If a British journalist was working to expose Government corruption in a foreign country and their partner was detained – under anti-terror laws or not – then I expect the British Government’s response would not be the muted silence we have heard this morning.
Instead, it is our own authorities who detained and questioned David Miranda, partner of The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, under anti-terror laws. This was not a random stop and search. Only 0.06 per cent of all people detained under Schdeule Seven are detained for more than six hours. Miranda was held right up to the maximum nine hours. According to the Government, "fewer than three people in every 10,000 are examined as they pass through UK borders".
From Greenwald’s article today, we also have an idea of what was discussed while Miranda was detained (without any legal or consular representation – you’re not entitled to either under Schedule 7). Miranda was not questioned about his involvement in terrorism, or how he posed a threat to the UK. He was asked about the NSA stories his partner had been writing and what information was contained on the various electronic devices he was carrying.
Whether you agree with Edward Snowden’s motives or Greenwald’s journalism or not, I think we can all agree that this is a case of anti-terror laws being used in a situation where there is quite clearly no suggestion anyone involved is a terrorist.