British authorities detained a man at a London airport. They held him, without charge, for nearly nine hours, took his stuff, and then let him go. The detainee was the domestic partner of Glenn Greenwald, the high-profile political reporter who interviewed a computer specialist about secret wire-tapping and wide-spread surveillance programs conducted by multiple intelligence organizations worldwide.
Greenwald, a political activist and attorney, was the first to release a series of reports about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance programs. It was information he’d obtain from Edward Snowden, a former CIA and NSA computer specialist now wanted by U.S. authorities. He’s been outwardly critical about similar activities conducted in United Kingdom, as well.
“This is a failed attempt at intimidation,” Greenwald said on The Guardian website. “The detention of my partner, David Miranda, will have the opposite effect of the one intended.”
Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda was recently stopped by officers at Heathrow’s London Airport while returning from Berlin. Miranda was visiting with a documentary film maker.
Officers told Miranda he was going to be questioned under Terrorism Act 2000 — a British law that gives police gives police virtually indiscriminate “stop-and-search” powers. Officers took Miranda’s personal property including such items as his phone, laptop and camera.
“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,” Greenwald said. “A Brazilian citizen, he was returning to our home in Rio de Janeiro this morning on British Airways.”
British authorities aren’t saying much about why they detained Miranda in the first place. While his partner was in custody, Greenwald says an official called him on the phone.
“David was not allowed a lawyer and they would not let me talk to him,” Greenwald said. “I immediately contacted The Guardian which sent lawyers to the airport.”