The other night channel 4 aired Oscar winning documentary ‘CITIZEN FOUR’ which documents whistle-blower Edward Snowdens leaking of information on the mass surveillance programs both on Americans at home and people across the globe by the NSA & GCHQ.
The documentary showed us the days after Edward Snowdens departure from the US to Hong Kong and his journey in releasing secret documents which shun light on the true extent of the NSA spying program.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald from the Gaurdian was the first journalist to break the story about the NSA’s mass surveillance program this came with its own difficulties as Glen Greenwalds partner found out.
As Glen Greenwalds partner David Miranda traveled from Berlin to London he was detained under ‘anti terrorism’ laws which were passed in the years following 7/7.
Miranda was held for over 9 hours as he was interrogated under Terrorism Act 2000 which introduced massive sweeping powers for authority’s in the name of fighting ‘Terrorism’.
These powers have been widely abused and used to crush dissent in many quarters including whistleblowing. Policie towards whistle-blower’s has been shown to be in favor of demonizing and crminalizing their actions as seen with Wikileaks Julian Assange who is currently still held up in the Ecudorian Embassy, London.
He was found to have been in possession of thumb drives with encrypted documents from the leaks by ex NSA employee Edward Snowden which were confiscated along with other devices Miranda was in possession of like his mobile phone and laptop as well as memory sticks, DVD’s and a games console.
Glen Greenwald stated to the New york Times that his partner was in Berlin to deliver documents pertaining to his governments involvement in mass surveillance to a documentary film maker.
Miranda in return for the encrypted documents was given a further 28 leaked documents on encrypted thumb drives which originated from Edward Snowden himself.
He was released after the 9 hours which police had to either charge him or let him go, he continued on to his destination in Rio de Janiro where he was met by his partner Glenn Greenwald.
In a blog wrote by Greenwald he wrote: ‘It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth.
‘But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by.’
According to official figures more than 97% of examinations under schedule 7 lasted less than an hour, only one in 2,000 of those detained is kept more than 6 hours.
It is no coincidence that the very people uncovering the true extent of governments surveillance of its citizens and people of the world were targeted under the very laws that give the governments the power to incroach on our privacy and to an extent nobody could have dreamt of it.