The partner of a journalist that wrote about the surveillance programs used by the U.S. National Security Agency was detained by authorities at London Heathrow Airport on Sunday.
The Huffington Post reported that David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, was held for questioning for nine hours as he passed through Heathrow on his way home to Rio de Janeiro. Miranda was returning to Brazil after a visit to Berlin when he was stopped around 8 a.m. by airport security officers. Miranda was informed that he was being questioned under schedule 7 of Britain's Terrorism Act, which allows officers to stop, search, question, and detain individuals at airports, ports, and border areas. The incident is inciting outrage among Snowden supporters and has even led members of the Labor party in the UK to demand an extensive review of anti-terror legislation.
Miranda was held for a total of nine hours, the maximum length of time an individual can be detained before either being released or formally arrested. Officers questioned Miranda about Greenwald's work and his involvement with Laura Poitras, a filmmaker and journalist who has worked with Edward Snowden and helped him leak information about the NSA. Miranda reportedly had been staying with Poitras while in Berlin. His visit to the German city was funded by the Guardian so that he could pass along documents to Poitras and was reportedly bringing paperwork from Poitras back with him to Brazil.
In addition to questioning Miranda, officers also confiscated some of his electronic equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, DVDs, memory sticks, and game consoles. Greenwald has spoken out about the incident on his blog, saying that it "is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news-gathering process. To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation." Greenwald also stated that he will not be deterred from writing further reports about the NSA and the United States and the United Kingdom's "unchecked spying power."