Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 14:05 UTC
Legal

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.

Miranda also had all his equipment confiscated. He has done nothing wrong - there's no charges, no criminal suspicion, nothing at all. His only crime is being the partner of a famous journalist who, among other things, is one of the driving forces behind shining a light on the NSA's mass surveillance.

There is no war on terror, because the terrorists have already won.

Order by: Score:
Excuses
by CapEnt on Mon 19th Aug 2013 14:32 UTC
CapEnt
Member since:
2005-12-18

Terrorism is just the long waited excuse that anachronic fascist people hidden in XXI century needed to rot the very core of democracy to the ground.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Excuses
by Tuishimi on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:36 UTC in reply to "Excuses"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, terrorism is terrorism, but I agree that the gov't responses have been extreme and perhaps detrimental in some cases.

What really rots a democracy is a lack of focused morality - and that is not something easily overcome because a democracy invites all kinds of belief systems with differing viewpoints, differing levels of acceptance, differing EVERYTHING. The melting pot can make a democracy strong but also weaken it.

To compensate, governments alternately attempt to tighten or loosen control, to legislate, remove legislation... sort of a constant state of flux. Usually it ends up going too far in one direction and Rome falls.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Excuses
by tylerdurden on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Excuses"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

For what it is worth morality is relative, and Rome fell as an empire.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Excuses
by Tuishimi on Tue 20th Aug 2013 05:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Excuses"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

For what it is worth, morality has to be objective or it is worthless.

And Rome went through many iterations of government. Started out in a rather reasonable and positive fashion.

Edited 2013-08-20 05:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Excuses
by Kochise on Tue 20th Aug 2013 08:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Excuses"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

If you can read french, here's a recent article on the French version of Prism :

http://www.leparisien.fr/magazine/grand-angle/enquete-les-ecoutes-a...

En réalité, « aux Etats-Unis, la lutte contre le terrorisme est un leurre, décrypte Franck Decloquement, chercheur à l’Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques.

Environ 80 % de leur activité dans ce domaine n’a qu’un objectif : le renseignement économique. Pourquoi mettraient-ils autant d’argent dans ces systèmes ? Uniquement pour déjouer d’éventuels attentats ? Non, bien sûr.

Mais pour savoir, par exemple, si Airbus est mieux placé que Boeing pour un contrat. Nous bricolons du renseignement économique, alors que les Américains l’ont industrialisé »


That means :

In fact, "in the United States, the fight against terrorism is a decoy, decrypts Decloquement Franck, a researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations.

Approximately 80% of their activity in this area has only one objective: economic intelligence. Why would it take so much money in these systems? Only to thwart possible attacks? No, of course.

But to know, for example, if Airbus is better placed than Boeing for a contract. We are tinkering economic intelligence, while the Americans have developed it to an industrial scale"


Kochise

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Excuses
by zima on Mon 26th Aug 2013 21:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Excuses"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

For what it is worth, morality has to be objective or it is worthless.

Then you're saying it's worthless... (because it's certainly not objective; one quick example - many people living in Indian subcontinent would be terrified how you can eat cow burgers)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Excuses
by Luis on Tue 20th Aug 2013 09:37 UTC in reply to "Excuses"
Luis Member since:
2006-04-28

This brings us to ask ourselves: who is really behind (sponsors?) terrorism?

Who, in other words, needs terrorism more than anyone else to keep control and power in "democratic" societies? Who would really lose all this power if terrorism suddenly disappeared of the equation and we could have more truly democratic societies and fair relationships between all countries?

To whom is terrorism really useful?

Quite scary questions to ask.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Excuses
by isaba on Tue 20th Aug 2013 09:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Excuses"
isaba Member since:
2006-12-30

Good point. In the detectives films, the first question is "who benefits from the crime?". "Follow the money" also works very well.

I strongly believe that in no other period in History the powerful have had so perfect means to control the general population as now. Information is power, you know...

Reply Score: 2

If you strike me down
by kwan_e on Mon 19th Aug 2013 14:35 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

So McCarthyism is back and it's stronger than ever.

Reply Score: 9

RE: If you strike me down
by Tuishimi on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:30 UTC in reply to "If you strike me down"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Except McCarthyism is American... I am not sure if GB ever had something like this in their recent history. Did they?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: If you strike me down
by grable on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE: If you strike me down"
grable Member since:
2006-11-24

We here in Norway sure as shit did, maybe not as extreme as the americans.
But there were entire families under surveillance for many many years... just for sniffing in the general direction of the reds.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: If you strike me down
by Tuishimi on Tue 20th Aug 2013 05:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: If you strike me down"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I did not know that! Time to do some reading up on Norwegian history.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: If you strike me down
by kwan_e on Mon 19th Aug 2013 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE: If you strike me down"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Except McCarthyism is American... I am not sure if GB ever had something like this in their recent history. Did they?


That's why I said it's back stronger than ever. It used to be American. But now this whole terrorist excuse is being induced in other sovereign nations.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: If you strike me down
by tylerdurden on Tue 20th Aug 2013 00:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: If you strike me down"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Now? There is nothing new with regards to internal or external threats, wether real or imaginary, being used by to solidify power and counteract dissent. It's about the oldest play in the concentration of power playbook.

Edited 2013-08-20 00:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: If you strike me down
by kwan_e on Tue 20th Aug 2013 01:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: If you strike me down"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Now? There is nothing new with regards to internal or external threats, wether real or imaginary, being used by to solidify power and counteract dissent. It's about the oldest play in the concentration of power playbook.


I never said "new", did I? Nor did anyone. I see these kinds of comments all the time here and on Slashdot. Anything that's said is interpreted as though that person thinks this is "new", or are "surprised".

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: If you strike me down
by tylerdurden on Tue 20th Aug 2013 03:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: If you strike me down"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

But now this whole terrorist excuse is being induced in other sovereign nations.


I'm sorry, I was under the mistaken assumption that words had meaning. My bad.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: If you strike me down
by kwan_e on Tue 20th Aug 2013 03:41 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: If you strike me down"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

" But now this whole terrorist excuse is being induced in other sovereign nations.


I'm sorry, I was under the mistaken assumption that words had meaning. My bad.
"

I'm sorry. I realized people like you must find a way to feel superior to others and therefore take the slightest opportunity to say "hey, you're surprised and thinks this is new, but I didn't because I am so wise" and there are just some idiomatic ways of saying things that aren't literal.

Taking words people use literally was fun during, I don't know, primary school.

Reply Score: 4

Miranda rights?
by earksiinni on Mon 19th Aug 2013 15:04 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

What Miranda rights?

Couldn't help myself.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Miranda rights?
by jgagnon on Mon 19th Aug 2013 15:25 UTC in reply to "Miranda rights?"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

What Miranda rights?

Couldn't help myself.


There's a Firefly reference in here somewhere, too...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Miranda rights?
by Tuishimi on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:31 UTC in reply to "Miranda rights?"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Hah! Beat me to it.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by v_bobok
by v_bobok on Mon 19th Aug 2013 15:25 UTC
v_bobok
Member since:
2008-08-01

Terrorist win...

Reply Score: 3

Like travelling Thom?
by dpJudas on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:00 UTC
dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

Careful! If you keep reporting on this you might be next. ;)

Reply Score: 4

You think this is new?
by Chrispynutt on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:06 UTC
Chrispynutt
Member since:
2012-03-14

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4292342.stm

From 2005. Yep they got an 82 year old holocaust survivor man handled out of a conference under anti-terror laws for shouting "nonsense" in a speech.

At the same conference many campaigners with 'Bliar' t-shirts were also detained for inciting terrorism...

Edited 2013-08-19 16:07 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Interesting...
by Tuishimi on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:28 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...Iraq was very much like a Nazi Germany, except much poorer in general, and less hope for the people.

I am surprised that on some level he did not support an invasion.

Reply Score: 0

"UK abuses terrorism law"
by flypig on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:45 UTC
flypig
Member since:
2005-07-13

In my view the title of this piece is wrong. Most likely the UK didn't "abuse" a terrorism law, because the law in question is so broadly defined that it can be used for anything: "An examining officer may exercise his powers under this paragraph whether or not he has grounds for suspecting that a person falls within section 40(1)(b) [i.e. is involved in terrorism]"

Politicians use (or fall for) this trick all the time. Just because there's "terrorism" in the title, if there's no oversight and no checks built in, then it can be applied to anybody for any reason.

I'm not at all trying to excuse what happened. What I'm saying is that this abuse of power should have been stopped when it was going through parliament. It's sad that it takes until the partner of a news reporter is detained for this to become a news story. In 2012 there were 681 people detained leading to "approximately 7 convictions". That's 574 (presumed) innocent people detained.

Reply Score: 8

RE: "UK abuses terrorism law"
by mutantsushi on Mon 19th Aug 2013 23:31 UTC in reply to ""UK abuses terrorism law""
mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

Although the law throws out any requirement for normally justifiable suspicion, the purpose of questioning is still legally required to pertain to determination of involvement in terrorism, which by all accounts was not even touched upon in their interrogation.

According to the Code of Practice of the Terrorism Act of 2000 itself:
http://tna.europarchive.org/20100419081706/http:/security.homeoffic...

"The purpose of questioning and associated powers is to determine whether a person appears to be someone who is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. The powers, which are additional to the powers of arrest under the Act, should not be used for any other purpose."


(props to: http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/08/18/theyre-going-after-gr... for bringing that detail to my attention)

Although your point stands that regardless of the details of the law, granting such broad police state powers is practically inevitable to result in abuses such as this.

Edited 2013-08-19 23:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: "UK abuses terrorism law"
by flypig on Tue 20th Aug 2013 00:06 UTC in reply to "RE: "UK abuses terrorism law""
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Thanks; that's very interesting. However, the quote you provided is from the guidance, which has no legal enforceability as far as I'm aware. As it says in the guidance:

"The notes for guidance are not provisions of the code but are guidance to examining officers on its application and interpretation."

The act itself does state the purpose of questioning someone has to be "for the purpose of determining whether he appears to be a person falling within section 40(1)(b)", but I don't see any check on this in the text.

I'm not a lawyer, didn't read the full legislation and would love to be proven wrong, so if you know otherwise I'd be very happy to hear it. Luckily the law is currently under review, so hopefully this incident will at least help reinforce the need to rein in these powers.

Reply Score: 2

mutantsushi Member since:
2006-08-18

Yeah, the "for the purpose of determining whether he appears to be a person falling within section 40(1)(b)" seems to be the exact impetus for (or equivalent of) the guidance.

Regardless of legal details, a bill NAMED the Terrorism Bill is understood to pertain to terrorism, otherwise is simply misleading, and applying it outside that scope is abusing the trust of reasonable people who believe a law to be what it says it is (which would probably include the MPs who passed the law).

I'm certainly not trying to apologize for the bill itself and present this event as some 'regrettable incident' with the law itself being reasonable, I hope the whole thing is scrapped or otherwise returned to judicial norms, and hopefully this guy can sue the police for abusing him and stealing his equipment (and presumably, sending off copies of the data to the US).

Hopefully something about this happens on the ECHR level as well, allowing the UK security regime to do whatever they prefer to sweep it under the rug, ignoring the fundamental issues can't be allowed to happen. People in other countries of the EU should take this just as seriously as the neo-Nazi Austrian party that was briefly in power. All the more so because most of the other EU governments are in bed with this whole system.

Edited 2013-08-20 01:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Things are ugly here in Brazil
by protomank on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:50 UTC
protomank
Member since:
2006-08-03

Brazilian people are in the middle of some strong protests. Then we found out we are the most spied country by USA. Now britain arrests (c'mon, detention by 9 hours is the same thing) a man just because he is related/family of the journalist who published the spying story?

You guys (USA and his daughter England) are really wanting to make us enemies of you, aren't you?

This is ral real bad business, people are outraged by this. Don't invite us to a dinner, we could end up placing fire on your fine wooden table.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Things are ugly here in Brazil
by Kochise on Mon 19th Aug 2013 16:58 UTC in reply to "Things are ugly here in Brazil"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Please retain yourself, let's keep up the gentlemen level high.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

The gloves are off my friend.

Reply Score: 2

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

LOL, not even.

Reply Score: 2

mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

Ahh there's no individual threats going on there. If all this power abuse and spying going on makes people a bit angry.. good.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Because Xenophobia solves everything!

Reply Score: 2

New sort of terrorism
by anda_skoa on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:07 UTC
anda_skoa
Member since:
2005-07-07

There is no war on terror, because the terrorists have already won.


You know, I think it is even worse than that.

Actions like unprovoked detention and interrogration make people afraid of doing things, afraid of going some place, etc.

And what do we call actions or behavior that inspire fear in people? Exactly, terror.

So it appears that not only have "the terrorits won", the governments are becoming a new sort of terrorist organisations. Way to go!

Reply Score: 6

RE: New sort of terrorism
by fretinator on Mon 19th Aug 2013 21:25 UTC in reply to "New sort of terrorism"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

So it appears that not only have "the terrorits won", the governments are becoming a new sort of terrorist organisations. Way to go!


This is part of the "you become what your fear" equation. Now I must wave my hands in mysterious ways, see ya!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: New sort of terrorism
by mistersoft on Mon 19th Aug 2013 23:43 UTC in reply to "RE: New sort of terrorism"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

Israel.


doesn't need any explanation but still
Christianity Hitler Jews Israel Palestinians

I'm not even implying any causal relationships, or even that there's any element of cyclical behaviours, it's just a shame. the whole lot of it.

I wouldn't normally quote bibleyness, not religious, but I'd like to concur with Mr Leviticus 19:18 ..viewable here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule#Judaism

--
We don't live in democracy's - Not in UK and US at least. We simply don't

Openness(of intent), Transparency(of actions), Accountability(for all) -- I see little or none. And worse, it's not demanded. Loudly.

Edited 2013-08-19 23:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: New sort of terrorism
by Tuishimi on Tue 20th Aug 2013 05:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: New sort of terrorism"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

You are absolutely right. The three most important commandments we, as Christians, are supposed to live by are (boiled down a bit): 1. Love God. 2. Love everyone else as you would yourself (ie. take care of their needs, would you let yourself go hungry, without clothes, etc?) and 3. love each other as Jesus loved us (that pertains to serving others and giving your life for others).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: New sort of terrorism
by zima on Mon 26th Aug 2013 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: New sort of terrorism"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You seem to be quick to jump to conclusion that everybody here are Christians? :p OSNews has international audience, including also places where Christianity is a small minority and/or an oddity.

And BTW, some of most amoral people I came in contact with called themselves Christians...
BTW2, some alternative views about morality and Abrahamic deity in http://kyon.pl/img/17473.html (also two Google Groups links there; OSNews would mess up such long ones anyway...)

Reply Score: 2

How can this be stopped ?!
by isaba on Tue 20th Aug 2013 08:38 UTC
isaba
Member since:
2006-12-30

As awful and morally disgusting as this case is, it is sadly one more in a long chain.

In the beautiful corner of the world where I live, the Basque Country (Western Europe), the abuses can be counted by the tens of thousands: as many as 20,000 people have been arrested under antiterrorist laws since several decades ago.

You don't need at all to be an expert to figure out that the enormously huge amount of them were innocent civilians with no other relation to terrorism than the one the paranoia of the authorities made them imagine.

My sympathy for Mr. David Miranda and Mr. Glenn Greenwald.

Reply Score: 2

RE: How can this be stopped ?!
by Kochise on Tue 20th Aug 2013 08:44 UTC in reply to "How can this be stopped ?!"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Well, there was bombing and dead people by the ETA, so it's not just paranoia :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETA

"Since 1968, ETA has been held responsible for killing 829 people, injuring thousands and undertaking dozens of kidnappings."

Not what I call "harmless", pardon me... Not to speak about their "revolutionary tax" that is just mafia-like : pay for your "protection" or get bombed/killed/whatever.

Kochise

Edited 2013-08-20 08:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: How can this be stopped ?!
by isaba on Tue 20th Aug 2013 09:01 UTC in reply to "RE: How can this be stopped ?!"
isaba Member since:
2006-12-30

Oh, pardon me but you are intentionally missing my point and the point of the article, trying to convert it into a a debate about how bad terrorism is. Of course it is, I know it much better than you, probably.

I was not talking about terrorism, which in fact is very disgusting and deplorable. We are talking here about the *abuses* of the authorities taking advantage of exceptional laws for crushing and intimidating the civilian population and/or the dissidents which have not commited any crime. Don't you agree? Do you know what I am talking about? Want me to cite some other cases throughout the world/history in case you feel uncomfortable with the Basque Country affair?

Does the existence of terrorism justify cruel abuses and torture on innocents? Paramilitary Death Squadrons (ATE, BVE, GAL...you can wiki/google them) which killed hundreds too? Want me to cite Central America? (the backyard of the US, home of some of the world's most terrorised populations).

Read the title of Thom's post again; it contains "...abuses terrorism law to intimidate..."

Machiavelli is well alive, I see.

Edited 2013-08-20 09:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: How can this be stopped ?!
by Kochise on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How can this be stopped ?!"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Non mais y'a pas de soucis, j'ai bien compris le fond du problème, mais il ne faut pas non plus "omettre" les détails qui donnent justification aux gouvernements d'opérer de la sorte. Après, il y aura toujours dérive, des deux cotés, hein...

Mais l'Homme n'apprendra jamais de son histoire, qui sera un éternel recommencement, hélas. De grandes paroles vaines, des concepts fumeux sur la liberté de parole, l'égalité des chances, la fraternité, venant d'un pays colonisateur, ça m'a toujours bien fait marrer.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

Never let a good crisis go to waste...
by bnolsen on Tue 20th Aug 2013 15:28 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

There's always a struggle where government tries to grab more power from the people. terrorism is just an excuse for the latest power grab. I honestly don't see how US police forces wearing fully military body armor, fully armed swat teams and armored vehicles would have been able to stop any of the 9/11 hijackers. Frankly they didn't stop the boston marathon bombers either, just got them after the fact.

Btw those swat teams in the US are doing a bangup job barging into people's homes unannounced and shooting them up. God forbid someone decides to "prank" you with a visit from these.

Reply Score: 2