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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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UK asked New York Times to hand over Snowden documents

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson said she was approached by senior British officials who asked her to hand over NSA documents revealed by Edward Snowden. Abramson stated: “They were hopeful that we would relinquish any material that we might be reporting on, relating to Edward Snowden. Needless to say, I considered what they told me, and said no.”

The New York Times received the NSA documents as part of a collaboration with the Guardian, despite Edward Snowden’s decision not to go to the New York Times due to their year-long postponement of a story on the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping in 2005.

The UK government has made multiple attempts to slow or halt publication of the material revealed by Snowden, including the destruction of the Guardian‘s hard drives in July 2013.

Read more: New York Times’s Jill Abramson: ‘The First Amendment is first for a reason’