his 9-hour detention at Heathrow airport, including his cell phone, computer, memory sticks, smart watch, DVDs and games consoles.

Miranda’s detention on Sunday, in which Miranda says he was subject to “frightening, stressful and intimidating” interrogation and threats of imprisonment, has sparked outrage over the UK’s abuse of Schedule 7, part of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000.

Miranda had been returning from a visit with film-maker Laura Poitras, who helped break the spying revelations stories.

_____________________

Enhanced by Zemanta
Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda

Glenn Greenwald (right) and his partner David Miranda, who was held by UK authorities at Heathrow airport. Photograph: Janine Gibson

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.

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. The controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals.

The 28-year-old 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.

Miranda was released, but officials confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles.

Since 5 June, Greenwald has written a series of stories revealing the NSA‘s electronic surveillance programmes, detailed in thousands of files passed to him by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The Guardian has also published a number of stories about blanket electronic surveillance by Britain’s GCHQ, also based on documents from Snowden.

While in Berlin, Miranda had visited Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who has also been working on the Snowden files with Greenwald and the Guardian. The Guardian paid for Miranda’s flights.

“This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process,” Greenwald said. “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.”

A spokesperson for the Guardian said: “We were dismayed that the partner of a Guardian journalist who has been writing about the security services was detained for nearly nine hours while passing through Heathrow airport. We are urgently seeking clarification from the British authorities.”

Read More Here

**************************************************************

Glenn Greenwald: detaining my partner was a failed attempt at intimidation

The detention of my partner, David Miranda, by UK authorities will have the opposite effect of the one intended

At 6:30 am this morning my time – 5:30 am on the East Coast of the US – I received a telephone call from someone who identified himself as a “security official at Heathrow airport.” He told me that my partner, David Miranda, had been “detained” at the London airport “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000.”

David had spent the last week in Berlin, where he stayed with Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker who has worked with me extensively on the NSA stories. A Brazilian citizen, he was returning to our home in Rio de Janeiro this morning on British Airways, flying first to London and then on to Rio. When he arrived in London this morning, he was detained.

At the time the “security official” called me, David had been detained for 3 hours. The security official told me that they had the right to detain him for up to 9 hours in order to question him, at which point they could either arrest and charge him or ask a court to extend the question time. The official – who refused to give his name but would only identify himself by his number: 203654 – said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him.

I immediately contacted the Guardian, which sent lawyers to the airport, as well various Brazilian officials I know. Within the hour, several senior Brazilian officials were engaged and expressing indignation over what was being done. The Guardian has the full story here.

Despite all that, five more hours went by and neither the Guardian’s lawyers nor Brazilian officials, including the Ambassador to the UK in London, were able to obtain any information about David. We spent most of that time contemplating the charges he would likely face once the 9-hour period elapsed.

According to a document published by the UK government about Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, “fewer than 3 people in every 10,000 are examined as they pass through UK borders” (David was not entering the UK but only transiting through to Rio). Moreover, “most examinations, over 97%, last under an hour.” An appendix to that document states that only .06% of all people detained are kept for more than 6 hours.

The stated purpose of this law, as the name suggests, is to question people about terrorism. The detention power, claims the UK government, is used “to determine whether that person is or has been involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”

Read More Here

**************************************************************

Enhanced by Zemanta