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British Court Approves Examination of Seized Security-Related Items

A British court says authorities can examine items they seized last weekend from the partner of a journalist who has written extensively about the leaked details of clandestine U.S. national security spying programs.

The court ruled Thursday that in order to protect British national security, police could look at the laptop, phone and memory sticks they took from David Miranda, a Brazilian national, as he passed through London's Heathrow Airport on his way to Rio de Janeiro.

Miranda is the partner of U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald. He has written stories in Britain's Guardian newspaper, based on leaked documents provided by former American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, that detail the massive surveillance being conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Miranda's lawyer sought to curb the dissemination of the seized items, but the court said they could be examined on "national security" grounds.

A lawyer for British police said they already were scanning tens of thousands of pages of digital material seized from Miranda. The attorney, Jonathan Laidlaw, said police had found "highly sensitive material."

Miranda was questioned for nine hours before being released last Sunday.

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