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article imageContinuation of whistleblower 'No-Fly Zone' policy and other news

By Anne Sewell     Aug 20, 2013 in World
London - The Government Accountability Project (GAP) has released a statement about the detention of David Miranda, Brazilian national and partner of whistleblower journalist Glenn Greenwald, and the Guardian reports an attack on its computers in the UK by GCHQ.
Miranda, 28, was in transit from Berlin to his home in Rio de Janeiro when he was detained at London's Heathrow Airport and questioned for nine hours under British anti-terrorism laws until finally released without charge.
GAP has made the statement that this move by British authorities "clearly demonstrates a continuation of the international 'No-Fly Zone' policy being imposed upon whistleblowers and those associated with them."
Reportedly, a White House spokesperson has conceded that the detention happened with the full knowledge of the White House in advance, though the spokesperson denies that any request for detention was made.
GAP is comparing the latest incident to the debacle last month, when Bolivian president Evo Morales was denied airspace by France, Spain and Portugal, and was subsequently grounded in a 14-hour detention while Austrian officials "inspected" his aircraft, because it was thought that Edward Snowden was a stowaway on board.
According to GAP, the message is becoming very clear — that the US and its allies are engaging in a coordinated effort to intimidate and muzzle whistleblowers, and also to deny them access to political asylum.
GAP Executive Director Beatrice Edwards, says:
"Miranda is not a terrorist by any stretch, but that didn't stop authorities from using that law against him. Nor did the White House feel the need to intervene when it had the opportunity to do so."
"We live in a time when people can neither speak nor travel freely."
The role of GAP is as follows:
The Government Accountability Project (GAP) champions government and corporate accountability and transparency by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists. Since its founding in 1977, GAP has fought to make large bureaucratic institutions accountable through the effective exercise of conscience.
UK'S GCHQ demands destruction of The Guardian's hard drives:
On top of the latest news of Glenn Greenwald's partner being detained at the airport for so long, a Guardian article is stating that two GCHQ security experts had visited The Guardian in an effort to destroy hard drives in the Guardian's basement to remove any information related to Edward Snowden.
Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian was reporting on Monday about the Miranda incident and among many other things he says:
"And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents."
Rusbridger quoted a British official telling him: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back."
He also quoted one of the agents as joking: "We can call off the black helicopters." as Guardian employees swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.
As Rusbridger states in his article, this action seems to be "a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age."
He states that The Guardian "will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won't do it in London."
According to RT, another source familiar with the event confirmed to Reuters that Guardian employees had destroyed computers as UK officials observed.
Adding that "the seizure of Miranda's laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald's work."
Returning to the incident with Miranda at London's Heathrow airport, RT interviewed American lawyer Eva Golinger who said that the UK has violated all concepts of freedom of the press. In the video interview above she says:
“We are talking about a media outlet. Journalists and their spouses and partners being detained and interrogated. So clearly there has been a decision made that everything related to Edward Snowden must be captured no matter what, violating anyone’s right under any country’s laws.”
When asked if she thought that the latest incidents will stop journalists from reporting on similar news, she responded:
“The more principled the people reporting are, the more they will continue to pursue that work in the face of threat. Such cheap threats and intimidation give people even more reasons to continue doing what they are doing because it shows that those in power are clearly frightened of the information that is being put out.”
“At the same time it could certainly intimidate other journalists and create the environment of self-censorship, where many would be unwilling to take the risks that are involved with national security reporting, particularly when it comes to the US.”
Golinger feels that the US is the “intellectual author behind the detainment of Miranda.”
“We are talking about a search and capture that is going on for Edward Snowden and it is the US that is leading that effort. It is not the UK or other European nations, they are merely abiding by the wishes of the US…What I believe is that Washington has simply put out a request to all of its allies that anyone related to Edward Snowden must be detained if they come into your territory and the UK abided by that and did their duty.”
Greenwald told the New York Times that Miranda traveled to Berlin to deliver materials downloaded by Snowden to Laura Poitras, a documentary filmmaker who has also been helping to disseminate Snowden’s leaks. He was also there to acquire from Poitras a different set of materials for delivery to Greenwald.
Greenwald told the New York Times:
“What’s amazing is this law, called the Terrorism Act, gives them a right to detain and question you about your activities with a terrorist organization or your possible involvement in or knowledge of a terrorism plot.”
“The only thing they were interested in was NSA documents and what I was doing with Laura Poitras. It’s a total abuse of the law.”
“This is obviously a serious, radical escalation of what they are doing. He is my partner. He is not even a journalist.”
Greenwald said that British authorities seized all of Miranda's electronic media, including video games, DVDs and data storage devices, and did not return them. According to the Forbes website, Greenwald told them that "everything" Miranda had "was heavily encrypted."
Reuters reports that Greenwald was interviewed at Rio de Janeiro airport where he met Miranda on his return to Brazil. He was asked if the detention of his partner would deter him from future reporting.
Greenwald said in Portuguese that the opposite would happen:
"I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I am going to publish things on England, too. I have many documents on England's spy system."
More about government accountability project, Gap, Whistleblower, Journalist, Glenn greenwald
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