Monday, August 19, 2013

Police state intimidation: British authorities detain Glenn Greenwald's partner at Heathrow Airport

Honestly, the surveillance state apologists all across the spectrum, on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world, can go fuck themselves.

Because this is how their beloved "democratic" governments operate, this is what they do when you dare challenge their undemocratic rule, their regime of secrecy and surveillance:

The partner of the Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories revealing mass surveillance programmes by the US National Security Agency was held for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities as he passed through London's Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro.

David Miranda, who lives with Glenn Greenwald, was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8.05am and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals.

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 under schedule 7 – over 97% – last less than an hour, and only one in 2,000 people detained are kept for more than six hours.

Miranda was released, but officials confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles.


"This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process," Greenwald said. "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. The actions of the UK pose a serious threat to journalists everywhere.

"But the last thing it will do is intimidate or deter us in any way from doing our job as journalists. Quite the contrary: it will only embolden us more to continue to report aggressively."

It is indeed such a profound attack, and I hope that Greenwald and others, undeterred and indeed strengthened by this appalling incident, continue to expose the illegal and/or at the very least deeply troubling activities that in the U.S., the U.K., and elsewhere are corroding the core elements of a free society, undermining the democratic principles that are the essence of enlightened self-governance, and eating away in very real terms at the basic rights that we all supposedly hold so dear and for which, over the centuries, so much blood was spilled.

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