Partner of Glenn Greenwald: “I was threatened with jail”
During that time, he said, he was not allowed to call his partner nor was he given an interpreter. Miranda said that he was interrogated by six agents who asked questions about his life and confiscated his electronics, including his "computer, video game, mobile phone," and memory cards.
The 28-year-old was on his way back to Rio de Janeiro from Berlin where he had been visiting with American filmmaker Laura Poitras, "ferrying materials" on encrypted thumb drives between Poitras and Greenwald, according to the Guardian and The New York Times.
Brazilian authorities say they are gravely concerned by the “unjustified” detention of its citizen by the UK in connection with the US surveillance scandal. British authorities detained the Brazilian partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald to question him about Snowden’s NSA leaks. David Miranda was held at London’s Heathrow Airport for nine hours under Terrorism Act. Glenn Greenwald, a Guardian journalist who first published classified documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, says Miranda was questioned about the reporting Guardian journalists were doing on the NSA stories.
The VoR is joined by Bill Binney - a former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) who has resignned after more than 30 years with the agency, and has released information revealing that the US government has been extracting vast amounts of personal data from its citizens. While working at the agency, NSA whistleblower William Binney managed the development of a covert software program called ThinThread, engineered to address “national security” concerns following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Bill, what do you think what stands behind this decision to detain David Miranda at London’s Heathrow? Do you think his detention is really in any way related to terrorism?
No, I think it’s more or less an effort to find out what other kind of information Glenn Greenwald holds that Snowden gave him. They’re trying to discover how much he knows and how much damage can be done.
Do you think we may expect more damage?
I don’t really see a great deal of damage at all simply because everybody pretty much knew already that governments do this kind of things anyway. After all, they continued to communicate and they were picked up and that’s why we closed all of our embassies in Northern Africa and Middle East.
By taking this guy and detaining him the government is making the scandal even bigger instead of muting it. How would you explain their actions and their logic?
I don’t think they have much logic. Rather than trying to stop the issue from coming to the front door by openly admitting things and then having an open discussion and resolving them one way or another, they’re trying to still hide it and keep everything from public knowledge. They’re only admitting what has been exposed by Snowden. They’re just not using common sense here.
The US government says that NSA program actually helps the government to prevent terrorist attacks. Why is this not convincing enough for the American society?
Because every time they challenge to prove it in Congress they come up with evidence where NSA is doing foreign intelligence against known targets and how they have relationships in the world. That shows you that the foreign intelligence effort that they should be doing not the domestic effort. In terms of domestic they have never shown anything on the domestic side that contributed to stopping any terrorist act at all.
Why and what for are they getting this personal information? To somehow potentially prevent these risks?
There is another possible reason for them to have this information and that so they have knowledge about the population of the US so that they can control them. I just think that their having this kind of knowledge allows them just to target anybody they want or any group they want inside the country. And that’s an enormous problem here in terms of our democracy sliding away quickly.
US officials did not seek detention of the partner of the journalist who first reported secrets leaked by fugitive US intelligence agency contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said on Monday.
British authorities did, however, give their US counterparts a "heads up" before detaining the partner of American journalist Glenn Greenwald, Brazilian David Miranda, the White House said.
"This was a decision that they made on their own, and not at the request of the United States," White Housespokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing. "This is something that they did independent of our direction," he added.
Miranda, 28, was detained on Sunday at London's Heathrow Airport where he was in transit on his way from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro. He was questioned for 9 hours under provisions of British anti-terrorism law but was later released without charge.
Earnest did not provide information about how far in advance British officials notified the United States that Miranda would be detained or how they notified US authorities. He also did not provide details on whether US officials had obtained any material from personal items confiscated from Miranda.
Greenwald has said British authorities seized his partner's laptop, cellphone and USB sticks.
Greenwald writes for Britain's Guardian newspaper and has published information on US surveillance programs revealed by Snowden, who faces criminal charges in the United States.
Amnesty International on Monday described as a??unlawful and unwarranteda?? the detention by British authorities of the significant other of a journalist who worked with Edward Snowden.
"It is utterly improbable that David Michael Miranda, a Brazilian national transiting through London, was detained at random, given the role his husband has played in revealing the truth about the unlawful nature of NSA surveillance," said Widney Brown, the organization's senior director of international law and policy.
A Miranda was detained while in transit in Heathrow Airport and was held in detention for nearly nine hours under the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals at airports, ports and border areas.
Miranda is married to Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who analyzed and published information on documents leaked by Snowden.
The international organization said in a statement that Miranda, who was en route from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro, was "clearly a victim of unwarranted revenge tactics, targeted for no more than whom he is married to."
"David's detention was unlawful and inexcusable. He was detained under a law that violates any principle of fairness and his detention shows how the law can be abused for petty vindictive reasons," Brown said.
Voice of Russia, BBC, Reuters, RIA