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Le Taz Hot

(22,271 posts)
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 06:36 PM Aug 2013

To DUers who are residing in the UK right now:

It may yet be too soon but I'm curious as to what UK residents think about officials at Heathrow detaining Glenn Greenwald's partner today (yesterday?). Also, what has been the press' response? Is it a ho-hum story or is it front-page news or maybe something in between? Again, it's probably too early to answer this but I'm just curious as to how this is playing with the natives.


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To DUers who are residing in the UK right now: (Original Post) Le Taz Hot Aug 2013 OP
Does seem rather odd and over the top. dipsydoodle Aug 2013 #1
Too early to say, really, since it only happened during the day muriel_volestrangler Aug 2013 #2
Since you ask, I'm not at all surprised Greenwald's partner was detained. Denzil_DC Aug 2013 #3
Message auto-removed Name removed Aug 2013 #4
You seem to be replying to a post that exists only in your head, then putting words in my mouth. Denzil_DC Aug 2013 #5
Message auto-removed Name removed Aug 2013 #6
Are you an inquisitor? LOL Get over yourself. Denzil_DC Aug 2013 #7
Message auto-removed Name removed Aug 2013 #8
"Fair" doesn't come into it. Denzil_DC Aug 2013 #9
Message auto-removed Name removed Aug 2013 #10


(42,239 posts)
1. Does seem rather odd and over the top.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 06:51 PM
Aug 2013

Was 7.30 am here when he was detained.

Detaining my partner: a failed attempt at intimidation :

At 6:30 am this morning my time - 5:30 am on the East Coast of the US - I received a telephone call from someone who identified himself as a "security official at Heathrow airport." He told me that my partner, David Miranda, had been "detained" at the London airport "under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000."

David had spent the last week in Berlin, where he stayed with Laura Poitras, the US filmmaker who has worked with me extensively on the NSA stories. A Brazilian citizen, he was returning to our home in Rio de Janeiro this morning on British Airways, flying first to London and then on to Rio. When he arrived in London this morning, he was detained.

At the time the "security official" called me, David had been detained for 3 hours. The security official told me that they had the right to detain him for up to 9 hours in order to question him, at which point they could either arrest and charge him or ask a court to extend the question time. The official - who refused to give his name but would only identify himself by his number: 203654 - said David was not allowed to have a lawyer present, nor would they allow me to talk to him.

I immediately contacted the Guardian, which sent lawyers to the airport, as well various Brazilian officials I know. Within the hour, several senior Brazilian officials were engaged and expressing indignation over what was being done. The Guardian has the full story here.

onward dear reader.........



(101,587 posts)
2. Too early to say, really, since it only happened during the day
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 06:53 PM
Aug 2013

Last edited Sun Aug 18, 2013, 08:23 PM - Edit history (1)

I haven't seen TV news since it broke, so I don't know if they're running it; it's not prominent on the BBC website. Google News UK had it as the top story about an hour ago; now it's at number 2 (#1 is now deaths of MB prisoners in Egyptian prisons).

I doubt it will be very big - the whole NSA/Snowden affair has not been as big in most of the media (with the obvious exception of the Guardian), apart from when it has a specific British angle, eg what GCHQ does. Since this was at Heathrow, it'll get some coverage (it already has, or Google News wouldn't have made it prominent), but since Miranda eventually got to continue to Brazil, I doubt it'll last for long.

Update: BBC now has an online story on it - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23750289 - 2nd story on front page, and currently the most read. Though, by this time of night, that may be more Americans (in the widest term) than Britons.


(7,364 posts)
3. Since you ask, I'm not at all surprised Greenwald's partner was detained.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 08:02 PM
Aug 2013

His flight was financed by the Guardian, he'd been visiting Greenwald's collaborator Poitras. Some of the information already leaked relates to the UK surveillance apparatus, and Greenwald has claimed in no uncertain terms that there's more revelations to come.

As it is, given the background, this resident asks what the hell they were thinking having him fly through Heathrow anyway? I find it rich if Greenwald or anyone else involved is surprised that he was stopped. Hell, anybody who's had dealings with UK airport authorities or the security apparatus or ever been a political activist could have predicted it. I'd be much more surprised if he hadn't been questioned in the circumstances. As for the length of detention, that's what they do because they can. Americans date the major recent steps in loss of civil liberties from 9/11, Brits tend to date them from the heyday of the IRA, then 9/11 got overlaid on that.

As for whether it's frontpage news, it may be so in the Guardian, and it's possible the BBC may pick it up, but I doubt it'll make a big or prolonged splash. Heavyhanded treatment at major hub airports like Heathrow with far less putative justification isn't that unusual. It'll get more traction in the US through Guardian online than it ever will in the UK.

If he'd been arrested or mistreated beyond what the law allows, that would be a story.

Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #3)


(7,364 posts)
5. You seem to be replying to a post that exists only in your head, then putting words in my mouth.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 08:24 PM
Aug 2013

Whereas I was responding to a direct question. I'd thank you not to do that.

I have a problem with all sorts of bloody things the security state does and has done - and I and my family and associates have had more serious harassment than this little episode with Snowden's partner over the years.

I said it's not surprising. It would be surprising if they hadn't questioned him in the circumstances. Greenwald & Co. seem to think they're playing hardball. These bastards also play hardball. Flying through Heathrow in the circumstances was not the thing to do if he didn't want to risk being detained.

Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #5)


(7,364 posts)
7. Are you an inquisitor? LOL Get over yourself.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 08:56 PM
Aug 2013

And there was no snark in my reply to you. I'm deadly serious. As it is, you've butted in to my reply to the OP, and you're not adding much of worth to the discussion as far as I can see except taking it into personal territory which isn't going to illuminate anything for anyone.

The law Miranda was detained under, the Terrorism Act 2000, hinges on a long-controversial and wide-ranging definition of terrorism:

Section 1. –

(1) In this Act "terrorism" means the use or threat of action where-

(a) the action falls within subsection (2),
(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government [or an international governmental organisation][2] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [, racial][3] or ideological cause.

(2) Action falls within this subsection if it-

(a) involves serious violence against a person,
(b) involves serious damage to property,
(c) endangers a person's life, other than that of the person committing the action,
(d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or
(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

(3) The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

It's been used as a handy way to detain people over the years where other laws they may be subject to don't allow such a long period of detention without charge. If they'd been really going for it and thought they could make it stand up, they could have detained him for up to 14 days without charge under the Terrorism Act 2006 (it was 28 days till 2011).

I've no idea what the authorities were thinking, but given the visit to Poitras and the intended return to her collaborator Greenwald, I'd guess they might cite that he was under suspicion of contravening subsection (2)(e), or maybe even try a stretch and go for paras (2)(c) and (d).

Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #7)


(7,364 posts)
9. "Fair" doesn't come into it.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 09:16 PM
Aug 2013

People get arrested, not just detained, under the Terrorism Act for photography in public places - one guy in Glasgow for taking a photo of his kid in a shopping center, FFS.

On the contrary, what I think doesn't matter, because I wasn't the one who detained Miranda. What the authorities think in this instance is what matters because they hold all the cards. There have been a vast number of abuses of these powers, and my point is that this was an entirely predictable occurrence, as anybody who's followed the history and controversies of UK anti-terrorism legislation would know - as I would assume Greenwald and Poitras would know, for instance, otherwise they're incredibly naive.

Don't bother badgering me any more. I'm interested in passing on information in response to questions the OP asked, not getting involved in an interrogation with a newly blown in stranger on the Internet who accuses me of "dancing round the question" when I've responded in good faith to a question somebody else asked.

Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #9)

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