News / Europe

    British Police: Seized Snowden-Linked Data Could Put Lives at Risk

    U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald (C) looks on as his partner David Miranda (R) talks with the media after arriving at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport, Brazil, Aug. 19, 2013.
    U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald (C) looks on as his partner David Miranda (R) talks with the media after arriving at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport, Brazil, Aug. 19, 2013.
    Reuters
    British police said on Thursday that documents seized from the partner of a journalist, who has led coverage of Edward Snowden's leaks about U.S. and British electronic spying, were “highly sensitive” and, if disclosed, could put lives at risk.

    Counter-terrorism detectives said they had begun a criminal investigation following a preliminary examination of the material taken from David Miranda, partner of American journalist Glenn Greenwald, after he was held for nine hours at London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday.

    The inquiry is the latest twist in a surveillance scandal that has pitted U.S. President Barack Obama against the Kremlin and prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron's advisers to demand the return of secrets from the Guardian newspaper.

    Miranda, a Brazilian citizen who had been ferrying documents between Greenwald and a Berlin-based journalist contact of Snowden's, was held at Heathrow under anti-terrorism powers, before being released without charge minus his laptop, phone, a computer hard drive and memory sticks.

    “Initial examination of material seized has identified highly sensitive material, the disclosure of which could put lives at risk,” London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

    Gwendolen Morgan, the lawyer for David Miranda, makes a statement to members of the media outside the High Court in London, Aug. 22, 2013.Gwendolen Morgan, the lawyer for David Miranda, makes a statement to members of the media outside the High Court in London, Aug. 22, 2013.
    x
    Gwendolen Morgan, the lawyer for David Miranda, makes a statement to members of the media outside the High Court in London, Aug. 22, 2013.
    Gwendolen Morgan, the lawyer for David Miranda, makes a statement to members of the media outside the High Court in London, Aug. 22, 2013.
    The police refused to give any further details about the criminal inquiry, and Miranda's lawyer, Gwendolen Morgan, told reporters she knew very little about the investigation or what the basis for it was.

    Earlier, Miranda's lawyers went to London's High Court to try to prevent British authorities from looking at the tens of thousands of documents on the seized devices.

    However, two judges gave the authorities until Aug. 30 to sift through the documents on the proviso it was for the defense of national security and to investigate any possible links to terrorism.

    “We welcome the decision of the court which allows our examination of the material - containing thousands of classified intelligence documents - to continue in order to protect life and national security,” the police statement said.

    Greenwald, who is based in Brazil and writes for Britain's Guardian, has published articles based on documents leaked by Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who faces criminal charges in the United States.

    Media freedom

    British security officials say the Snowden leaks, which showed the scale of U.S. and British eavesdropping on everything from phone calls and emails to internet and social media use, have undermined national security and could put lives at risk.

    But the detention of Miranda and British government pressure on the Guardian have dragged Cameron into an international row over media freedom and the powers of the security services.

    Germany has criticized Britain while Russia, which has granted Snowden temporary asylum, accused the British government of double standards over press freedom.

    The Brazilian government, which has complained about the “unjustified” detention of Miranda, asked Britain to return the electronic equipment seized from him.

    It was unclear what documents Miranda was carrying or what secrets could have forced Britain to act in such a way. Greenwald has vowed that Britain would come to regret its actions which he said were an attempt to intimidate him.

    David Anderson, a lawyer who acts as Britain's Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May on Thursday to say he would investigate whether the powers under which police detained Miranda were used lawfully.

    Miranda's lawyers have also started legal action to ask judges to rule that his detention was illegal and his lawyer Morgan said they might seek to appeal the High Court's decision allowing the police to continue to inspect his material.

    The Guardian said on Thursday that Miranda had been involved in legitimate journalistic activity. “We ... have grave concerns that today's judgment allows police to examine without any legal oversight journalistic material seized from David Miranda,” it said in a statement on its website.

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora