"This shocked us": Poitras on Miranda detention

The filmmaker and NSA leaks reporter comments on press freedom, lack thereof

By Natasha Lennard

Published August 26, 2013 8:27PM (EDT)

Laura Poitras      (Sean Gallup)
Laura Poitras (Sean Gallup)

Filmmaker and NSA leaks reporter Laura Poitras wrote of herself and Glenn Greenwald on Monday,"Having documented and reported on abuses of government power post 9/11, we both thought we'd reached a point where nothing would shock us. We were wrong -- using pernicious terrorism laws to target the people we love and work with, this shocked us."

She was commenting, of course, on the nine-hour detention of Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, by U.K. authorities at Heathrow airport. Writing in Der Spiegel, Poitras vowed to continue to reveal the vast extents of government spycraft as revealed through Edward Snowden's leaks -- in spite, she notes, of government intimidation:

Because of the disclosures made by Edward Snowden, we have for the first time an international debate on the scope of government surveillance. Almost daily for the past three months citizens learn of new unlawful surveillance programs being secretly run by their governments. All of our reporting has been in the public interest, and none has caused harm.
David's detention and the destruction of the hard drives in the Guardian's basement reveal one thing: Our governments do not want citizens to be informed when it comes to the topic of surveillance. The governments of the United States, Britain, Germany, and others would like this debate to go away. It won't.

Glenn and I, with the full support of David and others, will continue to work on the disclosures made by Snowden, as will the Guardian, SPIEGEL, the Washington Post, their reporters and their loved ones, and many other news organizations who believe vast unchecked secret government surveillance powers are a threat to democracy.

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.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

David Miranda Edward Snowden Glenn Greenwald Laura Poitras Nsa Press Freedom Whistle-blowing