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David Miranda loses legal challenge

The High Court in London has ruled that it is acceptable to detain journalists under terrorism legislation.

David Miranda is the partner of former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first reported on Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing about the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. On 18 August 2013, he was detained at Heathrow airport while changing planes on a trip between Heathrow and Rio de Janeiro. Miranda was questioned for just under the statutory limit of nine hours, was forced to give over passwords, had personal electronic equipment confiscated and not allowed to speak to his solicitor until eight hours had passed.

The UK Government’s attempts to prevent reporting on the Snowden revelations – which include ordering the destruction of the Guardian’s hard drives – have generated sustained international criticism. The World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers launched an unprecedented mission to the UK to investigate press freedom issues just last month.

David Miranda’s lawyers Bindmans have announced that he will be appealing today’s judgment. Miranda was not given an automatic right of appeal, so it is up to the Court of Appeal itself to decide whether to grant a hearing.

Permission to appeal was eventually granted in May 2014.

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CPJ report: Obama administration’s war on leaks most aggressive since Nixon

A new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists analyses the Obama administration’s aggressive prosecution of leakers and Obama’s failure to uphold government transparency. The report includes focus on Edward Snowden, noting the US government’s “wide-ranging effort to have him extradited to the United States”.

The report also discusses the aggression against journalists who have worked with Mr Snowden, including Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, as well as efforts by the UK government to slow or stop the Guardian‘s publication of material revealed by Snowden.

Furthermore, the CPJ reports on the surveillance of journalists, quoting Oktavía Jónsdóttir of IREX: “Journalists who aren’t worried about their communications being monitored should be; if not, they could be putting their sources at risk.”

Read the full report: The Obama Administration and the Press: Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America