It is an epic war and will be studied for generations - media for freedom versus governments for security - the Snowden saga continues. On Tuesday, even as David Miranda sued Britain over his detention, UK defended its action saying that the government and the police have a duty to protect the public and national security. In a related development, the Guardian which leaked the snooping story reported that British security experts forced it to destroy hard drives containing NSA material.
Faced with an international outcry for its decision to detain Miranda, the UK Home Office issued a statement saying, "If the police believe that an individual is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that would help terrorism, then they should act and the law provides them with a framework to do that,"
Miranda, a 28-year-old university student, is a Brazilian national. He is the partner of Guardian newspaper journalist Glenn Greenwald who broke the U.S. and UK snooping story. At the time of his detention, Miranda was on his way home to Rio de Janeiro from Berlin. He was detained at Heathrow transit lounge, under a contentious anti-terrorism law.
Reports say that Miranda was in Germany to meet Laura Poitras, a U.S. filmmaker who has worked with Greenwald on the NSA stories. Greenwald said Miranda was carrying materials between the two, but didn't specify what they were.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger termed the detention of David Miranda as part of a campaign of official intimidation against the newspaper since it began publishing stories based on Snowden's leaks in June.
"You've had your fun." Guardian Told
Meanwhile, embarrassing the UK government further, news broke out that British authorities had forced the Guardian newspaper to destroy material leaked by Edward Snowden.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, on Tuesday, said he had received a call from a government official a month ago who told him: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back." The paper had been threatened with legal action if it did not comply.
The report said, two "security experts" from the secretive Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) visited the paper's London offices later and watched over the destruction of computer hard drives containing Snowden material.
Rusbridger termed the action of British authorities as a "pointless" move that would not prevent further reporting on US and British surveillance programs.
Greenwald meanwhile said that he has copies of all the leaked documents the revelations are based on.
US Distances Itself
Meanwhile, Guardian reported, that the U.S. has distanced itself from Britain's handling of the leaked NSA documents saying it would be difficult to imagine the US authorities following the example of demanding the destruction of media hard drives.
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