I am very unhappy about the 9 hour detention on Sunday of David Miranda and believe that the use of the Terrorism Act 2000 was an abuse of this legislation in that detention. His laptop, phone, USB’s etc. were confiscated. He was here on transit from Germany back to Brazil. The police required him to reveal all his passwords to his electronic devices. Now he is threatening legal action for wrongful detention and for the return of the items taken. Perhaps I’ve understood things wrongly but I was under the impression that the purpose of the Terrorism Act 2000 was to prevent terrorism and it is quite clear that Miranda is not a terrorist so why was he detained under those powers. Another question that concerns me is that it was for 9 hours.
I am concerned that, more and more, this country is becoming a police state where everything we do, write or say is being monitored. We are constantly monitored by CCTV cameras everywhere we go. Our emails are no longer private but can be read should they so desire to do so by GCHQ (with the assistance of the USA) . The freedom of the press is being challenged by the way hard drives at the Guardian were required to be destroyed.
From yesterday’s Guardian: ‘As Miranda’s lawyer from Bindman’s says: "We have grave concerns about the decision to use this draconian power to detain our client for nine hours on Sunday – for what appear to be highly questionable motives, which we will be asking the high court to consider. This act is likely to have a chilling effect on journalists worldwide and is emphatically not what parliament intended schedule 7 powers to be used for." Bindmans say the police used the anti-terror laws in order to have "deliberately bypassed" the normal statutory procedures for seeking confidential journalistic material such as court orders under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984’
In my opinion this affair is a very worrying development of police powers.