Responding to criticism that the detention and interrogation of David Miranda under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act was a misuse of its powers, Scotland Yard on Tuesday said its decision to do so was “legally sound”. The independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, is to meet the police on Tuesday to seek an explanation on this issue.
In a stunning disclosure on Tuesday, The Guardian Editor, Alan Rusbridger, described the pressures that his newspaper had been under from the U.K. government to hand over the material on the NSA surveillance that they were working on, or destroy it, followed shortly thereafter by a visit from GCHQ security experts to their offices to oversee the destruction of hard drives in the office basement. In an interview to BBC Radio Channel 4 on the Miranda episode today, Mr. Rusbridger said that if a person was considered “suspicious”, he should be arrested and given a lawyer, so that the “checks and balances in the British legal system could kick in”. Instead, the operation in Heathrow was conducted in a “vacuum” that was “not quite Britain, not quite non-Britain”, he said. The U.K. Home Office has however defended the action saying that a person could be detained if it was thought that he was in possession of “stolen information that would help terrorism”.