Monday, August 19, 2013

UK authorities hold partner of journalist (Greenwald) thought to be involved in Snowden leaks; was the partner involved himself?

British authorities detained the life partner David Miranda of journalist Glenn Greenwald at Heathrow Airport.  The men live in Brazil.  Greenwald has reported heavily on leaks from Edward Snowden for the Guardian in the UK.
There was a story that Miranda had visited filmmaker Laura Poitras (“The Oath”, “Flag Wars”), but he himself does not work or function as a journalist.  But as an informal blogger, perhaps?
Poynter has the story by Andrew Beaujon here.
Glenn Greenwald has his own story (on “Security and Liberty”) in the Guardian, “Detaining my partner was a failed attempt at intimidation”, (website url) here. It’s not clear whether the detention could happen if the men were legally married.  
But there is definitely an outcry over authorities’ detaining associates or family of journalists or analysts authorities suspect of “leaks”. 

Greenwald was the first journalist to widely publish the Snowden leaks, and has threatened to publish even more in "retaliation".

Update Aug. 20 :

On AC360 tonight, Anderson Cooper interviewed both men (gay partners), and Jeffrey Toobin said that the British government thought that Miranda could be an unknowing mole carrying secrets linked to Greenwald. If this info could be useful to terrorists, under British law detention was legal.  This would only be the case if the info was classified.  We don't know whether there was any actual classified info on Miranda's electronics.  There was also a debate as to whether journalists who report on security matters become accomplices to terrorists.  That could come up with the steganography debate, mentioned often right after 9/11.

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