Intimidation

greenwald miranda
L to R: David Miranda and his partner Glenn Greenwald
Original image from The Guardian

The chilling effects of the event that took place on Sunday at Heathrow in London are very evident. The number of governments that use terrorism as a scapegoat to control the public as a whole is growing.

David Miranda, partner to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist that worked with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was held as the London airport for just shy of nine hours, having his electronic data and equipment seized and questioned on every level. This was all done under the guise of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which is essentially the UK’s version of the USA’s Patriot Act, limited to ports of entry like airports.

Concern

This thing that’s chilling about what took place is even though legal counsel was offered to Mr. Miranda, there was very little he could do or say as Schedule 7 allows police to intercept, at their will, anyone they suspect is a harm to national security. So what was it that Mr. Miranda was doing? Carrying documents related to journalism efforts. He is not an employee of The Guardian, unlike his partner, who is. He sometimes offers his help in relaying information. In this case, he was traveling from Berlin back to his home in Brazil [where is a naturalized citizen] carrying encrypted flash drives, a laptop and a video game system, which are currently being kept in London for a 7-day waiting period.

The idea that journalism is somehow related to terrorism is where the concern should be here. The idea that we have let police and government rule dictate an unwarranted stop and seizure without due process is a major concern.

I could go on and on about how upset I am at this and how both the UK and the US are exercising an abuse of power in the name of fighting terrorism, when really it is a veiled reason for fear and control and a lack of doing things smarter.

Read the following articles below to get a grasp of what happened. This is something we need to not only be concerned about, but also something we need to keep from happening. Fighting terrorism with disregard for liberties of those who live and travel in your country is wrong and needs to be curbed before it gets more out of hand. The more incidents we see like this, the more liberties we lose at the behest of a police or government mandate.

Anyone… left or right, liberal or conservative, should be concerned.

Links

  • The Guardian: Glenn Greenwald’s partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours
  • The Guardian: Glenn Greenwald: detaining my partner was a failed attempt at intimidation
  • BBC News UK: David Miranda detention: MP asks police for explanation
  • The Guardian: David Miranda: ‘They said I would be put in jail if I didn’t cooperate’
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