When a journalist is publicly associated with a controversial story, they and their loved ones may be put into the spotlight. Sometimes, being in the public eye can cause unintended consequences. Glenn Greenwald, a former journalist for the Guardian, broke the story about Edward Snowden. He was recently notified by his partner David Miranda, that he was detained at Heathrow Airport in London for almost nine hours, the Huffington Post reported.
What was seen as a measure to protect British's national security is becoming a question of restricting free speech. Miranda challenged the United Kingdom's government in court on November 6.
Schedule 7 allows local police officers to stop and question an individual, even if they have not committed any crimes. In this specific situation, was Miranda chosen out of random or was he targeted by the United Kingdom's government?
"If the court finds that such a power was used proportionally in seizing journalistic material in this way, we ask court then to consider if Schedule 7 is compatible with fundamental rights — in particular, the right to freedom of expression," Ryder told the source. "This case illustrates vividly why it is not compatible."
Miranda believes that this was a targeted strategy to seize his cell phone and computer and decided to go to trial. The case began on November 6.
"The security service had a clear desire to get that material to stop its use by the newspapers. The government wanted that material back," Lord Justice Laws told the court.
During Miranda's trip, he was on his way home after meeting Laura Poitras, a documentary filmmaker who was also involved with "breaking revelations based on documents leaked by Snowden," the Guardian explained. Although Laws' statement shows sympathy toward the Home Office, this would be the first time journalistic evidence would be seized under the U.K's Terrorism Act.
The Home Office confirmed that Miranda carried files that may be used for publication, the question is if the contents of the files put the U.K in a compromising position. About 10 free speech organizations, including the International Federation of Journalists, showed up to the trial and expressed "concerns to the court about the use of anti-terror powers against journalists."
Miranda's trial is far from over, but businesses that don't feel comfortable working where they are may want to consider relocating to Canada. Swift SMS Gateway is among many organizations that chose to work in Canada.