Remember when a journalist David Miranda was detained at the Heathrow Airport for 9 hours during transit in 2013? The reason given was an anti-terrorism regulation, indirectly claiming that journalism can be terrorism. Apparently, UK law enforcement is doubling down on that claim, with a the brand new admission that there is an ongoing and open criminal investigation into the reporters who’ve printed from the Snowden leaks.
Snowden’s first disclosures from the National Security Agency (NSA) had been revealed in June 2013 by Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian, a UK based newspaper. Greenwald, now residing in Brazil, left in October 2013 to co-found The Intercept.
The Guardian’s revelations included particulars about dragnet D.R. Internet spying operations, the publicity of which infuriated high British authorities officers and led to the newspaper being pressured into destroying exhausting drives containing copies of the paperwork.
Apparently the UK law enforcement has gone bonkers and are going to great lengths to intimidate journalists, even once forcing the Guardian to destroy a laptop which contained the Snowden files, sighting the ‘National Security’.
A secretive British police investigation focusing on journalists working with Edward Snowden’s leaked paperwork stays ongoing two years after it was quietly launched.
The intimidation has been taken up a notch. Greenwald’s new publication, the Intercept, has been engaged in an ongoing Freedom of Information battle with the Metropolitan Police Service of UK to find out out if the Met is investigating journalists, and the police, after denying to confirm for many months, have finally confirmed in an email to Ryan Gallagher, an author of The Intercept, that the police is in fact still criminally investigating those journalists involved with the Snowden files. The email from the Police states that:
“the mps can confirm that it continues to conduct investigation into the events as described above”
As the reporters didn’t really commit a crime, it appears that the only motive for the investigation is to harass journalists who may publish such articles or might do so in the future.
“The main reason the investigation is still carrying on is probably to create a degree of uncertainty around journalists and their advisers about what can and cannot be done in terms of carrying documents,” said Stephens, who is a companion at London firm Howard Kennedy. “They are trying to shake down and instill fear into journalists and discourage them from exposing issues that have to do with national security.”
Links in the Article
- – David Miranda’s detention
- – The Intercept’s main site
- – The article in The Intercept
- – UK Police’s email response to The intercept’s Freedom of Information request (pdf)