U.k. Court Slaps Police With Injunction On Miranda Data
An injunction handed down by a British court today (Thursday) bars British authorities from inspecting, copying or sharing the information on the laptop, hard drives, and other memory devices taken from David Miranda at London's Heathrow airport over the weekend. However, it also said that the items could be examined in defense of national security and to determine whether Miranda might have been concerned with the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorist acts. An attorney who had brought the case to the High Court indicated that the hard drives may have contained confidential information about journalistic sources. During the hearing, a lawyer representing the police indicated that they had already examined some of the documents and were launching a formal criminal investigation. Meanwhile, Britain's former lord chancellor, Lord Charles Falconer, has commented that the law under which Miranda was detained, and which he helped introduce, was never intended to be applied as it was. Writing in today's Guardian, Falconer said that it was designed to make it difficult for Irish dissident terrorists to come to the mainland. The powers given to police under the act can only be used 'for the purpose of determining' whether the detained person is a terrorist. Falconer added, There is no suggestion that Miranda is a terrorist, or that his detention and questioning at Heathrow was for any other reason than his involvement in his partner Glenn Greenwald's reporting of the Edward Snowden story. Falconer concludes: The state has exceeded its powers in this case. The sooner the courts make this clear, the better.