U.K. high court rules David Miranda’s detention was lawful

Glenn Greenwald's partner was held for nine hours in transit at Heathrow airport, carrying journalistic materials

Topics: David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald, NSA, Heathrow, counter-terror, Edward Snowden, U.K., Laura Poitras,

Last August, Glenn Greenwald’s long-term partner, David Miranda, was detained for nine hours at Heathrow airport en route to his home in Brazil from visiting journalist Laura Poitras in Berlin. Miranda, whose electronics were confiscated during the detention, was held under a British counterterror law.

On Wednesday, three high court judges in the U.K. dismissed Miranda’s challenge to the lawfulness of his airport detention. While the judges conceded that holding Miranda and the seizure of his electronic devices was “an indirect interference with press freedom,” they ruled the action justified by “very pressing” interests of national security. Miranda, it is worth reiterating, had on his person at the time of his detention a wealth of encrypted files, including an external hard drive containing 58,000 highly classified intelligence documents — these were documents specifically intended to assist Greenwald’s journalistic work. Greenwald, serving as a witness in his partner’s legal challenge, stressed the dangerous precedent set when journalism is conflated with terrorism.

Via the Guardian:



Greenwald told the judges that the security services were well aware that the seized material was in connection with journalism and not terrorism. He said there was no evidence to indicate that any disclosure had actually threatened or endangered life or any specific operation.

“In my view, this is not surprising, given the care we took not to create such a risk,” Greenwald said in his witness statement. Miranda said the material was so heavily encrypted that he was unable to open it.

The judges dismissed Greenwald’s claims, saying there was “no perceptible foundation” for the suggestion that they were not putting national security or lives at risk by possessing the material.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...