Greenwald's partner takes airport detention to U.K. high court

David Miranda's lawyers to challenge dangerous suggestion that carrying Snowden data be considered "terrorism"

By Natasha Lennard

Published November 6, 2013 4:00PM (EST)

Lawyers representing David Miranda, longtime partner of Glenn Greenwald, will appear in the U.K.'s high court Wednesday to argue that their client's nine-hour detention at London's Heathrow airport was a violation of his rights.

Miranda was controversially detained while flying through Britain en route from visiting filmmaker and NSA leaks reporter Laura Poitras in Berlin to his home with Greenwald in Brazil. He was stopped by British authorities under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. As such, Miranda's detention -- if deemed lawful -- reflects a troubling conflation between journalistic work and terrorist enterprise. "Lawyers for both the police and Home Office argue the Brazilian was stopped because of concerns about national security and terrorism," the Guardian noted.

If the British government's claim that Miranda was involved in "terrorism" by virtue of transporting leaked documents from Snowden is upheld, a worrying precedent in what DOJ whistleblower and attorney Jesselyn Raddack calls the "war on information."

Miranda himself did not face charges, but filed a legal action against the British government, seeking the return of materials seized from him by authorities and a judicial review of the legality of his detention. Lawyers for the British government maintain that "raw Snowden data" does not count as "journalistic material."

"For all the lecturing it doles out to the world about press freedoms, the U.K. offers virtually none...They are absolutely and explicitly equating terrorism with journalism," Greenwald commented earlier this week.

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

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