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Partner of journalist behind NSA expose held for nine hours at Heathrow

Partner of the Guardian journalist whose reportage recently exposed the US’ National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass-surveillance programs, yesterday joined the 0.05 per cent detenu minority to be held up at an airport for over six hours under the Terrorism Act 2000 by the UK police, reported the Guardian.

David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of British journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained at the Heathrow International Airport for nine hours by the UK police under Schedule 7 of the Act as he was returning from a trip to Berlin. At Berlin he was visiting US filmmaker Laura Poitras who has also been working with Greenwald on the NSA expose.

As per official figures, over 97 per cent of the examinations under Schedule 7 last less than an hour. Miranda was released, but officials confiscated electronics equipment including his mobile phone, laptop, camera, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles.

Schedule 7 empowers the police to stop and search individuals without prior authorisation or reasonable suspicion, and those stopped do not have the right to silence – setting it apart from other police powers.

Greenwald said: “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." [Greenwald’s editorial]

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