Anti-terrorism law used to detain journalist’s partner

Yesterday morning Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, was detained at Heathrow airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000. Official UK documents state that only 0.06% of all people detained are kept for more than six hours; David was held for nine.

The stated purpose of the UK’s Terrorism Act is to question people about terrorism. But the authorities spent their time interrogating him about Glenn’s work (he’s been writing about Edward Snowden and the USA’s National Security Agency) and the content of the electronic products he was carrying. When they finally released him, they kept his laptop, mobile phone, video game consoles, DVDs, USB sticks and other materials; they did not say if or when they would return them.

This was a new attack on journalism and an abuse of the UK’s own terrorism law, and illustrates how we should pause before granting governments new powers to monitor, interrogate or hold their own citizens. Read the full story here.

*This is an edited summary of Glenn Greenwald’s original article in The Guardian, Monday 19th August 2013.

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