International Comparisons – Democracy in the United Kingdom

There’s a lot of talk about freedom of the press these days, and the Turkish government comes in for a good deal of criticism for allegedly censoring news media and bullying reporters. Maybe they do – but if so, they’re not alone. Here’s a report about the home of democracy itself:
Guardian Editor Claims UK Authorities Destroyed Newspaper’s Hard Drives
Maybe not – but the UK government
as usual is poodling along
On August 18 David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of American journalist Glen Greenwald, was stopped and held at Heathrow for nine hours, the legal maximum under the country’s anti-terrorism law, before being released without charge. Though not a journalist, Miranda was on his way back to the home he shares with Greenwald, in Brazil, from Germany where he had been doing work for his partner. Greenwald is the Guardian journalist who broke the story of secret state surveillance programs in the US based on information leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. Miranda has stated that he had been in Berlin meeting with American filmmaker Laura Poitras, who has been working with Greenwald on Snowden’s files.
According to Miranda, all of his electronic equipment had been confiscated by British police. “I stayed in a room, there were six different agents, entering and leaving, who spoke with me,” he told the Associated press in Rio de Janeiro after returning from Heathrow. “They asked questions about my whole life, about everything. They took my computer, video game, cell phone, memory thumb drives, everything.”
The incident prompted a critical response from the Guardian’s editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger – and brought out a new revelation. In an article posted on August 19, Rusbridger described how the British government had recently attempted to persuade him to destroy the documents leaked by Snowden. When Rusbridger resisted, he was threatened with legal action before officials from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) were sent to the Guardian’s London offices to destroy computers containing the documents themselves. Read more:


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