David Miranda, the Brazilian man who had been working with The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, obtained a partial victory in British court. His property that had been seized by authorities cannot be searched, unless it is for the purpose of “national security.”
The High Court ruled the authorities could examine the seized material for the defence of national security and also to investigate whether Mr Miranda, 28, is a person who is or has been concerned with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
Mr Miranda’s lawyers said he had had nine items, including his laptop, mobile phone, memory cards and DVDs, taken during the detention on Sunday.
They sought the injunction to prevent access to the data, arguing his detention was unlawful and threatened “journalistic sources whose confidential information is contained in the material seized”.
Speaking after the case, Gwendolen Morgan, from law firm Bindmans, said the injunction was a “partial victory”.
She said the government now has seven days to “prove there is a genuine threat to national security”.
Ms Morgan added she knew “very little” about the criminal investigation police revealed they were undertaking.
“We don’t know of any basis for that,” she added.
Miranda had been stopped presumably because of his association with Greenwald, and the Edward Snowden affair. It can be presumed that the British authorities had been hoping to find more Snowden documents before they were released to the public. In the wake of Miranda’s detainment, Guardian editors revealed that the British government had destroyed their hard drives. Given the nature of the information, and Snowden’s claims that the information will be released no matter what happens to him, it is unlikely that destroying hard drives or seizing property of journalists will put an end to the Snowden information releases. As for the Miranda situation, while his counsel is unaware of any reason the British government would have to prove that the is a danger to national security, time will tell what sort of case the Crown will manage to present in court.