Forget the hypotheticals – the likely future for journalism under the GCSB Bill was revealed in Britain when David Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained by British police for nine hours under Britain’s Terrorism Act while in transit through London on his way home to Brazil.
He was questioned by a relay of six officers, all his electronic equipment was confiscated. After the nine hour limit this “terrorist” was released into Britain! All because his partner has been the journalist who wrote about the revelations about internet surveillance provided by Edward Snowden.
The White House said the British government took the decision to detain Miranda. No 10 initially refused to comment, saying it was an operational matter for the police. Later in the day they admitted that both David Cameron and Theresa May, the Home Office secretary, had been briefed beforehand.
Simon Jenkins’ comment is headed “So the innocent have nothing to fear? After David Miranda we know where this leads.” Too true, and from 12,000 miles away I fear too late. Time for all the media to wake up though.
[Bunji: also note GCHQ in the UK destroying Guardian hard drives – despite the pointlessness of the action in these days of the cloud. As they told the editor: “You’ve had your debate, there’s no need to write any more.”]