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.

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"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.

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