Glenn Greenwald's Partner Detained by UK Authorities Under Anti-Terrorism Law

Greenwald Miranda

Journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda was detained by UK officials and held for nine hours in London this weekend on his way home to Rio de Janeiro from Berlin.  Miranda--who had been visiting Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who broke the Edward Snowden story with Greenwald in The Guardian--was eventually released, but all his electronics, including a phone, laptop, camera and other items, were confiscated.  The Guardian, which employs Greenwald, reports:

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.

David1-e1366307499571-287x300In a follow up piece, The Guardian noted that David Anderson, a lawyer who serves as the UK's Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, called Miranda's detention 'unusual,' and said the incident should be investigated fully:

Britain's anti-terrorist legislation watchdog has called on the Home Office and Metropolitan police to explain why anti-terror laws were used to detain the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald for nine hours at Heathrow airport.

Amid mounting concern across the political spectrum over the treatment of David Miranda, David Anderson QC said the detention of Greenwald's partner on Sunday appeared to be "unusual".

Miranda said he was questioned by six agents on his "entire life" while held at Heathrow. Arriving at Rio de Janeiro airport on Monday, Miranda said: "I remained in a room. There were six different agents coming and going. They asked questions about my entire life, about everything. They took my computer, video game, mobile phone, my memory card. Everything."

At a press conference today in Washington, Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the Obama administration had been informed about the questioning but had not taken any part in the decision to detain Miranda in London.

"There was a heads-up that was provided by the British government," Earnest said during the press conference. This is something that we had an indication that was likely to occur but it is not something that we requested. It was something that was done specifically by the British law enforcement officials. This is an independent British law enforcement decision that was made."

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  1. Why do we care about these people who actively support anti-gay terrorism in Russia? Let them flee to their beloved Russia and see how long they can survive without arest for "gay propaganda" or being beaten by neo-nazi mob!

    Posted by: litper | Aug 19, 2013 4:25:11 PM

  2. Right Litper, because it is a unipolar world and everything is black or white. Get a grip.

    Posted by: melvin | Aug 19, 2013 4:30:31 PM

  3. Melvin yes it is black and white. its us or them pick your side don't be a whimp and pretend that we can all get along that's just hippie BS.

    Posted by: Lee | Aug 19, 2013 4:41:02 PM

  4. For what it's worth, Miranda was acting as the middle man between Greenwald in Brazil and the documentary filmmaker that recorded the Snowden Hong Kong interview in Germany.

    He was possibly trafficking in sensitive documents and I don't blame the UK for seizing his laptop. You stop being "just a spouse" when you start involving yourself in the news gathering operation.

    Greenwald's response in a Guardian story was bitchy, per his usual demagoguery. He called the British authorities despots doing the Americans dirty work. He said he will now publish more UK secrets in retaliation.

    His retaliation threat should remind everyone that Greenwald's true motives aren't patriotic or libertarian or protecting freedom. It's a pissy ass queen who is always right and never wrong and stop at nothing in order to show his superiority. His narcissism knows no bounds... similar to Julian Assange.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 19, 2013 4:48:50 PM

  5. This article is not about Russia. It's pretty clear the only reason David was detained was because Glenn, an American citizen, embarrassed the U.S. government by giving Snowden a voice at the Guardian and detailing U.S. and British mass surveillance programs. This is pay back. And it's malicious.

    Posted by: will | Aug 19, 2013 4:55:15 PM

  6. I expected more from Greenwald than to fall into the "old queen with a Latino boytoy" stereotype.

    Posted by: Dan | Aug 19, 2013 5:14:33 PM

  7. I wonder if he was read his "Miranda rights"?

    Posted by: jleo71 | Aug 19, 2013 5:21:46 PM

  8. They're not victims....just media ho's..

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Aug 19, 2013 5:34:32 PM

  9. Thank you Brian -- much of the coverage of this story is omitting the fact that Miranda was serving as a mule and was trafficking secret documents for Greenwald and Poitras.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 19, 2013 5:49:28 PM

  10. Wow, what amazingly biting commentary from people who know nothing about what really happened.

    I for one think that Greenwald et al did Americans a huge favor by bringing to light the confirmation of mass public surveillance that most of us already suspected was happening. It continues to spur a conversation about the right to privacy, the first amendment, and the balance between security and liberty... a conversation that Americans should have been having long ago. Whether or not he is a narcissistic "pissy queen" is irrelevant, as is the age and ethnicity of his partner.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 19, 2013 5:54:02 PM

  11. And one more thing... whether one agreed with Greenwald or not, detaining his partner under a terrorism law is patently absurd. I don't think anyone in their right mind would truly consider this guy a terrorist. He wasn't detained for terrorism related issues, but it was under that law (akin to the Patriot Act in the US) that he was taken into custody. That should shock and concern ANY American, no matter what their political stripes look like.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 19, 2013 5:58:26 PM

  12. Gays and lesbians who are aligning themselves with this sort of activity are walking a fine line between "reporting" and treason. The last thing we need is to be labeled as untrustworthy and disloyal to our own country - a theme that is already gaining traction.

    Posted by: tom | Aug 19, 2013 6:41:50 PM

  13. It's all just intimidation.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Aug 19, 2013 6:46:37 PM

  14. The milkman there is nothing absurd about debating a trouble making cur with no use or worth!

    Posted by: Lee | Aug 19, 2013 6:55:43 PM

  15. Glenn Greenwald is a piece of crap. Presumably, so is his brazilian rent boy.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 19, 2013 6:57:10 PM

  16. I'm seeing not only a serious lack of perspective in a lot of these comments but also some warped recist slags at David Miranda.

    Using police powers that were granted for anti-terrorism to intimidate journalists deemed enemies of the state is a monstrous abuse of power and breach of trust.

    Does anyone seriously think that the long overdue conversation on secret NSA activities would have happened without Snowden?

    For all it's weaknesses, I'm more and more glad I moved to Brasil. @Dan - you don't give up residency in your own country because it doesn't recognize your partner for a boytoy. You do it for a spouse.

    Posted by: some yank in Rio | Aug 19, 2013 7:06:44 PM

  17. Brazilian boys must be really cheap

    Posted by: litper | Aug 19, 2013 7:30:04 PM

  18. This shameful deliberate manipulation of the Anti-Terrorism law at the behest of the US NSA is nothing short of disgraceful.
    The erosion of Civil Liberties for the political purposes of the USA establishment is the greatest threat to democracy. And the intimidation of journalists is subverting all our freedom. How ironic that the USA which parades its "liberty" should be instrumental in destroying it.

    Four weeks ago, when the USA thought Snowden would make a bolt for Iceland or Cuba, the USA applied to the High Court in Dublin, Ireland for a 'provisional arrest warrant' in the belief that the flight he, Snowden, would be on, would refuel at Shannon and he could be arrested on foot of that provisional warrant.
    Fortunately the High Court judge unceremoniously threw out the ludicrous application of the grounds that there was no charge to answer, no identifiable person within the jurisdiction and it is not part of the law of act as 'preventative justice'.\

    The USA has destroyed our rights to privacy and liberty and is steaming because Snowden told us.....not the enemy as they say, he told in We the People.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 19, 2013 7:32:09 PM

  19. @ Tom :
    It's scared people like you who refuse to STAND UP against erosion of our rights whether in the schoolyard or in public life and in Civil Liberties issues.
    Since when can the USA's bugging of all calls and communications all over the world, including its NATO allies, be a "fine line between treason and reporting" ?

    STAND UP, Tom, shout now or remain forever silent when your rights are swept away.
    And you should know the examples of that from history.
    Grow a pair.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Aug 19, 2013 7:39:17 PM

  20. I'm sorry, but a relationship with someone 17 years your junior smacks of narcissism and control issues. It is the sign of someone who doesn't truly want an "equal" relationship, but who wants someone they can control and be superior to. Miranda was 20 years old (or younger) when they started dating. I don't doubt Glenn "loves" his boytoy, but let's not sugarcoat what's going on here. (And, btw, we're not even getting into possible deeper issues related to insecurity and superficiality here...)

    Posted by: Dan | Aug 19, 2013 7:45:26 PM

  21. Dont HATE on others because you can't afford a hot Brazilian boyfriend. It makes you sound like sound like bitter queens :(

    Posted by: Felix | Aug 19, 2013 7:49:08 PM

  22. Gee whiz guys, maybe they like each other. And yes of course he was carrying documents on the computer or drives. However, no one here knows what the documents are or whether they were illegal in any way.

    Detaining the guy for nine hours was probably a bit of a shortsighted move by Brit authorities.

    Posted by: emjayay | Aug 19, 2013 8:10:26 PM

  23. This all brings up a central issue of the entire secret government we have in place (CIA, NSA, FBI, etc): do journalists have a right to report on stories that the government does not want publicized? If the secret government agencies are spying on its own citizens, do journalists have a right to report it? Glenn Greenwald is absolutely NOT a part of the Washington journalist establishment (like David Gregory and the Washington Post, etc). He is and always has been a bit of an outsider & a renegade. He deeply BELIEVES in a more open transparent government. That's why Snowden was attracted to him in the first place.

    Posted by: will | Aug 19, 2013 8:25:51 PM

  24. There other ways of moving files than carrying them on your computer. He might have set up his rent boy but he's looking a little old so maybe he wanted a younger one.

    Posted by: Name: | Aug 19, 2013 8:26:30 PM

  25. I hope the Guardian is going to reimburse Miranda for his confiscated property; several thousand dollars-worth of computers, phones, etc...

    The US government routinely-confiscates US citizens' phones, laptops, memory-cards when they re-enter the US from aboard...and ICE doesn't even need probable-cause.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Aug 19, 2013 8:44:34 PM

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