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U.K. detains Glenn Greenwald’s partner at airport for 9 hours

In an apparent effort to intimidate Glenn Greenwald, U.K. authorities detained his partner, David Miranda, at England's Heathrow Airport.


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Aug 18, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 8:51 am CDT

In an apparent effort to intimidate Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who worked with National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden to leak damning documents from the clandestine organization, England’s Heathrow Airport detained Greenwald’s partner for about nine hours.

David Miranda, 28, was detained under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000 while trying to catch a flight home to Rio de Janeiro, the Guardian reported. Schedule 7 provides the English government greater leeway in detaining passengers they suspect are terrorists. Miranda’s phone, camera, and laptop were confiscated by U.K. authorities.

“This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process,” Greenwald told the Guardian. “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.”

Since mid-June, Greenwald and Snowden have yanked back the veil to reveal a handful of controversial spy programs aimed at capturing the world’s emails, phone records, and text messages. These programs include XKeyscore, FAIRVIEW, and PRISM. The documents provided to the Guardian and the Washington Post have brought President Barack Obama’s administration under scrutiny, forcing Obama to address the surveillance issue in an  Aug. 9 press conference.

U.K. authorities have not commented on Miranda’s detention. Twitter users, on the other hand, have not remained silent.

Congratulations UK gov! You just made Glenn Greenwald as pissed off as Julian Assange. Smart move there.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 18, 2013

Unbelievable. RT @ggreenwald: Detaining my partner: a failed attempt at intimidation

— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) August 18, 2013

Quite embarrassing for a democracy – “…send a message of intimidation to those … reporting on NSA & GCHQ”

— Mercedes Bunz (@MrsBunz) August 18, 2013

Photo by gageskidmore/Flickr

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*First Published: Aug 18, 2013, 5:25 pm CDT