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Partner of Guardian's Snowden Reporter Detained Under Terrorism Act 426

hydrofix writes "The partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has written a series of stories revealing mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency (NSA), was held for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities as he passed through the Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro. David Miranda was stopped by officers and informed that he would be questioned under the Terrorism Act 2000. 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 last under an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained are kept for more than six hours. Miranda was released without charge, but officials confiscated electronics including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles. 'This is a profound attack on press freedoms [...] 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,' Greenwald commented."
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Partner of Guardian's Snowden Reporter Detained Under Terrorism Act

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  • Play it their way (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:10PM (#44602355) Homepage

    Yep, you're gonna get stopped. Yep, they're going to go through your stuff.

    I think a couple of Terabytes of 'Hello Kitty' videos placed on every bit of electronics that he owns should teach them the error of their ways.

  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:13PM (#44602369)

    In this case, you need to create a (written and involved to amend) constitution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:19PM (#44602425)

    Even if he gets them back, would you trust a device that has been alone with a spook?

  • Re:"Partner" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:42PM (#44602655)

    ... you know, some of us use the term partner because we wish to emphasize our commitment to each other, instead of the sex of our lover. Especially considering that not everyone fits into the boxes of 'man' and 'woman', thus 'wife' and 'husband' are poor fits. This has nothing to do with Glenn Beck, who deserves to be tied up in a public square and everyone who wants to given a free punch to his face. Don't worry... we won't let him die. Doctors will be on hand to stitch him back together again... and we're happy to wait until he's healed up again before resuming using his face as a punching bag.

    -_- It's less harsh of a punishment than anything he's advocated.

  • by jpublic ( 3023069 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:48PM (#44602717)

    Ah, just remembered it is illegal in the UK not to remember a password when the Authorities want you to decrypt something

    Looks like similar things happen in the US. [] A damn shame.

  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:56PM (#44602767)

    He also leaked documents about GCHQ, including some quite embarrassing ones (or hopefully quite embarrassing ones) that showed GCHQ was basically being partially funded by the NSA and acted almost as a subcontractor to them. The fact that one countries signals intelligence agency might be paid for by a different one is quite amazing and their attitude of "we've gotta make sure we deliver the Americans the goods" absolutely scandalous.

    No, the British government has plenty of reasons of its own to try and kick Greenwald. Unfortunately Parliament has been much sleepier than Congress when it comes to GCHQ abuses. Hague lied in front of MPs and the entire country, and just like Clapper nothing has been done about it. Unfortunately the British Parliament doesn't seem to have an equivalent of Amash right now, so it may well be that the issue simply dies there in deafening silence. MP's are all too intimidated by the intelligence agencies to do anything about it, and sadly they have a long track record of illegal surveillance that started long before 9/11 (dating from the time of the battles against the IRA). Although Congress routinely wipes its ass with the constitution, at least it gives Americans a rallying point and something concrete to get upset over. The lack of one in the UK means it's easier for the government to walk over basic principles.

  • Re:Waiting.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:58PM (#44602779) Homepage
    I'll take the UK's non-existant Miranda rights over the "Menezes rights []" that got applied the last time an innocent Brazilian national had a front-page run in with the UK's security services.
  • by Rougement ( 975188 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @05:59PM (#44602787)
    Did the governments of Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc act independently when they forced the Bolivian President's jet to land?
  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @06:43PM (#44603081) Journal
    Our country (NL) soon to follow suit, if the justice minister has his way. Drugs, kiddie porn and terrorism are the biggest threats to the free west. Not for any harm these three things may cause our society to suffer, but because of the harm we permit our rulers to inflict on our rights, in the name of the war against these threats.
  • by colordev ( 1764040 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @06:50PM (#44603137) Homepage
    Apparently Snowden (and other heroes) had decided that any disappearing family members would trigger the tripwire that leads to releasing of insurance files []. Since the journalist's spouse had suddenly gone missing (for 9 hours) and the police probably did not allow any phone calls to be made during interrogation,... Showden (and other heroes) then probably concluded they were under some kind of attack or that they were being tested. So Snowden (and other heroes) did what they had to do - what's the point of having an insurance policy that you would not use.

    This is a chicken game []. If many key wikileaks people would suddenly disappear, then Snowden (or other heroes) would probably release both encrypted insurance files and the encryption key to the smaller (49GB) insurance file. At least I hope that's what they are prepared to do. Then the NSA and GCHQ would probably have stopped the attack, at least for a moment, and considered the nature of payload data in the first insurance file. Based on that payload NSA might then choose to risk the release of the 349 GB file or they might stop their attack... maybe even for good. To prepare for the next attack phase Snowden (and other heroes) might again have split the remaining 349GB file into a 300GB and 49GB file - the small file being there again as a similar first response tool, but also the key to the nuclear option file (349GB) might also be released at any time.

    Basically the NSA and GCHQ had to get this message.

    This is so stupid, Snowden is obviously an American Patriot, who still isn't really seeking to harm his country... a country that is trying to harm him as much as it can. It is not very common that asylum seekers keep protecting the country that is doing all it can to harm the asylum seeker. Thus, the today's release of encrypted insurance files was probably just an expected reply to the earlier provocation by the NSA and GCHQ.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 18, 2013 @07:21PM (#44603327)

    The RIPA act in the UK can put people away for life:

    Judge: What is the encryption key:
    Defendant: Sorry, no dice.
    Judge: That's another three years. What is the encryption key?
    Defendant: Nope.
    Judge: Another three years in the Crown's finest. Now really. The encryption key?

    So, even though it might be considered three years, its real usage can cause someone to get a life sentence without an actual trial happening.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @07:33PM (#44603393) Journal

    US security agencies originally set up by UK security agencies during WWII

    Not really, the brits had spies in the Nazi party that were planted as teenagers from Cambridge decades earlier. Also google the history of "Betchly Park", it's very closely related to early computers and played a pivotal (and until fairly recently, top secret) role in the outcome of WW2. Betchly was the granddaddy of the modern UK/US secret service. The UK agencies taught the US agencies how to decode German messages, together they used this knowledge to sink the German submarine fleet, later the same methods were used to crack Japanese codes and (for example) set up the naval ambush at the battle of midway. After the war the two nations managed to keep their code breaking secrets to themselves until the 60's when allies and enemies alike realised they had been getting dressed in front of an open window.

    The two spy agencies shared the talent of men like Turing to defeat a common enemy. Signals intelligence was born and they have been tucked up in bed together ever since. Over the last few decades they have expanded their club to include rock solid allies such as Australia and Canada.

  • by niftymitch ( 1625721 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @07:38PM (#44603425)

    However, given that the UK likely violated the European Convention on Human Rights, GP is not entirely wrong. ....snip....

    This was the UK and the rules in the UK are not the rules where I am.

    The single most obvious problem was the loss of property.

    For many of us the contents of our portable devices are how we make a living. Their loss is not just a casualty loss but an arbitrary tax on an individual and in some cases on an employer.

    I can ill afford to have my digital life stolen. And I can ill afford to have large capacity cloud storage that can also be stolen and taken off line with a FISA letter.

    Given the length of time this individual was detained copies of his devices could be made. Based on that there is no reason I can see to not return them.

    SUMMARY: grand theft.

  • UK not US (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Sunday August 18, 2013 @09:43PM (#44604147) Journal
    No, not "land of the free". This happened in the UK, not the US and so far we haven't been quite so out of touch with reality to call the UK the "land of the free" - that seems to be a peculiarly american delusion. That being said I really hope that there are some mitigating facts that will come to light because, as it stands now, it is extremely concerning to see such an obvious and open abuse of power. If they are wiling to do this in plain sight what are they willing to do (or already doing) behind the scenes?

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright