British court restricts police use of Miranda material to … national security

posted at 10:01 am on August 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

At first, this court decision was described as a win for David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald, and the Guardian. As has happened on this story in the past, the details present a more nuanced reality. A British court imposed an injunction on the use of material seized from Miranda during his nine-hour detention in Heathrow, but the fine print reveals a rather large loophole:

he British authorities can sift through documents seized from the partner of a reporter who wrote about the leaks by Edward Snowden to protect national security and investigate any possible links to terrorism, a court ruled on Thursday. …

His lawyer has requested an injunction to prevent the authorities from examining any data seized from Miranda and has also started legal action to ask judges to rule that his detention was illegal.

Two judges at Britain’s High Court said the authorities could continue to look at the information from Miranda for the defense of national security and for the purposes of investigating whether the claimant is a person who is or has been concerned with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

If the injunction had just allowed a search related to terrorism — the law under which Miranda was held requires a reasonable nexus to terrorism — then this may well have been a win for the Guardian and its employees.  Whatever else Miranda may have been up to, it would be difficult to argue that he was a prime suspect in a terrorist plot.

National security, however, is a much wider scope, and much more ambiguous.  It clearly includes the efforts of British intelligence to conduct signals intelligence to prevent terrorist attacks, which now don’t have to relate to Miranda at all.  That loophole will be more than wide enough to include any work resulting from their relationship with American intelligence and the NSA, which the Snowden files have exposed in some detail, especially between NSA and GCHQ.

Small wonder the government is “pleased” with the ruling:

The court will convene again on August 30th to review the case again, giving the British a little more than a week to conduct its review.  By that time, the question of accessing the stolen materials will be moot, if it isn’t already. Perhaps the NSA will figure out by that time what exactly they lost with Snowden.


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Good.

unclesmrgol on August 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM

National Security?

Expecting Martin Lawrence to show up anytime, now…

coldwarrior on August 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Just for a bit of discussion, what is “National Security”?
The Germans planning to attack England in WWII would fall under that.
Russians having nukes aimed at England would fall under that.
The nation would be endangered.

But a local bombing of a bus or a building? Is that “national security” – in the nation endangered?- or does a new category need to be defined?

The influx of illegal aliens or legal immigration of too many foreigners could be a bigger cause of alarm (in the long run) to “national security”.

albill on August 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Apparently, Ed is telling us that the loophole is big enough to drive a truck through.

Chris of Rights on August 22, 2013 at 10:23 AM

and people think the dollar is worthless….. looks like ya can still buy an obedient puppet state

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Chris of Rights on August 22, 2013 at 10:23 AM

That makes more sense than some vague reference to the Ballad of John and Yoko.

Standing in the dock at Southampton,
Trying to get to Holland or France.
The man in the mack said, “You’ve got to go back”,
You know they didn’t even give us a chance

Christ you know it ain’t easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They’re gonna crucify me.

Flange on August 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The court will convene again on August 30th to review the case again, giving the British a little more than a week to conduct its review. By that time, the question of accessing the stolen materials will be moot, if it isn’t already. Perhaps the NSA will figure out by that time what exactly they lost with Snowden.

Nevermind national security, I’m sort of at a loss why Miranda can argue to keep STOLEN materials. If Miranda had been caught with those stolen jewels from Monte Carlo, he wouldn’t be able to argue right of ownership. Those files are not rightfully his property in the first place.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM

and investigate any possible links to terrorism

You publish something. A terrorist reads it (or just buys the newspaper it’s printed on, or surfs the website you post it to) and viola, a link to terrorism! Given the NSA’s rationale for harvesting our phone records and email, et al., this isn’t a stretch.

rbj on August 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Nevermind national security, I’m sort of at a loss why Miranda can argue to keep STOLEN materials. If Miranda had been caught with those stolen jewels from Monte Carlo, he wouldn’t be able to argue right of ownership. Those files are not rightfully his property in the first place.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2013 at 10:30 AM

+++++++++++++++++

Hey, don’t go bringing some common sense on here.

fabrexe on August 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

and investigate any possible links to terrorism

You publish something. A terrorist reads it (or just buys the newspaper it’s printed on, or surfs the website you post it to) and viola, a link to terrorism! Given the NSA’s rationale for harvesting our phone records and email, et al., this isn’t a stretch.

rbj on August 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM

No, it is not a stretch. Look what they did with Palin’s crosshairs when Giffords was shot.

davidk on August 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Sure, and the NSA is only listening to us for National Security, too. And the IRS only does audits randomly or by algorithm. And the EPA only goes after those who harm the environment.

Who every heard of… nay who ever even considered the absurd possibility that a government agency would use their power and access for other than altruistic means?

Wino on August 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Hey, don’t go bringing some common sense on here.

fabrexe on August 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Yeah, that tends to be frowned upon.

Happy Nomad on August 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

A better “common sense” analogy would be “you stole the accounting books of Al Capone, what makes you think you should be able to keep them.”

The records show what the law breakers are up to. They aren’t breaking the law so much as proving the accusations.

Wino on August 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Two judges at Britain’s High Court said the authorities could continue to look at the information from Miranda for the defense of national security and for the purposes of investigating whether the claimant is a person who is or has been concerned with the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Very good news.

bluegill on August 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

To be GOVERNED is to be kept in sight, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right, nor the wisdom, nor the virtue to do so. . .

To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.

It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed;

then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonored.

That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Just for a bit of discussion, what is “National Security”?
The Germans planning to attack England in WWII would fall under that.
Russians having nukes aimed at England would fall under that.
The nation would be endangered.

But a local bombing of a bus or a building? Is that “national security” – in the nation endangered?- or does a new category need to be defined?

The influx of illegal aliens or legal immigration of too many foreigners could be a bigger cause of alarm (in the long run) to “national security”.

albill on August 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

All the above is thought crime.

National security is whatever your betters in government says it is, along with the oh-so Patriotic flag-wavers in the peanut gallery who claim they love Liberty and Conservative values, but in reality love authority and government.

donabernathy on August 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Yes. Our government was supposed to be different. It was supposed to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America, thus its Citizens and their Liberty.

That didn’t last long.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 22, 2013 at 5:00 PM